As a new mother, the right time to feed the baby can be confusing. Plus, it also comes with numerous challenges depending on the baby you are feeding. For instance, some kids start to develop complications once they start taking water.
On the other hand, new parents, who are not sure how much is enough for their baby, overfeed their kids. As a result, the baby develops health issues. In severe cases, the child’s brain may get damaged.
That’s why every parent must know how much water they should feed their baby in a day.
In this article, you will know what the right water quantity is.
But first, does every baby qualify to be given water?
Let’s find out…
Age Limit: When Not To Give You Baby Water
Not every baby qualifies to take water. In fact, Danielle Stringer, who is a kids nurse, says, “Babies should not be offered water until they are six months old.” This is because 88 percent of breast milk is water. Besides, breast milk has all the necessary nutrients. Water does not!
Still, in most cases, infants aged 0 to 4 months are yet to start eating solid food. As such, they really do not need extra water. On the other hand, they are not as active as a one-year-old baby. Thus, they cannot dehydrate as long as they are breastfeeding.
It is, therefore, not necessary to give infants water.
When Is The Right Time To Give Your Baby Water?
Different growth stages require different quantities of water. The older the baby gets, the more water they need. This is because they are eating more and are also more active. Thus, they may dehydrate if they do not take water.
However, it is necessary to know that you should have limits. Don’t give the baby lots of water within a short period. That’s detrimental.
This is why.
Excess water causes the baby’s kidney to start flushing out electrolytes as well as sodium. The results?
The baby will suffer from water intoxication. You will know this if you notice the baby’s temperature is going below 97˚.
Also, it will start swelling, getting drowsy. Hence, the baby will begin experiencing seizures, which, if not treated immediately, could lead to their death.
The other probable thing that can happen if you give your baby too much water is a loss of weight. This is because after you feed the baby with water, they will likely not breastfeed. Since there are no nutrients in the water, the baby will starve of nutrients necessary for its growth. Eventually, its weight will drastically go down.
How Much Water Is Enough When Weaning?
Six to Twelve Months
At six months, as we have said, is the time you are introducing foods to your baby, right? This is the time also to introduce water. Remember, breastfeeding once the baby starts eating lowers. As such, there is no much water the baby is getting from breast milk. Hence, they now need water. However, it should be in bits and at different intervals, too.
Therefore, every 24 hours, only give around 2 to 4 ounces of water. Do this in intervals. You need to carefully study your baby and know if they need 2, 3, or 4 ounces. Some babies will take 4 ounces while others will take less. Don’t force them if they don’t want much water.
If, however, you notice the baby totally dislikes water, try changing the water bottle. You could use a Sippy cup or a spoon just to see what they prefer.
Twelve Months And Beyond
After the baby is one year or older, you can be sure that 4 to 6 ounces of water will not do him any harm.
Actually, a hospital in California, known as the CHOC Children’s hospital, recommends 8 ounces of water for a year old baby.
In this case, also, you need to ensure that this measure is taken in intervals within 24 hours. You see, the baby will be more playful. They may also be eating plenty of solid food. Hence, you need to give them enough water to avoid any chances of dehydration.
To ensure that they take this water, allow them to use the cup they want. Why? At this stage, the baby doesn’t want to use Sippy cups. They want what mum or dad is using. They want a straw that you are using. Give them freedom!
How about a two-year-old baby? You ask.
As your baby gets older each year, it is recommended you also increase water intake. They are more active and are consuming more solid foods. So, help avoid bowel movement issues later in life by giving them enough water.
Therefore, it is wise to give your two-year-old baby two, 8-ouches of water.
If, however, you opt to give the baby fruit juice in place of water, give it half the water limit. For example, give 4 ounces in place of 8.
Now, why is it necessary to give your baby water?
Health Benefits Of Water To A Baby
Apart from preventing health issues such as dehydration, water also helps to lubricate tissues and joints. Oxygen, on the other hand, flows smoothly into the baby’s body. Without a doubt, this keeps diseases such as headaches at bay.
In addition, water helps transport nutrients to all the body parts. Additionally, due to frequent peeing, the body discharges wastes easily and frequently.
Just like an adult, your baby needs water. However, you should never introduce water to your infant until it starts eating.
Also, do not give lots of water within a short time. That could cause health issues or even death if the baby has taken excess water.
Fruit juice, on the other hand, should only be introduced once the baby is one year old. And, once you have introduced fruit juice, limit water consumption. Otherwise, your baby will not be able to feed on food. As such, it will get exposed to diseases.