Should Newborn Babies Drink Water?
May 6th, 2012 was a joyous day in our family. My step-daughter Cindi gave birth to her second child “Tyler” and our 6th grandchild! What a wonderful new addition to our family. We are thrilled to have them staying with us until their new place is ready to move into. Being grandparents brings us such happiness and we love sharing in the daily care of this wonderful bundle of joy. Cindi is a great mother and is breast feeding, so I havent gotten a chance to “feed” him yet, but keep telling her that he should probly drink some water. (at least then I would have a chance to feed him). Being in the water filter business, and knowing how important water is for life, I was certain that baby Tyler should be drinking water. I have faith that our Multipure filtered water would be completely safe for him to drink. However, Cindy said that the hospital staff told her she should only give the baby breast milk. Not knowing any better, I was still defiant and insisted that the baby “needs” water. After all, formula is mixed with water and water is necessary for life. As we (me, hubby and Cindi) were mildly debating whether or not an infant needs to drink water, my husband Carl decided to go online to do the research. The following are exerpts that categorically state that babies in fact Do NOT need water.
Babycenter.com says: “In general, it’s not a good idea to give your baby water until he’s about 6 months old. Until then, he’ll get all the hydration he needs from breast milk or formula, even in hot weather. Giving a baby younger than 6 months old too much water can interfere with his body’s ability to absorb the nutrients in breast milk or formula. It can also cause his tummy to feel full, which curbs his desire to feed. (While small sips of water probably won’t hurt your baby, it’s best to check with his doctor beforehand during those first six months.)
In rare cases, a baby who drinks too much water can develop a condition known as water intoxication, which can cause seizures and even a coma. Water intoxication happens when too much water dilutes the concentration of sodium in the body, upsetting the electrolyte balance and causing tissues to swell”.
Another article we found on http://www.livestrong.com/article/ says:
“The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the American Academy of Pediatrics recommend introducing water into an infant’s diet at 6 months of age after consultation with the child’s pediatrician. Prior to 6 months of age, breast milk is the recommended source of hydration for babies, and when breastfeeding is not possible, infant formula should be given. Any water given to an infant by itself or in infant formula should be approved by a local health department.
Hydration Before Six Months of Age
Prior to 6 months of age, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends giving a child breast milk exclusively. Breast milk contains the most nutrients possible for a baby’s proper growth. If the baby or mother is unable to breastfeed, infant formula is the next best source of liquid until the child reaches 6 months of age. Water or juice should not be given to a child under 6 months of age.
USDA Water Precautions
To ensure that that the water given to infants is safe, the USDA recommends that parents use water sources approved by their local health department and follow a routine of sterilization. To avoid traces of lead, parents should use cold water that has been run in the tap for 2 minutes. Water should be boiled for 1 to 2 minutes and then cooled. Before feeding water that has been boiled to an infant, parents must always test the temperature to ensure that it is adequately cool and will not burn the baby’s mouth or throat. Water should be sterilized both when given to infants by itself or when used in infant formula.
Beyond concerns about absorption of nutrients, pediatricians do not recommend water for infants before 6 months of age because of the risk for water intoxication. In rare cases, water intoxication can occur when a child drinks too much water and his sodium concentration becomes imbalanced. This imbalance upsets the baby’s electrolytes, causing body tissues to swell and possibly leading to seizures or a coma. Water intoxication can also occur when a parent adds too much water to her child’s infant formula.
Water in Infant Formula
Water used in infant formula should be used in accordance with the directions on the formula’s container. The use of too little water can lead to dehydration and affect the child’s digestive and endocrine system. Too much water will interfere with the caloric content of the formula, which could hinder the child’s growth, or, in rare cases, cause water intoxication. Water should always be sanitized as suggested by USDA regulations.
Infant Water Needs
Once a baby is past 6 months of age, she should drink 2 to 4 oz. of water twice per day until she reaches 1 year of age. At 12 months of age, children should drink at least 4 oz. per day, based on the child’s thirst. Signs that an infant needs more water include fewer wet diapers, a sunken soft spot, a dry mouth and gums, a lack of tears when crying and constipation.”
So there you have it. I was wrong and am happy to know that our new grandson Tyler will be completely fine NOT drinking water. 🙂