Water is one of the body's most essential nutrients; however, healthy babies do not need extra water for the first six months of life because it exists naturally in breast milk and is added to formula. Giving babies extra water can be dangerous as it can disturb the baby's electrolytes and potentially lead to seizures. So, when can baby start drinking water?
And, remember, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends breast milk or formula as baby's sole source of nutrition for the first six months of life and a major source of nutrition for the first year. So, at six months, give baby a few sips, but don’t fill her up on water.
Children love to imitate mom and dad, and this puts parents in an ideal situation to model healthy habits. While no one can be perfect all the time, eating a healthy diet and being physically active with your children on most days sends the right message. In addition, consider modeling the following healthy behaviors recommended by the American Heart Association and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:
Finally, if you make it a habit to reach for water instead of soda or juice to quench your thirst, your children will most likely make water their beverage of choice. Not only will this healthy habit help control calories, but it will also reduce the risk for tooth decay.
Expecting a new baby is an exciting time, but it can also be exhausting – especially the first few days home from the hospital. To ensure you have everything on hand for feeding baby, we’ve compiled the following list of essentials:
If formula feeding:
Of course, what goes in must come out. In fact, you'll change your baby's diaper at least 6 times daily after the first week of life. While you may be tempted to buy a truckload of diapers, it’s best to buy in small amounts as babies grow quickly.
It can be upsetting to change your baby’s diaper and find a red rash on his little bottom. But most babies develop diaper rash at some point, especially when they start eating solid food and between the ages of 8 and 10 months. Left untreated, diaper rash can result in blisters or open sores that may become infected. The good news is the following steps can help reduce your baby’s risk for diaper rash:
If your baby is premature or hospitalized after birth, she is more likely to develop diaper rash. Your nurses can show you how to gently clean and care for your baby's skin. If diaper rash develops and doesn't improve within a few days, call your pediatrician.