When Can a Baby Start Drinking Water and What Are the Dangers?
Drinking water is something you might not find dangerous for a baby. Water is a necessity for people to stay alive everyday. It keeps us hydrated and refreshed during a hot summer day. However, for a baby, water can be extremely unsafe. Experts recommend waiting at least six months before allowing your baby to drink water. A baby will receive all of his or her necessary nutrients from breast milk or formula rather than water before six months old.
There are many dangers to your baby drinking water too early. Firstly, your baby’s body might have problems with absorbing nutrients if she drinks water too early. The baby’s body is not yet ready to absorb the necessary nutrients with water in the system.
Moreover, drinking water makes the body feel fuller. Your baby’s stomach is so tiny that drinking water will not leave room for him to want milk, which is a necessity. The water will suppress the baby’s appetite and he will not have enough food in his system.
Water intoxication is another negative effect to drinking water. This is a rare but very serious effect that mothers should be aware of preventing. The intoxication will lead to seizures and occurs when the water in the baby’s system dilutes the sodium in the body. As a result, tissue will become swollen from an imbalance of electrolytes.
It is important to be conscious of how much water you put in the baby’s formula. Try to avoid adding water to the formula just because you want more formula. By doing so, the baby will receive more nutrients and will not feel too full.
After six months, you can start allowing your baby to have small sips of water. Be careful not to give her too much water at first but, rather, slowly integrate water into her diet. If you think your baby is dehydrated then talk to your pediatrician about getting supplements, such as Pedialyte. This was created for infants to specifically keep them hydrated. After one year of age, your infant can have as much water as she wants. Just be aware of these dangerous effects that water may have on your baby!