LivingUp to six months, only exclusive breastfeeding: no infusions,...

Up to six months, only exclusive breastfeeding: no infusions, no juices, no water

The mother’s milk preferably, and if not the formula milk, provides all the energy and nutrients that a baby needs to feed properly during the first six months of life, so they do not need any other liquid: neither infusions, nor teas , no juices, not even water .

Sometimes they are given infusions that are sold to relieve colic or help them sleep better, however these preparations not only do not work, but they can be harmful in young children, like juices. It is also not recommended to give them extra water, since all they need is provided by the mother’s milk or the formula bottle.

Exclusive breastfeeding on demand

Breast milk is more than 80 percent water , especially the first milk of the baby’s feed. When breastfeeding, the mother provides her baby with all the water he needs to stay hydrated, so even in hot weather there is no need to give him extra water.

Additionally, giving water can cause the baby to drink less breast milk, and the less milk the baby takes, the less the mother will produce, causing milk production to decrease and leading to abandoning breastfeeding.

According to the WHO, at the same time it is avoided to give unsafe water that could be undrinkable (in developing countries) and cause infections or a picture of diarrhea in the baby. Therefore, it recommends exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months and supplementing it with other foods until at least two years.

Exclusive breastfeeding means that the child receives only breast milk (including expressed or nurse’s milk) for the first six months of life, and no other food or drink, not even water, except for oral rehydration salts, drops and syrups (vitamins, minerals and medicines) “.

In this way, giving exclusive breastfeeding offered on demand , that is, without schedules, when the baby requests it, and offering the breast more frequently if it is very hot is sufficient as a source of hydration. Babies do not need any external source of water, because all they need is from breast milk.

What if you drink artificial milk?

If you are not breastfeeding and formula is fed, the recommendation is the same. No extra water or any other liquid for the first six months of life. The water they need is already received from the mixture between water and powder that we make when preparing the bottle.

It is also very important to offer the bottle on demand, as is breastfeeding.

It would not make sense to substitute nutrient-rich milk for water, without any nutritional value . If we give him a bottle (or half a bottle of water) he will fill his stomach with water, and then he will drink less milk. If this practice is repeated, over time, you could be at risk of malnutrition.

No juices

Nor do they need to experience new flavors through juices (even if they are made from natural fruits), which could be harmful.

Pediatricians recommend that babies should not drink juices, among other things because during the first six months “they run the risk of losing proteins, essential fats and nutrients, such as calcium, iron and zinc that milk provides and they need to So not only is juice useless, it can be harmful. “

No juices during exclusive breastfeeding, and much less packaged juices, which contain high amounts of sugar, and are not recommended for children of any age.

Herbal teas can be dangerous

Traditionally, natural remedies in the form of herbal or plant infusions, for example chamomile or anise, are often recommended to relieve certain discomforts in babies, such as infant colic, irritability or to promote sleep.

However, not only is there no scientific evidence that they work , but these infusions can be dangerous, among other things because we do not know the active ingredients they contain and the concentration of the preparation, and can cause adverse effects, such as poisoning, reactions or allergies . Natural does not mean harmless.

The unwanted effects are the same as the ones we mentioned before. They have no nutritional value and make the baby “fill” with a liquid that is not recommended instead of drinking milk, which nourishes him. In addition to the high sugar content in the infusions sold in pharmacies, more than eighty percent in the form of sucrose or dextrose.

And after six months?

After six months, the baby will begin with complementary feeding, which as its name suggests “complements” breastfeeding. That is, milk will continue to be your main food, but you will start to try solid foods.

When complementary feeding is introduced , water can be offered to the baby so that he can drink whenever he wants, without forcing him. Milk, whether maternal or artificial (or mixed lactation), will continue to be your main food, which will continue to provide you with the most of the water you need.

Many children hardly drink water, and there is no need to worry, since milk and other foods rich in water are their source of hydration. As for the infusions, they are not recommended for babies of any age, nor are juices. If you are going to give it fruit, it is better that it be the pureed piece, cut into pieces or compote, and the packaged ones are better to always avoid because of their high sugar content.

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