BOTTLED WATER FOR BABIES, WHEN CAN THEY DRINK IT?
Well, that’s a great question but before we can answer it we need to first establish if your baby is at the right age to drink water.
AT WHAT AGE CAN A BABY START TO DRINK WATER?
Most experts agree that babies should not drink water before the age of 6 months.
Remember newborns are very different to adults and young children. A newborn baby will not eat anything like an older child.
A baby under the age of 6 months should only be consuming liquids as their main diet.
This can be in the form of formula or breastmilk but not actual water.
As long as your baby is healthy there is no need to give your little one anything other than breastmilk or formula to eat.
Some parents may start to think about weaning their baby from breastfeeding after the first six months of age. At this point, you could then introduce water as a means for keeping baby hydrated.
Naturally, if you start your child on solids they will need water to drink.
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CAN BABIES DRINK BOTTLED WATER?
Yes, babies can drink bottled water after the age of 6 months.
In saying this there is not much difference between bottled water for babies and tap water.
Is tap water for babies safe?
In the UK the recommendation is once your baby is at the right age they can, in fact, drink boiled cooled down tap water.
I’ve done this with all my children. You just need to make sure the water has had time to cool down well in advance first.
Tap water for baby is fine along with bottled water as long as your child is the right age.
IS IT SAFE TO GIVE MY 6 MONTH OLD BOTTLED WATER?
Bottled water is indeed safe to give to your 6-month-old but do be aware of the different types of bottled water and what is contained in them.
Some bottled water contains too much sodium (salt) or sulfate.
You may want to check on this before you habitually decide to allow your baby to drink bottled water.
Ideally, the water should contain less than 200 mg of sodium and less than 250 mg of sulfate per liter.
If you do decide to give your baby bottled water, make sure the seal on the bottle is not broken.
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WHAT ARE THE DANGERS OF GIVING YOUR BABY WATER TO DRINK?
Once you feel your baby is ready to start drinking water be sure to introduce it into their diet slowly.
Don’t be in a rush to let them drink lots of it to begin with.
They could get quite ill if you all them to drink too much too soon. Go slow.
1. WATER INTOXICATION
If a baby drinks too much water, especially if they are too young it can lead to water intoxication and even worse; death.
Water intoxication happens when too much water dilutes the concentration of sodium in the body.
It creates an imbalance in both the sodium and electrolytes and causes tissues to swell within your child’s body.
2. LACK OF IMPORTANT NUTRIENTS
Another downside to drinking water too early on is that you could be making your baby miss out on vital nutrients that their body needs.
Milk provides the right type of nutrients that your baby needs so if you give your baby water they are being filled up with water instead of what they actually need – milk.
This can be very dangerous and cause your child to not only lose weight but all also cause them failure to thrive.
Failure to thrive means that your child may not be able to reach normal milestones such as height and weight targets.
We all want to do what is right for our children.
I have heard people time and time again advising that you should give your baby water on a hot day but this really is unnecessary.
Breast milk especially is made up of approximately 88% water and is said to be very hydrating.
It really is not worth taking the risk if your child is under 6 months of age by letting them drink water,
This rule also applies to juices as well. You should not be in a rush to give your baby any type of juice to drink.
Juice can potentially rot your baby’s teeth before they even have ay.
USING BOTTLED WATER FOR FORMULA
Never try to dilute formula more than the recommended amount.
The average formula ratio is 1 level scoop of powdered formula to 2 fl oz of water.
Make sure to check on the tin that your ratios are always correct as they can vary from brand to brand.
If you over dilute the powdered formula you run the risk of water intoxication.
CAN I GIVE MY BABY JUICE?
Personally, I would not give a baby juice to drink until they are at least 1 year old but I know some people do it from 6 months.
I am of the opinion that if you give a baby good habits from the beginning they will carry it for the rest of their lives.
So leaving juices until much, later on, could actually be doing your baby a favor in the future.
Water is the best form of hydration (when your child is old enough) but you can use other baby drinks once you feel they are old enough and ready.
HOW TO INTRODUCE WATER TO YOUR BABY
Start off in very modest amounts when your baby is no less than six months of age.
Don’t allow your baby to just suck down the water as they please. They will not know how much to take.
It will be very much down to you to moderate their intake.
Your baby will have to get their stomach used to water so remember to go slow.
Your baby will not need more than 2- 4 oz of water in a 24 hour period according to Healthline.
If you are still unsure about when to give your baby water then I would recommend you consult a doctor before you do, just to be on the safe side.
FINAL THOUGHTS ON GIVING BOTTLED WATER TO BABIES
It is definitely worth waiting before you give your baby bottled water to drink or any other type of water or juice.
They will be getting more than enough from their daily milk intake.
Wait until your child is at least 6 months of age before introducing water and when you do, do it slowly to be on the safe side.
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