Giving infants water...

Desiree - posted on 12/29/2009 ( 174 moms have responded )

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My friend gives her straight water sometimes. My daughters have always been on the constipated side. They are days away from being 5 months (but were 2 months premature) How much water can you give an infant? How often? And when can you start? I don't want to give them any juices because I don't think there premature tummys can handle that.

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Kirsty - posted on 12/31/2009

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Quoting Kimberly:



Quoting Kirsty:

thrush in a babies mouth is actually usually caused by the left over milk from feeds, thats why paedeatricians suggest giving them a drink of water to wash their mouths out





thrush has nothing to do with left over formula in the mouth, thrush is a yeast infection in the mouth. It is caused by the same thing that causes yeast infections in a women. I have never heard of a ped. telling someone to drink water to clean a mouth my ped. used to say use a babies wash cloth with warm water and rub the inside of the mouth clean. Like brushing the gums with the cloth to keep it clean to prevent any kind of problems in the mouth. Like I said before consult with your ped. before changing your babies diet. I, with my son, was used to what to do because he was my second child but with my daughter, because she was my first, I never did a thing without consulting the doc. first. It is important to keep your ped, aware of any changes you want to make or made.





 



I was informed by 2 paeds and my dr, that it is a good idea to clean out a babys mouth after a feed to reduce the chances of thrush in their mouth. They also told me the best way to do this was to give them cooled boiled water in a bottle.

Kirsty - posted on 12/31/2009

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Quoting Christina:



Quoting Kirsty:

water is fine to give babies, it doesnt matter what age. It actually helps digestion. I used to give my little one a bottle of water before he had a bottle of milk. It doesnt fill their tummys but it gives them the water they need, especially when its a hot day. Just make sure if they r little its boiled cool water.





Oy, some moms are pretty uneducated about water intoxication, I must say.. I live in a hot environment and on the news in the summer they ALWAYS have to advise mothers to never give an infant younger than 6 months water b/c water intoxication is serious. There was a woman about a county over from me the same summer my son was born.. She was on the news b/c her baby was rushed to the ER b/c she had watered down her baby's formula, mainly to "stretch" the formula b/c they were short on cash and otherwise the baby wouldn't have any food. Her baby almost died from it and she was urging mothers to never give babies water unless directed by the doctor (like an ounce or two EVERY ONCE IN A WHILE for severe constipation, not an everyday, all day thing, mind you) b/c it can flush out the baby's electrolytes, cause their brain to swell and lead to death. 






Baby's get enough water from breastmilk and formula, b/c those are mostly water anyway (you can't produce milk w/o water!!!) So adding water to their diet b/c it's hot outside isn't necessary, just give them more formula or breastmilk b/c giving them bottles of plain water can cause a high imbalance of the sodium and nutrients that they need. And if you're worried about milk being left in their mouth, infant toothbrushes and infant gum cleanser is very inexpensive and will not risk your child's health.





I was informed by 2 seperate paeds and a dr that it is in fat a good idea to give them water, ur listen to ur dr and i will listen to mine.

C. - posted on 12/31/2009

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Quoting Vonda:


.......Please be careful with this type of advice. Although water can be a really good thing, it can also cause damage. Whether in adults, communities, or children, water is a powerful thing, don't dismiss it because it's "just water afterall".


I agree with all of your post, but I wanted to point something out that a lot of mothers forget.. It may be water, and water is healthy for you when you're old enough and actually get thirsty, but babies are NOT adults and should not be treated as adults (giving them water and other things that can potentially cause death, whereas in adults it's perfectly safe).

Vonda - posted on 12/31/2009

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So I found several medical opinions about giving babies under 1 year old whom aren't eating solid food yet and this just summed up the whole thing: the quote is from babycenter.com and the doctor is: Stephen R. Daniels, pediatrician.This is a slight excerpt, however, it really summed up all the quotes from the other sites I visited.:
if you're feeding powdered or concentrated formula to your baby, never dilute it with more than the amount of water called for on the label.

"Your infant will get all the necessary hydration from breast milk or formula. Even when a mother's milk supply is just coming in during the first few days after delivery, the baby is getting colostrum, which is enough to keep her well hydrated.

Water can interfere with a young baby's ability to absorb the nutrients in breast milk or formula and, because it can make her feel full, it may prevent her from feeding as much as she should.

Giving water to an infant can also cause water intoxication, a serious condition that happens when too much water dilutes the concentration of sodium in the body, upsetting the electrolyte balance and causing tissues to swell. It's uncommon but serious, potentially causing seizures and even a coma.

If a young baby needs more hydration – because of a bout of gastroenteritis, for example – the doctor may recommend an electrolyte drink like Pedialyte or Infalyte.

You may have heard of researchers using sugar water to pacify babies during immunizations. While this practice might safely be used during a medical procedure, giving your baby sugar water at home (whether in an effort to pacify her or quench her thirst) isn't a good idea. She doesn't need the water, and the sugar isn't good for her."
Please be careful with this type of advice. Although water can be a really good thing, it can also cause damage. Whether in adults, communities, or children, water is a powerful thing, don't dismiss it because it's "just water afterall".

C. - posted on 12/31/2009

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Quoting Kirsty:

water is fine to give babies, it doesnt matter what age. It actually helps digestion. I used to give my little one a bottle of water before he had a bottle of milk. It doesnt fill their tummys but it gives them the water they need, especially when its a hot day. Just make sure if they r little its boiled cool water.


Oy, some moms are pretty uneducated about water intoxication, I must say.. I live in a hot environment and on the news in the summer they ALWAYS have to advise mothers to never give an infant younger than 6 months water b/c water intoxication is serious. There was a woman about a county over from me the same summer my son was born.. She was on the news b/c her baby was rushed to the ER b/c she had watered down her baby's formula, mainly to "stretch" the formula b/c they were short on cash and otherwise the baby wouldn't have any food. Her baby almost died from it and she was urging mothers to never give babies water unless directed by the doctor (like an ounce or two EVERY ONCE IN A WHILE for severe constipation, not an everyday, all day thing, mind you) b/c it can flush out the baby's electrolytes, cause their brain to swell and lead to death. 



Baby's get enough water from breastmilk and formula, b/c those are mostly water anyway (you can't produce milk w/o water!!!) So adding water to their diet b/c it's hot outside isn't necessary, just give them more formula or breastmilk b/c giving them bottles of plain water can cause a high imbalance of the sodium and nutrients that they need. And if you're worried about milk being left in their mouth, infant toothbrushes and infant gum cleanser is very inexpensive and will not risk your child's health.

Kimberly - posted on 12/31/2009

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Quoting Kirsty:

thrush in a babies mouth is actually usually caused by the left over milk from feeds, thats why paedeatricians suggest giving them a drink of water to wash their mouths out


thrush has nothing to do with left over formula in the mouth, thrush is a yeast infection in the mouth. It is caused by the same thing that causes yeast infections in a women. I have never heard of a ped. telling someone to drink water to clean a mouth my ped. used to say use a babies wash cloth with warm water and rub the inside of the mouth clean. Like brushing the gums with the cloth to keep it clean to prevent any kind of problems in the mouth. Like I said before consult with your ped. before changing your babies diet. I, with my son, was used to what to do because he was my second child but with my daughter, because she was my first, I never did a thing without consulting the doc. first. It is important to keep your ped, aware of any changes you want to make or made.

Kimberly - posted on 12/31/2009

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babies should not get water at a young age because I was told that if they drink more then their blood volume then it was unsafe so if you do decide to give water you need to consult with your pediatrician first. Also never offer juice in a bottle because if you start to do that then the child will never want to use a cup. The only liquid that belongs in a bottle is formula or breast milk. A cup is used for everything else. NUK makes this great cup. I found it in the bottle, not cup, section of target. My son was not using bottles by 8 months old. He only used a cup for breast milk formula and juice and now he never even knew he was on a bottle at all. It made the transition a lot smoother. But back to the issue at hand, you just need to consult your doctor before changing any babies diet. Good Luck!

Mandy - posted on 12/31/2009

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Oh and of course i didn't give her so much water. She would drink maybe one to two sips and would just push it out anyways but like i said it worked for me.

Mandy - posted on 12/31/2009

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When my daughter was constipated i actually got an orange and mixed about a drop or two into the water for her to drink and what i found was that the next day she became unconstipated. I found that this was one of the most useful ways because orange is fruit and we all know that's good and i diluted it alot. Like anything we do, some kids respond one way and others respond another, but this is just something i did and worked for me it might work for you i don't know but i hope so.

Vonda - posted on 12/31/2009

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I don't think this is a good idea. First try a formula called "Gentlease" by Enfamil. It's formulated for babies with sensitive stomachs. 2 of my own children had to use it and at least 5 of my grandchildren. If there is a WIC program in your area, all you need is a note from the baby's doctor saying the formula is necessary for the baby, and you can get it for free. Please don't give your baby water without a good doctor's recommendation. 99% of babies get plenty of water in their mother's breast milk or formula! Water can harm infants if they don't really need it! This could be just that your baby has a sensitivity to the new formula or can't process dairy. There are lots of reasons.

Kirsty - posted on 12/31/2009

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thrush in a babies mouth is actually usually caused by the left over milk from feeds, thats why paedeatricians suggest giving them a drink of water to wash their mouths out

Kirsty - posted on 12/31/2009

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water is fine to give babies, it doesnt matter what age. It actually helps digestion. I used to give my little one a bottle of water before he had a bottle of milk. It doesnt fill their tummys but it gives them the water they need, especially when its a hot day. Just make sure if they r little its boiled cool water.

Vonda - posted on 12/30/2009

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The white on the baby's tongue is called "Thrush". It is a fungal infection caused from over sterilizing the nipples or pacifier. It is NOT from the milk. Believe me, I have had much experience in this area as I have OCD and am a bit over conscious when it comes to cleanliness. All my children have suffered from "Thrush" do to my over cleaning of everything that came in to contact with their mouths.

Vonda - posted on 12/30/2009

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No water. Babies this young get plenty of water in either Breastmilk, or Formula. Especially premies! They are probably constipated due to immature digestive tract. Have they been to the doctor? If so, and the doctor diagnosed the problem as "normal", then, you may consider stool softeners. Those may include natural, as well as, chemical suppliments.
I've raised lots of babies and my first choice is always the choice of most European countries: Olive Oil. A few drops from a dropper once a day should do the trick. This is what I used for my children and grandchildren and it worked. Best of luck!

Alisha - posted on 12/30/2009

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At five months old my son was having serious constipation issues and my pediatrician had me substitute one of his formula bottles with one that is half prune juice and half water. He did start to drop in percentile on his weight, but the pediatrician had me start adding a half scoop extra of formula to each six ounce bottle (which is what he was drinking at the time). He is now drinking a bottle of prune juice every other day and doing great! A girlfriend of mine used a spoon of corn syrup in water to help her kids with constipation and said it worked every time. Everyone has a different way to do it, but try the method you think is best and if it doesn't work switch to another method. Good luck!

Sandra - posted on 12/30/2009

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if your baby drink ........2oz of milk, per say...................once a day give her 1oz and so on of water.................I start at 2 or 3 weeks old.............infants need water..............even adults, kids everyone need water., but babies, because they will become dehydrated and or their pee will smell of of their diapers real strong, so yes please give anyone, your baby water...........some babies dont like plain water, or add a pinch of sweetness.................she will love it and will drink water. for your little cute baby, give her as much as she will suck, and there after her formular, that will get her water

Melissa - posted on 12/30/2009

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are they breast or formula fed?? if they are breastfed then it is normal for them not to poop for up to one week at a time. formula is pretty much water with w/e concentrate added to it right? i think if u give ur babes water it kinda like a filler, where there could be something nutritional in its place-meaning breastmilk/formula

[deleted account]

Infants don't really need water, any formula or breast milk is enough. Ask your doctor about giving the babies small amounts of Benifiber in their formula, thats what my doctor had us do for my daughters constipation & it worked like a charm.

Rose - posted on 12/30/2009

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My peditrician said water was good to give an infant 1-2 ounces a day. If you think about it - milk or formula can be heavy and sometimes you just need some water to clean out their mouth. I would usually give my kids some water if I noticed that their tongue was white from all the milk - just to wash that out.

Rose - posted on 12/30/2009

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Water is healthy, an ounce or 2 a day is good for your baby as an infant. Juice, on the other hand, is mainly sugar and not that healthy. There is nothing really beneficial in juice that your baby needs - unless it's prune juice to help them poop. When your baby is older it's better to feed her an apple then give her apple juice. Also if you give your child juice at a young age they will want to drink it over other stuff. It will make it more difficult to give her water or milk later when she is older because she will prefer the sweet stuff.

Timberly - posted on 12/30/2009

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My kids are now 4 yrs (Topanga) and 2 yrs (Theron) and I use to give them every other bottle of water. That was from about a month old each and to this day they love to drink water. They are haelthy and happy...it worked for us!

Tricia - posted on 12/30/2009

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I remember my mom CONSTANTLY asking, 'So when are you going to start giving those kids some water.' I would advise as they get older, to use the fluridated water, or tap water that is fluridated, rather than the standard bottled. I think it's important, and wish I would be able to promote more tap water now for dental purposes.

Amber - posted on 12/30/2009

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My son was 2 months premature and we ended up going to see a doctor about his constipation. The doctor was the same one from the NICU and said to use a certain dose of stool softerner ( suppositories ). He was breastfed as well as formula fed, and on medications for the first 7 months of his life. The doctor said no water and some of the reasons are already listed here in other postintgs. You should definately talk to your pediatritian. Your children have specific needs that you and your doc are aware of. You can do research so that you can bring your findings to your doctor, and they can tell you yes or no. My son is much older now and his premature birth is no longer an issue. My sister in law was told by her doctor to mix a teaspoon of Georges 100% fractionally distilled liquid from aloe vera leaves, but that was when her son was about 18 months old. It also works with my older children. But due to your girls premature birth, the pediatrician is your best bet for advice.

Tricia - posted on 12/30/2009

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I've got a few theories on water and newborns. My pediatricians office had multiple docs in the practice, the OLDER 70s doc, at our first infant appt, gave us a recipe for sugar water, caro syrup and water basically. the younger doctors although they didn't outwardly 'dis' him, do not recommend that. ESPECIALLY if you are breastfeeding, why fill up the baby's tummy with water, then when it's time to feed, they won't do a full NUTRITION FILLED feed. ALSO in infants, I believe there is some MORE MEDICAL based theory that their kidneys cannot process massive amounts of water. Constipation is rough to deal with in little ones, but at five months, prunes are a great option. Sometimes, every OTHER day. Or change the kind of cereal, rice to oatmeal or viceversa.

Desiree - posted on 12/30/2009

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My daughters are not breastfeed anymore. They are on a special formula because they have allergies. They can't switch formulas because the only other formula they can try is special order and taste really bad (we recieved a sample from a specialist.) And our insurance doesn't cover that formula. I think I am going to try to give them an ounce of water every other day and see how they respond.

Dallas - posted on 12/30/2009

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my doc said no water till they are 6 months. said it makes it harder to get the adequate amount of calories in.

Mary Lou - posted on 12/30/2009

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I gave both my boys water for constipation. My doctor said it was alright. Just make sure you do NOT give your baby too much at that age (no more than a few ounces a day) because they can get something called "water intoxication" which can be fatel.

Claire - posted on 12/30/2009

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my son is 9 weeks old and sice he was born he has had atleast 1oz of water a day and sometimes i even put a little juice in it just to give it a bit of flavour aslong as its only a tiny amount and sugar free it wont hurt them. x

Regina - posted on 12/30/2009

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Babies don't need water. Breastmilk has everything they need to survive and thrive, and formula is made with so much water that there really isn't an issue. Preemies have slightly different dietary needs, but they certainly should NOT have juice or glucose water, and plain water probably should be limited to 2-3 ounces per day, if you insist on giving them any. I personally wouldn't, unless their doctor says otherwise.

Tracy - posted on 12/30/2009

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I wouldn't worry about them getting water...they get all they need from breastmilk or formula whichever you are using. I don't think they need the water until they are older and are actually thirsty. I never gave my babies water and they all drink a tone of it now. My 12 yr old actually drinks water more than anything else.

Stacy - posted on 12/30/2009

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I started my daughter with water at 5 months, I only put it in a sippy cup. This meant she only got sips (though she was a cup pro from the very beginning). I truly feel that the little extra water (she was breastfed at the time) did actually help soften her bowl movements to a more comfortable conistency. Still if she doesn't get enough water in the day her poos tend to get harder (she is a water fanatic and at 11 months often drinks at the very least on entire 9 oz sippy cup full a day and refuses all juice-which is fine with me!). Being a premie though I would maybe hold off a tiny bit more depending developmentally where they are. If they are on target developmentally (forget chronologicly) then go for it. Developmental age is much more important than the actual weeks/months.

Deeann - posted on 12/30/2009

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I started giving my son small sips of bottled water at 4mths of age, due to his constipation. His Doctor said to allow him to lead me. He takes a fews sips a day (2oz or so) and it has helped him out. I guess for him breastmilk wasn't enough fluids. I avoided juice til Paul was atleast eatting solids. The juice gave him diarrhea, which was worse!

[deleted account]

the best advice is to ask their pediatrician! But when my kids were small like that age i would start them on herbal tea (manzanilla) or straight water (boiled) or that baby water that they now sell! Good luck!

Anne - posted on 12/30/2009

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You should not be giving you babies water until they have started on solid foods. At this point their kidneys can not handle any extra water. There have been a lot of cases where the child has almost died from the extra water that the kidneys can not flush out. I always say if you are concerned about it ask your doctor. That is what they are there for.

Lauree - posted on 12/30/2009

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I had the same problem w/ my son who was 9 weeks premature. The doc told me that giving too much straight water can create an imbalance where their sodium levels are concerned. Their suggestion was to give some diluted prune or peach juice between feedings (never in place of an actual formula/breast feeding), or to use the old thermometer & patroleum jelly trick. I was also told to use glycerine suppositories after 2 days if he couldn't "go." Make sure your doc is aware too. They may end up wanting to change your girls' formula unless they're still trying to increase their weight.

Jen - posted on 12/30/2009

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If your child is nursing, try elliminating things from your diet to alliviate constipation. For my daughter I had to stop eating dairy and wheat. Water very small amounts is harmless so I don't think there is an issue there. As for Juice that isn't suggested until later on.

Traci - posted on 12/30/2009

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Quoting Christina:

It's recommended that you don't give infants water until 6 months b/c it can flush out their electrolytes.. Basically it can cause Water Intoxication in an infant, which CAN and HAS lead to infant death. Now, I gave my son a tablespoon or two every couple of days when he was about 3 or 4 months old b/c he had problems with constipation (his was pretty painful.. Had a tiny bit of blood in his diaper once, that's why the doctor told me to go ahead and give him some) from his formula.. But I would ask your doctor first.. And if you're concerned about rinsing their mouths out after a feeding.. Just get an infant gum cleanser and brush.. Gerber has them and they're wonderful.


Wow, Christina. Thank you. My husband keeps giving our 5mo old water, despite my urgent pleas to NOT do so! He will sneak it in when I'm out of the room. Thanks for giving me something to look up, to show him, so he will stop....

Jennifer - posted on 12/30/2009

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I would not give my 5 month old child juice even diluted juice. I gave my children water as soon as they were born it was not tap water it was filtered water with added floride. I would give it to them a few minutes after nursing just to rinse the breastmilk out of their mouths. At first is was just a few sips less than an ounce but as they grew I would give it to them in between feedings just to help hold them over until it was time to eat again. My children are teenagers now and would rather drink water over juice or soda. Hope this helps.

C. - posted on 12/30/2009

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It's recommended that you don't give infants water until 6 months b/c it can flush out their electrolytes.. Basically it can cause Water Intoxication in an infant, which CAN and HAS lead to infant death. Now, I gave my son a tablespoon or two every couple of days when he was about 3 or 4 months old b/c he had problems with constipation (his was pretty painful.. Had a tiny bit of blood in his diaper once, that's why the doctor told me to go ahead and give him some) from his formula.. But I would ask your doctor first.. And if you're concerned about rinsing their mouths out after a feeding.. Just get an infant gum cleanser and brush.. Gerber has them and they're wonderful.

Nicola - posted on 12/29/2009

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I gave both my boys tiny sips of water from a spoon from a couple of days old. With the second one we were told he wouldn't need it but livng in the hot, humid and dusty Gulf we thought he might, so did! It didn't hurt either of them! Both my boys now drink lots of water, my youngest is now 3 years old and he doesn't drink anything else except milk morning and night and water all day long.

Sally - posted on 12/29/2009

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Babies don't need water until they are onto solids, unless is is particularly hot and you are worried about dehydration. If you're breastfeeding then you'd be much better off giving them extra feeds than water. Drinking water fills up their tummies without giving them any nutrients.



Juice isn't necessary at all, but if you're going to give it to them then it should be diluted 1 part juice to 4 parts water. Any stronger then that will give them a tummyache and is bad for their teeth.

[deleted account]

im my experience constipation isnt a normal thing and you should be looking into your babies diet rather than trying to solve the problem with home remidies.

my daughter got extremely constipated when we went from newborn formula to 6 month formula. we ended up using sapositories and laxatives to clean her out and had to swap formula!

i would suggest swapping formula to help keep your girls more regular! alot of brands have small stick packs which cost a quater the price of a tin. these are great for trying different formulas til you get the right one!

as for giving water, ive heard alot of different opinions on this... my grandma gave water from birth inbetween feeds, my mum gave water at 3 months when solids started... it changes with every generation!

personally, i gave my daughter water at 6 months when solids started. we would give it during the meal only to help clear her mouth. it took almost a month for her to enjoy it and want to drink it.

now i offer it randomly through out the day inbetween meals... soemtimes she wants it sometimes not. i have never limited the amount she drinks... she does that all by herself. she has never drunk more than 1oz at any given time!

Mandy - posted on 12/29/2009

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When my daughter was about seven or eight months she still wouldn't take water that i gave her and so became concerned and i asked her paediatrician about that and he said that i wasn't to be too concerned because one: they get alot of water from the formula you give (thinking about the way i mixed her formula he was right) and second: babies won't reject water and will drink when they are ready and want to. Just keep offering it. I've always given my kids food before water anyhows and they generally know when to push the water out when they're full. Hope this helps.

Shelia - posted on 12/29/2009

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I gave both of my children water between bottles. I did not give them great amounts of it until they were older. My son was bottle fed and drank water from a bottle starting at about 2 months of age. You can also add Karo syrup to the water bottles to help soften the stools and make it easier for bowel movements.

Kelsey - posted on 12/29/2009

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My daughter was constipated since she was 1 month old, and is 6 mos now. A couple months ago I asked my doctor about giving her water and she said 2 ounces is just fine. No more than 2 ounces though. The water didnt help much. I asked my doctor, and she has me giving her 2 ounces of pear juice a day, which has completely fixed the problem. At 5 months, juice shouldnt be a problem at all, it might cause a little gas, but shouldnt last.

Tjuana - posted on 12/29/2009

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I know that now days the Dr.'s tell parents not to give the babies water. My personal Dr. told me that it was ok. I only give my baby 2oz of water a day. I started doing that at one month. She is a healthy and spoiled little lady. Hope this helps.

Erica - posted on 12/29/2009

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Quoting Tracy:

Ask your ped.


I agree with Tracy!  We all want to do what is best for our babies and your doctor will tell you what is best for your little girls.  Good luck with everything!

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