Why You Shouldn’t Give Your Baby Water Before The 6 Months Mark

Hot or cold, giving water to young babies puts them at risk of diarrhoea and malnutrition. Water may not be clean and cause the baby to have infections. Giving water may also cause the baby to drink less breastmilk or stop breastfeeding early and therefore cause malnutrition. If mothers give water instead of breastfeeding it will also cause the mother to have less milk in the future.

Breast milk is more than 80% water, especially the first milk that comes with each feed. Therefore, whenever the mother feels her baby is thirsty she can breastfeed him or her. This will satisfy the bay’s thirst, and continue to protect the baby from infections, and help the baby to continue to grow well. Babies do not need water before they are 6 months old, even in a hot climate. This is one of the reasons that WHO recommends for children to be exclusively breastfed for the first 6 months of life.

A child is considered exclusively breastfed when he or she receives only breast milk, without any additional food or liquid, even water, with the exception of oral rehydration solution, drops, syrups of vitamins, minerals or medicines. When breastfeeding, the mother gives her baby all the water he or she needs, while providing “safe water” and protecting the baby against diarrhoea.

Source: WHO

17 Discussions on
“Why You Shouldn’t Give Your Baby Water Before The 6 Months Mark”
  • Good information. I hope those mothers shouting give baby water will read this because I remember arguing this out with a mother on this Motherhoodinstyle platform some months back. Thanks for the info MIM

  • I know this&i always advocate for exclusive breastfeeding. although I stop at the end of my kids 4 months cos they can suck like crazy . I hope all mothers wl read & believe this(that water does more harm than good) & give EBF a trial even if its for d first 3 months.

  • Hmmmm. Just now my neighbour was telling me to start giving my 4months old water, I’ve called her to come read this.

  • This is interesting. I never really believe this pratice of not giving water oooo. Thanks MIM for educating me on this.

  • i don’t subscribe to exclusive breast feeding for 6months. to me 3 months is ok.those babies r usually not strong. how many mothers eat healthy. abeg give ur baby boiled water. notin will happen.

  • I totally agree,though didn’t do up to 6months for my 1st&2nd child cos of school I stopped at 4months.
    By for my third I complete am pass sef wit 1month.

  • Message.. Ok I hear what about babies dat lost deir mothers @ birth? Wht will happen to dem? Abeg I gv my own baby water n he’s healthy n beside did our parenys then kw wht is exlusive? Na God de save babies weda exclusive or not

  • exclusive breastfeeding is d best. i did for my first son and i will do again n again. my son is so strong n healthy . i will neva give water bfore 6 months.

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