Milky Minutes – Does My Breastfed Baby Need Water?

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We are all told to drink plenty of water. It is natural to wonder if your baby needs extra water too. Some doctors and nurses recommend that you give your baby water, especially in the summer. However, you have also heard that if you are breastfeeding, then your breastmilk has everything your baby needs. What’s a mother to do?

Breastmilk is composed of 88% water. So, the short answer to the question is an emphatic no, your breastfed baby does not need extra water. 

The longer answer is, giving an exclusively breastfed baby extra water has some risks. Too much water given to a newborn can result in water intoxication, which can be very dangerous for babies. Water can also make a baby feel full, and then he will not want to breastfeed enough. 

Once your baby starts solids, it is okay to offer some water. Remember though, when your baby first starts to eat solids, breastmilk will still be a substantial part of his diet. Don’t give too much water.

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