Giving baby water

(93 Posts)
Bankholidaybaby Thu 05-Dec-13 22:47:34

I've been advised to give my 14-week old son cooled, boiled water, but I'm not sure how much, how often and how to prepare it. Should I just boil our hard tap water in my scale-ridden kettle and put that in a bottle, or would you suggest mineral/distilled/filtered water, a separate kettle etc.?

Thanks for any opinions/information.

SecretSantaFix Thu 05-Dec-13 22:49:40

It is not necessary except when the outside temperature is very hot.

It may only be ok if it is very hot, but in this sort of weather all of his liquid intake should be nourishing and have calories.

TheBreastmilksOnMe Thu 05-Dec-13 22:50:59

If you are breastfeeding on demand then you don't need to give water but if you are ff then I think you only need to give them extra water when it's hot. You will need to boil ordinary tap water in a kettle, allow it to cool then put it into a sterile bottle.Never give a baby mineral water!

bundaberg Thu 05-Dec-13 22:54:33

is he breast or formula fed? if breast then there is no reason to give water at all

if formula then they occasionally need some, but more when it's very hot weather or if they're constipated... they shouldn't need it routinely

if you do give it, normal boiled water is fine. don't use mineral water

Bunbaker Thu 05-Dec-13 22:56:24

I agree with the replies on here.

Who has advised you to give your baby water?

emblosion Thu 05-Dec-13 23:20:34

My ds1 used to get v constipated and I used to boil and cool around 2oz of tap water and offer him sips throughout the day. He rarely drank it all.

If you're boiling it normal tap water should be fine, or maybe filtered if you normally use that. I don't think you should use mineral water fir babies because of the higher concentration of sslts/trace metals.

Bankholidaybaby Thu 05-Dec-13 23:38:15

Several people have suggested it over the last six weeks or so: Health Visitors, Community Nurse, my mum, his paediatric consultant, and today, his GP.

He was born at 33 weeks 14 weeks ago and is pretty healthy but is piling pounds on (following the 91st centile line for his corrected age very nicely but had a jump from 75th to 91st about six weeks ago) and the health visitor and his consultant have told me to try to limit his intake because his weight gain is too rapid and some colic and tummy troubles he's having could be down to over feeding. When they first told me this, about six weeks ago, I dutifully tried for four very stressful days. My baby went crackers and begged for more food. After a long chat with a friend and a visit to the gp I decided to go back to giving him what he seemed to want. Gp thinks he's fine, that as long as he follows his line it's no problem, and points out the height of my husband (6ft 3) and that I'm hardly short.

Anyway, had a second follow-up with paed on Friday, got the same instruction and tried again to lower his volume. Went crackers again, so after another gp visit I'm resolved to keep an eye on it without going as far as the consultant says. Gp asked me if I give him water, and I said I had been thinking about it this week and would give it a go.

Baby never got the hang of latching on, despite 13 weeks of trying with the assistance of bf counsellors, support groups, nipple shields, weeks of breast/bottle/pump cycles and so on and so on, so we're now, as of the end of last month, entirely on formula. It's the ready to feed kind, hence never having to think about kettles and so on before.

Anyway,

SecretSantaFix Thu 05-Dec-13 23:44:00

Have you tried switching to a hungry baby formula instead?

Bankholidaybaby Fri 06-Dec-13 00:04:38

I was under the impression that hungry baby, follow on and goodnight milks were marketing ploys?

I've just changed from cow and gate to aptamil in the hope of relieving some of his griping pains. He's definitely become less flatulent overnight having done that (he had attacks of the trumps twice after each feed, and they always wake him up), but still won't settle in his basket and seems in pain 90mins after each feed. He used to regurgitate a lot and often seemed to be swallowing something disgusting, but now we get the odd wet burp with a feed, and a little spill at some point over the following 60-90 mins.

ZuleikaD Fri 06-Dec-13 09:02:49

Yes, hungry baby formula is just marketing guff.

Boiled normal tap water that has been allowed to cool. You should never give a baby mineral water and especially not mineral water that's been boiled because it's got too many salts for them already and boiling it intensifies them.

BarberryRicePud Fri 06-Dec-13 09:22:52

Obviously i can't comment on your babys weight but just to perhaps reassure...
DS was born at 42weeks. 6lb10 so 2-9 centile. Rapidly went up to 50th ebf. On weaning + formula he went up to 91-98th where he has remained. He's a lanky 3.6yo over 98th for height.

So IME it can be v normal to jump centiles.

If you're worried why not add an extra ounce of boiled, cooled water to his formula for each bottle?

caketinrosie Fri 06-Dec-13 09:32:28

Bank you can buy bottles of ready done baby water if you are worried, I used them with both mine they were fine. I have always given both dc's water and I breastfed both. It's not to replace meals but is in addition, just a couple of ounces is fine and after a while baby will naturally drink slightly less formula but still have a full tum so no narky baby. Tbh go with your gut feeling, it worked for me but won't work for everyone. The charts should always be seen as a guide so if they don't fit you're baby, balls to them! grin don't worry too much! that's the last thing a new mum needs x thanks

bundaberg Fri 06-Dec-13 12:36:37

bank I think if I were in your situation I would continue to give him what he's asking for tbh;
if he's following a line, and you and his dad are both tall then I honestly wouldn't worry.

someone has to be on the higher centiles, it's all within "normal" range. sometimes I think that HCP's feel that all babies should aim for the 50th and be right in the middle which is, quite frankly, stupid!
I just see so many tales on here of people being told to feed their low-centile baby more, or feed their high-centile baby less. it makes no sense

ultimately your baby is the only one who knows if he's hungry or not, and I honestly think there are dangers in not letting him self-regulate.

what centile is he on for height? is there a big discrepancy? would you be concerned if other people hadn't brought it up?

Bankholidaybaby Fri 06-Dec-13 16:01:10

He's now seeming to ask for more than ever before sad he's 6kg (about 13 and a half pounds) and I'm taking the bottle away at 165-180 ml with him still smacking his lips. He seems to want this every 3-4 hours apart from an occasional longer stretch in the early morning, but even the frequency is complicated, because he almost never wakes/cries for food when he's being held - he could go hours and hours, but the second I put him down he's bleating to be fed. I have slept with him on my chest (bad, I know) for 8-9 hours and nothing, whereas if I do manage to settle him in his basket (tricky), he'll go no more than 5. The same thing happens all day with him in my arms or a sling - I have to put him down to trigger a request for food or he would sleep all day.

The consultant told me to limit him to 900mls a day.

Bunbaker Fri 06-Dec-13 16:42:24

He might be going through a growth spurt right now. They never seem to be satisfied when that is happening.

bundaberg Fri 06-Dec-13 17:06:30

my breastfed baby hit 9kg at 5.5 months.

some babies are just big! he fed all the time.

i honestly wouldn't worry about it. at 14 weeks to be going 4 hours or more between feeds is really good!

just think, if you were breastfeeding you would have no idea how much he was taking, you'd have to trust him to regulate it and I honestly believe the same applies here. if he is following a line that's fine! i can't imagine why they would want him to go down the centiles confused

Bankholidaybaby Fri 06-Dec-13 18:43:10

He's just drained a bottle which had a whole 200ml carton in it! If this is a growth spurt, which did cross my mind, how long should it last, and will he come out of it wanting 200ml every time?

He only goes 4 hours because I'm carrying him around for most of his naps, and that stops him crying for food. I have to take him out of the carrier and put him down to get an instant: aargh! Feed me! This happens almost whenever I put him down. I've experimented with different gaps between feeds to see if it changes how much he wants, but it doesn't seem to make much difference.

I just feel like his feeding is all over the place and I don't know what to do for the best.

Bankholidaybaby Fri 06-Dec-13 18:45:01

Caketinrosie - where do you get the water from, please? I tried to find the cow and gate water we used for topping and tailing in hospital, but no luck sad

Bankholidaybaby Fri 06-Dec-13 18:46:49

He hasn't been measured for ages but the last time, which was when he was 7weeks actual and term corrected, he was 51cm. I don't know what centile that is for a newborn.

nancerama Fri 06-Dec-13 18:55:17

There's no need to waste money on special "baby water". Plain old cooled, boiled water is fine. If you're concerned about the quality of your water, a Brita filter jug will remove some of the harmless impurities.

There is no proof that there is any benefit in giving water to a baby under 6 months, but it won't do any harm either. In your shoes, I would offer water, but not worry if he doesn't take it.

You could try switching to the slowest flow teats you can find to help him regulate the volume he takes in at each feed. If he's drinking quickly he could be getting uncomfortable because he's taking in slightly more than he needs, but not registering that he feels full until it's slightly too late.

Ultimately, do what feels right to you. The professionals aren't the ones with your baby every day. You know him best.

BarberryRicePud Fri 06-Dec-13 19:10:30

If he's crying every time you put him down it's not just hunger. It may just be comfort. Have you tried a dummy?

the general rule of thumb is 2.5 - 2.7oz per lb of body weight so in your case that would be roughly between 32.5 (13 x 2.5) and 35 (13 x 2.7) oz per day which is 975 - 1050mls (if you count an oz as 30mls).

I dont think you need to limit milk. I tended to add an extra oz when my lo's consistently drained their bottle.

p.s. I did use hungry milk from around that age and it did seem to make ds more settled between feeds. It is more casein based than first milk and may make them feel fuller for longer

Newmum0113 Fri 06-Dec-13 19:30:55

Hi op

I've been in the same position - lots of people including many contradicting health visitors, advising in the for and against giving water to my DD, currently 8 weeks old. We tried it and she likes it, she sometimes has some between feeds when she's hungry after 2 hours. It helps her go to 3.5 to 4 hours between feeds.

I wanted to jump on this thread and ask as well, because DH wants to give DD a farley's rusk in her 11pm at night to help her go through the night without waking. Mum and mum in law both did this with all 5 of their children, and I know other people have done it.

What's the opinion of the mumsnet crowd? TIA.

bundaberg Fri 06-Dec-13 19:32:25

rusks at 8 weeks? no!
and in a bottle? definitely not!

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