Well Being

Why Not Give Water To Infants

Our old folks will always tell us mga pa imnun ug tubig si baby after breastfeed kay aron pang tulak like how we, grown-ups, always do after we eat. Mommies, please don’t.

Generally, dili angay pa inmun si baby ug tubig until he is 6 months old. Until then, he gets all the hydration he needs from breast milk bisan pag unsa ka ting uhaw sa panahon. Some also asked me kung okay lang ba daw paimnun si baby ug water kay gi ubo and naa pay plema. The answer is always no, if the baby is less than 6 months old. Ang breast milk is enough to cure sa ubo ug plema ni baby. Keep feeding lang gyud. Unli-latch as much as possible especially kung naay gibati si baby.

Question: Why is it unsafe to give water to babies below 6 months old?

Water can interfere his ability to absorb the nutrients of breast milk. It can also cause his tummy to feel full, hinungdan nga di na mo dede or mawad-an nag gana mo kaon.

There was a case when the baby died after his Grannies gave him water. Some cases also causes water intoxication. Water intoxication happens when too much water dilutes the concentration of sodium in the body, upsetting the electrolyte balance and causing tissues to swell.

“Giving water to young babies puts them at risk of diarrhoea and malnutrition. Water may not be clean and cause the baby to have infections. Giving water may also cause the baby to drink less breastmilk or to stop breastfeeding early and therefore cause malnutrition. If mothers give water instead of breastfeeding it will also cause the mother to have less milk in the future.

Breast milk is more than 80% water, especially the first milk that comes with each feed. Therefore, whenever the mother feels her baby is thirsty she can breastfeed him or her. This will satisfy the bay’s thirst, and continue to protect the baby from infections, and help the baby to continue to grow well. Babies do not need water before they are 6 months old, even in a hot climate. This is one of the reasons that WHO recommends for children to be exclusively breastfed for the first 6 months of life.

A child is considered exclusively breastfed when he or she receives only breast milk, without any additional food or liquid, even water, with the exception of oral rehydration solution, drops, syrups of vitamins, minerals or medicines. When breastfeeding, the mother gives her baby all the water he or she needs, while providing “safe water” and protecting the baby against diarrhoea.” – World Health Organization,

For babies nga for some reasons need mag formula, as approved by the physician, carefully follow the preparation instructions ana nga formula and strictly follow gyud the recommended amount of water. Same goes to some cases kung mag dehydrate ang baby, check with your doctor, as they are well versed of what is the solution for dehydration for our babies. Commonly, they might advise you to give the baby an electrolyte drink to prevent dehydration.

Photo by Today’s Parent

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