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Newborn and Infant Care

Water given to a newborn daily?

10/25/2006

Question:

Should I feed a 1 month old baby water on a daily basis?

Answer:

Experts in nutrition and in the American Academy of Pediatrics in their latest 2004 edition of the Pediatric Nutrition Handbook agree that babies should not be fed water. In fact, the largest component of both breast milk and formula is water, so more is not necessary. More importantly, it may take the place of needed nutrition from formula or breast milk. It is also not as satisfying to the baby as breast milk or formula, hence the baby will soon cry from hunger again.

Young babies should have at least 6 very wet diapers per day and 2-3 stools if they are getting adequate intake. If this is not the case for your baby and you are worried about weight gain or adequacy of nutrition, it is best to take the baby to see his or her doctor.

Thanks for a question many parents worry about. I hope this information is helpful.

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Response by:

Mary M Gottesman, PhD, RN, CPNP, FAAN Mary M Gottesman, PhD, RN, CPNP, FAAN
Professor of Clinical Nursing
College of Nursing
The Ohio State University