water for babies and how advice changes over time

While it seems unnatural to not provide water to your little ones so early on, there’s legitimate evidence as to why babies shouldn’t have water until about 6 months.

According to Dr. Alan Greene, a California-based pediatrician, the amount of water present in breast milk and formula is adequate for a baby’s health, taking into account water lost through urine, stool, and lungs.

KellyMom, an accredited breast-feeding resource, notes that babies that are breast-fed don’t need additional water, as breast milk is 88 percent water and provides the fluids your baby needs. Assuming that your child is feeding well either through formula, breast milk, or both, their hydration status shouldn’t be a cause of concern.

According to KellyMom, once solids are introduced around 5 to 6 months, a baby’s milk intake reduces from a range of 25 to 30 ounces per day to around 14 to 25 ounces per day.

It all depends on how solids are introduced, what kinds of solids are introduced, and how often they are being consumed. The goal for babies between 6 and 12 months is to ensure adequate nutrition intake and overall growth.

In order to effectively achieve this, introduce solids slowly and in multiple exposures. To supplement water at this time is acceptable, however assuming adequate formula or breast milk intake, your child may not need more than 2 to 4 ounces of water over a 24-hour period.