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Giving babies water

(21 Posts)
nappyaddict Fri 22-Jul-11 18:24:00

On kellysmom it says breastfed babies don't need water in hot weather because breast milk is 88% water and they can stay hydrated by that. Apparently thirst quenching milk is in the fore milk? If they feed more frequently cos it's hot and they are thirsty aren't they going to get full and not want to feed eventually? Also if thirst quenching milk is the fore milk is it possible for the baby to feed and just have fore milk or not so they don't get too full?

RitaMorgan Fri 22-Jul-11 18:31:46

All milk is going to be thirst quenching, but I guess they might want to feed little and often and switch sides a lot in hot weather.

MotherPanda Fri 22-Jul-11 18:33:08

The wateryness of the breast milk changes depending on the temperature of the mother - so in summer it is more watery, and in winter it is more fattening.

Clever stuff!

RitaMorgan Fri 22-Jul-11 18:35:43

Really MotherPanda? How does that work? I'd never heard it changes with temperature before.

tiktok Fri 22-Jul-11 18:40:18

MotherPanda, I have heard and read that too, but I have never seen any really convincing evidence that it is true smile

It's true, of course, that bf babies don't need water and that breastmilk keeps them fine and dandy whatever the temp.

nappy - don't overthink the foremilk/hindmilk thing. The milk is right for the baby whatever and you dont need to be concerned about length of time and whether it's the start of the feed or whatever.

MotherPanda Fri 22-Jul-11 18:48:24

I'm sure I read it in an NHS leaflet... erm... I'll try to remember where I read it...

But either way it doesn't really matter- as you say - breastfed babies don't need water. smile

LAbaby Fri 22-Jul-11 19:25:42

I live in California and have been told that I don't need to supplement with water, even though its baking sunshine every day here. My milk is pretty watery though - maybe it has adjusted for the sun!

nappyaddict Fri 22-Jul-11 22:01:22

tiktok I was worried that if they are full from a feed they wouldn't want any more milk to quench their thirst though iyswim?

RitaMorgan Fri 22-Jul-11 22:09:56

If they are full from a feed then they'll be fully hydrated though, so it's not a worry.

twinklegreen Fri 22-Jul-11 22:40:32

If you think about what we, as adults are like, we drink ALOT more water when it is very hot but we still feel hungry like we need to stuff ourselves with bbq food smile I suppose your baby uses the extra fluid but still feels the hunger for actual food (i.e. high fat milk)

twinklegreen Fri 22-Jul-11 22:42:21

sorry should have said extra fluid, from the low fat milk (foremilk)

tiktok Fri 22-Jul-11 23:19:15

I'm just not seeing a problem. Babies have breastfed in hot inc tropical climates for many hundreds of thousands of years. I am pretty sure evolution has taken care of things - babies will feed according to hunger, thirst and need for comfort and closeness and mothers' breasts easily accomodate this without the need for thinking about giving babies water according to the weather.....smile

MrsTerryPratchett Sat 23-Jul-11 03:54:55

We evolved in Africa. Most babies live in hot climates not cold. I found when I was recently in a hot climate that she fed more, I naturally found shade and breezes to feed (because she made me hot). I was in a place with a lot of Asian families and noticed lots of families napping together under trees in the heat and feeding as and when. Very sensible.

fraktious Sat 23-Jul-11 07:28:10

We're in the tropics. DS feeds more frequently on hot days and my milk seems quite watery. When it separates out in the fridge there's a lot of thin milk for not much 'cream' regardless of whether I express before a feed when one would expect to get thinner milk or after which should be hindmilk.

Iggly Sat 23-Jul-11 07:30:35

It also depends if they're on solids or not - I had to give DS water once established otherwise he got quite constipated and didn't want as much BM

nappyaddict Sat 23-Jul-11 17:39:01

I'm thinking of babies who feed on demand but aren't very hungry babies so feed say only 4 hourly. Is that often enough to keep them hydrated in hot weather?

LisMcA Sat 23-Jul-11 17:43:56

If they feed on demand and are thirsty, they will demand to be feed surely? Don't underestimate the amazingness of babies and breast feeding. It is amazing!

RitaMorgan Sat 23-Jul-11 18:09:04

If they are thirsty they will ask for a feed. No healthy baby will let themselves get dehydrated - they'll feed more frequently if they need it.

nappyaddict Wed 27-Jul-11 01:50:18

I see what you are saying but wouldn't very frequent feeding make them feel uncomfortably full eventually, so then they would be unlikely to demand a feed for thirstiness?

nappyaddict Wed 27-Jul-11 01:53:45

Or I suppose they might have a full feed in the morning, then when they get hot and thirsty have another mini feed so then they would be a little bit full by the next feed and have another mini feed instead of a full one and so on and just feed little and often instead of every 3 or 4 hours or whatever's usually normal for that baby?

So I suppose with ff babies or babies who have ebm they would just have less than normal at more frequent intervals?

RitaMorgan Wed 27-Jul-11 06:50:02

Yes, little and often. Though I've met few bf babies who go 3 or 4 hours at the best of times grin

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