How Much Water Can Be Given to a Newborn? |
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How Much Water Can Be Given to a Newborn?

How Much Water Can Be Given to a Newborn?

by: Dr. Krishan Yadav
HOD & Consultant - Neonatology

The correct answer is none! Babies should be given exclusive breast feeding since 6 months of age. Breast milk contains more than 80% of water. Water is even more in the first milk (foremilk) during the start of each feed. So whenever you feel that your baby is thirsty, you can breast feed the baby. While breastfeeding you are providing safe water to the baby and satisfying babies thirst without the risk of introducing infections.

If you are giving formula milk, add just the recommended amount of water to the milk. Do not over dilute it ,as it will affect the caloric value per 100ml and your baby will start losing weight.

baby-water

Why I cannot give water to my newborn baby?

There are many reasons behind this:

  1. It increases the chances of infections to the baby.
  2. Giving water to the baby will make his tummy full, will suppress his appetite and baby will stop taking breast feed and will become malnourished.
  3. It may also decrease mother’s milk production.
  4. Giving too much water can cause water intoxication, edema and electrolyte  imbalance in a newborn.

Can I give water to my baby on a very hot day?

No, you  don’t need to give water to the baby even on a very hot day. If you feel your baby is thirsty just breast feed him, it will be best for baby. If you think your baby is getting dehydrated, having loose stools or vomiting ,passing less urine, consult your doctor. He may prescribe you pedialyte solution.

When can I start giving water to my baby?

When your  baby is 6 months old, with the introduction of solid feeds you can give water to your baby. Few sips but not more than 2 ounces /day. Once your child gets 1 year old, you can give water more regularly.

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