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When do you start offering water?

(29 Posts)
lowrib Wed 15-Jul-09 01:12:02

My DS is 6 months, we've just started BLW, and he is breast-fed.

When do I need to start offering water? Is there a recommended age?

TIA smile

gigglewitch Wed 15-Jul-09 01:20:59

imho when you start giving them 'proper' food, so now-ish, they are trying different tastes so defo no harm in offering cooled boiled water. A fully bf baby doesn't need it smile

lowrib Wed 15-Jul-09 08:34:56

Cheers gigglewitch.

Do you mean to give water just to give them a taste of it, or regularly as an actual drink?

I think this is where my confusion comes from ...

When a baby is BF, you're recommended not to give water as it fills them up with something that's not nutritious, leaving less room for the nutritious breast milk.

We're doing BLW, so he's getting some food in, but not an awful lot right now.

So, although he's not exclusively BF, he's not actually getting a lot of food in the way he would be if I was spoon feeding it in.

So if I give water as a drink will that actually cut back on the amount of nutrition he gets or does he actually need water for some reason now he's taking in a little food?

I'm confused! hmm

CMOTdibbler Wed 15-Jul-09 08:38:30

I offered water from 6 months - but in much the same way as I offered food, as in it was on the tray in front of him and he chose to drink it or not. Most accurately, he normally just grabbed my glass when I was drinking water.

I don't think anyone really knows how much solid food they need to be consuming before they need x amount of water - it's more about getting them used to drinking from a proper cup at this point.

crokky Wed 15-Jul-09 08:42:23

I thought that up until 6m, an exclusively bf baby doesn't need water at all. Once they are 6m, you should give water because they are having food. They don't need large quantities of water and you can just give water straight from the tap at this age.

goingnowherefast Wed 15-Jul-09 12:25:21

My understanding is that because breastmilk is food AND drink, when they start taking in more solid food they often start taking in less breastmilk, and so will at some point need extra fluids. This probably isn't for a little while though - with dd it wasn't until around 10 months that she really started drinking water, and she always breastfed frequently so I wasn't worried. As the others said though it's more about getting them used to it at this stage, and so no need to worry about volume taken for a while as long as your dc is still breastfed on demand.

JJ1471 Wed 15-Jul-09 15:29:23

My son is nearly 6 months and I've been giving him sips of water since I started solids a few weeks ago and stopped breastfeeding. He has a bit while he's eating in between milk feeds, and I give him a little bit before he goes down for a nap. Just whenever I think he might like a quick drink. I offer it more frequently in hot weather. Having said that, he doesn't usually drink more than 2-3 oz over the course of a day.

I tried with a sippy cup to start with and he wasn't interested, so I got him used to the taste using a bottle and I've just recently re-introduced the sippy cup which seems to be working well.

Mamulik Fri 17-Jul-09 18:56:02

from very begining - around 2 months old

lowrib Fri 17-Jul-09 23:01:47

Mamulik I don't think that's right - while they're exclusively breastfed, they shouldn't be given water because it will simply fill their stomach, giving them no nutrition while leaving less room for the nutritious breast milk.

Brest milk is both food and water and no water at all is needed while they are exclusively breast feed. People used to give babies water in hot weather, but the advice these days is not to - you should simply make sure you are getting extra water yourself while breastfeeding - if you are well hydrated your baby will be too.

I assume the same is true for formula?

lowrib Fri 17-Jul-09 23:03:01

- well not the hydrating yourself bit obviously!

I meant I assume FF babies don't need extra water?

Seona1973 Fri 17-Jul-09 23:05:54

dd and ds were formula fed and didnt get extra water until they were weaned onto solids (around 4 months for dd as that was recommended at the time and around 5 1/2 months for ds)

Mamulik Sat 18-Jul-09 10:35:16

lowrib I am not saying give water instead of milk little bit of water - because baby need water.

AnarchyAunt Sat 18-Jul-09 10:38:07

Mamulik - a exclusively BF baby does not need any extra water. BM is something like 80% water anyway!

Giving water to a fully BF baby will disrupt the supply and demand system of milk production and is a Bad Idea.

Mamulik Sat 18-Jul-09 14:33:32

AnarchyAunt baby need water as you need as well

Seona1973 Sat 18-Jul-09 15:26:47

they dont need extra fluids over and above their milk and too much water can actually be harmful to a baby.

Seona1973 Sat 18-Jul-09 15:27:37

p.s. I mean a baby who hasnt yet started solids.

AnarchyAunt Sat 18-Jul-09 15:51:52

An exclusively breastfed baby does not need any extra water.

There is sufficient water in breastmilk - it is around 88% water already!

The composition of breastmilk will alter to ensure the baby has their precise needs met at any given time. Giving supplementary water to a fully BF baby will disrupt the means by which this happens, and can lead to a drop in milk supply and also a drop in the babies nutritional intake if they fill up on water rather than BM.

Mamulik Sun 19-Jul-09 10:13:13

AnarchyAunt my both kids had water from very begining, so no harm and they are healthy.

AnarchyAunt Sun 19-Jul-09 10:27:36

Whatever. They didn't need it and you were lucky it didn't damage your BF relationship.

Doesn't make it good advice or necessary for other babies.

frogmarsh Sun 19-Jul-09 10:40:52

I gave (tap)water from 6 months with the solids dd was trying, just because when you have a meal it's quite usual to have a drink with it isn't it? I didn't feel the need to give water at any other time then, but as she got older i started offering water when she had snacks too. I guess it's not really about the amount of water they're drinking but getting them used to a cup and drinking things other than milk.

Mamulik Sun 19-Jul-09 15:12:02

AnarchyAunt Анархия мать порядка

AnarchyAunt Sun 19-Jul-09 15:15:41


Mamulik Sun 19-Jul-09 21:03:49

lowrib Sun 19-Jul-09 23:15:24

Mamulik I'm intrigued - does that actually mean anything?

Mamulik Mon 20-Jul-09 12:03:14

lowrib sure, it means a lot)

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