In adults water intoxication is rather rare but in babies it is rather common. Babies under the age of 1 don’t have kidney’s mature enough to flush out excess water fast enough which can cause a build up of water in the system rather quickly. Babies under the age of 1 get all of their hydration and most of their nutrition from breast milk or formula. Water isn’t necessary at all. Some doctors or pediatrician say that water is OK for babies between 4 to 6 months of age once they start solids, while others suggest waiting until 9 months of age. Some even suggest that water is fine as long as the baby is full from either breast milk or formula prior to giving water. The amount of water that can cause water intoxication in a infant is unknown and the differences in medical professional opinions makes me heed caution.
I can honestly say this is something I have never heard about and once I researched it I was shocked and scared. I gave Jellybean water as a baby not thinking it would ever cause him any harm. When he was a newborn and got constipated Marcus and I researched natural ways to help him go to the bathroom. We did the massaging of the belly, the bicycle legs, and then gave him a 2 ounce bottle of water. I honestly thought it was a better option than giving him gripe water, since water was natural. I even gave him water a few times when we were out in the heat and I thought he needed a little more hydration. Our pediatrician also started pushing for us to start him on a sippy cup around 6 months of age. It’s scary to me to think that something could be so dangerous and we were never informed of it by a medical professional.
I guess you learn something every day and having this knowledge will definitely effect how we do things a little differently with Littlebean this time around. I just hope everyone uses caution and does research of their own and comes to safe decision that works for their infants. Spread the word to other Moms and hopefully we can help educate others and keep our infants safe.