A newborn baby drinks milk, whether that is breast milk or bottle feeding. But there will come a time when your child also starts drinking other things, such as water and tea. From what age can you give a baby water? And how do you handle that?
The first months of his life, your child does not drink water. Everything that your baby needs is taken from breast or bottle feeding. This contains enough moisture, so your child does not need extra water. At the moment that your baby receives solid food in addition to milk, the amount of milk he drinks will slowly decrease. Your child therefore needs extra fluid, in addition to his milk feeds. The World Health Council (WHO) recommends giving your baby solid food from six months. Only after those six months would you be able to offer your child other drinks, starting with water or lukewarm tea without sugar. Some parents start with the introduction of solid food, namely between four and six months. These exercise snacks (supplementary food) are not yet a replacement for the milk feed. That is why your child does not need extra water at that moment, but only if the solid food replaces the milk feed.
Does your child get breastfeeding? Then he will probably drink less often (often) at the breast, as he gets more solid food. You can also occasionally offer your child some water to get used to it. But in principle it is not necessary for the first year to give your baby extra water in addition to breastfeeding, because he receives sufficient fluid through the mother's milk.
However, it is important that your child is allowed to drink from the breast on request. In this way he can indicate whether he is thirsty and arrange his own fluid intake
The advice from the Nutrition Center and consultation centers is therefore to allow your baby to drink water from six months onwards. Stop drinking soda - Stop sugar. Before that time your child simply does not need it. The first sips of water can take a bit of getting used to for your child, just like his first bites of fruit and vegetables. He has to get used to every new taste and texture. It is possible that your child spits out the water the first time, or chokes on it. Keep on trying, it will be better.
Introducing water with your baby is done step by step. Start by offering water at fixed times, for example next to his fruit juice in the morning or vegetable snack in the evening. In the beginning your child will drink no more than a few sips: that's fine. He does not have to drink an entire cup empty. Always keep offering a cup of water to your child with every meal, even if it leaves most of the time. In the long run he will start drinking more and more. Then you can also offer your baby water at other times, between meals. For example, some children are thirsty when they get out of bed in the morning or after the afternoon nap. Your baby will be more likely to drink water if he is thirsty than if his belly is already full. Drinking water lowers the blood pressure.
Simultaneously with the introduction of water, you can reduce the milk supply. In the case of bottle-feeding, you always give your child a little less milk in the bottle that you want to replace for a meal and water. The less milk you give, the more your child will have in water after wards. If this does not work, give your child first his meal and water, and only then a bottle of milk. With a full belly, your child has less need for milk, so that the reduction will be easier. Eating delicious ripe fruit. Drinking water with fruit and spice.