If you are thinking of giving water to your baby, you better think again. Of course, babies must take in water to survive just like any human being, but these little ones don’t actually need to drink plain, or distilled, water. The milk they take in through breastfeeding or formula feeding is more than enough to meet their water needs. This is true even in hot weather.
Generally, pediatricians would not approve of letting your baby drink water. The reason? Water can easily fill up a baby’s tummy, even with just a few ounces. Babies need to fill up on proper nourishment, which they should be getting mostly from breastfeeding. When a baby’s tummy gets filled up with water, it could dampen her desire to feed.
Additionally, babies who drink water could develop water intoxication. Although this is a rare case, this condition can cause seizure, or worse, coma. Water intoxication happens when the body takes in too much water, diluting the body’s concentration of sodium and upsetting the electrolyte balance.
So when is the right time to let your baby drink water? The perfect time to give your baby some drinking water is when she starts to show signs of teething or during her sixth month. Teething babies need enough fluoride to support their new teeth. Drinking water is a great source that can supply that need. Start your baby with just a few sips, when she’s thirsty. Then after her first birthday, you can let her drink water as much as she likes.