My HV advised me that I should give my 6 week old water between feeds now that he is on formula, especially in the hot weather, but I didn't realise that I can give him too much and after googling it, am now panicking a bit as he has had 150ml (5oz) today.
I shan't be giving him any more, at least not today, but am now worried about him. He seems fine - he's gone to sleep now, but am terrified, as I didn't realise how dangerous it can be (kidney failure, brain swelling, coma, death), and am now watching him like a hawk. Can anybody reassure me at all?
Yes of course. It will come out in the form of urine. He will not die or be brain damaged. Chill. He gets more water than that in a couple of feeds anyway. Best not give him that much tomorrow or he won't take in enough nourishment from the formula.
babies who aren't gfiven water in very hopt weather (and who aren't getting the watery breastmilk that quenches thirst) DO need some water or they get dehydrated and constipated. Formula isn't as perfect as breast milk, it doesn't change and adapt for your baby.
5 oz doesn't sound at all excessive,. ds1 used to have that much throughout the day.
i add an extra half an ounce of water to each feed, so a 6oz feed, is 6 scoops and 6 and a half ounces of water, just to make sure baby doesnt get constipated, esp in the heat and once over 4mths you can offer water in a sippy cup.
Excess water is not safe for babies not on solids as straight water can cause an electrolyte imbalance which can lead to seizures etc. Breast milk and formula will maintain the correct levels of electrolytes with in the baby's body. If they are thirsty give more of their usual milk feeds not water, they may take smaller feeds more frequently in hot weather in order to quench their thirst.
If you are concerned his mouth is dry a few mls/teaspoon of cooled boiled water to moisten his mouth won't hurt but feeds of just water will fill him up and cut down on milk intake which may have an impact on calorie intake overall (adults on diets drink water to fill themselves up with out extra calories).
John Hopkins in the US (US version of Great Ormond Street) recommend not giving water to babies under 1 y/o who are not on solids. They also recommend not over diluting formula as that can also lead to electrolyte imbalances (sorry 4madboys). More details here.
If you are concerned by your baby's behaviour/state of alertness then please get a HCP to check him out.
Thanks for the replies. Sounds like I am probably fretting over nothing, as usual! As it is cooler today, I think I may give the water a miss today anyway, and just give him milk. HV is back tomorrow, so will ask her about it again then.
He seemed to like the water though - eventually. I have been trying to get him to take some for weeks (since last HV visit, in fact), but it was only yesterday that he seemed to really take to it, and would take some water where he wouldn't take milk, as he has a tendency to think he wants his milk back, then spit it out straight away, then cries for it again only to do the same thing. But offering the water straight afterwards yesterday seemed to calm him down - not sure what that is about, unless he wanted to suck something, but didn't want any milk.
He didn't really take small sips though, just chugged it down almost like it was milk and wouldn't let the teat go, so was taking 40-50 mls in one go, without coming up for air (wasn't sure whether to pull the bottle out, or let him suck). May try again with a dummy instead.