Water is the essence of life. Every living organism needs the support of water to exist. The child being a human or a living body needs that too. The requirements of water for a baby depends on the age of a child. For example in the first six months of a newborn, the requirement of water is solely met by the breastfeeding while a child of a year or more needs to intake much more water which cannot otherwise be met by breastfeeding or simply milk or formula milk.
Here is the video Littles Parenting explaining the requirements of water at various initial stages of a baby’s life. The video illustrates the baby’s water requirements for up to 6 months, for 6 months to one year, for 1 to 3 year and for up to the age of 8 years.
The amount of water that can be given to the child according to age:
0 to 6 months: Baby till 6 months of age do not need water beyond 0.7 liter per day and the whole water needs of a baby are met by the breastfeeding or formula milk only. Do not offer water to your baby until 6 months.
7 to 12 months: If your baby is above 6 months, then you can offer a small amount of cooled boiled water but that should not replace breastmilk or formula feeds. Breastmilk should still be their main drink up to 12 months of age. Water requirement of baby is 0.8 litre per day from 7 months to 1 year of age.
1 to 3 years: 1 to 3-year old child needs 1.3 litre water in a day. This water may come from milk, vegetable soups, fruit juices or from the food. The water requirements of a child also depend upon the climate. If you are staying in a hot and humid climate then your child may require more water to prevent dehydration and exhaustion.
4 to 8 years: Children between 4 to 8 years of age needs 1.7 litre water per day. If your child is physically very active he may need more water to keep his body hydrated.
Water is necessary for the survival of living organisms. Adults drink plenty of water every day according to their thirst but it isn’t the same with babies. Do make sure you follow your doctor’s recommendations on giving water to your baby to avoid dehydration.