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Can my baby drink water before he is six months old?

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Find out what the WHO has said about the subject and its reasons

Can my baby drink water before he is six months old?

Water is one of the basic elements that every human being needs to live. However, we often get confused and think that babies, like us, need to drink it constantly.

Leer en español: ¿Puedo darle agua a mi bebé antes de los seis meses?

On the contrary, babies do not need to drink water. According to the World Health Organization, there are two basic reasons why you should not give water to babies:

  1. The first is that they do not need it
  2. The second is that it can affect the way they eat, causing malnutrition

According to the diary babies and more, all the hydration that a minor needs is in breast milk, composed in 88% of water.

This is why before 6 months, babies must exclusively breastfeed and on demand, that is to say every time he requires it, which means that they do not need any external source of water because they all get it from their mother's milk.

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According to Baby Center, giving them water could interfere with their body's ability to absorb the nutrients in the breast milk or cause them a feeling that will reduce their desire to feed.

In addition, although rare, a baby who drinks a lot of water can develop a condition known as water intoxication, which happens when excessive water intake dilutes the concentration of sodium in the body, misadjusting the electrolyte balance, inflaming the tissues and causing seizures and even a coma.

When should my baby drink water?

After six months, when babies start their complementary feeding, it is advisable to offer them water. Also, keep in mind that many of the foods that we give them, such as fruits and vegetables, have a high percentage of water.

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The newspaper El Debate explains that after six months of life babies will need on average 700 milliliters of water, taking care that it is free of germs. From six months to one year of age, children will increase their need for water from 1100 to 1200 milliliters a day, an amount that may come from breast milk or other foods.

However, carrying the water amount will not be entirely necessary: just like adults we have no idea how much water we drink daily, it is not necessary to keep track of the water your child drinks during the day, as thirst make him ask for water whenever he needs it.

 

LatinAmerican Post | Luisa Báez
Translated from “¿Puedo darle agua a mi bebé antes de los seis meses?”

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