How much water should my baby be drinking?
Today we're going to chat all things water! From 6 months of age, you can start giving your baby cooled down boiled water. How much should they actually be having though? Is it possible to give your baby too much?
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Boil that tap water
Make sure that between 6 and 12 months of age you are offering cooled-down boiled water as this removes any potentially harmful bacteria that may cause your baby to feel unwell.
Start offering from 6 months of age
Using a sippy cup, at meal times and during play time, have the cup within arms reach for your baby to be able to explore and experiment with. Keep experiences light and fun - they don't have to drink straight from the cup. Just give them plenty of opportunities to familiarise themselves with drinking water.
Remember, breast milk or formula is still #1
While you are making water available throughout the day, you don't need to be taking away a breast or bottle feed and offering water instead. Just have water as an added bonus with their solids, playing or when you're out and about.
How much water should my baby be drinking?!
6 - 9 month olds
We're expecting them to just be having a few sips here and there. They don't need to be drinking a minimum amount of water/day because they are still receiving so much hydration from your breastmilk or formula. The maximum amount of water they should consume is approximately half a cup (125ml).
Sippy cup: When introducing a sippy-cup for my girls, I have always used one that has a soft silicone teat. I found that the top of the cup/teat was easy for them to use and look for handles on both sides as it makes it very easy for little hands to hold.
9 - 12 month olds
At this age, their interest in water is likely to slightly increase, as they are now having 3 meals a day and therefore will consume more water during meal time. This is going to fluctuate from baby to baby though - some just don't love the taste of water! At this age, there is still no 'minimum amount' of water we're aiming for them to have. Generally its recommended that they don't consume more than 1 cup (250mL) in a day.
Sippy cup: From about 10 months I introduced a straw cup for both of my girls. Some babies will take to the straw cup straight from 6 - 7 months but this was absolutely not the case for us! They got the hang of it by about 11 months and then never looked back. Always get the cleaning set/extra straws that come with straw cups though - its incredible how easily they build up with dirt and grime.
12 month olds
From 1 year of age, some toddlers are water obsessed while others couldn't care less! Generally you will find that if your baby is formula fed (and therefore they can stop being offered formula from their first birthday), they will consume more water. Breastfed toddlers may drink slightly less water because they are getting some hydration from breast milk.
Aim to give your one year old at least 250mL of water throughout the day (but some children will drink up to 800mL which is also fine!)
Sippy cup: A great cup to offer from 1 year of age is the Miracle 360 cup. This is perfect for refining the action that your child will use to drink from an open cup. I also love that the cup needs to be lifted with two hands (without a handle), which helps them develop their hand-eye coordination when using an open cup in the future.
If you are struggling with your baby not taking a baby bottle (for breast milk or formula) then try using a sippy cup instead! Just make sure if you're using formula, that you're sterilising the cup prior to each use (there's no need for this with breastmilk).