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When Can Babies Drink Water?

Do you wonder if and when can newborns start having water? Here's what new parents needs to know about when babies can start drinking water.

can babies drink water when can babies have water

Can Babies Drink Water?

Before babies start eating solid foods, they get the hydration they need from formula and/or breast milk. Once babies start eating solid foods, sips of water can be introduced to their routine.

When Can Babies Drink Water?

So when can you give water to your baby?

Most babies can start having water when they are introduced solid foods around 4 months of age.

Once your baby starts drinking water, offer a little at a time from a sippy cup or a spoon. It is also good practice for your baby to transition from a bottle to drinking from a cup.

How Much Water Can My Baby Drink?

From about 6 months on, babies may drink 4 to 6 ounces of water a day, or just over half a cup of water. Some babies may like to drink more water, while others (especially breastfed babies) may not need any extra. Listen to your baby's cues and adjust the quantity of water accordingly.

Risks of Giving Your Baby Water Too Soon

Very little babies usually won't be able to ingest water and do throw it up. There are also risks involved:

  • Babies who satisfy their appetite by drinking water miss out on important nutrients they get from breast milk and formula feedings.

  • Over time, if your baby is drinking more water than milk, that means your baby won’t have the calories she needs to gain the appropriate amount of weight.

  • If you’re breastfeeding, giving your baby water can ultimately decrease your milk supply, since babies who fill up on water will feed less at the breast.

Benefits of giving your baby water

Babies drinking water after 4 month of age can help with hydration, which:

  • Transports nutrients and oxygen to cells while helping remove waste

  • Keeps joints and tissues lubricated

  • Maintains blood volume

Signs of dehydration in babies

If you’re concerned that your child isn’t getting enough fluids because she's sick or it’s extremely hot outside, watch out for these signs of dehydration in babies:

  • Fewer than 5 wet diapers in 24 hours

  • Dark yellow urine

  • Cracked lips

  • Dry skin that doesn’t bounce back when gently pressed

  • Sunken eyes

  • Sunken fontanelle (the "soft spot" on the top of her head)

  • Cold hands and feet

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