Other Drinks During Weaning

By Ashley | December 29, 2009
Healthy Drinks While Weaning

Babies require an adequate intake of fluid for their proper health. Breast fed babies obtain their fluid and other nutritional requirements from breast milk itself and as such do not need to be given water or other fluids. Once weaning begins, they will begin to consume smaller amounts of breast milk, and their fluid needs will begin to rise.

Breast milk can be fed to the baby until about a year. In the first six months, if breast milk cannot be give to the child, infant formula is the only alternative. Full fat cow’s milk and semi-skimmed milk must not be given to babies as these do not meet the child’s nutritional needs. Cow’s milk baby formulas can be fed to babies provided you confirm this with the baby’s doctor first. Babies start requiring water once they switch to solid foods. Boiled water is the recommended drink for babies. You can allow boiled water to cool and then offer it to the infant. Bottled mineral water may not be suitable for infants due to the high content of minerals in it. If you must use bottled water for your baby, first check the bottle label to ensure that the sodium content is not higher than 200mg per liter. You can also boil bottled water and then give it to the baby after it cools. Fruit juices must not be given to babies under the age of six months since they reduce the baby’s appetite for milk and also contain sugars which may cause tooth decay. After six months, feeding the baby with fruits juices such as orange juice will ensure a good intake of vitamin C which helps in the absorption of iron from foods. You can offer the baby diluted juice during meal times in a cup. Refrain from giving juice in a bottle as it could be damaging to gums and teeth. Drinks that are not suitable for infants include sugary or fizzy drinks, diet colas or low calories drinks, flavored milk, herbal drinks and tea and coffee.

The best way to offer drinks to a baby is in a sippy cup. A sippy cup has a spout and a screw on lid which allows the child to drink without spilling the contents. They are used as an effective transition tool for babies that are being weaned. Babies can be given sippy cups at the age of five to six months.

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