Using water to introduce cup drinking

At my son's four month doctor appointment last month, she told us we could start to give him a little water in a cup if we wanted to. I read a newspaper article about the dangers of giving water to infants, saying that the water dilutes necessary sodium in their bodies and makes them ill. I am wondering if this is true. My son is still breastfed at five months, but is displaying a very large interest in using a cup.


Sue Gilbert

Sue Gilbert works as a consulting nutritionist. For many years she worked with Earth's Best Organic Baby Food, integrating nutrition and... Read more

Introducing water in a cup will be perfectly safe for your son. Because he is just learning the mechanics of drinking from one, he won't get much water. Also, your son is now old enough to be having some additional water in his diet, particularly if he has started on solid foods. The warning about too much water in a baby's diet is aimed at younger, newborn infants, for whom breastmilk and formula should be their sole source of fluid except in especially hot weather.

If you would like to avoid water for a while longer, serve formula in the cup, or expressed breast milk.

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