Is It Safe For Newborns To Drink Water? – Guidelines For Your Parenting

Everyone wants to become a good parent who takes care of their child fully and properly. It isn’t wrong when you consult some advice from your family, friends and other people when it comes to parenting. However, misunderstanding or mistakes can lead to a disaster. For example, “Is it safe for newborns to drink water?” is the question most of the parents would ask. There are a lot of answers. Some people may say that it could as water can clean their mouth and tongue after eating. However, the bellow truth introduced by Trueremedies will give you a shock.

I. Can Newborns Drink Water?

The answer depends on how old your baby is and which milk you fed him. It also varies from situation to situation.

According to doctors and experts, the under-six-month-old baby should be breastfed rather than drinking water even in the hot weather[1]. This is because 88% of breast milk is made up of water that is enough for the baby’s needs[2] [3]. Drinking water is not only unnecessary but also harmful to the newborns.

However, if you feed your baby with formula, it is okay for you to sometimes let him or her drink a little water. The reason is that the formula has more salt than breast milk; therefore, some water is needed for easy excretion.

Besides, because babies who drink formula have a slower metabolism, they will need water supply more than breastfed babies.

If your baby suffers from constipation, fever or the weather is too hot, you can give your loved one a few teaspoons of lukewarm water.

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It is better to consult a doctor before trying. Don’t give too much because it can lead to these following risks.

II. Side Effects Of Under-Six-Month-Old Baby Drinking Water

1. Have Bad Impact On A Baby’s Milk Absorption And Nutrition Need

There are several different reasons why giving your baby water is a bad idea. First of all, the baby doesn’t need hydration from water while he can take from the breast milk. Even in the hot weather and humidity of summer months, your baby only requires the hydration from breast milk.

Furthermore, water will interfere with the baby’s nutrition absorption from breast milk. Also, it fills up their stomach that makes them feel full and reduces their hunger.

For a long time, babies can not get enough nutrients from breast milk, which stunt their growth and development.

2. Increase The Risk Of Infection

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), giving newborns water can make them more susceptible to the risk of infections[4]. No matter how clean water is, it can still contain germs and that is harmful to the weak immune system of a newborn baby. It is a reason why if a newborn drinks water, he will be at two or three times higher risk of malnutrition and diarrhea than those who are only breastfed.

3. Lead To Water Intoxication

Consuming water can put your baby at potential risk of suffering water intoxication that is a life-threatening condition[5] [6] [7].

Newborn’s kidneys aren’t fully mature; the excess water will draw sodium out of the baby’s body. That leads to the significant loss of sodium known as water intoxication.

This problem affects a baby’s brain activity[8] and causes symptoms such as drowsiness, irritability and other mental changes. Other signs that show your baby is suffering from water intoxication also include puffiness, low body temperature, or swelling in the face.

4. Affect Mother’s Health

Giving newborns water not only is harmful to the baby’s health but also causes several health issues for the mother. For example, it interferes with breast milk production, according to some experts.

III. What To Do When Your Baby Gets Thirsty

Breast milk is the only food source that provides both nutrition and hydration for babies under six months old.

Therefore, if you see your baby get thirsty, the best solution is to let him drink extra breast milk. It is great to let them drink the first amount of producing breast milk because it is low in calories and fat.

If your baby is fed with formula, sometimes, you can give him a little water. But you need to consult your doctor and ask him when and how to give babies water before doing.

IV. Necessary Guideline To Know Before Giving Baby Water

Once again. If your baby is under six months old, avoid giving him water without doctor’s advice. If your baby is older, you can do that but keep in mind those important things:

1. When Can Your Baby Drink Water?

The best time you can start to offer your baby water is when he can eat solid foods[9] [10]. At this time, water can help to boost the digestion and prevent constipation.

After your baby goes through the weaning period, you should continue feeding your child breast milk because it is rich in nutrients and good for health.

2. How To Give Your Baby Water

You can give them a spoon of water or pour water in a cup or bottle for them to drink easily. Because children often imitate what adults do, you should set a good example for them[11].

3. How Much Water Should Your Baby Drink?

Your baby doesn’t need to drink too much water. The amount of water they can take depends on their age. For example, a four-to-six-month-old baby can sip a few spoons of water but not more than four spoons for one day. When your baby grows up a little, you can increase the amount of water they take.

V. Extra Notes You Should Keep In Mind

  • Let your baby drink water as needed.
  • Avoid giving them water before meals because it can cause them to feel full and reduce their appetite. Furthermore, it isn’t good for their digestive system and stomach.
  • Avoid letting your baby drink water before bedtime because it can make them wet the bed or wake up in the middle of the night.

I hope that after reading our article about whether it is safe for giving newborns water, you will get useful information and advice for your parenting. Any questions can be left in the comment section below and we will answer them as soon as we can.

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