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When can I give my baby juice?

When can I give my baby juice?
Submitted by Parents.com Team

Most babies don't need to drink juice -- they get all of their nutrition, vitamins, and minerals at first from breast milk or formula, and later from solid foods. Many types of juice are loaded with sugar, and you don't want to get your kid hooked on sugary beverages at this early stage. If you do decide to give your baby juice, it's best to wait until she's at least 8 months and can drink out of a sippy cup, because putting juice in a bottle can cause tooth decay. One exception: Some pediatricians may recommend certain types of juice, like prune or pear, to help babies with constipation, but always check with your doctor before doing this.

It's a good idea to offer juice only after mealtime, so your baby doesn't get used to sipping it all day and so it doesn't fill her up before she eats. Be sure to choose brands labeled 100 percent fruit juice (these may have less added sugar than other kinds) and dilute it with about half water. Keep in mind that a baby can develop diarrhea from drinking too much juice, so limit her intake to no more than 4 ounces a day.

Copyright 2009 Meredith Corporation.

The answers from our experts are for educational purposes only. Please always refer to your child's pediatrician and mental health expert for more in-depth advice.

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