How Much Water Causes Water Intoxication in Babies?

Baby Drinking Water

Water intoxication, or hyponatremia, can be a concern for infants, and it’s important to be cautious about the amount of water they consume. Infants’ kidneys are not fully developed, and they may not be able to excrete excess water as efficiently as adults. Also, their small size makes them more susceptible to electrolyte imbalances.

For babies, it’s generally recommended to exclusively feed them breast milk or formula for the first six months of life. These provide the necessary hydration and nutrients for proper growth and development. Water is usually not recommended before the age of six months, and even after that, the introduction of water should be gradual.

When water is introduced, it’s typically in small amounts. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) suggests offering a few sips of water starting around six months of age, especially if your baby is eating solid foods. However, the emphasis should still be on breast milk or formula.

It’s crucial to consult with your pediatrician to determine the appropriate amount of water for your specific baby based on factors such as age, weight, health, and feeding habits. Giving excessive water to an infant can dilute the electrolyte balance and lead to water intoxication, which can be dangerous. Always follow the guidance of healthcare professionals when it comes to the hydration needs of infants.

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