How to Get a Baby to Drink Water in Very Simple and Effective Steps
Are you a first-time parent who is asking herself so many questions regarding babies and how to make them drink water? Or have you been a parent before but you seem to have a lot of difficulties getting your babies to drink water? I have been in the same situation before and learned a few tips that can be of great help to you. This article will help you learn how to get a baby to drink water.
You can agree with me that water means a lot to any living organisms; babies included. However, when it comes to babies, there is no pressing need to provide them with water. But, it is absolutely necessary to keep them hydrated at all times.
The issue of when a baby needs to start taking water is a doubt that often clouds the minds of many new mothers. You are probably not alone in this. There is no much information as regards to water compared to the introduction of newborns to solid foods. Perhaps that is why you are reading this article.
This article is an eye-opener when it comes to matters of babies and drinking water. You have to read along to know what you have been missing.
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Importance of Water to a Baby: Does Baby Need Water?
Have you ever known that breast milk is always 88% water? It, therefore, reduces the need to give breastfeeding babies extra water. Even in the driest and hottest climates, there is no need to provide your baby with the extra water.
On the other hand, formula-fed babies really require plenty of water. It has been observed over a long period that the formula contains a lot of minerals and salt concentrations compared to the breast milk. It is for this reason that there is need to provide extra water to make the work of kidney in the excretion of extra salt easier.
Formula-fed babies often experience less efficient metabolism, and they end up losing more water. By the way, you haven’t told me the category under which your baby falls. No need to worry still as I will provide sufficient information for either case.
Giving your baby water is just a recommendation. This means that it is not necessary. Do not start panicking when for example; your little one refuses to take some sips of water. Just go about your normal duties as this is not a directive. Why should you lose sleep on simple issues like this?
It is also important to note that even the formula-fed babies do not require extra water routinely as such. But when it is extremely hot outside, then it is very important to provide her with water. Another important time that your formula-fed baby needs water is when she is sick.
When to Give Baby Water to Boost the Amount of Water in Her Body
This is a question that has been troubling so many new mothers for quite a long time now. There is always an urge from within to give the baby some water. The only problem is when exactly to start doing it. And please note that whenever you feel dehydrated, it does not mean that your baby is feeling the same.
When your baby reaches six months of age, you are advised to start giving her small amounts of water. Actually, this is the time that she becomes more active and gets introduced to solid foods. Newborn babies who are under five weeks old should never get a taste of supplemental water.
The water supplements are known to increase bilirubin levels and cause weight loss. You might actually find yourself spending too much time in the hospital than at home. I don’t like frequenting the hospital. It is something that I believe you too do not like. But a toddler won’t drink water unless it is from your straw or cup.
The supplements simply fill the baby up but do not add any calories which lead to weight loss. Even if your baby is overweight and you want her to lose some extra weight, this is not the right way to make her shed the extra pounds.
Diluted juices at six months are also acceptable. In fact, the smell of the juice is very likely to attract her into taking the water. Sugary drinks and soda are totally a no for babies. You do not want to subject your loved one to health hazards at such an early state.
There are things that you can give your baby at an early stage only to regret later on. Always consult your pediatrician before you give your baby any kind of water supplements. Water should not displace formula or breast milk intake.
At one year old, you can introduce other foodstuffs such as pasteurized goat or sheep milk and cow’s milk full of fat. At such times, you can offer your baby diluted juice or water after the meals and even the entire day. It is very much necessary.
However, you need to give a wide berth to hot and fizzy drinks and even ones with artificial sweeteners.
How Much Water Should:
An Infant Drink?
Your baby should take not more than 3 ounces of water in a day at the infant stage. There are times that a pediatrician can make recommendations on the amount of water your baby needs to take. You have no otherwise but to strictly follow such directions.
A 4-7-month Old Baby Drink?
But you should know that the water intake is very much about the amount of solid food the baby takes. Once you introduce her to solid food, her milk intake is likely to reduce each day. The kind of solid food the baby takes plus the frequency in which these foods are given plays an integral role in determining how the milk intake reduces.
If your baby is very active, which is actually a show of good health, you need to provide her with enough water more often. She is likely to lose more water in the process of her many activities, and the only way to prevent her from being dehydrated is by replacing the lost water.
As she grows towards the 12th month, there is further decrease in the milk intake. Some foods will have been introduced to the baby at this time. These foods will have been spread across all the daily meals.
Due to her increased activity, varied solid food and reduced levels of milk consumption, the baby’s needs for water adjust naturally. Toddlers are estimated to take in approximately 1.3 liters of water on a daily basis. This is regardless of the source.
Effects of Too Much Water in Babies
Babies need to be properly hydrated to replace the lost fluids and at the same time to make bowel movements easy. However, too much water might cause tummy pain or other forms of discomfort in your baby.
Besides, it can cause the following:
- Water intoxication where nutrients in the baby’s body get diluted. This can lead to coma, seizure, brain damage and even death. Over-dilution of baby formula is another way through which you can subject your baby to water intoxication. Some of the symptoms of intoxication are reduced body temperatures, facial swelling (puffiness), seizure and changes in the baby’s mental status.
- Dehydration- excess water is known to activate kidneys to get rid of electrolytes and sodium. And in the process, a lot of water is released leading to dehydration in your baby.
- Too much water just fills the baby’s tummy with empty calories. This affects the child’s ability to absorb minerals and nutrients in the formula or breast milk. This eventually leads to weight loss and an elevation in bilirubin levels.
- When the baby’s tummy is full of water, there will be no space left for any other foodstuff; breast milk included. Once there is no appetite for the breast milk, the baby is likely to miss on her so many nutrients.
The water for newborns should only be given in reasonable amounts as directed by a pediatrician.
The Kind of Cup or Bottle to Be Used
Babies are different. Yours is not likely to behave the same way as mine. But one thing that is so common in them is the fact that they show whatever they like and don’t in the early stages. In fact, they don’t even shy away from letting you know how they feel about the cup or bottle.
However, there are times that the baby can decide to dislike what is actually best suited for her. She does all this without knowing. As the mother, it is therefore upon you to choose whatever will work best for her and try all means possible to get her used to them.
When you are getting her to drink milk then a breast-like nipple baby bottle is what you need. It makes the breast to bottle transition easier if you are still breastfeeding. When you want to introduce other liquids and water, at the age of six months as we had earlier agreed, a cup that has handles will do the magic for you.
The removable handles or soft spout are very important during the initial stages of this process. At such stages, it is always so messy. This is something that all mothers hate. A cup that has a removable valve will help you keep the neatness that you want both to you and the baby.
Such cups allow for free flow drinking which is very important for your baby’s oral development. At one-year, it is recommended that you make the switch to cups and not bottles with nipples. By now you will have known between a straw and a spout which one your baby prefers.
A sports top is another good one that you can try out. It will actually boost her self-esteem as she will feel a little grown up. It is just a matter of time, and she will be using an open cup to drink. The use of a cup will not confuse the baby with the nipple.
How to Get a Baby to Drink Water: Tricks You Can Use
Do not expect your baby to like the water from the word go. At times, mixing water with some juice is the only way your baby will take water. Sometimes you might want to force the water down her throat which is not a cool option.
However, there are tricks that you can use to have your baby drink water without much effort. Here are some of them:
Use Fun Cups
The most obvious way to have your baby take water is always to use what she loves. A special cup that she plays more often with makes it easier for her to drink from. All you need to do is make the cup readily available for play. With that, she will not resist anything offered by it.
Have a Small Piece of Fruit in There
Toddlers are very funny. You cannot tell what will excite them. Having a small piece of fruit in the cup is a gamble that might pay off. She can decide to take the water with the aim of getting the piece of fruit that is at the bottom.
If it works on the first attempt, then you can always try it out each moment you need to give her some water. Even if it doesn’t work out, know that it was a trial worthy to take. There are some babies who will just get the fruit and then forget about the water part. Do not get worried about that. You did your part, and the baby liked that bit of it.
Be the Number One Water Ambassador at Home
What do I mean by this statement? Your baby is so close to you most of the time; she will take note of what mummy likes. From this, she will gain some interest in this ‘seemingly’ sweet thing that mummy cannot do without.
As you will be taking your sips, the baby will also start craving for some. This is a rare opportunity that if you come across, you do not have to think otherwise against. Give her some sips as you take yours and she will get used to it with time.
You should think of rewarding your baby if she finishes her water. Having a glass of juice on standby as a gift after that is very necessary. With all that love for juice, she can let go of such a glorious opportunity.
Make It Look like a Game
Having chosen a fun cup, there are marks on it that you can challenge your baby to get to. It should appear like a game. With this, it will appear to be much fun which your baby will automatically love. Don’t be surprised if she asks for more.
Use a Straw
There are these crazy straws we used to drink chocolate milk from, you can still find them. These straws are known to for some sort of excitement. I am pretty sure your baby will like them in her cup of water.
Some other straws have frozen stars at the end. These do work magic at times. Your baby will see it at the lower part of the cup and in the process she will get motivated to get to it; the result being a lot more drinking.
Your baby probably has an idea of what she likes. Be it sparkly jewels, mustaches, Hello Kitty and even ice. If you can get some pieces of frozen shapes of these items in her glass of water, she will take it without a second thought.
My baby loves ice. Having them frozen in a cup of water motivates her to drink. You can try the same on your baby. I hope she will drink the water with a sole aim on the shape of the glass.
Teach the Baby to Serve Herself
If she has reached the stage that she can operate the water dispenser quite well on her own, you should, therefore, allow her to enjoy the freedom of operating it. Place some cups in areas that she can easily access. By the way, do not underestimate her.
Babies are very fast learners. She must has been monitoring your moves all this time, so getting herself some water from the dispenser will not be a challenge to her. Some of the water fetched from the dispenser will get into her mouth.
Having a Pissing Match
You can actually tell the amount of water your baby is taking by monitoring the color of her pee. If it is yellow, know that the water levels are way too low. A clear pee means she is doing well. You will have won the battle and probably deserve an award of the year from your husband.
There you have it on how to get a baby to drink water. It is a topic that is not so common. On the other hand, it is really necessary to keep your baby hydrated. The hospital became my home when I took this issue for granted when I was raising my firstborn son. It is a route that I wouldn’t wish for anyone.
Have you enjoyed this piece? What do you think about it? You can share your thoughts in the comments section. There is nothing as important as saving a life; especially those of babies.