Baby Health How Much Water Do Babies Need to Drink?
Posted Jul 28 2009 10:12pm
The hot summer weather is still here, allowing families to maximize the longer days before its time to head back to school. Mum Mums recently discussed how to keep babies cool in the summer heat raising a poignant question: just how much water do babies need to drink to ensure they are hydrated? A pediatrician from CNN Health recently discussed the answer.
Dr. Jennifer Shu of Childrens Medical Group explains that fluid needs can be determined by starting with the age of the baby. One area of concern for babies and water drinking is that their immature kidneys sometimes cannot handle too much water inducing a condition called water intoxication . Water intoxication occurs when a baby drinks too much water to the exclusion of their milk which can lead to a potentially dangerous electrolyte imbalance.
Dr. Shu explains that babies 6 months and under do not need any extra fluids aside from breast milk or formula. An occasional sip to help pass some hiccups is ok, but since babies have such tiny tummies water can fill them up and take the place of the nutrient rich fluids required in their diet like formula or breast milk.
Once a baby is between 6 and 12 months, they still dont need additional fluids but introducing a little bit in a sippy cup can help babies get used to the consistency of liquids. The typical recommendation is about 2 to 4 ounces as babies transition from an all liquid diet to introduction of solid foods. In certain cases, such as hot weather days or constipation, a baby at this age may benefit from closer to 6 to 8 ounces of water.
A good rule of thumb for babies 12 months and older is to offer milk with meals and water any other time baby is thirsty. Following this guideline ensures baby is getting adequate dietary calcium needed for growth and development in addition to ample fluids. Most solid foods, especially fruits and vegetables, contain water and can account for about 20% of our fluid requirements. The babys urine should be a pale yellow color which indicates she is getting enough fluids. Be sure to discuss any questions or concerns with your pediatrician.