Does Baby Need Water?

Do babies need water? When should I offer water? How much 
and how should I do it?  We'll answer these common questions in this post! 
Do babies need water? 
Babies less than 6 months of age should not be given any additional water. They get sufficient fluids from breast or formula milk.  

When do I offer water? 
If desired, you can start offering small amounts of water when your baby starts solids, around 6 months of age. Note that babies still get the majority of fluids from breast or formula milk up to 12 months, so offering water is not absolutely necessary. But, it can be useful in helping them to 1) start building a habit of drinking water and 2) teach them to drink from a cup for oral and motor development.  

How much water? 

Official American Academy of Paediatrics guidelines say that babies 6 – 12 months can have up to ½ - 1 cup (120 - 240ml) of water / day. Personally, I feel that ¼  - ½ cup (60 - 120 ml) is enough water for babies under 12 months.

Note that the official guidelines are upper limits – you don’t want to give too much water as they can displace solid food or milk intake. I would suggest offering small sips of water, a few times a day to keep it simple.   

Children aged 12 – 24 months can have 1 – 4 cups of water a day. The amount of water your child needs to drink will depend on how much he is drinking from other beverages like milk and his / her activity levels. Again, the simplest way is to offer water to your toddler throughout the day.   

How to offer water?
Offer water in an open cup or through a straw rather than a baby bottle to help them build cup drinking skills.
We hope this helps answer your questions about water for babies!

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