when to start water? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 22 Old 12-09-2012, 12:27 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Does anyone know when in relation to solids a breastfed baby needs water?

And do you just offer it in a sippy cup?
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#2 of 22 Old 12-09-2012, 12:54 PM
 
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I started DD on solids and started to offer tiny sips of water from an open cup at the same time. By about 10 months I let her have a couple of ounces a day and after her first birthday I let her drink water to thirst (nursing first). Now she's 20 months old and drinks more water than her father lol.
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#3 of 22 Old 12-10-2012, 08:26 AM
 
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I did the same as skycheattraffic, although I can't say I was following any particular wisdom, just doing what felt right!  I just thought that since we drink water when we eat, why should baby be thirsty?  For my daughter, the water was all funsies and mess until about 8 months.  Then she got the hang of a straw, and now she drinks water at every meal, and occasionally in between.  In the beginning I limited her to sips (didn't want to replace milk), but now that she's approaching a year, I just let her go to town.  But I'd say she never has more than a couple of ounces in an entire day, and she still nurses throughout the day.

 

We have loved the little Playtex straw trainer cups (they sell them at Target).  We use a sippy or regular cup occasionally as well.

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#4 of 22 Old 12-14-2012, 01:47 PM
 
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I offer water in a sippy cup and from my cup when I'm drinking.  I offer it a few times a day and she more or less just plays with it. I'm currently trying to get her to actually drink more of it, she just thinks water is the funnest thing, lol.  I think when they start solids is a good time, and follow your gut.  My DD is 10.5 months and still doesn't eat as much solids as I think is typical for her age.  If she were eating more, I would try to get her to drink more.  A friend uses a straw for her DD (about the same age as mine).  After her DD eats, she gives her a little water using a straw almost like a dropper.  Whatever works!


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#5 of 22 Old 12-14-2012, 02:35 PM
 
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Little Miss started on solids at 6 1/2 months or so, and I started offering her a sippy cup of water with her meals at that point.  It was summer in Central Texas, so hydration was pretty crucial.  Now (at 15 months) she usually has access to a sippy cup of water all day, although I do not take it on short jaunts (under 2 hours).  She knows how to use a straw, thanks to eating out, and because I read the advice that children should be able to use a cup by 1 as just that, and did not realize a sippy cup was indicated, she also uses a child-sized open cup of water at dinner.  She rarely spills.  Yeah.  She's advanced on that one because I am not so advanced at reading comprehension.


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#6 of 22 Old 12-16-2012, 07:17 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I saw the playtex straw ones on sale so I picked one up. Now I just need to convince ds that its the straw not the handle he should put in his mouth. LOL
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#7 of 22 Old 12-16-2012, 05:38 PM
 
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Those rubber handles are perfect chew toys!  We keep an empty sippy cup in the car just to use as a teether.  :)

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#8 of 22 Old 12-25-2012, 02:56 PM
 
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We let the baby (11 months old) have a few sips of water for fun (she loves it!) but I don't think a breastfed baby needs any liquid in addition to breastmilk.  She eats anything and everything but also nurses all the time still. 

 

I was under the impression that babes shouldn't (or rather don't need) water until they are much older.


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#9 of 22 Old 12-25-2012, 03:16 PM
 
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A little might depend on climate. Summer in Arizona where it is often 110 degrees plus and a toddler way too distracted at the pool to nurse. I will most definately be offering water. When he was just 4 or 5 months old and we mostly stayed inside and were still establishing our breastfeeding relationship then no water. I would look at it the same way as most here look at solids. You offer a little for them to try and experiment with a long with the solids but most of their liquid intake is still breastmilk. My 1 year old is very hard to nurse in public. He is just too distracted. I give him some solid food and water to tide him over until we get to a quiet place where he can nurse uninterrupted. It works well for us. If we're at home all day I might not give him any water at all that day.
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#10 of 22 Old 12-26-2012, 03:38 PM
 
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I'm in the hot, hot desert, so I have offered a little bit of water since about 4 months or so (not more than an oz or so on hot days). Since starting solids I offer her a little bit of water at every meal. She doesn't drink more than about 4oz per day (11.5 months)


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#11 of 22 Old 12-28-2012, 04:37 PM
 
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My mom was babysitting my 3.5 month old DS for the first time while I was at work the other day and she ran out of breast milk so she gave him formula as instructed. But when he woke up she gave him water which kind of tripped me out - I never even thought of giving him straight water so young, and although we live where it's really hot, it ain't at this time of the year! Anyway, she said that he woke up sweaty (which is not unusual for him!) and that he was downing the water like crazy... So... What da ya think? He's a big fella (16.7 lbs and nearly 3.5 months) so no nutritional issues there... Maybe we could give him some water instead of the last bottle of formula before I come home?


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#12 of 22 Old 12-30-2012, 09:31 AM
 
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I'm wondering about this too- interested in sources of information on this if anyone has them. I was told by my midwife that brand new babies aren't able to tell when they're drinking too much water, but I'm not sure when their brains develop the ability to sense that?

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#13 of 22 Old 01-01-2013, 05:44 PM
 
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My sense is that babies' digestive systems are acclimated to the liquid/solid balance of breastmilk, so it's easier on them when they start solids if you add water as well, since to offer solids without extra liquids is a bit stressful on that balance.  IME babies are pretty good at self-balancing - my DD has always been a light drinker but she's never shown any signs of dehydration or problems pooping, so I've never worried about it. 

 

We used sippy cups but they are HARD to drink out of if they've got those blasted valves in them.  I found the plastic juice boxes best for ease of use/limiting spills.  For this coming baby though, I'm not doing sippies at all - reusable water bottles for the car, but otherwise open cups.  My sister did that with both her kids and now at 3 and 1 1/2 they're both perfectly adept and hardly spill at all - and my sister doesn't have any yucky old sippy cups lying around that need to be disposed of, and has one less baby-bit to lug around when she goes to visit people or out for dinner.  If you start kids out with open cups they catch on really quickly.


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#14 of 22 Old 01-01-2013, 08:05 PM
 
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How young would you use an open cup?


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#15 of 22 Old 01-01-2013, 08:39 PM
 
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6 months(ish) - whenever you start solids - but you would only put a tiny bit in it at first, and maybe help hold the first few times.


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#16 of 22 Old 01-02-2013, 07:50 AM
 
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My daughter can use an open cup, however, she is 15 months and I still "help" her set it down.  It's not the holding she has trouble with, but when she sets it down, that is when we're likely to have a spill.  Something about spills annoys me, so I prevent them.  I'm sure she'd learn faster if I left her alone.


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#17 of 22 Old 01-02-2013, 09:11 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Jaxy View Post

How young would you use an open cup?

I start introducing an open cup at 6 months. I actually have the top of a martini shaker that is the PERFECT size for a baby to learn to use. Of course, most of the water ends up on the baby for awhile, but I like to start teaching them how to use a regular cup early on. They catch on pretty quickly. I almost always use an open cup at meal time and a sippy cup elsewhere.


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#18 of 22 Old 01-04-2013, 07:53 AM
 
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Saw this today, and thought of this thread:  "Babies need water when it's hot--Not true. Babies, like children and adults, need to stay hydrated. In some instances, a pediatrician may recommend giving a baby an oral rehydration solution. But most of the time, a baby's fluids should come from breast milk or formula. Since a baby doesn't yet have fully functioning kidneys, her body isn’t prepared to excrete water. As a result, it can cause an imbalance of electrolytes and sodium. A baby can start sipping water occasionally around six months, but check with the doctor first. After age 1, she can sip it more regularly."  (from http://www.myhealthnewsdaily.com/3369-baby-myths-debunked.html)
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#19 of 22 Old 01-04-2013, 09:12 AM
 
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I am NOT bothering my doctor with questions about water.  That's like "oxygen is great, but check with your doctor before you breathe regularly".

 

I'm sorry, I'm not snarking at you, sageowl - but this "check with your doctor" business is ridiculous - doctors don't actually get any training in infant nutrition unless they're pediatric gastrointestinal specialists and then they know a lot more about things that go wrong than things that are normal.  The only time water could be dangerous for a baby would be if the little critter is chugging it to the point of overhydration and electrolyte imbalance - which I have never seen or even heard about.  The biggest risk is annoyance from too much pee winky.gif

 

Honestly, of all the things you can put in your baby's mouth (or she/he can put there her/himself), water is next to breastmilk in terms of innocuousness.  Don't stress it.  Once your baby is imbibing in things other than breastmilk, let him have water.  It's non-toxic, non-allergenic, fun to play with and unlikely to stain.

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#20 of 22 Old 01-04-2013, 09:53 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by parsley View Post

We let the baby (11 months old) have a few sips of water for fun (she loves it!) but I don't think a breastfed baby needs any liquid in addition to breastmilk.  She eats anything and everything but also nurses all the time still. 

 

I was under the impression that babes shouldn't (or rather don't need) water until they are much older.

I agree.

 

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jaxy View Post

My mom was babysitting my 3.5 month old DS for the first time while I was at work the other day and she ran out of breast milk so she gave him formula as instructed. But when he woke up she gave him water which kind of tripped me out - I never even thought of giving him straight water so young, and although we live where it's really hot, it ain't at this time of the year! Anyway, she said that he woke up sweaty (which is not unusual for him!) and that he was downing the water like crazy... So... What da ya think? He's a big fella (16.7 lbs and nearly 3.5 months) so no nutritional issues there... Maybe we could give him some water instead of the last bottle of formula before I come home?

Bad idea.  Look up "oral water intoxication".


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#21 of 22 Old 01-04-2013, 10:30 PM
 
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http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1877579

 

I wouldn't replace a feeding with water like another poster was asking.


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#22 of 22 Old 01-05-2013, 09:36 AM
 
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http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1877579

 

I wouldn't replace a feeding with water like another poster was asking.

 

Nope, I wouldn't do that either.  Besides, it's not likely to "work" very well.


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