How do you successfully give baby water?

Joanne - posted on 02/22/2010 ( 64 moms have responded )

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My 3 month old son absolutely HATES water. I've tried giving it to him several ways:

(1) bottle - which he will push out with his tongue and cry if I persist
(2) bowl and spoon - which he cries, chokes a little, cough
(3) adding just a little pinch of baby formula so it has a bit of taste but he will realise it's not milk and push out the teat!

I find water a terrific kind of laxative for him and other mums have told me that I need to get him used to taking in water. Has anyone had this problem with their little ones? How did you manage to overcome this problem? HELP!

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Jennifer - posted on 03/02/2010

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Just remembered something else my midwife told me - that water is just empty calories and at this stage when they should be gaining weight there is no need to give it to them... if they are thirsty bottle or breast will solve the problem...
but to be honest, the advice changes with the wind - my parents were shocked that I wasnt giving Emilia any water during the day as they had always given it to me.
It probably doesnt hurt either way but I wouldnt worry about it if he isn't drinking it. Just means he's not thirsty...

Lucie - posted on 02/26/2010

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Have you tried water with fruit juice? My son is 16 months old and I still prefer not to give him any fruit juice, but when I do it's half water and half juice. There are too many empty calories in juice to give it straight, and it's still sweet enough with the added benefit of getting water. I didn't push the water issue until he was maybe 5 or 6 months old, and I used purified drinking water until he was 1 year old (then from the tap). It was a little bit if a struggle at first, but he's fine with just drinking water now. I keep plenty of water cups around so that's what he reaches for. If your son needs a little laxative, try pear juice. My doctor recommended it when he went 3 weeks without a poop - and it worked. When kids are fed breastmilk, it's normal for them to go longer without pooping, vs. formula fed kids. He eventually went from pooping once every two weeks to pooping 2-3 times a day when I introduced food.



By the way, I am still breastfeeding at 15 months, down to 3x a day. His main drinking is from water and breastmilk, and he's still a night-time super soaker. Just use his diapers as your guide to see if he's getting enough liquids. There are guidelines you can find online to see the average amount of liquids he should be getting at his age, and this will tell you if you need to push the drinking issue or if he's doing just fine and doesn't need the issue pushed just yet.



My baby seemed to have the hiccups almost daily for about the first year of his life. It never bothered him, it just bothered the adults. I asked the doctor about it, and he said not to worry. I never really did - it was my mother that was bothered by it. The hiccups eventually went away in their own.



A great way to get them to drink water is to give them pieces of ice in those food pops you can find at Target - the mesh pop-open tops you can put food in. That way, especially when they're teething, they can chew on something cold to soothe their gums without the fear of them choking on it, and it's fun. Frozen grape halves work well for that too. They are very juicy when crushed and provide more liquid intake.

Anreh - posted on 02/23/2010

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We gave our baby girl her formula (with the right measurement of water), then would add an extra couple of ounces of water on top of that if she didn't poop a day. Seems to have worked. In fact, we continue to water down her juice and her milk on occasion if she seems uncomfortable or hasn't gone in a day. Always seems to put her back on track!

Sarah - posted on 02/22/2010

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At 3 mos. they really don't need water (unless constipated). Most docs recommend not giving water (only formula or breastmilk) until baby is at LEAST 6 months. Really the only exception would be due to constipation (not having a poop for more than 3 days).

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Kevin - posted on 11/09/2013

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Just make sure its fluoride free
- not from a tap
- not nursery water with fluoride

PLEASE do the research.. fluoride is very harmful

Lisajane - posted on 08/13/2013

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I think water can be given to babies from 2 months and upwards, I gave my daughter water from 2 months old (cool boiled kettle water) it helps to relieve colic and I found some times when my daughter was crying I'd try give her formula milk to her but she wouldn't want it, so I gave her cool boiled water and she would gulp it down as she must have been really thirsty. If your son doesn't drink it don't worry as his probably not ready to drink water yet, some babies like it and some don't hope this was helpful.

Samantha - posted on 03/02/2010

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They hate it for a reason they don't need it until they are eating solids around 6 months.

Jennifer - posted on 03/02/2010

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I live in Sweden and also got told not to give baby water until she was 6 months old - she is now 10 months and still doesnt drink it! I just think if she is thirsty she will drink it as she has gulped down a lot once or twice. After 1 year I have been told its ok to give her juices and other liquids so I'll just hold out until then.
I wouldnt worry about it if he is drinking formula or breast milk he's getting all the fluid he needs which is why he's not interested in the water...

Crystal - posted on 03/01/2010

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A baby is not designed to be able to digest water- so you should hold off until he is at least 6 months old when you start giving him solid foods. As far as "pooping"- it is normal for a baby to go 5 days without pooping- the reason is because they are taking all the nutrients from the milk they are given so they dont have anything left over. (hopefully that makes sense)

[deleted account]

At 3 month you really should only be giving your baby breast milk of formula. the only reason a baby needs water at such a young age is if they are dehydrated and its been suggested by your healthcare professional.. I wouldn't suggest giving water until about 5 or 6 months. THEN, if your baby doesn't like water try watered down organic apple juice.

Brittany - posted on 03/01/2010

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water isnt good for infants it messes up the electrolyte balance there are other ways to stimulate a BM

Amanda - posted on 02/27/2010

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Your not supposed to give babies under 6 months anything but breast milk or formula. My daughter is now 4 months old and gets the hiccups all the time. I found what works the best for her is a small feeding, it takes her mind off them and in no time they're gone! As far as constipation goes a nice hot bath works great, massaging the left side of their stomach and stretching their legs out. I would try any of these before giving a baby under 6 months water or anything that is not formula or breast milk and a pediatrician should say the same. Best of Luck!

Теодора - posted on 02/27/2010

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Don't worry when it gets hotter outside your baby i s going to start drinking watter! My son was the same .Up to age of 6 months he didn't want to taste any kind of bottles. Somewhere in may it got hotter here and when I offered him water he didn't refuse. For a very short period I used to put some sugar in it ( 100ml water 1 teaspoon sugar, then half a teaspoon,1/4, 1/8....).About the constipation problem: What mothers here in my country do is to Change the formula- may be this is not the righ one for your child, but this one I haven't tried cause I was brestfeeding... Hope I helped

Jennifer - posted on 02/27/2010

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Babies dont need wather until after a year old. Brestmilk or formula is best! My son was never constipated when he was that little, You should talk to your Dr. about this maybe there are other things going on.

Helen - posted on 02/27/2010

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i have been told to give my baby cooled boiled water from the health visiter and he is only 4 weeks old this is due to him being on stage 2 hungry baby milk as he was a big when he was born i have to give him 1 to 2 oz in between each feed and if he wont take it to try putting pure apple juice in 1 part juice 4 parts water.

Lucy - posted on 02/27/2010

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my pediatrician told me that giving water or diluted formula can lead to severe electrolyte imbalences and should only be done if your baby is sick and under a doctor's care. My 11 month old has never had water and she does have days were whe will not poop, but that is generally followed by a day of several large ones, regardless of what I feed her. I have never heard of a MD recommending anything besides mama's milk or infant formula before 6 months unless is was a very ill baby.



Good luck!

Amber - posted on 02/26/2010

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Joanne- yes i do give it to her in a bottle. but i have stopped breastfeeding. If you breastfeed (cuz i dont know if you do) maybe your baby isnt used to the bottle maybe its not just the water. and did you try to add a bit of juice to it yet? my little girl didnt like water too much either she started to drink it right away but then found out that it wasnt milk and wasnt to interested either so ur not alone, but i barely offer it to her unless she hasnt went in awhile.

Joanne - posted on 02/26/2010

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Stevie Mata - My friends here have been giving their infants water (from as young as a month) and to be honest, I have asked my ped and he said a little a day is good. I think that there are varying views to this and being that the country I'm in is bloody hot, I think a little water is not life threatening as I've seen many moms (including my own) do it. This post is OBVIOUSLY NOT a joke!



Amber I - My son hiccups like crazy too. Do you give your baby water from a bottle?

Amber - posted on 02/25/2010

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Joanne- hey, i would deffinitely try not to worry about it too much i know its hard to, it took me awhile myself. but i understand how you feel like something is wrong because her belly was so big and uncomfortable looking, so i did a few times use infant suppositories on her, this is gross but sometimes i didn't even push it in all the way i wud hold half in there n she would try to push it out and then there comes the poop. but i would not encourage this regularly only if you really think hes in discomfort, because if you do it too often they will not learn to go on their own. and as for the hiccups, they are not bad they don't last long, i'm sure your baby had them in ur tummy too. but mine gets hiccups sometimes when she burps or maybe spits up. I just leave her be or i give her a sip of water or milk. but no i don't think its because of the lack of water, since its not actually necessary to give babies water.

Ericka - posted on 02/25/2010

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My doctor told me i could give my 3 month old daughter chamomile tea for constipation all i do is dip the tea bag in a couple times to give it a little color

Advise - posted on 02/25/2010

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Like other moms have said water is not that important for babies to drink under 6 months, however it is very good for them still to develop that taste for it and a love for it, since water is such an important part of nutrition and a healthy lifestyle. What kind of water are you giving to your baby? If it is tap you should try boiling it and letting it sit out for the night to get rid of the chlorine from it, or give the baby bottled. Try different brands and see if he will take to any of them! If you typically warm his milk, which you should do, then try warming the water a little.



I hope this helps!



If this advise has worked for you or anyone else and you would like further advise from me join my group page I've Got Your Advise.



Much love-X.

Melissa - posted on 02/25/2010

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sorry but every baby needs water sarah... if breast fed no.. they get water from there.. if bottle fed yes they need water way under 6 months....

Alberta - posted on 02/25/2010

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He really doesn't need water at this age. If he is having formula or BF he should get plenty of fluids.

Nicolene - posted on 02/25/2010

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Not all babies like the taste of water. I struggled to in the beginning. Just give some time, they will come use to it. Just don't force him. Babies all differ, he'll come around. My son is almost 5 months, and still only drinks a drink a day. He likes his juice more, but I still give him water everyday. Even if it is just 20ml per day, just take a deep breath and know that you are not alone.

Amber - posted on 02/24/2010

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My dauqhter it turninq 2 months old and I have qiven her water. She qets the hiccups and the water really helps. I think 6 months is way too lonq, it doesn't hurt the baby or I wouldn't qive it to my dauqhter.

Megan - posted on 02/24/2010

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Don't give him water. Ur baby needs the nutrition of the formula to grow and develop. And he doesn't need any kind of laxative if he just misses a day of pooping here or there. I have a four and a half month old who usually poops once a day but sometimes he skips a day and its totally ok. There's no need to worry unless his poop is harder than peanut butter in which case you should talk to ur doctor. But no water.

Stevie - posted on 02/24/2010

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Are you serious? Not stooling for a day is okay. Is this thread a joke? You don't give a three month old water. It takes up space that should be used for nutrition. There is absolutely no benefit for a healthy 3 month old needing water. Your doctors suggest water as a laxative? You can try warmed up prune juice put like 2 oz in a bottle and see what they take or use a glycerine suppository but I've never heard of water having in laxatative benefits. Please please consult your pediatrician if you aren't sure ask another doctor.

Joanne - posted on 02/24/2010

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Haze - I give him warm water...
Tammy - It IS hot here...there's a heatwave going on at the moment and even when he lies down on his back for a nap, he gets all clammy and sweaty.
All - Thanks for the advice. It really helps!

Angela - posted on 02/24/2010

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3 months old is way to young to be giving water. Breast milk and formula are the only intake for an infant under 6 months. It is totally normal for an infant to go days, even weeks without pooping. It is all normal as long as the poop soft. If it is hard and dry, then you may want to consult a doctor. But you really shouldn't be giving him water just because he doesn't poop everyday. Let him get used to his own routine, otherwise he never will and will become dependent on Mom's help. He is okay not pooping everyday.

Sarah - posted on 02/24/2010

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i think u are not suppose to give ur baby water at 3 months. and every baby is different they dont have to poop every day think about it not everyone in this world poops every day and hes only human. always always ask ur ped. b4 u give them ne thing. u dont want ur baby to get tummy aches

Roxanne - posted on 02/24/2010

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your baby really doesn't need water until they are on solids. I started my son on water with each meal, in a bottle and with the amount he ate, the amount of water increased. If they are constipated, or what you think is constipated, (my son only pooped once every 2 weeks) give your baby a bit of prune juice and equal part water. They will love the sweetness and it helps.

Haze - posted on 02/24/2010

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is it warm when u r giving him it in bottle ? my wee baby girl would only take water once it was nice and warm ... ♥

Tammy - posted on 02/24/2010

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while water is not needed. there is no reason to think that it will hurt them either. if it's 35 degrees out and I'm drinking gallons of water, there's no reason to think that babe wouldn't want to wet her lips too. when they are under 4 months give it in a bottle straight up. if they are over 5 months small sips from a cup will work great

Jenn - posted on 02/24/2010

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I know it sounds crazy, but I started giving our son water straight from a water bottle. When I would drink it he would reach for the bottle so I would put it to his mouth and he loved it! Now, at 1 he tries to drink from cups on his own! Of course he makes a mess but he LOVES his water!

Siobhan - posted on 02/24/2010

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my son wouldnt tak water for me so what i did was put in half a tea spoon of sugar for every oz of water and he gulped it down this is also great for when your baby is constipated it gets eveything moving but dont worry if he doesnt take not all babies do XD x

Beth - posted on 02/24/2010

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First of all, as far as water is concerned not one professional I have spoken to encourages giving a baby water. All of them agree that a baby gets all the hydration that s/he needs from breastmilk or formula. If a baby drinks water than they will not be thirsty for the milk that s/he needs to develop. I know other moms all have an opinion but they don't know everything. Secondly, if your baby won't take it, he is trying to tell you something!!!!! Don't force anything, you don't want this to become a negative thing for him. I would consult your doctor.
And my daughter who is 5 months old, only pooped every 3 days or so until she started solids, that is normal.
Intense crying in the night is your baby telling you something, and I don't think that it's, 'I want water so I can learn to sleep through the night". I don't mean to be rude but I can't believe that that was appropriate. At 2-3 weeks old your baby is not supposed to sleep through the night, they are doing too much growing. Babies will sleep through the night when their bodies are ready!

Ana - posted on 02/24/2010

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Hi there! Someone else already said this, baby´s built in such a way that they do not need water until 4-6 months, depending on the baby. Formuça (in which you add water) and breast milk are just enough for them. When it comes time for the baby to like water, you will see that he will drink tons of it. My daughter was like that...She is amazingly healthy. And by the way, baby´s can go up to 3 days without poop...I would encourage you to read books on raising babies and toddlers, they really help!

Kandice - posted on 02/24/2010

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Hiccups are caused my too much air on the belly,usually by eating to fast or swalling air, not lack of water. Babies tummies are about the size of their fist so pushing anything more than whats needed for nourishment is not good. Yellow mushy poop is good for babies and they are not supposed to poop everyday, many adults do not poop everyday and this is perfectly normal!

Kandice - posted on 02/24/2010

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My pediatrician told me to not give water till after 6ms. He also said that they get enough water in their formula that extra really is not needed. For constipation I would try Kyro syrup in the formula. After 6ms if there is still a broblem you might try flavored water, not energy type stuff! Try a few drops of lemon juice. I am 25 yrs old and cant drink water. I have to have flavored. There's just something about it being in my mouth and no taste that triggers my gag reflex.

Bec - posted on 02/23/2010

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Water is good to flush out your baby but 3mths is not needed they need to have fomula or breast. I only every gave my baby water when consipated. and used a little tiny bit of brown soft sugar, this is to sweeten. I dont think that many babies do like water at this age. I wouldnt really worry about it just yet. Baby will get full on water and its not giving them the fullness of formula/breast.

Jean-Marie - posted on 02/23/2010

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That is not sleep training that is child abuse -- no doc in their right mind would ever support not feeding a 3 wk old infant and instead giving them water to learn they don't get fed at night????? that post made me want to cry. This is just aweful. NO- not a good idea AT ALL to deprive an infant of food for ANY REASON - your instincts were right on that one. OMG, I really think that story made me ill. As for the water-- there really is NO NEED at all so just feed your baby formula or breast and they will be better off. take care.

Joanne - posted on 02/23/2010

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I'm actually confused over the moon because I actually asked the ped if water is ok and he said a little a day is good. He didn't mention anything about seizures. Thanks Jennifer...at least I know now that there is that possibility. I also have a friend who used water to 'train' her son to sleep through the night from when he was 2-3 weeks old. She was telling me her son used to wake several times a night for feeding (which is totally normal for a 3 week old right?) and instead of giving him his milk, she gave him water. Took about a week of his intense crying every time he got it but after that, he slept through the night. Her reasoning was that he got used to the fact that night time, there would no milk so he sleeps instead. It worked for her and she told me to do it with my son but I couldn't bring myself to give him water instead of milk when he's hungry. I did ask her if her ped says it's ok she does that...and apparently her ped told her that that's an alternative method of sleep training.

Jean-Marie - posted on 02/23/2010

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You do not need to or should you give a baby that young water, ask any ped and they will tell you that. It can actually be dangerous to do so- not pooping once a day is no big deal and definitely not a reason to force water in a 3 month old.

Jennifer - posted on 02/23/2010

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I just read your response to amber and that's exactly what your babies poop is supposed to look like... If his tummy is bothering him it's probebly gas and he might be sensitive to milk protiens, my son has been that way since birth I even had to cut out dairy when I was breast feeding! I wouldn't give him any more water untill you talk to your doctor! And I just read someones response saying they watered down there babies formula, that can cause seizures... please read the artical at this linked before you give him/her anymore water!!http://www.babiestoday.com/articles/bott...

Jennifer - posted on 02/23/2010

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My doctors have been really against giving young babies water! If you are breast feeding it's really normal for them to go a few days with out pooping and believe it or not they can't get consipated on breast milk. But you can mix 1 Tbsp. of dark corn syrup into a bottle with his normal amount of breast milk or formula. And you can do it twice a day if you have to. (once in the morning, once at night) It works like a charm but be prepaired for blow-out diapers! lol...

Amanda - posted on 02/23/2010

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They don't need water this young. The most important thing is that he get's nutrients from breast milk or formula. If he's constipated then try lowering his iron intake.

Ingrid - posted on 02/23/2010

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If you are breatfeeding there is absolutly no reason to give your baby water as your breastmilk is supplying everything to your baby. If he is formula fed (as mine is) my Peadiatrician who is a Professor of Neo-Natal Care (I had a premature baby) advised that water is a must if the weather is hot. Most babies dont like water but my Peadiatrican advised to add herbal tea (just very mild) to cooled boiled water. In South Africa we have something called Rooibos Tea (totally herbal) which I add to the water which he enjoys. You can tell when your baby is dehydrated if the fontanelle is sunken in. Just check first as to which herbal tea you use before you give it to baby. Good luck!

April - posted on 02/23/2010

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I had this problem with my lil one. I added just a tiny amount of sugar to his water and he drank it.. My oldest son I had to give him pear juice just so he could poop. Even though it was baby juice I still did 2oz juice and 2oz of water.

Jess - posted on 02/23/2010

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My daughter will only take water if its really hot outside. And when she does drink it, she drinks a lot. But any other time should could care less ! I have found my daughters tummy gets really hard too some times. So I give her Brauers colic relief, its all natural which is great but it helps her to poo. Her tummy goes right down, she calms very quickly and definatly needs a nappy change ! They also have a teething mix that apparently cures basically everything, I haven't tried it myself but have heard great things and it too is all natural !

Joanne - posted on 02/23/2010

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Amber - His poop is not dry and pebbly...kinda like winnie-the-pooh-yellow colored mush. Just that his belly seems big and hard and when he goes, it's like it's deflated so I encourage him to poop.

I try giving water to him before meals, after meals, after waking up from sleep etc...he seems not to want it. I'll try putting some juice into his water and see if he'll take it. He seems to get the hiccups quite often too...is this because he lacks water?

Karen - posted on 02/23/2010

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hi here! my pedi told me at my son's 4 month check up it was absolutely ok to give him some water but try to keep it under 3 ozs in a day to make sure it won't interfere with his milk intake. my son didn't like it the first time i tried it, but i put just a tiny bit (i'm talking a couple of mls) of the gerber baby apple juice into it once and he took it...after that i didn't put the juice in anymore and he still took it. just keep offering it to him, he'll eventually start to take it...maybe he's not thirsty at the times you offer it too...i tend to find my lo wants a bit about an hour before his regular feeding time.

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