On Air Now
Early Breakfast with Jenni Falconer 4am - 6am
9 November 2018, 16:50
It may seem harmless but giving water to a small baby has dangers. Here are the warnings and advice you need to be aware of...
For adults, drinking water is something we have to do to stay healthy but for babies, it could prove harmful.
It is advised that babies should only be given milk - breast or formula - for the first six months of their lives before being introduced to water.
But even then, it should only begin with allowing them small sips here and there as according to Katie Zeratsky from the Mayo Clinic babies can live without water until the age of one.
She told Buzzfeed: "They get all of their fluid needs through human milk or infant formula. Even on a hot day they can get all of their hydration needs through human milk or formula."
If babies are given water instead of milk they can fill up on it with no room left for the milk which provides them with all of the vital nutrients they need such as proteins, vitamins, carbohydrates, minerals and fat.
Zeratsky warns against 'water intoxication' which she explained is "where you consume too much water in a short period of time and your blood level of sodium drops…making a tragic situation".
She points out that it is an unlikely scenario due to the fact the baby would probably be full before drinking enough water to allow this to happen but "it's not impossible".