When your baby is under 12 months old, breast milk or formula provides them with all the hydration they need. Both contain a high level of water in them, therefore they are considered hydrating enough. According to The American Academy of Pediatrics, once your baby is 6 months of age you can begin to introduce water to your baby. We suggest doing so only during meal times, when solid food is introduced. Just be careful they do not consume too much as this can displace important nutrients coming from breast milk or formula.
Your baby’s stomach is small so offering too much water will fill them up, making them less interested in breast milk, formula, or solids. This can lead to weight loss, diluted nutrient levels in your baby’s body, and electrolyte imbalances. Before the age of one water is truly optional.
Always offer water to your baby in an open cup or with a straw and never inside a bottle as this can lead to over consumption since the consistency is so thin.
Between 6 to 9 months we suggest offering 2 to 4 oz of water. They might not even drink all of it and that’s ok.
Between 9 to 12 months you can offer up to 8 oz of water. Again, they might just take a few sips here and there. What's important is you do not give them more than this.
After 12 months a child's milk consumption reduces to about 16 oz a day, therefore it is important to offer at least 8 oz of water a day. At this stage water does become less optional and more of a must. As your child gets older, they need more water. So a two year old might need 16 oz of water as opposed to 8 oz.
Written by: Jessica Facussé, Co-Founder of Little Lunches Corp., Chef, and mom of two.
Reviewed By: Dr. Diana Jimenez, pediatrician specialized in child nutrition, lactation, and child development.
Reviewed By: Vivian Castillo, MS, RD, CNSC. Registered Dietitian at CEMESA Hospital.
Sources: The American Academy of Pediatrics.
2 years ago