Do Babies Need to Drink Water

Do babies need to drink water?

Posted in 10+ Months, 12+ Months, 6+ Months, 6+ Months Nutrition, 8+ Months, Parent Know-How

Up until the age of 6 months, babies that are exclusively breastfed do not require any additional fluids. For infants over the age of 6 months or for those who are not exclusively breastfed, tap water can be used to prepare infant formula but this should be boiled and cooled for infants until 12 months of age. Plain bottled water can also be used if unopened to prepare formula.

It can be tempting to offer your young baby water, especially as we often face very warm temperatures in Australia.  On hot days, your baby will benefit from more frequent breastmilk or formula feeds, and you can help keep bub cool by gently sponging with a cool washcloth, as well as other methods such as minimal clothing and keeping them in a cool environment. On hot days, the best thing you can do for bubs is to ensure that you maintain good hydration yourself, especially if breastfeeding, which requires a good fluid intake.

Once your baby is six months of age, you can begin offering small sips of cooled boiled water once or twice a day.  This is best introduced using a cup (as opposed to a bottle) so you can start to introduce this skill to your baby. Water can supplement breastmilk or formula if you wish to increase the amount and frequency of water that your baby drinks.

As your baby begins eating solids, they will require additional hydration, so it is important to ensure that water is offered in addition to breastmilk or formula.

Fruit juice is not necessary or recommended for infants. Consumption may interfere with their intake of breastmilk or infant formula. Do not offer tea, herbal teas, coffee, soft drinks, cordials or other beverages. After 12 months, babies can be fed full fat cows milk.

If you have any questions or concerns, we recommend you speak with your health professional.

 

For more try Summer Hydration Tips for Babies and Toddlers.

 

References

World Health Organisation - http://www.who.int/features/qa/breastfeeding/en/

Australian Infant Feeding Guidelines -  https://www.eatforhealth.gov.au/sites/default/files/files/the_guidelines/n56b_infant_feeding_summary_130808.pdf

About the Author

About the Author: Rafferty’s Garden is a brand brought to life by our love of good food and by our belief in ensuring Australian babies get an amazing start to their food journey. .

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