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Why can't you feed breastfed babies water?

(12 Posts)
Kangaroosjump Thu 09-Jul-15 08:48:19

I had to FF due to medication and remember giving a little boiled water (cooled) to help with constipation

But on telling a friend she told me it's dangerous for breastfed babies... Why??? I can't work it out

MagpieCursedTea Thu 09-Jul-15 08:51:49

Babies only have small tummies. Giving them water fills them up so they don't get enough breast milk.

Also, breast milk is hydrating enough and will become more watery in the heat so there's no need for water.

Skeppers Thu 09-Jul-15 08:52:04

Watching this with interest. My mum told me not to forget to give baby water as well as milk (which was the norm when she was raising us back in the 80s), but now the guidance has changed and the advice is not to give water. She keeps mentioning it though.

I'm not entirely sure of the reason so hope someone more knowledgeable can let us know! I read that baby gets all the hydration they need from breast milk which is a large part water anyway...? But will keep an eye on this thread for an 'expert' opinion...mainly just to shut my mum up! wink

Skeppers Thu 09-Jul-15 08:52:43

Ah! Cross post with MagpireCursedTea. There's the answer! Thank you.

WhatKatyDidnt Thu 09-Jul-15 08:53:14

I don't think it's dangerous. What damage could a little boiled and cooled water do?!

TittyBojangles Thu 09-Jul-15 08:53:47

It's unnecessary that's all, bm does the job. It'd effect supply too so perhaps that what she means?

AlwaysDancing1234 Thu 09-Jul-15 08:57:09

It's not really necessary for a BF baby who is fed on demand to have water that's all. Breast milk is watery when the deed starts at first then the hind milk comes. Formula is quite rich so hence why water is sometimes needed to help stop constipation.

HeadDreamer Thu 09-Jul-15 08:57:58

What other says. With breastfeeding you don't know how much milk your baby has. You don't know if she has 'enough' for the day. They only have very small stomach. You want to fill it with high calorie milk. Breastmilk can hydrating enough to not need water. Same as when they have d&v, more breastmilk instead of hydrating solutions.

AnythingNotEverything Thu 09-Jul-15 08:59:07

Also, breast milk becomes more watery/thirst quenching in hot weather - the magic of it is that it provides what your baby needs, when your baby needs it. Additional water is unnecessary and could fill baby up without offering any nutrition.

Waggamamma Thu 09-Jul-15 08:59:54

This link is obviously a very extreme and sad case but it outlines wht bf babies under 6months shouldn't have too much water.

5madthings Thu 09-Jul-15 09:05:10

All babies under six months, or not on solids, don't need water. Even formula fed ones providing you make the formula up correctly it's designed to be balanced so baby gets all it needs.

Water toxicity can be caused with just small amounts of water in little babies. Until they start solids breast milk or formula is all they need.

Water fills them up but provides no calories as well.

spillyobeans Fri 10-Jul-15 08:22:31

Breastfeeding consultant told me that breast milk provides everything your baby needs, including water. The first milk at the start of a feed is thirst quenching and watery and then changes to creamier calorific hind milk that helps them grow

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