Adults try to provide their bodies with enough water during hot weather. But what about infants? Can a few-month-old baby drink water?
Summer this year is spoiling us and we have sunny weather. However, long-lasting hot weather causes fatigue and irritability both in children and adults. We try to cope with the high temperature, among other things, by drinking plenty of water. But can babies also drink water? Are there any contraindications?
Breastfeeding and hot weather
During the first months of a baby’s life, breast milk provides all the appropriate vitamins for a newborn. For the first 6 months the feeding of the baby should be based only on breast milk. After this time additional meals can be included in the diet of the toddler. Such a system is recommended, among others, by the World Health Organization (WHO). Probably in the past our grandmothers or even mothers used to feed their children e.g. with chamomile or dill tea, but today it is outdated medical knowledge
Mother’s milk is “programmed” in a certain way. Why? Because when you breastfeed your baby, at the very beginning the milk is watery, so the baby has a chance to drink properly. Only after a while, when the baby sucks on the food, it will have more fat and protein in it, which means it will be more filling. This is an important process, because on hot days your newborn will want to eat more often just to be able to drink. So, moms should not be surprised that the toddler will want to attach to the breast more often, but for a shorter period of time
What about for a baby fed with modified milk?
It turns out that there is a significant difference between breastfeeding your baby and formula milk in the summer as well. Breast milk and formula have similar values, but remember that breast milk at the very beginning has a different consistency. The one prepared in a bottle is already adequately “mixed”, so you can’t give the baby another wholesome drink. If a baby has, for example, a fever, it may be given a little liquid in the form of low-mineralised water or spring water. The water should be certified by the National Institute of Hygiene or the Institute of Mother and Child, i.e. it should have a certificate confirming that there are no objections to the purity of water, its composition, the way it is obtained and the bottling method
When a mother feeds a newborn using a mixed method, that is breast and modified milk, she has to rely on her own instinct. If there isn’t much breast milk, it’s not worth giving up on natural feeding because even a little bit of breast milk may be enough for the baby. If your baby is still thirsty, you can give him water after latching on to both breasts. Remember not to overdo it! The diet of a baby up to the age of six months should be based on milk only. In hot weather the baby may have an increased need to thirst, and this is normal. Let the toddler attach to the breast more often, but suckle for a shorter time. At least mom will be sure that her little one is quenching his thirst
Main photo: olenachukhill, source: stock.adobe.com