In our current economy, money may be tight, leaving parents searching for opportunities to save where they can. Sometimes, the way parents decide to save is to dilute their baby’s breast milk or formula with water. It may seem like a good option, however, what many new parents are not aware of is the risk associated with giving Baby too much water.
A condition known as water intoxication can be caused when a baby is fed breast milk or formula without the appropriate amount of sodium, as a result of water dilution. Without the proper amount of solutes in Baby’s fluids, blood levels of sodium will drop, resulting in brain swelling. Once a baby’s brain begins to swell, it can cause significant brain damage, seizures, or even death.
Even in the summer months, babies do not need to be given extra water. Breast milk is composed of 80-90% water, a sufficient amount of water for this age. It is important to follow the instructions on condensed or powdered formula to ensure that the ratio of water to formula is correct. In addition to increasing the risk of water intoxication, adding excess water to formula or breast milk takes away a percentage of the nutrition received at mealtime for Baby. Once Baby has reached six months of age, she can safely drink a maximum of three ounces of water during meal times. Until then, feedings should not contain extra water.
“Infant’s Death Brings Awareness to Water Intoxication.” 11Alive. Web. 8 Dec. 2015.
“The Deadly Reason You Should Never Give Your Baby Extra Water.” The Deadly
Reason You Should Never Give Your Baby Extra Water. Web. 8 Dec. 2015.