First, infants receive a significant amount of water from either breastmilk or formula. Breastmilk consists of 87 percent water along with fats, protein, lactose, and other nutrients.
If parents choose to give their baby infant formula, most are manufactured in a way that mimics the composition of breastmilk. The first ingredient of a ready-to-feed formula is water, and powdered versions must be combined with water.
Most infants feed every two to four hours, so they get plenty of water during breast or formula feedings.
Both the World Health Organization and the American Academy of Pediatrics recommend that infants exclusively breastfeed until the age of six months. The reason for this is to ensure that infants receive sufficient nutrition for optimal growth and development. If not breastfeeding, an infant formula is recommended instead.
After six months old, water may be offered to infants as a supplemental beverage. Four to eight ounces per day are adequate up until the first birthday. It is important not to replace formula or breastmilk feedings with water which could result in weight loss and poor growth.
NEWBORN KIDNEYS ARE IMMATURE – WATER INTOXICATION IS A REAL RISK
Lastly, newborn kidneys are immature. They cannot not properly balance the body’s electrolytes until at least six months old. Water is just that… water. It lacks the sodium, potassium, and chloride that naturally occurs in breastmilk, or that is added to infant formulas.
When water is given prior to six months, or excessively in older infants, the amount of sodium circulating in the bloodstream decreases. A low blood sodium level, or hyponatremia, and can cause irritability, lethargy, and seizures. This phenomenon is called infant water intoxication.
SIGNS OF WATER INTOXICATION IN BABIES ARE:
● changes in mental status, i.e., unusual irritability or drowsiness
● low body temperature, usually 97 F (36.1 C) or less
● facial swelling or puffiness
It may also develop when powdered infant formula is prepared improperly. For this reason, the package instructions should be closely followed.
Post time: Sep-19-2022