What led to this question was this – ever since Nat was around 2 months, we had family members ask us whether we gave him water in case he gets dehydrated etc. At that point, we clarified that babies under 6 months do not need to drink water as breastmilk/formula milk contains everything they need. However, we did give sips of water to Nat as our confinement nanny told us that formula milk is more heaty vis-a-vis breastmilk. Now, at 5 months and taking into account how he began taking semi-solids at 4 months, I’ve decided to make sips of water a regular thing in the day. Along with this, Nat gets to try out his sippy cup that our friend gave to him for his 1st month 😀
Related to this topic of H20 and babies, especially when is it safe to give water and how much water to give, I found quite a few helpful articles online:
Most experts suggest that you wait until you’ve started feeding solids to your baby, when she’s between four and six months old.
This one applies to exclusively breastfed babies – “Exclusively breastfed babies do not require additional water even when it is very hot outside, as long as baby is allowed to nurse as needed.” Whereas for Nat, he has all along been a ‘combo’ baby of breastmilk and formula and since 4 out of his 5 feeds are formula milk, we decided to give him regular sips of water e.g. no more than 20ml each time usually after or in-between feeds. This is to ensure that it does not interfere with his appetite for milk.
As to how much water one should give, ideally not more than 2-3 ounces over 24 hours or as per what your pediatrician recommends.
Then I recalled reading somewhere that instead of using the milk bottle, water can be offered via the sippy cup.
So here are some tips for introducing sippy cups. I think the most important one is finding one with a soft spout vs. a hard plastic one, which is for later on after baby gets more used to it. This morning was pure trial and error because I was not sure if Nat is ‘ready’ but I guess he is since he has no issues with his semi-solids and every time we feed him his milk, he will try to hold onto his bottle. Nonetheless, today I assisted him in tilting the cup backwards so the water could be sucked out so baby steps…