There is one more controversial question that young parents often argue about. Can be water served to babies and toddlers and when exactly should be introduced? In general, water is safe for your baby and can have its place at a certain period but there are some rules that you should adjust to. Let’s get to know some basic information that every parent has to know about babies and water.

Do babies really need water?

During their first months of life, babies the main source of food is breast milk or baby formula. They are obviously composed mostly of water and most experts claim that serving water itself is just unnecessary during that period. Babies get enough liquid while drinking breast milk or formula. Moreover, water can even have some negative effects as it will replace valuable nutrition from milk. Parents definitely don’t want their little ones to have an imbalance in their calories, vitamins, proteins, and others, so it’s better not to experiment with it.

When is the right time for a baby to try water?

If a baby consumes breast milk or formula and is fully satisfied and hydrated, water is just a useless element in the diet. So when is the right moment? A lot of medical institutions suggest that babies are ready to try water at the age of about 6 months. Generally speaking, it’s the time when a little one starts to eat solid foods. It is up to parents whether their baby should get water or not, as it’s optional before 12 months of age. The best idea is to observe and listen to a baby. If he or she is growing and developing well, parents can gradually introduce water.

So, if your loved one gets the right time to start drinking water, it’s quite important to keep in mind some nuances about that. Remember that giving the wrong type of water or doing it in the wrong way, may harm your baby. So don’t miss these pieces of advice.

How much water do babies and toddlers really need?

While giving bread milk or formula to a baby, try to avoid giving too much water in order to not replace the necessary nutrients. So doctors say that about 150 ml a day is enough. While a baby is getting older this number increases but not dramatically. If you are not sure about the amount of water, monitor the number of wet diapers. Babies usually have 4-6 of them every 24 hours. If it’s more or less, try to settle his or her food-water balance.

What kind of water is safe for your baby?

Usually, it’s not a problem to choose water for babies. They can drink the same that other family members do. But it’s important to check the quality of this water first. If the water has an opaque color or leaves sediment on the bottom, it is better to avoid it or to purify it before consumption. There are special water filters that are quite affordable and very easy to use. Or there is always an option to buy pure bottled water. What’s more, if you’re worried, you can also find baby water bottles that are definitely cleaned well. It’s also better to avoid sparkling water. It will not be a problem if a baby takes a sip of it, but, otherwise, it can lead to painful bloating, gas, or even reflux. They can even have some adverse ingredients. So try not to use it.

In what way a baby should drink water?

If it’s clear about the quality of water and the right time of introducing it, you can move on to some rules on how to do it correctly.

First of all, do it slowly and gradually. As always your little one needs some time to get used to something new and it applies to water as well. Usually, water is even harder to learn how to drink than milk because it’s very thin and flows quickly. Your little one has to have well-developed swallow muscles to manage to do so. So if you give a cup or straw with water for the first time it may cause some problems, because it’s simply different from sucking a breast or bottle. But as the baby’s skills improve, there won’t be any coughing or sputtering. In addition, water intake will increase due to age.

Moreover, avoid giving a bottle of water to babies. It’s not useful for them at all. That way they will be drinking too much water and will not develop oral-motor skills. The best idea is to use a cup or straw. If a baby is not so into the cup, find one that is colorful and exciting for a baby. If you make fluid fun, it would be interesting for a baby to drink it.

Encourage your little one to have small sips of water and it will be safe and delicate. Moreover, choose a small cup that would be easy for a baby to hold. So it should be light and contain no more than 100 grams. It’s good for a baby to hold it on their own, and moreover, it will be better for you as it’s less likely that your baby will flood themselves. There are quite many of them on the market so it isn’t a problem to find an appropriate one.

In general, babies get ready to try water at the age of about 6 months or later, usually when they start to get solids. Parents should bear in mind that babies and toddlers have quite different hydration from adults as they get a lot of liquid from breast milk or formula. As time passes and solids become the main source of food, little ones get naturally more interested in water. So the main idea is to watch your loved one and realize how much water he or she really needs and what time for introducing it is the best. If you are not sure about that – consult a doctor.