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With high temperatures, the body asks us for more fluids, but what happens with nursing babies? Do you have to give them water to avoid heat stroke? How can you prevent dehydration in summer? The answer is to breastfeed on demand and even to offer it without asking.
Babies and young children are more prone to dehydration than adults, because 70% of the body weight of an infant (from 1 to 24 months) is water, while in us that proportion is 50%. As they contain a greater proportion of water, they need to take 10-15% of their weight in water every day and 2-4% is enough for us. To get an idea, it is as if we adults need to drink around 10 liters of water a day.
For this reason, infants can become dangerously dehydrated quickly, which is why it is necessary to be very attentive to possible symptoms. Any of these signs can indicate that your baby is dehydrated or becoming dehydrated:
-Does not wet the diaper in a period of six or eight hours.
-The pee is a more intense yellow color and smells stronger.
-It is seen that he is without energy or lethargic.
-When he cries, no tears come out.
-Your mouth and lips are dry.
Faced with any of these symptoms, it is best to go to the pediatrician to make sure he is okay. If it is a mild dehydration, it is most likely that he recommends the intake of more fluids. Here, the age of the infant is important because at this time is when many doubts arise of the type: when do babies start drinking water?
The World Health Organization (WHO), as well as other prestigious international organizations, recommend that babies exclusively drink breast milk up to 6 months. As it is made up of 87% water, it is not necessary to give infants water. The child obtains from his mother all the nutrients and mineral salts he needs to protect himself against dehydration.
If on the hottest days of summer, in addition to his usual feedings, you notice that your baby demands the breast more often and for a short time, it is because at the beginning of each suction the milk is more watery and is cooling. The amount of fat in breast milk increases throughout the feeding.
It is also not necessary to give water to six-month-old babies, or even older ones, who continue to suckle on demand, even if they have started complementary feeding. The water in the mother's milk together with that of the fruits and vegetables is enough to cover her daily needs.. You can start offering him water, little by little and without forcing him, as long as it does not coincide with the intakes so that he does not reject the food
What is totally discouraged at any age is to give babies bottles of water because this practice could lead to temporary malnutrition. The water that infants need must always be accompanied by nutrients, otherwise their stomachs would fill with water and they could reject feeding.
Susana Torres.Collaborator of our site and lactation consultant
You can read more articles similar to How to avoid dehydration in nursing babies, in the category of On-site Breastfeeding.