52 answers

Juice?? - Saint Joseph,MN

Trying to decide if I should start my son on juice or not. If any other nursing moms out there could help, that would be great. He is 6 months old, he eats cereal in the morning and baby food at night. We have started a sippy cup and he has days he does well and days he is not interested. Any suggestions on starting juice, and also if you do start it do you water it down?? Thanks

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So What Happened?™

Thank you to all of you who took time out to respond. We have decided to avoid juice at this point. I got tons of input here as well as my nursing support person and I have come to the conclusion that he really only needs breastmilk at this point. I am going to keep up with the cereal and baby food however. We will introduce juice at a later time if we feel it is appropriate. Thanks again

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In my personal opinion...no. They don't need it. I put some of the small gerber to go size in my diaper bag for times I run out of a normal bottle or for emergencies but once they taste juice they usually only want juice. If you do, I would water it down 4 to 1. The juice just has so much sugar in it. I still water down my 3 year olds juice. My 10 month old gets it on occassion.

hold off on juice as long as you can. And yes, water it down. They don't need full strength, mine are 4and5 and we still water it down.

I started my son on juice at that age, but always watered it down. At least half and half. Or sometimes I would mix his cereal with a little bit of juice instead of milk. I always gave it to him in a cup, never in a bottle. I also tried to find low sugar juice. I hope this helps.

B.

More Answers

I think you should give him a little juice. Start out with just two ounces & Yes, you do water it down. Half and half right now. So put one oz. juice and one oz. water. See how he does for a week or so. Then up it to more. Hope that helps good luck.

My son is almost 17 months and I still rarely give him juice. If he's sick and needs alot of liquids that's when I will buy some Juicy Juice. At 6 months I think breastmilk is all he really needs.

I'll give you my honest opinion. Definitely no juice at this young of an age. Keep him on milk and water because that is really all he needs. If you introduce the sugary juices too early then it will be more difficult later.
That said, if you feel like you really want to try a juice, then use a natural one with no sugar added and water it down.
My kids are great water drinkers and they don't even know what kool-aid is. They think that gatorade is juice and that's pretty much the sweetest "juice" we give them. It's a battle to give our kids good nutrition, but this is one battle that we never had to fight because we just never offered our kids that sickly, sweet juice. In fact, I found out my 4 year old doesn't even like lemonade, when she was offered it several different occasions this past summer, and I think it's because it was too sweet.
Good luck!

My daughter is 16 months old and we still avoid juice. She drank some (very watered down) when she was little, but we wanted her to drink water so we gave her that and now she mostly loves water and soymilk. if she has a cold ill give her some watered down orange juice or something but its really not at all necessary. just give him fruit. its much more important that he likes water.

Hi J.,

I nursed all three of mine and never bothered with juice. They all nursed past 2, and drank milk, soy milk or water when they wanted. I think 6 months is to early. It's just sugar they don't need. For fruits, stick with the real thing, like apple sauce and banana's. I carried a "sippy cup" with water for when we out and about, and used a cup at home. But until one, they mostly nursed.

After one, I would give them half and half water and juice, but only as a special treat and/or as desert. I found if I had it in the house that's all they wanted. I prefer to encourage milk and water and whole fruits.

To this day, my kids are good about drinking lots of water and milk, a healthy habit I think. I buy juice boxes only for outings, like trips to the zoo. Even then I buy the all juice (no added sugar). With my youngest, he's 3 now, I avoid it because it gives him "the runs", orange juice being the exception.

Enjoy your little one,
D.

I waited a very long time w/ my twins before starting juice (~9 mos) and made sure it was very watered down (1 part juice, 3 parts water). They never really got into the juice but i wanted to make sure i could nurse them as lon as possible. not long after introducing new liquids i started working full time and they began to wean thmselves from breastmilk. My pediatrcian was in favor of waiting as long as possible w/ the juice because it's really just empty calories.

hope that helps!

I started giving my son juice at 6 months. I usually do half water and half juice. WIC started giving me juices for him, so it should be fine. I would only give him juice a couple of times a day though, otherwise he might get diarrhea. Hope this helps.

You know what? It really doesn't matter...

It seems like a big decision now, but later you will look back and giggle at the little things. I have 3 kids and not one of them has ever gotten 'spoiled' by juice, starting fruits before veggies, being held too much or not enough, milk over formula or breastmilk, bottles vs. breasts, etc. It just doesn't happen. Make sure you are giving him a balanced, healthy diet full of the fruits, veggies and breastmilk he needs (in due time, of course) and the rest will just balance out.

You'll get advice from one extreme to the other...just trust your mommy instincts...God gave them to you for a reason! :)

~L.

I started my son on juice at that age, but always watered it down. At least half and half. Or sometimes I would mix his cereal with a little bit of juice instead of milk. I always gave it to him in a cup, never in a bottle. I also tried to find low sugar juice. I hope this helps.

B.

6 mo is a good age to start juice...dont give it to often and water it down....we did 1/3 juice and 2/3 water.

I nursed my daughter for the first year. I did start her on juice at 6 months old but not every day. I only gave her one 6 oz cup and it was mostly water. It came in handy when we were out and about. I also used juice instead of breast milk to make her cereal, since I didn't do very well with pumping.

Hi J.. I'm a child nutritionist and a nursing mom with a 6 month old. 6 months is an appropriate age to start juice, but the american academy of pediatrics recommends you limit the amount to 4-6 oz per day. Also, it should be offered in a cup (preferably without a lid) instead of a bottle to reduce the risk of baby bottle tooth decay. I recommend watering it down to at least 1 part juice per 1 part water. On the other hand, there is no need to start juice since your baby is eating fruits and vegetables. It's really your decision. Hope that helps!

Amen Lacy...great advice!!!!

We started my son at 4 months on juice. At the time we were not told it was bad to start to early. And he is doing fine.

I have 4 children. I also nursed each one until they were a year. I always started them on juice at about 5-6months. With my last daughter I switched pediatrician and was told not to ever give juice. Just to give water. My daughter loves water. The other 3 would rather have juice or sweetened milk (strawberry or choc.) Not giving the juice was one of the best pieces of advice I gotten. So that's what I recommend!! Good Luck with your decision!

Hi J.,
I think it all depends on what your child will do with you. When my oldest was 3months old he was already on cereal & by 6months he was on baby food & juice (like yours) but when my twins were 6 months ond they were just starting cereal. I suggest to keep trying it, if you are ready for him to start juice and always check with your child's healthcare provider. I would also suggest watering down any juice you give your child to at least a 50% juice/ 50% water solution. Also i was always told by my family, (my greatest source of baby intellegence comes from my grandfather who is a pediatrician), that too much sugar is bad for baby's development. Just as too much sugar is bad for anyone, but creating the pattern as an infant & toddler to water down juice helps them in the long run. I remember the first time my oldest (he was about a 14mo. old) had his first "pure" juice box. It was juicy juicy punch.... and that kid was on a sugar high for hours!! After that, I always carried a juice cup with water in my purse so that if i needed to buy him a juice box again, I wouldn't have that problem again.

My boys are older now, but i really think that helping to reduce their sugar intake as infants helped them now. My oldest will choose milk or water over juice almost everytime. He really sees Juice and Soda as a "special time" beverage. Another variety of juice that they love is Crystal Light. We buy the boys different flavors and they love it. To them it is just as good as juice and to me, I know I dont have to water it down!

I hope my past experiances help you and good luck with your motherhood adventures!

According to our doctor, there is really no need to start juice. It's a nice treat every once in a while, but they benefit more from formula/milk and water. If you do give your child juice, make sure it's 100% juice. It doesn't hurt to water it down, that's your choice.

hold off on juice as long as you can. And yes, water it down. They don't need full strength, mine are 4and5 and we still water it down.

My son was breatsfed for 10 months and went right from breast to sippy cup with breast milk in it. It made the transition from breast to cup much easier at weaning time I think. My sister however, let her daughter transition with juice in her sippy and has a terrible time getting her now 2 1/2 yr old to drink milk out of a sippy cup. Also, recent research is saying that kids who drink alot of juice are more prone to childhood obesity and diabetes. I still hesitate to give Noah juice and if I do start giving him juice it will definately be watered down. Right now he only drinks milk and water.
Hope some of this is useful for you and your little one
A.

I guess you should go what you do as a family. Juice is really too high in sugar to be overly beneficial for babies. Youre better off giving them water if you need something other than milk, but you have to be careful because you dont want them to get too full on other less nutrient drinks.
If you do go with juice, you should really water it down to at least 50/50.
My son is 3 and he has hardly ever had full juice. Juice is really just a treat, water and milk are our drinks, and the fruit bowl is always full, and quickly emptied!
What you do now sets the stage for the future.
But, as always you have to do what is right for you and your familly

J.,

You can start juice once you have introduced fruits into his diet. However you should water it down and remember you baby doesn't need juice so you don't need to give it to him daily. Try just water in a sippy cup. You can offer water and not worry about anything as we all need lots of water daily. My daughter is one and she like water just as much as juice if not better and that is good because they say to much juice rots their little teeth.

definitely water it down, starting out...100% juice could cause diahria(oops) and or diaper rash. It's too much for the system. Also watch for 100% juice many have too much sugar. It's best to ask your pediatrician.

I've read many conflicting articles about this but the advice I've heard most often is to wait until he is a year old and then only give him 2-4 oz every day. And make sure it is 100% juice. You can start giving him a sippy cup now filled with either water or formula but most babies get the nutrition they need from breast milk and then baby food so it's not necessary to give juice. I have a 7 month old so when she was 6 months I started wondering the same thing! Gerber.com is a wonderful tool that talks about starting solids and juice, etc... hope this helps!

I never gave juice to my kids, but my friend put her boy to bed with a bottle of juice each night. As a result he had caps on all his baby teeth that he had to live with until they fell out and his permanant teeth came in. I have also heard that a lot of sugar in the juice contributes to heavy kids and lots of cavities at an early age. You might want to think about these things before you give you baby juice. Good Luck! P.

What I did for my son around that age was instead of juice, I would by flavored water, like propel (not carbonated) and would do half regular water and half flavored. After a while I put less and less flavor in it. My son in now 3 1/2 and loves water. He's always asking for a glass of ice water....give it a try.
Oh and when you do try juice, which I waited until he was a year old, I always watered it down.
Good luck!

Hi J., I'm a mom of 2 and I breastfed both of them for a year so I've been here before... Because he is only 6 months old he still needs practice, so there will be good and not so good days using a sippy. It's great you started him using a cup right now since it will make transitioning from breastfeeding much easier if he's not learning how to use the cup at the same time.

As for the juice, you should 'cut' it by half, meaning dilute it with 1/2 water. I gave my daughter 1 cup (2-3 oz juice, 3-4 oz water) a day when I started weaning (hate that word). I think a good rule of thumb is that milk is for mealtime (it equals 3 cups a day) and juice is for snacktime (a treat about 1-2 times a day). Doctors don't want juice replacing milk or fresh fruits, but if you use 100% juice like Juicy Juice it can count as 1 serving of fruit. The best time to let him practice with the cup and juice is after breastfeeding, since you don't want to fill him up with it instead of breastmilk.

Hope this helps, and good luck!

We started diluted juice because my baby was having constipation issues when he started solids. Once he got more regular I now only offer water in a sippy unless it's a special occasion. We try to limit juice all the time here - my 3.5 yo son always asks for it, but I'd rather he eat fruit instead of get empty calories drinking it. If you were ambitious you could pump and put expressed breast milk in a sippy for him.

my son is breastfed, is 13months old, and has never had juice. its really a lot of sugar to give to such a little one in my opinion. i would try just water. really though, if your son is breastfed, that's all the liquid he needs. my son doesnt do well with sippy cups that you have to tip back, but i've found some at target that have a soft straw that he does really well with, and if i dont mind him getting really wet he can drink out of a regular cup with a little help ..

Hello,

I can't remember exactly when I started juice, We started it mostly because my son was constipated. But you can use, I guess I just wouldn't over do it. And I think you are supposed to water it down about half and half. I was also nursing and it didn't seem to effect it. My son is now 16 months and I still water down his juice.

I would recommend the juice after you have given your little one fruits and know that there are no allergies. I always water mine down 50/50 and don't give it daily, usually once or twice a week. My peds also suggested it if my son was a little constipated; it actually helps his digestive system and keeps him regular, plus it's an occassional treat. As long as you don't give it to your son on a daily basis and make sure that he doesn't have any allergies, I think that it's a great addition for him.

I'm with those who recommend water in the sippy cup. My boys only got juice once they were eating table foods at each meal, and we gave it to them the way we drink it...a small glass with breakfast or with a snack and only occasionally. Otherwise, they only drank water from a sippy cup between meals. Now, at four and six, they still like to have a water bottle available and are wonderful at keeping themselves hydrated. I think drinking water is such a healthy habit - why not start it early?

NOOOO! Please don't start him on juice yet. Trust me it may give him a sweet tooth. I would just let him have water and learn to crave water which is best. I started giving my girls juice after they turned one and I would give them 4 oz of water mixed with 1 oz of juice. Now they are 2 and 3 years old and they only get 4-6 oz of juice a day. Kids can get addicted to juice. Its not that bad for you but too much is not good either.

We just started our daughter on juice. We put 4 oz of juice with 4oz of water in a sippee cup. She barely drinks an ounce but the rest is stored for later or the next day. She loves it!! Even just being able to pick it up and suck on it with a different taste in it.
I am nursing also. So the different taste to her is neat to watch on her face when she is expecting "mommy milk". Plus, we also have the same with the sippee cup, does great one day, next not really interested.

I don't give my son juice at all. It's a big hit of sugar and he doesn't need it. While nursing your child is getting all the nutrients he needs from your milk. My son is eating solids (18 months old) and he loves fruit so we give him fruit at every meal. That way he gets the nutrients AND the fiber in fruit but not in juice. This way he also doesn't go around with all that sugar pooling in his mouth all day as he would if he were drinking juice throughout the day.

They really don't NEED juice at this age. I started giving my son a little bit of juice (half juice half water) at around 10 months, just because it was easier to bring juice on errands and trips then to make a bottle, but they really don't need any other liquid then milk until they turn one. My older son is 3 years old and I still give him half juice and half water. Since that's what he's used to...it helps make juice last longer, doesn't put as much sugar on his teeth and is healthier. I'm going to do it as long as he doesn't complain! Good luck!

if you do start him, i would water it down, just because it might be tough on his tummy! if you're really concerned about whether you should or not, maybe call his doctor. but if he's handling cereal and baby food, i'm sure he'll be fine! you're lucky he's so good about eating new foods, my daughter wasn't interested in anything else until about 8-9 months! oh back to the juice thing, he really only needs a couple ounces a day. even as a toddler, they only recommended 6 ounces a day. good luck!

I'm not a "nursing" mom but maybe I can offer some advice anyway. I was particular about juice and didn't start giving it regularly to my daughter, now 2 1/2, until she was 2, and I still dilute it. At 6 months they are pretty happy to eat whole fruit so unless it's a constipation issue I would hold off of the extra sugar.

In my personal opinion...no. They don't need it. I put some of the small gerber to go size in my diaper bag for times I run out of a normal bottle or for emergencies but once they taste juice they usually only want juice. If you do, I would water it down 4 to 1. The juice just has so much sugar in it. I still water down my 3 year olds juice. My 10 month old gets it on occassion.

J.:

I would really watch the intake of juice with the little guy. I gave my son juice probably twice a day and it started decaying my son's teeth. Thankfully I saw in time and stopped giving him juice and really making sure I brushed his teeth really good and they are fine now. Every once and a while it is a nice treat but always make sure that you are brushing his teeth and/or gums really good.

J.

3 very important suggestions for you:

1- Always water it down (for teeth, digestion, need for water, less need for the fruit-sugar). I would go like 25% juice/75% water, maybe even more water, at this age.

2- Sippy cup is great at 6 months old! Especially if they aren't used to taking a bottle.

3- Always read the label on your juice- Make sure it is 100% fruit juice first of all, and always make sure there is NO High Fructose Corn Syrup added. You would be surprised what they put this in, and this and MSG are 2 things you should avoid giving your baby/child and yourself- especially if you are nursing.

My opinion, there is no need. It just gets them used to something sweet in their cup...just give him the real thing(fruit) instead.... At our house juice is a treat, not part of our diet.

Juices are generally bad because of the sugar involved. But the best we've found for the occasionally juice fix is the Ocean Spray Lite. My kids love the cranberry. we water down to half water, half juice. And really they'd only drink water, except WDM water tastes nasty, so the juice flavor masks it

When my kids were infants, I actually started them on Juice at 4 months, 1 oz juice to 3 oz water. :) They did fine. But it's a personal choice. Pediatricians say there's no nutritional value in juice, but it's ok to give them. So go with your gut, if you feel you're ready, do it. Otherwise, wait until you are ready. Hope this helps.

Hi J.,

We've never really given our 18-month old juice. He has always really just had (and still has) breastmilk & water (adding in a sippy cup of cow's milk here & there after he turned 1) I think he gets some at the babysitter's now, and I'm not opposed to his getting some here & there, but I don't think it's really all that necessary. It's better for him to have actual fruit than to have juice....

Take care,
M.

I started my kids on 100% juice (watered-down) at 6-months and limit it to 4-oz a day as recommended by the AAP. Juice does have a lot of natural sugars, but if you stick with 100% juice and keep it to 4-oz a day, it's considered a serving of fruit.

Juice really isnt necessary at all. the whole fruit is much much better. Juice is basically liquid sugar...not something you want to give your baby typically.

But if you choose to give juice start out at 1part juice 3parts water no more than 4 ounces total per day and work up from there. Be prepared for looser stools, and diaper rash as those are typical side effects of starting juice.

Good for you for Nursing BTW :-)

I think I started my son on juice at around 6 months. We would only give him about 2 oz a day mixed with 2 oz of water. He is 18 months now and drinks about 4 oz a day still diluted with water. He drinks that fine and does not know it any other way. This way he also gets some extra water.

Hi J.,
I nursed both of my daughters until they were one and never offered juice before then!! He doesn't need much else to drink other than breastmilk. If you want to expose him to the cup, offer him either breastmilk or a small amount of water. Remember, he'll take to the taste of juice in no time! Water, on the other hand, might not be favored if he's not exposed to it before juice and it is much better for our kids than juice is. If you do decide to offer juice, make sure it is cut in half with water and offer no more than 4 ounces a day. Otherwise it may fill up his small belly and prevent him from getting enough breastmilk and cereal.

Yes, water down 100% juice with 1/2 water, 1/2 juice.

I would highly recommend NOT giving juice. THe babies do not need the extra calories, and as the teeth come in they do not need the sugar. Try water or even breastmilk in the sippy.

I have a one year old and he has never had juice. It's just not needed. I am still breastfeeding as well as a sippy w/ cows milk now and water. He prefers the water still. It takes babies a bit on how to usethe sippy anyway.

6 months is a good time to start your baby on juice. Most pediatricians recommend no more than 4 oz. a day at this time, once he hits 1 he can have more. You can always water it down with 1 or 2 oz. of water if it's too strong for him at first. Hope this helps.

hi, i didn't start my son on juice until he was about a year old and i did water it down. he is 20months old now and i still water it down. they say you can give them about 8 oz of juice a day and he gets that but what i do is fill his cup up mostly with water and a few oz of juice. even though he really doesn't get a whole lot of it, it is still alot of sugar so that is why i waited, i figured he didn't need it before then. i also nursed and they pretty much get everything they need from that. so you can try giving him some to see if he'll take it and start getting him used to it, we did that with a few of the small 4oz juices but like i said we didn't really start giving it to him daily till he was about a year. the basic i think to start with is apple or a white grape.we also do the watering down as he doesn't like to drink plain water but with it having a little taste of the juice he will drink it. hope this helps. Jen

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