With temperatures soaring, it’s important to stay hydrated – we all know that.
But when it comes to keeping your babies hydrated, experts are urging new parents not to give their little ones water – no matter how warm it is outside.
It may seem like common sense – especially since we’ve been told water is good for us since we were children – but giving your baby water can be extremely dangerous.
As a first time parent it’s only natural to feel overwhelmed with the vast amount of information out there.
But this is one risk that new parents cannot ignore.
Do babies need water?
The short answer is, no.
Up until the age of six months, babies should not be given water at all.
Once they reach six months old they can be given a sip of water here or there but it’s not necessary as according to Katie Zeratsky, a dietitian at the Mayo Clinic, they can actually live without water until they’re a year old.
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.”
Why is it dangerous?
Milk provides all of the nutrients a baby needs, from protein, vitamins and minerals to carbohydrates and fats.
Babies develop quickly when they’re little so it’s vital to ensure they receive everything they need to grow big and strong.
Pharmacist Abbas Kanani told Yahoo UK : “Their stomachs are so tiny and can fill up easily with water, making it difficult for them to get the nourishment they require.”
He adds: “Giving water to an infant can affect the baby’s ability to receive adequate nourishment.”
What happens if babies drink water?
Water consumption under the age of six months can lead to water intoxication.
Katie says: “Water intoxication is where you consume too much water in a short period of time and your blood level of sodium drops…making a tragic situation.”
This then overloads the kidneys, and as Katie explained, results in a possible imbalance in the levels of electrolytes like sodium.
Abbas said that this drop in sodium is a result of too much water being fed into the body, a condition known as hyponatraemia.
This could later lead to swelling of the brain, seizures and in some cases can be fatal.