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Giving Water to a 6 Month Old Exclusively Breastfed Baby When Starting Solids

My sweet boy is 5 months a 3 weeks old. He is exclusively breastfed but we recently began trying him out with rice cereal a couple of times a week (mixed with breastmilk) and the other day a sweet potatoe purree made at home. He loves them! I wonder if I should begin to give him some water after the solids as well. I know when all they take is breastmilk no water is needed but now that he is starting to try solids, should water be taken as well? How much? How often?

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Thanks for all the responses Momma's! I'll continue to exclusively breast feed him and will offer a homemade puree daily with an ounce of filtered water by sippy cup after each time- good practice for drinking and not enough to do any harm. He has a pretty good appetite so I will continue to BF him at the usual intervals and offer food and a little sip of water in between.

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I would only worry about giving water when you are ready to introduce sippy cups. If you're ready now, then go ahead. I would put enough water in the cup so that they can comfortably drink from it (don't have to stare at the ceiling to tilt it up enough), but not so heavy they can't lift it.
Other than that, it shouldn't affect the baby's breastfeeding if you are only doing the cup at the table - no giving them the cup as a toy, or to take around the house. The cup should be for mealtime, not playtime.

Good luck!

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It doesn't hurt to offer some water in the sippy cup with foods, as L. as the foods and water don't replace the amount of breastmilk the baby consumes.

Breastmilk/formula are the primary source of nutrition throughout the first year.

I didn't start giving my child water to drink until after she was 1 year old. Before that, I gave water in a sippy to train her with the sippy, but she didn't start drinking water until after a year.

Breastmilk is mostly water and provides nutrition. My concern with giving water in the absense of an indication that baby needs water, is that he would fill up on water and not get the nutrition he needs from the breastmilk.

Until 1 year, breastmilk or formula should form the basis of the child's diet.

Your breastmilk should provide plenty of hydration. I waited until my breastfed babies were ready for sippy cups, about 8 months before giving them water. I would recommend you breastfeed first before doing solids or water to make sure he gets all the nutrition he needs before filling up on other stuff.

Hi ~ I think you should definitely be giving him water... I was giving my son water at 2 months, I started with just 6oz of water a day.

Career Mom of a 2 year old healthy son!

I would only worry about giving water when you are ready to introduce sippy cups. If you're ready now, then go ahead. I would put enough water in the cup so that they can comfortably drink from it (don't have to stare at the ceiling to tilt it up enough), but not so heavy they can't lift it.
Other than that, it shouldn't affect the baby's breastfeeding if you are only doing the cup at the table - no giving them the cup as a toy, or to take around the house. The cup should be for mealtime, not playtime.

Good luck!

I gave my breastfed children a small cup with about a half an inch to an inch of water after they ate their rice cereal. For my oldest, I used an open cup and that actually worked for her. For my boys -- who tended to throw things at that age -- I used the sippy cup. When they were older, they made the transition to learning to use a regular cup.

I would say no don't give the water. Breastmilk should be the main source of food and drink at this point.

On the other hand I didn't give my kids water until they were much older. My problem was that they were so addicted to my BM that they didn't want to drink anything but!

My boys were both exclusively breastfed as well, and I didn't start giving them water until they were 9-10 months old. I was told that regularly drinking water before that age isn't good for them since their systems are so tiny it can actually dilute their blood. I don't know for sure, since I'm not a doctor myself, but that is what both of my boys' peds told me.

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