MOMMY & ME: WHY PEDIATRICIANS DO NOT RECOMMEND WATER FOR BABIES (UNDER 6 MONTHS)
Initially, I was definitely opposed to the “no water” rule. I just couldn’t understand why or how not feeding a baby water for 6 months could possibly be okay. That was until I did my own personal research. I spoke to many new mothers and I also reached out to several very experienced pediatricians who ALL told me the same thing.. “NO WATER”..and they also gave me very detailed explanations as to why it is not recommended for young babies. After doing thorough research, I decided it was best to hold off on feeding water until reaching 6 months of age.
I will share with you below some reasons as to why water is not recommended by doctors for babies under 6 months:
1. Feeding a young baby water can cause “water intoxication” or “Hyponatraemia” which can cause cramps, blurred vision, headaches and even brain swelling and seizures. This is because water or too much of it, can cause their unmatured kidneys to expel the sodium and electrolytes that they NEED.
One fatal story of hyponatraemia comes from a couple in Georgia who unfortunately lost their young baby girl to hyponatraemia. At the time, they had no clue that feeding water to their baby could potentially lead to fatality..so the mother (Lauren Fristed) watered down her breast milk..because she wasn’t producing enough milk and couldn’t afford formula. This caused the baby’s electrolyte and sodium levels to drop..and eventually made her brain swell, causing her to die.
This was definitely not the first fatality from hyponatraemia. Many mothers find themselves adding water to stretch their breast milk or formula supply not realizing that it could potentially be fatal.
2. Water “fills up” their small stomachs very quickly…and water as you know, doesn’t have any nutrients. This can cause the baby to think and feel as though he/she is full and make him/her uninterested in nursing and therefore not getting the vitamins/nutrients that he/she actually needs. This can also cause weight loss as well as malnutrition.
To each his own. Every parent is different and will do what he/she wants and what he/she thinks is best for their children! I will admit to being extremely paranoid..ESPECIALLY when it comes to baby health and safety. So don’t get me wrong..I am not trying to tell you how to parent or what you should feed your baby. I’m simply sharing with you what I’ve researched/learned and what I’ve decided to do. What I will advise is for you to ALWAYS do your own research…and do what you feel is best for your little one!