How Important is Water for Babies?

Though we all know how important water is for kids, teenagers and adults, not everyone is aware of just how crucial it is for babies. If you’re a new mum just getting to grips with your child’s nutrition and hydration, understanding the role that water plays in their healthy development is essential. To help you get your child’s H2O intake just right, we’re taking a look at hydration for babies.

Breast-feeding babies

When babies are being breast-fed, they don’t need any additional water as all of their nutritional needs are met by their mother’s milk. Though it may seem strange not to provide your baby with any water, breast milk is made up of 88% H2O so they’re getting plenty of hydration every time you feed them. If you did give them extra water during these initial months you’ll be filling them up with empty calories. This may cause them to drink less milk next time you breastfeed and could cause a drop in their nutritional intake.

Six to twelve months

At around six months, babies often begin to eat a few solid foods alongside their regular breast milk feeds and so it’s a good idea to add a little extra water to their diet. The amount of H2O your child needs will depend on their size, the amount they eat and their metabolism but in general babies aged from six to twelve months need just 60ml-125ml of water a day. Though this might not seem like a lot, your baby will still be getting most of their water from your breast milk or formula so should be well hydrated.

Toddlers

After the age of twelve months, the amount of water that children need goes up a lot. Though you don’t need to increase the amount they drink overnight -and a lot of one-year olds will still be breast-feeding on occasion - most toddlers need around 1.3 litres of water a day to keep them healthy. Putting water in a bottle is a good alternative for toddlers who like the comfort of a bottle but who don’t need the calories from juice or milk. Water can also help to maintain healthy teeth and gums as it offers a sugar-free alternative to other types of liquid.

Though babies don’t need a lot of water to stay healthy, some H2O is essential for their development. To learn more about the importance of water for kids of all ages, take a look round our site.

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