Drinking Water & Starting Solid Foods

Updated on May 12, 2010
J.S. asks from Brooklyn, NY
14 answers

My 5 mo old just started solid food (just once a day for now) Does she need to drink water now? If so, how much? Thanks!

This is from the book "Super Baby Food" by Ruth Yaron- "Water is important to Kidney Functioning- when you introduce solid foods, begin giving your baby a little water after and between meals. It will help her kidneys dilute the more concentrated waste products of solid foods.

Can anyone comment on this? I'm confused now.

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So What Happened?

For S.S.- I wanted to wait til 6 mo's to start but I didn't for the following reasons: 1. she was very interested in our food- would stare at the fork going into our mouths and tried to grab our plates 2. She is drinking 6 ozs of formula a day X 8= 48 ozs a day! 3. She used to sleep til 7am and now wakes up in the middle of the night b/c she's hungry. i think she's def ready. We started her on organic brown rice cereal which she immediately gulped down and cried when we tried to take it away. We then gave her bananas which she absolutely loved. No allergies in both sides of family and she seems fine too. We are only really feeding her solids 1 X/day to get her used to it and the textures etc....gonna try avocado next...

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answers from Los Angeles on

She shouldn't need any water b/c of her formula/breastmilk but its nice to start her on it to get her used to the taste of water. Just put some in a sippy cup and try to get her to drink it. My son needed the valve taken out of the sippy so the water would flow into his mouth. Once he knew there was water in there, I could put the valve back in adn he knew to suck it out. 5 months seems early to start solids though. Most pediatricians I know as well as the AAP says to wait until 6 months to start so maybe hold off on the solids and the water until then..

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answers from Harrisburg on

Nope! She gets all the fluids she needs from her formula. Don't give her empty calories.

K. B
mom to 5 including triplets

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answers from New York on

there is plenty of water in formula (or breast milk) so assuming she is still drinking formula, there is no need to give extra water. Also, she is eating so little solid food, it shouldn't make a difference.



answers from Indianapolis on

We never gave our kids water before their first birthdays, and even then, we kept them on milk as their primary source of fluids until age 2.

I agree with SS that putting some in a sippy cup (water) to get her accustomed to learning to use it is a less messy way to teach her how to use one, but we were never advised to give water before the age of 1.

It's actually a point of contention I have with my sister whose daughter will be 2 in a few days - she gives her more water/day than milk because she's so scared of her daughter being obese. My sister is highly intellectual and professionally successful, but she's blinded by her own issues of being the "fat kid", and is making some questionable choices for her daughter.

The American Academy of Pediatrics actually recommends the initiation of solids between 4-6 months. Trust your pediatrician's guidance. Both of our kids were started at 4 months because they were consistently in the 90% on height/weight. It will depend on the child's ability to thrive and hit developmental milestones. Here's their position statement via their parenting website, HealthyChildren.org :


answers from New York on

Give her as much as she's willing to drink or start her off with one or two ounces. My daughter started drinking water at six months. Her pediatrician advised us to give her Poland Spring water and she loves it. I bought her a nuby cup with handles on the sides and she'll drink a little bit of water or a lot depending how thirty she is. I also mix a little bit of Apple Juice in the water as a treat. Water is very important for us and I'm sure it's important for babies to drink also.



answers from New York on

I think that there is nothing wrong with introducing a sippy cup with a little water. It will get her used to drinking from it and will help you to get her off the bottle (if you're using one) quicker. It really can't hurt to give your baby water (no calories) as long as they are getting the recommended amount of milk/formula every day. My ped told me that NO water is necessary during the first year except on a very day.

I swore by Ruth Yaron but I didn't worry about the water issue since my daughter was a poor eater and got most of her food/calories through formula/milk.



answers from St. Louis on

At this age, she is still getting the vast majority of her nutrients from formula or breastmilk. She needs those nutrients, and if she drinks too much water, then she will not have room in her little belly for the "good stuff". Stick with the formula or breastmilk for now. Until she is about a year old, that's where most of her nutrition comes from. As she gets older and is more used to eating, etc., she'll let you know what she wants and when she wants it. Trust me!

How did I know that my 6-month-old wanted to eat solid food? He took my donut out of my hand and shoved it in his mouth. He remains the picture of clarity to this day...



answers from New York on

Breast milk and/or formula may be enough--check with your doctor. You can offer a little water in a sippy cup, but ruth yaron is not a doctor of any kind--so don't stress out!


answers from Dallas on

i give my kids water since 4 month about 2-4 oz a day and baby cereal once a day



answers from New York on

Yeah. Water or tea is recommended.
I would also add to start giving it to her out of a cup so she can start to learn how to drink out of a cup. We use a shot glass which is the perfect amount of water to give the first few weeks. I gave 1 or 2 shot glasses full

Good luck!



answers from Jackson on

there is nothing wrong with giving her a little water with her meal. She won't drink that much of it at first and it just getting used to how it's supposed to come out of the sippy cup. I started my son on solids at 6 months and a sippy cup a couple of weeks after the solids started. After a couple of weeks he would only drink about an ounce a day and now he drinks about 5-7 ounces a day. It hasn't decreased his appetite at all. He continues to eat very well. He's a thriving healthy boy. I would hold off on juice but water is fine if she's already on solids. Of course it should be well filtered or prebottled before she gets it.



answers from New York on

There is new research to show that waiting to introduce solids does not necessarily lead to allergies, so introducing food is probably fine at this point. We introduced food at 4 months, just a tablespoon of cereal at a time. At 9 months, my daughter is eating fruits and veg. wet cheerios and teething biscuits. We give her a sippy cup more for the experience and to clean off her little teeth after eating. She actually likes to drink out of a regular cup, which is a little messy, but fun! Your baby sounds like she's getting well hydrated. You're probably adding water to the cereal, too. The only thing that I would avoid is juice. That has empty calories from sugar that could lead to tooth decay. Plus, any vitamins she could get from juice are also available from the better option of fruit itself. You're doing well!



answers from Rochester on

I always think its a good idea to give a baby water. Not too much. Don't want him to get filled up with water and not be able to have a regular meal. I'd say an ounce or so every so often. That's what I did.



answers from New York on

I started my daughter on solids at 5 1/2 months...I also was told to wait until she was 6 months but you def know when your little one is ready! I was told that she doesn't need water....she will get enough from the formula (since this is still the main source) and the baby food has water/fiber too. I think they need water when they cross over to table foods. This is such a fun time!!! My baby is 9 months now and she wants to eat everything!!! LOL....Good luck!

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