do you have to give water to a breast feed baby?
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Kathy - posted on 11/07/2009
Breastfed babies do not need water - keep in mind that breastmilk is 88% water. Even in the first few days after birth, before mom's milk has "come in", colostrum is all that is needed to keep baby well hydrated (assuming baby is nursing effectively). Per the American Academy of Pediatrics, "Supplements (water, glucose water, formula, and other fluids) should not be given to breastfeeding newborn infants unless ordered by a physician when a medical indication exists... During the first 6 months of age, even in hot climates, water and juice are unnecessary for breastfed infants and may introduce contaminants or allergens."
In addition, breastfed babies do not require water when it is very hot outside, assuming baby is allowed to nurse as needed. Baby can get all the liquids needed via breastmilk. A number of studies have determined that an exclusively breastfed baby does not need extra water - these studies have been done in various locations (both humid and dry) at temperatures ranging from 22-41°C (71.6-105.8°F) and 9-96% relative humidity [see references below].
April - posted on 11/10/2009
If baby is bf'ed no. Your breastmilk has the perfect amount of everything, including electrolytes which help keep them hydrated. (It always through me for a loop when I had several different doctors tell me to give me son pedialyte SP? when my son was sick. My BM has all that stuff AND tastes better, lol)
If I remember reading correctly only formula fed babies over 6mo can take it in VERY small amounts (I dont remember that exact amount) because formula does not have that stuff in it. However, I would never give them water as a meal or trying to hold them over until their next meal because their brains are developing and NEED something was nutrition in it. I remembering seeing a story on the news a few years back about how a woman couldn't get enough formula from WIC, so she was just using water as a sub. The baby actually got brain damage. Horrible, horrible story.
Having said all of that if I were a FF'ing mom I'd talk to a well-informed pedi before giving their child water, but again, no water for BF babies for sure
Louise - posted on 11/10/2009
I was always told no water for babies (breastfed or formula fed) up to a certain age (over a year I believe but I'm not positive). They need all the calories they get from milk and too much water can cause all kinds of problems for babies. As long as you're producing enough milk your baby doesn't need anything other than your milk until they start on solids!
Rebecca - posted on 11/09/2009
I have no idea about the debate. i was told they do not need it but I gave it. My son was breastfed full time and did not take a bottle so I gave him water from a cup since he started eating. My logic we live in a hot climate I wanted him to get used to water and a cup for hydration, fluids if mom wasn't around and to cleanse his mouth for hygiene after eating. It never replaced a milk feeding, only sips
Larissa - posted on 11/09/2009
honey just ask ur doctor she'll tell u honestly as long as u drink water ur self u'll b just fine but really ask the baby's doctor they will know
No you never have to give a breastfed baby water. And as for asking your doctor, most doctors are not very well educated on breastfeeding. Some might be if they choose to educate themselves, but breastfeeding is not something that they go into in very much detail during medical school. This is why you have to be very careful when choosing a pediatrican.
Meghan - posted on 11/08/2009
Giving water to a baby under six months can be poisonous to them. Some babies have even died. Preferably you should wait till after eight or nine months. I never gave my kids water till they were over a year. Breastmilk is all they need till six to eight months depending on the baby. Then add small amounts of food. If you get too crazy with the food they may stop breastfeeding. You alone have what is best for your baby.
Sarah - posted on 11/07/2009
Remember, your nursing baby doesn't have a "taste" or desire for anything except breast milk. The baby is not thirsty provided he/she is nursing well. I've always nursed on demand rather than a schedule and that seemed to work well for hydration too!
Bethany - posted on 11/07/2009
Nope, breastmilk is mostly water (80%ish), so breastfed babies don't need any extra. It is actually a good idea NOT to supplement with water for the first several months.
My own daughter was exclusively breastfed for 10.5 months, with no water supplements. She has always been extremely healthy and hydrated. As long as *you* eat and drink enough, your baby will get exactly what her body needs.
Cheryl is right. Babies kidneys are immature and until about 4-6 months they don't need anything but breast milk. If a young infant is given water it can dilute the sodium levels in their body and that can cause serious problems. Do not give water to your baby unless your Pediatrician tells you to do it.
Sylvia - posted on 11/07/2009
No, definitely not. At least, not if you're nursing on cue / on demand, and nursing more often when the baby asks to nurse more often.
The way to tell that a breastfed baby is getting enough fluids is to count wet diapers (at least 6 soaking wet diapers every 24 hours -- I'm told that if using disposable diapers, you should be looking for "heavy" rather than "soaking wet" because they don't feel wet).
Summer - posted on 11/07/2009
NO you do not have to give them water!!! they get all the fluids they need from you!!! its an old wives tale.... that they need water.... again all the fluids they need theyare getting from you, you dont need to give baby water...
Jessica - posted on 11/07/2009
They say no that breast milk is all a baby needs to be full and hydrated. the water debate is a sticky one, the reason being is that for a breastfed baby or any young baby for that matter water has no nutritional value (no calories, which is important for a growing baby) for them and people worry that if you give your young baby water he/she may fill up on it and therefore be getting empty calories, and may not take much milk at the next feed because of it. Water intoxication is another reason people will say no, but your baby would have to consume liters of water for water intoxication to occur. (this i was advised by a midwife and ped). If you want to give your baby water say in hot weather it is your choice just not anymore than 10-20mls. I give my son who is 3 months a little water ever now and then if its a hot day, but more so if he get hiccups i'll give him about 10ml to get rid of them. just make sure if you choose to that its cooled boiled water.
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