When to Start Giving Water to Babies?

1.When should one start giving drinking water to babies?

Babies younger than 6 months old should never be given water to drink. Daily water intake is fulfilled by mother’s milk up to the age of 6 month. If formula milk started the water requirement is fulfilled by it. We don’t need to give additional drinking water.

2. What happens if we give drinking water apart from breast feeding or formula milk?

Baby’s tiny intestine is not much strong to fight against outside food or water it may chance for the loose motion or diarrhea.

Babies kidney aren’t yet mature; giving them extra water may causes their body’s to release sodium along with extra water. Losing sodium affect brain activity, so early symptoms of water intoxication.

Other symptoms include lower body temperature, puffiness and swelling in the face.

However in some older infants if need to be given extra water for; example to help with the constipation or in very hot weather. Parents should always consult pediatrician.

Following chart guide for the daily water requirement in human being.

  • 0 – 6 months: 0.7 L/day of water, assumed to be from human milk
  • 7 – 12 months: 0.8 L/day of water, assumed to be from human milk and complementary foods and beverages
  • 1 – 3 years: 1.3 L/day
  • 4 – 8 years: 1.7 L/day

Adequate Intake for ages: 

  • Nine and older 9 – 13 years: Boys 2.4 L/day. & Girls 2.1 L/day.
  • 14 – 18 years: Boys 3.3 L/day & Girls 2.3 L/day
  • 19 – 70+: Men 3.7 L/day & Women 2.7 L/day

Ms. Sushma Ghag


Aster Hospital Mankhool 

Reference – Water Requirements, Impinging Factors, and Recommended Intakes By A. Grandjean World Health Organization August 2004