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Drinking Water

Question

I received an e-mail from Beechnut that says water is not good for newborns because their kidneys aren't developed enough to handle too much. But my 2-month-old has been drinking water since birth and loves it. Is that okay?

Answer

Some babies' kidneys do not do a good job getting rid of the extra water they drink without also getting rid of sodium, so they can end up salt depleted and can even get seizures from it (something we see occasionally). Also, when some babies drink water they don't get all of the formula or breast milk that they need and end up undernourished. Many babies would do fine drinking water, but it is wise to be cautious.

At 2 months, most babies do fine with 4 ounces of water a day. The more you go over that, the higher the risk of the problems we talked about. And babies are built so that they usually don't need extra water -- unless it is very hot. Usually, even then, extra formula or breast milk is a better choice.

 

The information on this Web site is designed for educational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for informed medical advice or care. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat any health problems or illnesses without consulting your pediatrician or family doctor. Please consult a doctor with any questions or concerns you might have regarding your or your child's condition.