Wide smiling baby drinking a bottle of water raises their head covered with a white towel

February 28, 2023

When Can Babies Drink Water?

Getting enough water every day is essential for all families’ physical health and mental clarity. Babies have the most significant percentage of body water, about 78% at birth. As your infant grows and develops, this amount drops.

 

It only makes sense that we feel better as adults keeping dehydration at bay, so what about babies? Should they be drinking water throughout the day? The answer is yes and no.

 

Read on to learn when it is appropriate to introduce water to your little one.

Table of Contents

  1. Why is Water Not Suitable for Babies Younger Than 6 Months?
  2. From What Age Can I Give Water to My Baby?
  3. How Much Water Should Babies Drink?
  4. What Should My Baby Drink in Hot Weather?
  5. What Should My Baby Drink if They Have a Fever?
  6. Can My Baby Drink Other Drinks?
  7. Introducing Water to Your Baby
  8. Frequently Asked Question

Why is Water Not Suitable for Babies Younger Than 6 Months?

For the first six months of your little one’s life, breastmilk, formula, or a combination is the only drink needed? Breast or bottle at this stage is all the nutrition and liquids required.

 

Giving your baby water may mean they drink less breastmilk or formula, which can put infants at risk of not getting essential elements to grow and develop properly. Giving your baby a lot of water or excessively diluted formula can through off the concentration of certain nutrients in your baby’s blood, which can be very dangerous and even fatal.

From What Age Can I Give Water to My Baby?

The World Health Organization (WHO) states that babies do not require water before six months. Only once your little one reaches six months is it okay to give your baby a limited amount of water.

6 to 12 Months

You can offer small amounts of boiled and then cooled tap water, but you should not replace breastmilk or the European baby formula that suits your little one digestively and developmentally.

12 Months

Growing toddlers are getting the hang of a sippy cup and are now ready to add more water to their daily diet. There is no need to boil tap water once your baby has reached 12 months.

 

If your baby has started solids and moved to toddler milk, now is the perfect time to add drinking water to a cup during mealtimes. This can help keep up the weaning process and help prevent constipation that may occur from adding new foods.  

How Much Water Should Babies Drink?

Water needs vary quite a bit at each age and from baby to baby. Factors such as the weather, activity level, and other liquids in your little one’s diet can impact hydration needs.

 

The best way to tell your baby’s hydration level is simple- watch the diapers. Babies should have at least six wet diapers a day. If not, you may need to add more liquids and talk to your baby’s pediatrician for additional insights.

What Should My Baby Drink in Hot Weather?

Babies and young children can become ill during spring and summer. Hot weather calls for more hydration.

 

Offering additional breastfeeds or bottle-feeds to your little one under six months is vital. Even when the temperature rises, do not offer water unless recommended by a doctor.

Breastfeeding

When it gets hot, your baby may want to drink more than usual but for shorter periods. Moms, make sure you drink enough water to avoid dehydration.

 

Families will need to check and double-check that their baby is adequately hydrated (getting enough fluids) by inspecting their baby’s diapers for 6 to 8 pale, wet changes over 24 hours.

Bottle Feeding

During hot weather, many little ones want to feed more often, just like we want to drink more often during such times. When the sun is at its brightest many infants prefer to have baby bottles of formula served on the colder side.

What Should My Baby Drink If They Have a Fever?

Fever is an increase in the body’s temperature above normal. Body temperature is usually lowest in the morning and goes up throughout the day. Each baby’s body temperature can be different, so it is hard to give an exact temperature for a fever. Still, most healthcare providers agree that a fever is a temperature of 100.4˚ Fahrenheit (F) or 38˚ Celsius (C) or higher.

 

When temperatures increase, the chance of dehydration in your baby does as well. Check with your healthcare provider for all health questions and concerns.

Under 6 Months

If your baby has a fever, is under six months, and is breastfed, you may need to offer extra breastfeeds. If they are under six months and formula-fed, you can provide smaller amounts of formula more frequently.

 

Do not offer water unless directed by your family healthcare provider.

6 Months and Older

If your baby is older than six months, continue to breastfeed or bottle-feed. Older babies may benefit from additional water between feeds.

 

Families should not panic if your little one is eating less when they have a fever. This is not a problem as long as they stay hydrated and your pediatrician does not have worries. The most important thing to check is whether your child is getting enough fluids.

 

Ensure you watch your baby’s diapers for 6 to 8 pale, wet changes over 24 hours.

Can My Baby Drink Other Drinks?

The first few years of life will set the tone for all future health. Drinking only water and organic toddler milk and introducing whole goat or cow milk is ideal for the best nutritional start.  

 

However, we do know that young children over 12 months may be exposed to any other drinks at some point.

 

Caffeinated beverages such as tea, coffee, energy drinks, and soft drink (and alcohol) are not recommended for children of any age. Organic, no added sugar, 100% fruit juice may be introduced after 12 months but in limited amounts.

Introducing Water to Your Baby

From birth through the toddler years, My Organic Company has nutrition to complement each part of your feeding journey. This includes moving from stage to stage of your infant’s favorite Europan baby formula, introducing a cup, and eventually adding solid nutrition and water to your toddler’s expanding diet.

 

Have a question about the best cups to use when introducing your baby to water? Want to ask or share advice about European baby formulas? We have created a place for families and caregivers wherever you are in your bottle-feeding trek. 


Come and join the HiPP Holle Kendamil & European Baby Formula Parent Community. We look forward to seeing you there!

Frequently Asked Questions

Can babies have too much water?

Yes, babies can have too much water, and those under six months are at an increased risk. Once babies are eating solid foods, it is rare, but it can happen.


Families can avoid water intoxication by following proper guidelines for introducing water, never diluting formula or breastmilk with water, and giving them an age-appropriate amount.

Do breastfeeding babies need more water than formula-fed babies?

No. Breast milk is about 87% water, and European baby formulas are regulated and made to resemble breast milk in all ways. So there is no reason breastfed babies need more water than formula-fed babies.

Can I serve water in a baby bottle?

Older babies have the skills to start building critical cup-drinking skills. You only offer water in a cup to prevent your little one from consuming too much water.

 

Drinking from a bottle may easily lead to drinking too much, allowing for the displacing of breastmilk, baby formula, or solid food with water.

Read Next