When to give a baby water?
We all think that drinking water is essential for everyone. But not for babies. Drinking water is not required for them because they get all the necessary liquid from their mother’s breast milk. Next, you will find out at what age children can be given water and why should not it be given before the first meal?
Should water be given to a newborn?
For the baby breast milk is both food and drink, as it contains 90% of water and in the first few weeks of life can maintain the fluid balance at the required level. Mother’s milk helps the digestion process, as it has all the enzymes for this.
So, it may seem the child does not need water at all, but this is not so true: there are situations when you cannot do without it. Indeed, up to 6 months old, drinking water should be recommended only by a doctor.
Older babies can be given water calmly, contrary to popular belief, this does not lead to the child’s refusal to breastfeed, and even more to his exhaustion. If the baby drinks water with great pleasure, there are no contraindications for this. But the lack of fluid for a baby is very dangerous- adults should not forget about the fact that the metabolic rate in newborn babies drinking water is very high and moisture loss is also significant.
However, parents should be aware of when and what is a normal level of drinking water for babies. Newborns can be given water from four to six months. It is better to do this between feedings- if the baby feels thirsty, he can drink water with pleasure. But how much? As with an adult, everything is individual with infant drinking water.
Usually, it is recommended to give a certain amount of liquid per day with the calculation of no more than 100 ml per kg of weight, but this also includes breast milk. So generally, 30-70 ml is left for drinking water babies. You can give it with a nipple or even from a spoon- in the future this will facilitate the introduction of complementary foods because by that moment the baby will already know how to use a spoon. But the most important rule is voluntariness: if a child is capricious and does not want to drink, then you should not insist.
When do you need to let newborns drinking water?
Water should be given after eating or in between feedings. Do not forget that the volume of the child’s stomach is very small, which means that he simply cannot drink a large amount of water right away- a few teaspoons will be enough for a start.
In some situations, the need for fluid increases. Most often, overheating and very dry indoor air lead to a lack of moisture. Many parents are so afraid of colds that they wrap their child in clothes and do not observe the temperature regime in the children’s room. This leads to a decrease in air humidity and dehydration of the baby’s body. It is also recommended to give water to newborns even during illness, for example, fever or colic, which are easily recognized by tucked legs, a tense tummy, and anxiety of the child. A few sips of warm water can also help to relieve hiccups.