For the first six months of your baby’s life, breast milk is all they need for both nourishment and hydration. It’s a complete source of essential nutrients and the fluid they require.

However, as your little one takes their first steps into the world of solid foods, their needs change, and they’ll benefit from some additional hydration. In this article, we’ll delve into the reasons why your baby might need water and how to ensure they stay adequately hydrated during this exciting stage of their development.


Why is water needed now?

Digestion boost: As your baby begins eating solids, their digestive system works harder. Water aids in the digestion process, making it smoother and more comfortable.

Kidney support: Your baby’s kidneys are maturing. Water helps them function optimally and removes waste from the body.

Thirst signals: Solid foods can make babies thirsty. When you notice signs of thirst, give your baby a few small sips of water.


How to introduce water to your little one

Age-appropriate cups: Opt for straw cups or small, open cups. Bottles may interfere with oral development, and spout cups are also not advised.

Start at 6 months: Begin offering water around 6 months when your baby starts solids. Exclusive breastfeeding is sufficient before this.

Small sips: Give small sips of water after meals or when your baby seems thirsty. No need to force it if they’re not interested.

Gradual increase: Increase water intake as solids become a bigger part of their diet. The goal is to introduce the concept of drinking water. Make sure your little one isn’t gulping too much water at once. They do not know the concept of stopping, so nudge them gently to stop sucking on the straw.


How much water to give your baby?

Begin slow: Start with 1-2 ounces (a few sips) of water per day.

Observe signs: Watch for signs of thirst and dehydration, like dry lips, fewer wet diapers, or dark urine.

Mealtime hydration: Offer water after meals to help your baby wash down solids and stay hydrated.

Balance is key: Avoid overhydration, which can disrupt electrolyte balance. Strike a balance that suits your baby’s needs.

Pediatrician’s advice: For personalized guidance, consult your pediatrician, especially if you have concerns about your baby’s hydration.


Hydrating your baby while starting solids is essential for their well-being. Introduce water to your baby gradually, monitor cues for thirst, and find a balance that suits them.