No, boiled water is not recommended for newborns. Newborns should exclusively be fed breast milk or formula to meet their nutritional needs.
Can you give boiled water to a newborn?
No, boiled water is not recommended for newborns. Newborns should exclusively be fed breast milk or formula to meet their nutritional needs. Here’s a more detailed response:
Newborns have specific dietary requirements, and their primary source of nutrition should be breast milk or infant formula. Both breast milk and formula contain a perfect balance of nutrients necessary for a newborn’s healthy growth and development. Water, including boiled water, is unnecessary and may even be harmful to a newborn in the early months of life.
Breast milk is considered the gold standard for infant nutrition, providing optimal nutrition and essential antibodies to protect against infections. The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of life. Breast milk contains the right balance of water, proteins, fats, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals to fulfill all a newborn’s needs, including hydration.
If breastfeeding is not possible or chosen, commercially prepared infant formula is a safe and nutritious alternative. Formula is specifically designed to mimic the composition of breast milk and is regulated to meet strict standards of safety and quality.
Adding extra water, even boiled water, to a newborn’s diet can dilute the essential nutrients they need for healthy growth. The kidneys of newborns are not fully developed, and their bodies are unable to process excess fluids efficiently, which can lead to water intoxication or electrolyte imbalances.
In fact, renowned pediatrician Dr. Benjamin Spock once stated, “Giving water to a newborn can interfere with his getting his full amount of nutrition and cause serious illness.” This quote emphasizes the potential risks associated with offering water to a newborn before they are developmentally ready.
Interesting Facts on the Topic:
- Newborns have a higher percentage of body water than adults, accounting for approximately 75-80% of their body weight.
- Breast milk composition changes throughout a feeding session, with the foremilk being more watery to quench thirst initially, followed by the hindmilk, which is higher in fat content to provide more energy.
- The composition of breast milk can vary depending on factors such as the mother’s diet, time of day, and even the baby’s age.
- Newborns have tiny stomachs, so they require frequent, smaller feedings to meet their nutritional needs. Adding additional water can reduce the intake of breast milk or formula, leading to potential deficiencies.
- Water intoxication, a condition caused by excess fluid intake, can lead to dangerous electrolyte imbalances, seizures, and even coma in newborns.
While it’s important to keep newborns hydrated, exclusively feeding them breast milk or formula in the appropriate quantities is the best way to ensure they receive the necessary nutrition and hydration. It is always advisable to consult with a healthcare professional for personalized advice on infant feeding practices.
|Interesting Fact||Water Composition|
|1||75-80% of body weight is water in newborns|
|2||Foremilk is watery to quench thirst, while hindmilk is higher in fat content|
|3||Breast milk composition can be influenced by various factors|
|4||Newborns have small stomachs and need frequent, smaller feedings|
|5||Water intoxication can lead to severe consequences in newborns|
Response to your question in video format
The video explains that babies shouldn’t be given water before six months of age to avoid Hyponatremia, a condition that leads to confusion, vomiting, and muscle spasms. Newborns have underdeveloped kidneys and can’t filter large amounts of water, so any extra water dilutes their blood and increases their water content by 7 to 8%.
Many additional responses to your query
If you give your baby water before she is 4 months old, make sure it has boiled thoroughly for 1 minute, no matter where it comes from, whether a municipal system, private well, bulk container, or bottle.
If you have given your baby water, or your mother-in-law has given your baby a bottle of cooled boiled water, don’t panic. If it’s just a one off in a 24-hour period, your baby will be fine. If you have any concerns talk to your doctor or baby health nurse.
Formula fed babies under 6 months of age may need small sips of cooled boiled water during hot weather as well as their usual milk feeds. Find out how to make up baby formula safely using water.
To make formula for infants under 6 months, always use tap water that is boiled freshly and then cooled. Same applies if you decide to give your formula-fed baby sips of water when it’s hot. 12
According to Health Canada, any water you give a baby under four months of age should be brought to a rolling boil for two minutes and then cooled to make sure it is sterile and will not make your baby sick. You should always boil water to make powdered formula milk, whatever age your baby is. Cold tap water is best.
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If you’re bottle feeding, as well as their usual milk feeds, you can give your baby a little cooled boiled water. If your baby wakes at night, they’ll probably want milk. If they have had their usual milk feeds, try cooled boiled water as well.
If you are formula feeding your baby, they should get all the nourishment and hydration they need from the formula milk. Your healthcare professional may advise you to give your baby some cooled boiled water if they are constipated.