How much water for the baby?

While drinking more water is a good idea for everyone,

especially during hot summer months, it can be

Harmful to babies 6 months and younger. According to a

study in Physician Reviews, a 1997 survey of new mothers

found that nearly 25 percent give their babies water

at least 3 times a week during the first month of life.

Water poisoning is rare in children and adults who are

able to judge own water needs by thirst and activity.

But babies cannot do this. In addition, the kidneys of

newborns filter more slowly than older babies,

causing dilution of sodium levels in the blood.

According to the doctors, there were 24 cases of water intoxication.

reported at St. Louis Children’s Hospital in the years

1989 to 1991. The problem seems to be increasing, since only

10 cases were reported between 1985 and 1988. In the cases

reported that the otherwise healthy babies were 4 to 5 months old

and drank three 8 oz. bottles of water within 6 to 12 hours.

Symptoms of water intoxication include pale urine, using

more than 8 diapers a day and the baby sleeps more than usual

and be hard to wake up.

Mothers should be advised that healthy babies get all the

the water they need in breast milk or formula.

A baby can become intoxicated with water as a result of drinking

several bottles of water a day or by drinking baby

formula that has been diluted too much.

The water fills the baby without adding calories, so the water

supplementation can result in weight loss or insufficiency

weight gain for the baby.

Pediatricians recommend feeding babies 2 to 3 oz. more than

their age in months at each meal. For example, babies 4

months old would feed 6 to 7 oz. three times a day. More

8 oz. in any feeding it is rarely necessary. The normal

milk to water ratios should be about two-thirds of milk

to a third of water. With these proportions, the baby

receives about 8 oz of water evenly spaced over 24 hours

period. If the formula is diluted, smooth should not be less

50 percent.

Only around seven months of age, when the baby has started

eat solid food, if a little water is put into a


Water poisoning can be prevented by following your

doctor’s instructions.

To learn more about water and its health benefits for

old and young alike:

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