It is a distinct possibility that on a hot summer morning you may be tempted to give your baby a few sips of water.
Contrary to popular belief your baby should not drink water until she is six months old. Regardless of whether it is summer or winter she will get all the hydration that she needs from breast milk or formula.
Those with a scientific temper would indeed find it reassuring that 85% of breast milk is water hence hydrating your baby is never a challenge.
Once your baby is six months old, the time is right to introduce a few sips of water whenever he is thirsty.
A note of caution being that never go beyond sips considering that he could get a tummy ache or fill up his stomach with excess of water.
Taking more of water may well result in decreased appetite and hence nutritional deficiencies which could be hazardous to say the least.
Nevertheless on his first birthday you can introduce whole milk and solids and allow him to drink as much water as he wants.
If you give too much of water before six months of age, your baby may suffer from water intoxication resulting in convulsions and may even go into coma.
The scientific logic is that excess water intake results in dilution of sodium concentration in the body and a severe electrolyte imbalance.
Experts are of the opinion that if your baby is on formula make sure that you follow the label to perfection if you do not want your baby to suffer from water intoxication or nutritional deficiencies during the first six months of life.
Mineral Water Helps
This is a myth; on the contrary you could be harming the health of your baby by giving her mineral water.
The logic is simple; the minerals found in mineral water are usually calcium, sodium and some trace elements. There is no standardized composition and depending on the processing technique used, the composition can change.
To further elaborate the case in point, in case the sodium load is very high, then it could damage the kidneys of your baby as they are unable to handle and excrete such loads.
Cautions and Precautions
When introducing water and fluids to your baby it is of critical importance that you exercise restraint and caution by taking the right precautions.
When your baby is six months old, introduce water and fluids gradually. Ideally you could begin with a few sips followed by gradually increasing amounts.
Experts are of the opinion that offering your baby two ounces of water in 24 hours is fine. Once the baby begins eating solids, make sure that you add water to this diet as this will help prevent constipation.
Thus it could well be concluded that although the journey is not the easiest, however it is definitely the most innovative and exciting experience.
This is arguably one experience that you will continue to cherish and nurture for a lifetime.