Does your infant need to drink water? Find out in this week’s “Ask Amanda,” column. Ask Amanda is our weekly virtual Q and A forum brought to you by Feed to Succeed’s expert Northshore dietitian Amanda Gordon.
Q: Hi Amanda. When can I start giving my baby water to drink? She only takes formula and baby food. She is 7 months old. I wasn’t sure when I could add other liquid.
A: This is a great question! If your daughter is seven months old, now would be a good time to introduce water. The American Academy of Pediatrics and the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics suggest that water may be offered to bottle-fed infants older than 6 months. Babies usually don’t need additional water if they are taking good amounts of formula or are breastfeeding well, however water is a great way to help acclimate to a sippy cup. If possible, I recommend using a sippy cup, not a bottle. And, it should only be sips of water at this point. She should not drink more than about 1-2 ounces of water per day at this point. You don’t want her to fill up on water, it’s really just for practice. In time, this will help her learn to be a good water drinker and help her understand when she is older that water quenches thirst well.