46 answers

When Is It Okay to Give a Infant Water?

My son is 12 days old. He gets the hiccups very frequently, am not sure if it is okay to give a baby water. I have read online that you should not give a baby water until after 12 months. However, I have also read that many people give babies water before 12 months. Please help? :)

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So What Happened?™

Thank you everyone for you responses. It really helped. I am currently breast feeding. I do remember when I was pregnant my son always had the hiccups. So he must not be in any kinda of pain. For the safer side of the things, I have talked with my Ped, and will take there recommendations. (No water). :)

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You can give a baby water at any time. It's harmless. Just put it in a bottle or see if she can sip out of a cup.

It is totally normal for a newborn to get hiccups often, and I don't think that it seems to bother them. Infants really don't need any extra water - they get all they need from breastmilk or formula. You don't need to do anything about hiccups - they'll go away on their own.

Newborns get hiccups all the time. Both my kids did. My doctor told me it actually bothers us more than them. I think it is just one of those things newborns do. Good luck!

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Never ever give a baby water. If you're going to listen to the other advice here and do it anyway, then PLEASE DO NOT give water from a bottle....only sips/drips from a medicine cup. Due to a baby's instinctual need to suck, a baby can easily ingest enough water to imbalance their blood chemistry and cause water intoxication. Water intoxication can be lethal. Please ask your pediatrician and wait until he or she says your baby is old enough (some say 6 mo, some wait longer). Babies get the water they need for hydration from their breast milk or formula. If you think they are thirsty, then they need more breast milk or formula.

Hiccups bother us, but they rarely bother babies. They get them often, and there is no need to try to help them get rid of them.

1 mom found this helpful

Okay, I loved Sharon's response. Because it hits home. I have a 2 year old and a 7 month old right now. I remember when my first one was born my mother-in-law would sometimes give her water and I was cool with it, until my mom freaked out and said we should boil it first. Being a first time mom I thought she was right. We also boiled all of our pacifiers until we forgot about them a couple times and burned them up. Then words of wisdom from my husband came, we don't have to boil it for ourselves, why should we have to for them. Our bodies are made up of a huge percent of water. You should not use water as a substitute for breast milk and/or formula, but it is totally okay to give them. Both of my kids have had water really early on and it has not hurt them one bit. I think people do try to label everything as a disease to get more money. I like the response go with your gut intincts, it has worked for me so far. My doctor is one that feels the same way. I very rarely go to him, only for the usual check-ups, or if something were really wrong, which hasn't happened yet. Thank goodness. Also on the hiccups, if you are really worried about them, which really they are fine. I have found nursing helps. Sorry for the book.

It is totally normal for a newborn to get hiccups often, and I don't think that it seems to bother them. Infants really don't need any extra water - they get all they need from breastmilk or formula. You don't need to do anything about hiccups - they'll go away on their own.

Hey C.,
My daughter is 6 months and our pediatrician still would prefer that we give her Pedialyte instead of water. I guess the reason is that water can dilute her salt/etc...

The hiccups are terrible to watch when the baby is that small, but the doc said that it's harder on the parents than the baby! :-)

I think that this is a bad idea but you should really ask your dr. I would try burping a lot and even breastfeeding can stop those hiccups.

No H2O. Sorry. My daughter has been taking water since she was about 5 or 6 mo. She only drinks it from a sippy cup. The hiccups are normal, just nurse if they upset you, but they don't upset baby :)

No water at all until at least 6 months. Their bodies are not ready for it. Ask your doctor but also look it up.

It's been a long time since i had a baby but if I remember correctly, I gave my daughter water as in infant, maybe 3 months old. She wouldn't take it so I would put Caro syrup in it for taste. ?? Like my sister says... google it. LOL
Have a good day.

Our ped. said not to give our son water until he was at least 6 months old because their bodies (I believe kidneys specifically) cannot tolerate and process the water. To me, it wasn't ever worth trying.

My daughter was getting the hiccups a dozen times a day when she was 1-2 months old. My pediatrician recommended Gripe Water. It's an Indian remedy that tastes like black licorice. Sometimes, it cured her hiccups in 5 seconds, other times it took a few minutes. It also helps with digestion so that's a bonus. Good luck!

hello C., I'm not sure what is right or wrong, but I my daughter is almost thirteen months and I started giving her water very early fo the hiccups and now she wants water over juice most of the time. I had asked my doctor about giving her water and he told me just not to give her alot because she could fill up on it and not want breast milk. So your mother instict will do well, if you feel it is ok for your little one to have water do it just in little increments, I would put a little tiny bit in a straw and then put it in her mouth. I am a huge water fein my self so I was ok with it becuase water is so good for you in many ways, so like my doctor said the only thing you don't want her to do is have enough to make it a meal, and their stomachs are very small so a little to take the hiccups away (my daughter had them ALL the time) wasn't a problem for us. =)

Both of my children got the hiccups as infants all the time -- sometimes two and three times in a day! It didn't bother them at all, and they don't get the distress and sore tummy muscles from hiccups like older children and adults do. Don't worry about them at all. If your baby is showing signs of distress or if it worries/bothers you, though, give formula or breast milk (whatever your feeding), NOT water. He's just too little. The formula/breast milk will work just as well to get rid of the hiccups. In fact, it would probably work better than water because of the natural sugars in it.

I wasn't sure either. My son is just now 2 1/2 months old, and at his 2 month check up his pediatrician said it would be okay for him to have small (2 oz) amounts of water. If you are still getting a lot of different responses, just call your doctor and ask them, their opinion. After all, they know your childs specific needs and will know why your child should or should not have water!

Newborns get hiccups all the time. Both my kids did. My doctor told me it actually bothers us more than them. I think it is just one of those things newborns do. Good luck!

Hello C.,

My daughter had hiccups when I was pregnant with her. That was one thing I thought was very interesting about her pregnancy. Well, when she was born, she ended up being a collicky (sp?) baby who had hiccups too. I was advised by my doctor to give her water. I wasn't sure about that, but I did give her a little bit, but what really helped her was gripe water. Back then, I had to get it from Canada, but not too long ago, I saw it at Kid to Kid. My daughter is now 10 years old and she still gets hiccups on a regular basis. My advise is to trust your inner feelings and you know what is right for your child. Good luck and Congratulations!

Gripe water is amazing. It is basically sugar water with fennel and ginger extract in it. It got rid of my son's hiccups immediately. It also works great for constipation and tummy troubles. I buy it either online at Drugstore.com or at Walgreens (about $10 a bottle). I started giving my son very small amounts of water (1 ml or so) at about 3 months. He didn't really like it too much and takes the gripe water much easier.

Congratulations on your precious son!
I may be from the old school, I have raised 3 sons and have a nine year old daughter, but I believe that all children need water as long as there is not a medical reason they can't have it. I babysat for a woman and she told me her doctor told her that babies get enough water in their formula but I don't believe it. If you are worried about giving him tap water you can always use bottled water but just know that that comes out of someone elses tap but just warm it up like you would a regular bottle, but don't add anything like sugar of something to sweeten it. So if he will drink the water let him have it, just not to the exclusion of everything else. But I know you know that.
Good luck;

If your baby is breast-fed your baby boy should be getting enough water via your milk which is mostly water. If formula fed than you might consider adding more water. However, if he is having enough wet diapers you shouldn't worry. It is normal for a baby to have hiccups and the peditricians say it doesn't bother them.

Water can deplete the baby's body of needed minerals and in the worst case cause seizures. In today's world there is also increased concern there could be bacteria in the water also. So to be safe it would be best not to give the baby water. Hiccups don't really cause distress to the baby - they may be entertaining and babies often have them in utero.
If you want to offer a drink to baby - then nurse or give formula - which ever you are doing.

Hi, Go to Walmart or Walgreens or another pharmacy and get the stuff called Gripe Water. It works. It is in the pharmacy area at Walmart and in the baby care aisle in Walgreens. You give it to the baby and the hiccups go away very quickly. It is all natural and depending on the brand may need to be refridgerated. Good luck.

OK do you feed your babys Formula? If you are you are giving your child water. Everyone needs water a day old or 100 years old. It just depends on the amount. A baby dosnt need as much until the get active.

I believe you should give your baby milk. Since he or she is only feeding with milk, if you give your baby water, you;re sparing a meal. I would wait until your baby eats solids (around 6 months). Be very careful of giving your baby any syrup or honey. There;s tons of info on the Web so you can make the right decision. I only feed my two month old with milk.

Hi C.,
Do not give your baby water. Their little kidneys are not equipped to handle it yet. I have a 7 week old and she gets the hiccups all the time.She constantly had the hiccups while I was pregnant.Hiccups don't bother babies nearly as much as it bothers mommies!I have 3 daughters and they all had hiccups. It seems like after you start solids around five months the hiccups subside. I hope this helps!

No, don't give your baby water, unless his doctor says it is OK. You can go to a baby store or Walmart or Target and buy Grip Water. It is a natural product. I bought some for my son when he was a couple weeks old. His hiccups would go away quickly.

We started giving our son water at 9 months...that was when our pediatrician advised.

There is no need for water until later - sometime after 6 months, minimum. My son had hiccups CONSTANTLY. We gave him probiotics around 2 months just to improve his digestive tract, but the greatest unplanned and immediate effect was that the hiccups were gone within two days! You may want to try this for the hiccups. Good luck,


I think 12 days old is WAY too woung to give water. Wait until 10, 11 or 12 months. They need the nutrition from milk, etc. I have two kiddos and they didn't get water until 11 months or so. I breastfed their whole first year.

You should talk to your pediatrician before you give an infant that small and young water. Ours always told us no water until 9 months. Too much water can dilute the salt and electrolytes out of their blood. Both of my kids had the hiccups every day for the first three months. My daughter would get them 3-4 times a day. This is normal. The old wives addage is that hiccups are a sign of a healthy growing baby. My advice is no water. If she seems to be uncomfortable, formula or nursing (whatever you are doing), is best.

Most babies get hiccups, it does not usually bother them at all. The reason you should not give your baby water is that it will take up room in his tummy and so he will consume less breastmilk or formula, then he will not get the nutrition that he needs so much! Does it seem to hurt your baby when he hiccups? If not you don't need to do anything about it. If you think that the hiccups are bothering him then talk to your baby's DR. about it. It is most likely that the hiccups do not bother him at all, babies even hiccup in the womb and it does them no harm.

They don't need it but if you feel it will help the hiccups then a little certainly won't hurt your son. Hiccups come from him gulping too fast so either slow him down and making sure he burps every few minutes during a feeding. My daughter got them all the time!!! Also what helps is Mylicon drops to relieve the gas.
Water doesn't hurt a baby, the reason they say that is so doesn't fill them up with water and they eat well.

Hi C.,
Instead of water at that young age, try instead Gripe Water. I absolutely love the Babys Bliss Brand which I buy at Walgreens or specialty pharmacys. It is an all natural blend of herbs intended for very young infants and helps with hiccups, colic and fussy times. It helps the trapped air in their immature digestive systems get pushed out and the relief they feel is apparent when the crying stops. I used it on my daughter every day for the first four months and she just loves it. Its been around for years overseas - apperently I loved it when I was a baby. Good luck!

I read in the book "Happiest Baby on the Block" that Simethicone (found in Mylicon, Little Tummies and similar gas drops) is just as effective as water. If you do give your baby water to help with hiccups or gas, limit it to the same dosage of Mylicon to help alleviate gas and hiccups. Ounces and ounces of water, though should not be given to a baby that young.

I would just let him have formula or breast feed and see if that helps. At 12 days old he doesn't need water. He needs the fat from food. Our little one had hiccups a lot and for a long time. They do go away after a while Congratulations on the little one!

Breastfed babies need only breast milk for the first six months, then only breast milk up to a year unless you'd like to put water in a cup for cup drinking ~ most moms don't pump for cup feeding. :) Breastfeeding a baby when he has the hiccups usually works quickly, and thankfully, hiccups are often related to an immature muscle that "grows up" pretty soon. Enjoy your baby!

Yes it is ok to give them a little water, just to get rid of hiccups. If you are worried about the quality of your water get the nursery bottled water or boil and cool some water. The concern would be if you are giving the baby too much and filling him too much making him full but not giving him nutrition. However, hiccups are normal and very common with infants, so you don't really have to do anything.
S., IM

I have never heard the you should not give an infant water. I offered my babies an ounce of water when they were little. It was rare when they even took that much. I know some nurseries in the hospitals give an ounce of sugar water when babies are fussy.

yes you give a small child water. our body is 90% water we need it. Why would you not give a child water? What you do is you simple boil the water and keep it covered. This will keep it sterile. Most tap water has too much YUK in it for a little one.

Hi C.,

First off, congrats on the new baby! Too address your question about water....all I can tell you is what I did with both my kids when they were babies. I GAVE THEM WATER! Okay, I admit, I'm an older mom and my ''baby'' is now 17 yrs old. Back in the day, it was ok to give your babies water. I do not understand WHY this has changed. The human body is made up of 95% water, so with that in mind, why do they say NO water till 12 months????? I think its wrong. Anyhow, yes, I gave my babies water from day one, (an ounce or two). Most especially in summer when its hot and miserable! Also, it was good bonding time for Dad to give a bottle to baby (I breast fed). Yes, you need to be watchful as babies will gulp and could choke on the water, to ease that little complication, I used nipples with VERY small holes so the water did not come out fast, and always held baby at an angle (head up, feet down) to prevent choking. I never had a problem. So, should you give your little guy water? Totally up to you! (My oldest is 36 and as I mentioned, my youngest is 17...none in between... and both thrived and florished with NO ill effects from having been given water, and they were both premmies! For that matter, myself, and my sisters, and all the kids between us, never had a problem...here's betting you too were given water as an infant!) Good luck, and best wishes to you and your family!

You don't need any more advice, but I thought you'd be interested to know about a new breastfeeding study done in the past couple years in Australia. . . the scientists determined that the hotter the mother's environment, the more the water content of her milk increased, naturally, to prevent any dehydration in her nursing baby. So just your milk is perfect, and the hiccups should fade as Baby ages--at 12 days old, his digestive system is still very new and getting used to processing food. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends exclusive breastfeeding with nothing else until Baby is six months old, with nursing continuing until Baby is at least one year old.

You're an excellent mom to be so responsive and intuitive--you sound like an over-achiever to research water! You baby is lucky to have you! You might like to meet other nursing moms at a local meeting of La Leche League. They have free lending libraries of books and CDs and lots of other resources for moms, and all their services (like phone help with even the smallest, silliest brestfeeding question) are also free. Their Web site is www.llli.org. Congratulations!

No. Water can be very toxic. Of course ask your doctor. And only use the nursery prepared bottled water at that age if you are using formulas. Don't worry about the hiccups. Mine hiccupped in the belly and hiccupped until she was maybe 6 months old and starting cereals. Try to make sure she is latching correctly and not strating and stopping causing to get gas. I found some holds while nursing caused more hiccups...I think it was laying down to nurse? Anyway, try to gently press your fist in her diaphram...lightly! Hiccups are a spasm of the muscles. Your baby is very new and the muscles are very new...give them time to figure out how to function without worrying too much. But if it deosn't feel right to you. Call the doctor or 18000ASKANURSE

for some reason plain water gets the baby constipated.
i have four kids and i gave all of them about an ouce of water per day and each month i increased the amount. i would add a pea size drop of kayro syrup to the water anf this will help from gtting constipated. trial and error . see hoe it works. now my kids are 14,10,6,3 and they all love to drink water

Hi C.,

I believe I was told 6 months of age is it ok. I know that I have too heard different opinions about this topic as well. First and formost they don't want them getting full on water and not taking their formula or breastmilk. I would wait a few months for sure! I hope this helps!

I don't know what the actual doctor recommendation is, but with all of my kiddos I gave them a bottle of water every day. It needs to be warm like the milk, but they all have taken it very well and in the end I don't have to break them to water, they just drink it and enjoy it.

I gave my daughter water from day one and the only thing it did was help her to drink it as a toddler. Whenever you're comfortable with it, go for it!

I'm not sure of the exact time when it's okay to start giving them water....but I know it's months from now. If you're breastfeeding....I would put my son up to the boob and have him nurse...always seemed to go away....they just get hiccups. If he's bottle feeding, then I would try a different brand, maybe Dr. Brown's.

Good luck,

You can give a baby water at any time. It's harmless. Just put it in a bottle or see if she can sip out of a cup.

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