what is a good age to start giving water to infants

Elmarie - posted on 05/11/2010 ( 11 moms have responded )

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My 5 month old baby girl has been eating solids for the last month. I have not introduced water yet as I was told that she will get enough water through breastmilk and/or formula. I have been reading up on the topic and the one book said that water should be given to the baby while they are having solids. She has only been eating 1 teaspoon full of either veg or fruit twice a day. Also when can I start introducing rooibos tea?

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Cynthia - posted on 05/12/2010

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I'm only talking about an ounce or two of water, on a hot day, or as a first step to introducing new things into a growing infants diet. Water, boiled and cooled is perhaps one of THE safest things to give a baby after breast or bottle, its also the safest thing that Dad or grandparents or sitter, can give to baby if a breastfeeding mum is a little late getting back from a break, an ounce or two will NOT upset the electrolight balance, it is two much too quickly to a dehydrated child which does that especially if the child has diarreaha, or has been over heated on a hot day.

Bottle fed mums must feed cooled boiled water to prevent overfeeding on hot days, in the same manner as a breastfeeding mum. do you know how hot mum and baby can get when nursing on a hot summer day? Appetites drop off when we are over heated, that what causes dehydration in many nursing babies, major feedings tend to adapt to the cooler parts of the day morning and evenings leaving a whole lot of time for mum and baby to get dehydrated!
Common sense in all things not rigidity in Breast only, or formula only for fluids in babies!

Jenee - posted on 05/12/2010

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Like another poster above said. Your baby does not need water. Your baby gets all of the water that they need from formula and breast milk. Since its made up of mostly water. Not to mention that giving your baby too much water can throw off their electrolytes which can cause many problems. We introduced juice ( mostly water down and for constipation issues ) when my son was 15 months. Unless your baby is out in the sun or in humid conditions for some time then there is no reason for it.

Claire - posted on 05/12/2010

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you can start water at anytime now, if she doesn't take it add a bit of apple juice this way you introduce her to both

Elmarie - posted on 05/12/2010

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Thanks guys for all the advice. Apparently new research has been done by the world healt organization, and babies can start with solids from 17 weeks as long as their necks are strong and they can keep it upright .. but there is no info about water. But ill try little bits of boiled water. Ill stay of the tea for a while, although there is a product on the market (annique) that makes a special rooibos tea just for babies

Lydia - posted on 05/11/2010

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Are you in weather conditions that increase the risk of dehydration? I was giving my daughter small amounts of water at this age because it was so hot and it didnt stop her from taking her milk it just gave her a little extra hydration. I dont think its really necessary otherwise at that age. If in doubt always talk to someone who is trained to know these things before doing it :)

Cynthia - posted on 05/11/2010

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How times change :), My babies were having cooled boiled water from birth onwards as recommended by the nurses, sweetened water will undermine a babies nutrition but plain cooled boiled water won't! You can either use a baby bottle or a dropper. Sometimes babies get thirsty and milk even breast milk just doesn't quench it.
I don't know about Rooibos tea perhaps one of our south African posters would know?
I find it unusuall that your health care providers are saying okay to solids at 5 months but are not also advising on water also?
In the summer months to make sure your baby is not getting dehydrated gently pinch the skin on the back of baby's hand if it flattens to normaly quickly then she/he is not dehydrated, it its a slow rebound they she/he is probably dehydrated, and giving her some cooled boiled water would be the way to go.
Having water in addition to breast is not going to affect your production, as long as it isn't sweetened, at any age. nor will it cause tummy upset as long as it has been boiled and cooled in a covered container, ie put the filled bottle or sippy cup in a bowl of cold tap water for ten to fifteen minutes or have a special jug of cooled water especially for baby's use in the day.

September - posted on 05/11/2010

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Our son drank a bit of water with snacks starting around 6 months of age, when he starting using a sippy cup. He really only drank a sip here and there as it was more for practice than anything. It's not like he was filling his little belly with water but more so wetting his mouth. A little water is not going to hurt your baby but if you’re concerned I would talk it over with your pediatrician. As far as tea goes I know there are plenty caffeine free teas to choose from however I think I would wait until more like a year of age to introduce teas. Our son is 18 months and loves drinking tea with me :)

Alyson - posted on 05/11/2010

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babies dont get anything out of water until they are over a year old. i would stick to milk and formula for now or half water/half baby juice. as far as tea i wouldnt give her any tea i dont know what the caffeine content is but it doesnt sound like a good idea

Kristin - posted on 05/11/2010

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I think I started giving my boys a sippy with water at about the same time they started solids and teething. They never really drank it though. They got all the fluids they needed from breastfeeding. You can absolutely increase the volume of veg and fruit she's getting. Ask your pediatrician about the tea.

Melissa - posted on 05/11/2010

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I didn't start giving my son water until he was 9 months and he only gets 5oz max a day at this point. At a year I will give him more.

Gwen - posted on 05/11/2010

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She doesn't need any extra water because she gets plenty from formula or breastmilk. I introduced other drinks like water or juice to my daughter around a year old when she started using a sippy cup.

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