Giving Infants Water??

Updated on February 08, 2011
C.E. asks from Toms River, NJ
11 answers

Hi Everyone,
Just wondering how much water is safe for a 5 month to drink throughout the day. My doctor says that it is empty calories. However, I would NEVER substitute it for a meal...I just want to give my son a little bit during the day b/c he is having diffculty with constipation due to the rice cereal.

Any help would be great!!!
C. :)

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answers from Albany on

Hi C.!

I've always been told to avoid water because excess water can be dangerous to an infant and that formula and other products have all the water babies need. If you are concerned about the constipation then I would also suggest changing to oatmeal and putting some stage 1 prunes or a little prune juice mixed in with the rice cereal. That used to work for my daughter.


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answers from New York on

First of all stop the rice for a while. Try using oatmeal instead. Also give him some water and prune juice or applejuice. I am a firm believer that getting them used to drinking water now will make it easier later. I would never subsitute a meal with water but once in a while will not hurt them. At one point my daughter wasn't peeing a whole lot and the doctor said that she may be a little drhydrated. She hasn't been drinking a whole lot of formula these days. Especially since I started with cereals. Mostly drinks at night. Try the oatmeal and use more formula, try to make it alittle more runny until he gets used to it. Also try to mix some applesause or prunes (baby food) with it. Hope this helps. Good luck!



answers from New York on

O.k. if he is having a problem with constipation stay away from the BRAT diet (bananas, rice, applesauce, toast). This will only make the problem worse. Maybe it's time to introduce a new food. Try oatmeal or barley instead of rice. I always made mine the same as I made rice, with formula. Also, if you have already introduced applesauce, give him apple juice to help with the constipation. Be careful not to over due it or you'll give him the runs. I cut all fruit juices 50% with water. It's not uncommon for kids to become constipated when introducing foods. One of the first fruits my daughter had was Pears, because my doc office suggested pears, peaches, plum, prunes, and apricots to eliviate constipation. All before my daughter was 6 mos.



answers from Buffalo on

If you are breastfeeding, water is not necessary. The cereal is loaded with iron that constipates baby. I skipped cereals all together. IMO, they are just empty calories and the iron is not well absorbed anyway. If you are nursing, they get all the iron they need. If you are using formula, then I dont know what advice to give. I have no experience with it. Good luck!



answers from New York on

The same thing happened to my son when we started rice cereal. You can mix the cereal with water and a little prune juice. In the meantime, if he is very constipated you can give him an ounce of water or prune juice 3 or 4 times a day until he poops. How long has he gone without pooping? If its only a couple days, just use the water and prune juice in his food and give him water just once or twice a day. My son went 9 days without pooping and we gave him water and prune juice 4 times a day for 2 days until he went. Check with your doctor though, just in case.



answers from New York on

Hello C.,

somebody said that babie's kidneys cannot handle just plain water. (don't quote me on it) however, what if you add pears to his meals (and use the oat cereal like it was suggested earlier) good luck! ~Carmen~



answers from Washington DC on


I've already started giving my 4 months son solids. I started with veggies ( I prepare veggie purees myself, boil some carrots, butter squash, potatoes or sweet potatoes and blend it with a little bit of water with a hand stick blender) because I read in one book that babies eat don't really like veggies if you give them after cereal. I also give my son not rice cereal but buckwheat (my mom sent me from overseas). If you do give rice cereal, try to give fruits as well, that will help with constipation. I mash banana with a fork and also give him apple puree. Water is fine as well. My ped said no water or juice but its wrong. I give just few teaspoons, water is just water!



answers from Syracuse on

Pear juice is very gentle on the tummy and will relive constipation. I started giving it to my daughter two months because she had this problem. Also mineral oil will help if put in the bottles. I also did this, I want to say 1 tablespoon a day but I would check with your ped because I havent used it ina bout 2 years and might be off with the amount. No water, it is not necessary. My niece was sent to teh hospital and sick for 2 days at 3 months because someone decided to give her 4 oz. of water.



answers from Glens Falls on

I always heard that water thins infants blood, not to give it to them. I never looked into it, just didn't give him any, so I don't know if that is true.



answers from Binghamton on


Infants don't need water if they are nursing, as somebody said, and...I think 5 months is still pretty young to start cereal. They don't need it and the constipation proves that his digestive system is not ready for solids. Some would argue that they don't need solids at all in their first year, and that giving them too soon only stresses the system.

Personally, I would stop with the cereal...if you must do solids, move to avocados and bananas...easy to puree and perfect first foods, then move on to other fruits and vegetables long before you worry about cereals. I did this with my last child (I have 5) and she is my best eater, so I'd say it worked well.

Oh yeah, and I do confess that I always give my babies sips of water with their meals, but not enough to say so, just enough to wet the whistle.




answers from New York on

At her 4 month appt. our ped told us to give her a couple of ounces of water to help with constipation. She is mostly breasfed and only gets one feeding a day of formula. She also started solids at that time due to her unusually large size(agree on ditching the rice cereal - oatmeal is easier on the GI tract).

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