Q&A: Keeping Baby Hydrated?

Should I give my baby water or juice between feedings to keep him hydrated?
ByNancy Mohrbacher, IBCLC, FILCA
Lactation Specialist
Updated
Mar 2017
Hero Image

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), it’s best to not give your baby anything other than your breast milk for the first six months of life. Not only is it unnecessary to offer extra fluids to your breastfed baby, those added ounces of water or juice could lessen baby’s desire to nurse as frequently and hurt his body’s ability to absorb all of the goodies (aka nutrients) in your milk. Plus, juice adds unnecessary sugar to baby’s diet. Rest assured that breast milk contains all the liquid baby needs — even if you live in a hot or dry climate. (Some experts do suggest that formula-fed babies sometimes need to be supplemented with water to help baby’s kidneys get rid of the extra salt found in formula.)

Once your baby is six months old and starting solids, you can offer him a little water when he’s thirsty. Juice is okay at this point too — but no more than two to four ounces per day. (When you can, though, opt for fresh fruit over juice; it offers the same nutrients, plus fiber.)

Related Video

The Hidden Danger Inside Baby's Sippy Cup

Anisa Arsenault
Associate Editor
Published
02/24/2016

Q&A: Is My Baby Hungry?

Nancy Mohrbacher, IBCLC, FILCA
Lactation Specialist

Q&A: Can Baby Drink From a Cup?

Jack Newman, MD, FRCPC
Pediatrician

Q&A: Nighttime Feedings While Away?

Nancy Mohrbacher, IBCLC, FILCA
Lactation Specialist

The Pros and Cons of Pacifier Use

Yelena Moroz Alpert
Contributing Writer

What to Know About Infant Tongue Tie

Anna Davies
Contributing Writer

95 Percent of Major Baby Food Brands Contain Toxic Metals, Study Says

Nehal Aggarwal
Associate Editor
Published
10/18/2019

Q&A: Keeping Baby Hydrated?

Nancy Mohrbacher, IBCLC, FILCA
Lactation Specialist

Milk Protein Intolerance in Babies

Jennifer L.W. Fink
Registered Nurse

Top 5 Facts You Need to Know About Informal Breast Milk Sharing

Dina DiMaggio, MD, and Anthony F. Porto, MD, MPH