Newborns are the most precious little beings in the world. They’re cute, adorable, and simply delightful.
What’s not to love about them?
However, many parents are concerned about water consumption in small babies. Is it safe? Is it healthy? Should newborns drink water?
To help cut through the confusion about the benefits and dangers of water consumption in infants, we’ve put together a list of the most important things to know about water for newborns.
It is very dangerous to give newborns water. Statistics show that about 500,000 newborns die every year as a result of drinking water. Dr.Jennifer Anders, a pediatric physician at Johns Hopkins Children’s Center cautions parents that consumption of water by newborns below 6 months can lead to water intoxication.
Water intoxication is a condition that occurs from drinking a lot of water thus destroying electrolyte balance.
This interferes with the growth and development of the baby.
All adults have 55% to 60% of water in their bodies while a newborn has about 75% to 80% of water. Thus, this is why a newborn baby should not drink water for at least six months.
Newborns have small kidneys to hold water as compared to adults. Thus the newborn should only take breast milk for the first six months. Breastmilk has all the nutrients needed for the development of the baby. The nutrients and calories are important for the development of a baby.
Another danger of giving newborns water is that they have small stomachs which cant hold a lot of things. This hinders the consumption of nutrients from the breastmilk.
When should I give my newborn water?
This should take place after the first six months of their lives. Healthy babies get the water they need from the breastmilk. They don’t need any other extra water.
Breastmilk nourishes the growth and provides antibodies needed to fight diseases in the body.
They should start taking water when they begin to eat solid foods after six months.
Can newborns drink water for hiccups?
The answer is No. Newborns should not take water before six months even if they have hiccups. Hiccups are common both in newborns and adults, for adults taking water can solve the condition of hiccups but not for kids.
Never try to give your newborn water when they have hiccups rather gently rub them on their back. You can also change their position and give them some time to relax.
Hiccups are not a problem unless when feeding they can always be annoying and cause stress to the parent.
Tips to prevent hiccups in a newborn
Always feed them before they are too hungry.
Feed them when they are calm and relaxed. Don’t do it when they are crying or in discomfort.
Minimize movements and destruction during feeding. It should be one thing at a time.
Always change their position. They should not stay in the same position for a long time.
Burp them more often during feeding.
Can water hurt babies?
Yes especially if they are below six months. When a newborn takes water before six months the normal sodium level in the body becomes dilute and can lead to coma and death.
Can a newborn drink boiled water?
Yes, a baby six months and above should drink boiled water. Boiling water and other water purification methods are recommendations by health promoters as a way of decreasing the rate of diarrhea in children.
First, you should boil the water and then wait for it to cool. This is not to harm the baby.
When should the baby take water and what amount should they take.
When the newborn is 6-12 months should start taking water. This is because their intestines have developed and thus can hold both food and water.
For six months old newborn should take 2-4 ounces of water per day.
You should never give newborn water belong six months. By doing this you will be interfering with the development of the baby.
Always ensure that the baby takes only breast milk for the first six months. Thus a newborn should not drink water or any form of food below six months.
In case of any misunderstanding or the baby is given water accident take them to the hospital for check-up and treatment.
I hope this information will be of benefit to you and your baby. If you have any questions, please ask me in the comment section. I will be glad to interact with you.