tips, tricks and guides for parenthood
iggly wiggly woo bear

Water for Babies - Understanding When to Introduce It

Many parents may wonder when it's safe to introduce water to their babies' diet. It's important to know that water should not be given to babies under six months old, as their nutritional needs are met through breast milk or formula. Giving water to babies too early can lead to water intoxication, which can be dangerous and even life-threatening. However, once babies start eating solid foods, small sips of water can be introduced to help with digestion and hydration. Always consult with a healthcare professional to determine the right time to introduce water to your baby's diet.

Key Takeaways:

  • Exclusive breastfeeding: Babies under 6 months old should only be given breastmilk or formula, and water is not needed during this time.
  • Introducing water: From 6 months old, babies can start having small sips of water alongside solid foods to stay hydrated.
  • Amount of water: Babies older than 6 months should have around 30-60ml of water per day, gradually increasing as needed.

Breastmilk and Formula: The Foundation

Some What You Need to Know About Water for Infants experts consider breastmilk or formula as the foundation of a baby's diet for the first six months of life. These provide all the imperative nutrients and hydration that your newborn needs to grow and develop. Breastfeeding is recommended by health professionals as the best source of nutrition for babies due to the antibodies and other benefits it provides.

Nutrition for Newborns

Starting with breastmilk, newborns receive the perfect balance of nutrients tailored specifically to their needs. It offers protection against infections and diseases, promoting healthy growth and development.

When Is Water Not Needed?

To introduce water to newborns is unnecessary because breastmilk or formula provides all the hydration they require. Babies under six months of age should not be given water as their little bodies are not equipped to handle it. Water can fill up their tiny tummies, leading to decreased intake of the imperative nutrients present in breastmilk or formula.

Introducing Water to Babies

The Best Age to Start

One important aspect to consider when introducing water to babies is the age at which you should start. It is generally recommended to wait until your baby is around 6 months old before offering water. Before this age, babies receive sufficient hydration from breast milk or formula, and introducing water too early may fill up their tiny tummies without providing necessary nutrients.

How to Safely Introduce Water

Introducing water to your baby's diet should be done gradually and with caution. Start by offering small sips of cooled, boiled water from a sippy cup. It's important to avoid giving water in a bottle to reduce the risk of tooth decay. Also, never add sugar or sweeteners to the water, as babies do not need them and it can lead to a preference for sweet drinks later on.

Monitoring Water Intake

Signs of Proper Hydration

Despite being able to communicate their thirst, babies still rely on us to monitor their water intake. Hydration is crucial for babies as it supports their overall health and development. Signs of proper hydration in babies include clear urine, alertness, good skin elasticity, and regular bowel movements. It's important to pay attention to these signs to ensure your baby is getting the right amount of water.

The Risks of Too Much Water

Water is necessary for babies, but too much of it can be harmful. A baby's tiny body can't handle excessive amounts of water, which can lead to water intoxication or hyponatremia. This condition can be life-threatening as it dilutes the necessary minerals in the body, causing an imbalance in electrolytes. Symptoms of water intoxication include swelling of the brain, seizures, and in severe cases, even death. It's crucial to be mindful of the amount of water given to babies to prevent such risks.

Other Considerations

All parents should be aware of a few important considerations when it comes to introducing water to babies.

One of the most important things to remember is that babies under six months of age should only be given breastmilk or formula. Introducing water before this age can interfere with the nutrients they receive from milk, and can also put them at risk of water intoxication.

It is crucial to make sure that any water given to babies is safe to drink. Boiled water that has been cooled is a good option, as it can help to prevent infections and illnesses.

Always consult with a paediatrician before making any decisions about when to introduce water to your baby. They can provide personalised advice based on your baby's individual health needs.


Q: When should I introduce water to my baby?

A: It is generally recommended to introduce water to your baby when they start solid foods, usually around 6 months of age. Before that, exclusive breastfeeding or formula milk provides all the hydration they need.

Q: How much water should I give to my baby?

A: For babies under 6 months, water is not needed as breast milk or formula provides enough hydration. Once they start solids, you can offer a few sips of water in a sippy cup with meals, gradually increasing as they get older.

Q: Can I give my baby water in place of milk?

A: Water should not be given in place of breast milk or formula for babies under 1 year old as it does not provide the crucial nutrients they need for growth and development.

Q: Are there any signs that my baby is dehydrated?

A: Signs of dehydration in babies include fewer wet diapers, dry mouth, sunken eyes, fussiness, and lethargy. If you suspect dehydration, contact your healthcare provider immediately.

Q: What is the best way to offer water to my baby?

A: You can offer water to your baby in a sippy cup with a soft spout once they start solids. Avoid using bottles for water to prevent tooth decay, and make sure the water is cooled boiled water or suitable for infants.

Featured Posts

Iggly Wiggly Woo Ltd
86-90 Paul Street
t. +44 1223 650 018
e. [email protected]
© Copyright 2021 - E-commerce Website | Flok
linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram