After you have that cute, beautiful baby and just like most living things a baby needs food and water to survive, well… Maybe just not yet. According to the World Health Organization baby should be exclusively fed by breastfeeding for the first six months of their life, but in case they can’t be breastfed for any reason, the formula will suffice.
After then turn six months old they can have solid foods and water incorporated in their diet, at a slow and steady pace in combination with breast milk. Once they are two years old the parent can decide whether or not to wean them off breast milk.
When we consider that people are made of over 60% of water,
it’s really strange to hear that babies shouldn’t drink water for their first 6
months of their lives. So how they survive? How they don’t become severely
Surprisingly, the answer is No. Unlike adults babies are composed of approximately 75% of water, and maybe that explains why their bottoms are always wet! Simply, babies don’t need water the way children and adults do. Babies remain healthily hydrated thankfully to regular breast milk or formula. Even in the hottest months of the year, babies remain hydrated from their daily breast milk or formula intake, comparing adults who crave for cold water on hot summer days.
CAN WATER HARM TO A BABY’S INSIDES?
Yes! First of all, water can fill up a baby’s tummy which can make it difficult for them to absorb the right amount of nutrition from their breast milk or formula. Lack of nutrition can cause a baby’s weight loss, and elevate their levels of bilirubin. Bilirubin is a substance that can lead to jaundice – yellowing the skin. Too much water in babies' tummies can spoil their appetites' need for healthy growth.
Doctors are recommending to parents
not to water down breast milk and formula for the first six months of baby’s life. However,
there are times when formula requires a small amount of water, but you can add a certain amount of water as long as the amount is considered safe by the local health department,
but always consult with your doctor.
If you are using too much water for your baby’s formula mixture you risk giving your newborn a chance of water intoxication, which can be very dangerous. Symptoms of water intoxication include irritation, drowsiness and other issues, it can also cause a low body temperature of 36 degrees of Celsius or less, and puffy eyes. If your baby shows any of those symptoms after you giving it water, it's important to get them medical attention.
Additionally, watering down formula can mess a baby’s electrolyte balance, this imbalance can cause major complications like seizures. It’s not the only problem that giving water to babies only interferes ability to absorb nutrients, it can also harm their organs.
Baby’s kidneys are super small, and if you give water to the baby before six months their kidneys simply won’t know what to do with it, and they are not big enough to hold it, even a few ounces may cause a problem. Babies under six months old, don’t have a fully developed filtration system yet. This inability to filter water can literally intoxicate baby, and cause the body to flush out sodium with its excess water.
In babies, losing sodium may affect brain activity,
causing water intoxication and dehydration. Who expected that water can do this
much harm to such a tiny, cute person?
Even when your babies turn 6 months and above, you can’t give a bottle of water to them. You need to incorporate food gradually into their diets, as same as solid food, along with the breast milk or formula. You should only give a couple of sips of water to your baby between the age of 6-12 months, this will help the baby to get used to drinking it.