It is normal for you to be concerned about the amount of fluids your baby is getting. However, if you follow the advice below you should not have anything worry about.
Before 6 Months
Breastmilk is the perfect food, a unique composition, containing what’s called foremilk and hindmilk for every feed. Foremilk contains more water to help quench baby’s thirst. All breastfeeding mums should take plenty of fluids as breastfeeding increases thirst, aim for 8 glasses of water to keep you well hydrated. It can be difficult to tell how much milk your baby is drinking when you’re breastfeeding. Breastmilk doesn’t come with a handy measuring cup, so it’s better to look for general signs of good health – that way you’ll know your baby is feeding well e.g. multiple wet and dirty nappies, being active and alert and over time needing bigger clothes.
Your baby’s usual milk feed will provide all the fluid your baby needs during the first 6 months of his life.
Your baby’s usual milk feed (i.e. breastmilk or formula milk) will provide all the fluid your baby needs during the first 6 months of his life. However, during this period, it is possible for you to offer your baby sips of cooled, previously boiled water during warm weather or if your baby is unwell e.g. during a bout of diarrhea, to ensure they are keeping well hydrated. The following are a few signs that your baby may show if they are dehydrated
- Reduction in number of wet nappies
- Dry lips or mouth
- Sunken eyes
- Not passing urine
- Cold hands and feet.
Over 6 months
Once your baby has reached 6 months of age it is a good idea to introduce a beaker. Up to their 1st birthday their milk feed is an important source of nutrients and now in combination with a good weaning diet. Water and milk are the most tooth friendly drinks. As your baby progresses in their weaning journey, sips of cooled, previously boiled water in a beaker at meal times is fine. Limit their intake of fruit juice to protect your baby’s developing teeth. If giving pure fruit juice, always dilute it, 1 part fruit juice to 4-5 parts water. Clean your baby’s gums/teeth in the morning and before bedtime. Fruit and vegetables all contain a higher water content and an important part in your baby’s diet, providing lots of nutrients too!
As when they were younger you may need to offer sips of cooled, previously boiled water during warm weather or if your baby is unwell e.g. during a bout of diarrhea, to ensure they are keeping well hydrated.
If offering water to your baby, choose freshly drawn tap water then boil it and allow it to cool. If you need to use shop bought bottled water, make sure you check the label for the sodium (Na) content. Choose a brand that contains <20mgNa/litre. You still need to boil it and cool it in the same way you do with tap water. If you are not sure about the quality of the water in your area, check your supply with your local county council.
If you have any more questions about this, please do not hesitate to contact us and one of our advisors will be happy to help you.