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Thread: Should baby be drinking water?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
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    11

    Default Should baby be drinking water?

    Hello everyone!

    My 7mo seems to be a little constipated for the second time in 2 weeks. I think the first time was due to her first cold and the second was maybe due to broccoli? She also really likes constipating bananas. Both bouts of constipation have cleared up after giving baby water from her daddy's water bottle, which she loves to play with and suck on.

    My question is should a 7mo mostly breastfed baby be drinking water regularly? What has been your experience with your babies? My ped office suggests babies over 6 months should have access to water or juice (we'll skip the juice, thank you) and The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding seems to suggests if baby is constipated or has smelly gas (guilty) you're doing it wrong.

    Is this a sign baby isn't ready for solid food? Should I be concerned water might replace breast milk and lead to more night wakings (please no!). I wish babies came with instruction manuals!!!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    10,754

    Default Re: Should baby be drinking water?

    My question is should a 7mo mostly breastfed baby be drinking water regularly?
    I am pretty sure the answer to this is no. Since a breastfed 7 month old should be getting the vast majority of their nutrition from breastmilk, and breastmilk is very hydrating, I do not think any water is needed. What I have seen suggested (for example on kellymom) is that at this age with a baby who is eating soilds, small sips of water with solids so baby learns to drink from a cup are OK, but you have to be careful about baby getting too much water for a few reasons. I honestly have no idea if it is different if baby is formula fed, and your doctor may well mostly see formula fed babies and is assuming the recommendations are the same. I am assuming your baby does not get formula as you do not mention it.

    Can you point out where in WAB it says that if baby is constipated or has smelly gas you are "doing it wrong?" Also please note what edition. I do not doubt you, I just want to find that place in the book so I can see what they are talking about.

    Too early or too much solids can indeed be constipating. So constipation can be a sign walking back on how much solids are offered might be a good idea. However I think that if you know WHAT foods are constipating to your child, then you know what you have to do. Baby loves bananas? Great, she has a whole lifetime to enjoy bananas. Maybe they are not the best choice right now.

    And just to be sure, you do mean baby is constipated and not just going several days between fairly soft, smushy poops? Classic signs of constipation are baby straining to go, having pain or obvious discomfort trying to go, straining without producing, stools hard and dry.

    (we'll skip the juice, thank you)
    Amen!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Posts
    31

    Default Re: Should baby be drinking water?

    Hi there,

    I strongly agree with the post above that if the baby gets constipation after starting solids, it may be too much at once. I usually advise to stop/strongly reduce the solids for a week or so, wait until everything goes back to normal and then slowly continue with the introduction.

    However, with my daughter I had an "in my face" experience. We started baby led weaning at 6 months and 1 week. Already before that she was prone to constipation. The solids made it worse. No matter how much milk she got from me, only water helped her. I was and still am very puzzled how breast milk with such a high water percentage does not work like pure water does. But for my daughter it just didn't... And I am pretty sure she badly needed the solids, because she drank like crazy at night.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Posts
    11

    Default Re: Should baby be drinking water?

    Hi maddieieb!
    Thank you for your reply. I mean baby is constipated like straining to go, crying, obviously in pain when she's pooping. For a few days she had tiny nuggets of really smelly sticky poop, then a little water and everything returned to normal. The thing is we have been doing solids for over a month now, I can;t imagine it would take so long for her to show me she's not ready?

    I returned my copy of WAB to the library today but I'm pretty sure I read something about constipation/smelly gas in the 'signs your baby is not ready' section in the chapter about solids. Sorry I can't be more specific.

    Hi tralala.pom!
    What do you mean she drank all night? She nursed a lot? Mine thinks this is an all night buffet! She's been waking to nurse 5, 6, 7 (maybe more!) times a night to nurse! And I honestly cannot drink enough water. I feel like I am always on the brink of dehydration, esp in the summer months. Maybe like mother like daughter? I will try cutting back on solids, but she doesn't eat much to begin with. We waited to give her food until she showed a strong interest. And now I never put her in a chair or feed her from a tray. I just give her a little of whatever I'm eating and she stands at the coffee table or plays with it on the floor (gross, I know). Thanks for your reply

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Posts
    31

    Default Re: Should baby be drinking water?

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*tkanten View Post
    Hi tralala.pom!
    What do you mean she drank all night? She nursed a lot? Mine thinks this is an all night buffet! She's been waking to nurse 5, 6, 7 (maybe more!) times a night to nurse! And I honestly cannot drink enough water. I feel like I am always on the brink of dehydration, esp in the summer months. Maybe like mother like daughter? I will try cutting back on solids, but she doesn't eat much to begin with. We waited to give her food until she showed a strong interest. And now I never put her in a chair or feed her from a tray. I just give her a little of whatever I'm eating and she stands at the coffee table or plays with it on the floor (gross, I know). Thanks for your reply


    Yes, thanks for the correction, I indeed meant that she nursed a lot. Frequent night nursing by itself is not necessarily a sign of anything, but she nursed with such enormous strength that I have not experienced before. We co-sleep, so usually I just give her a breast and sleep further. But on those nights the sucking was so intense that I was just laying awake. This type of sucking seemed more likely to be for nutritional purposes than for comfort.

    My son, he's 4 year old now, also had troubles with constipation since introduction of the solids. And still has, if he does not have enough fluids. But he also has multiple allergies, so I am not sure his example is of any use for you. It started ok, like a month or so without issues. Then it was similar to what you describe - straining, crying; once he was standing, he would hide during the process in the corner or behind the curtains and would scream if someone approaches. We supplemented him with lactulose for over a year. Then we finally tried probiotics. It worked in two days! Soon it got a bit worse, but never as bad as before.

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