As a new parent, it’s easy to worry about every little thing when it comes to taking care of your newborn. Accidents can happen, and one common mistake is accidentally giving your baby water. But how much harm can a few sips of water really do? And how can you prevent accidental water ingestion in the future? Here’s what you need to know.
The Dangers of Giving Water to Newborns
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that babies under 6 months of age should not be given any water at all. This is because their kidneys are not yet fully developed and cannot process water as efficiently as an adult’s kidneys. If a baby drinks too much water, it can lead to a condition called hyponatremia, which is a low level of sodium in the blood. Hyponatremia can cause seizures, brain swelling, and even death.
So giving a baby younger than 6 months even a moderate amount of water in a short period of time can lead to hyponatremia, which at its most dangerous can cause brain swelling and even death. However, the AAP also says that a few sips of water are unlikely to cause any harm.
What to Do if You Accidentally Gave Your Baby Water
If you accidentally gave your newborn a few sips of water, don’t panic. Here’s what you should do:
- Monitor your baby for any signs of problems.
Keep an eye on your baby for any signs of fussiness, vomiting, or diarrhea. These may be signs of hyponatremia or other issues. If you notice anything out of the ordinary, contact your doctor right away.
- Don’t give your baby any more water.
Make sure your baby only drinks breast milk or formula until they are 6 months old.
- Talk to your doctor.
If you’re concerned or have any questions, contact your doctor. They can give you more information and help put your mind at ease.
How to Prevent Accidental Water Ingestion
Here are some tips to help prevent accidental water ingestion in babies:
- Use a bottle nipple with a slow flow rate.
Using a bottle nipple with a slow flow rate can help prevent your baby from drinking too much water too quickly.
- Don’t give your baby a bottle of water to play with.
Babies love to play with objects, but giving them a bottle of water to play with can be dangerous. They may accidentally ingest water and put themselves at risk for hyponatremia.
- Keep water bottles out of reach of babies.
Make sure water bottles are stored safely and out of reach of your baby. This will help prevent accidental ingestion.
- Follow formula mixing instructions carefully.
If you are giving your baby formula, make sure to mix it according to the package directions. Do not add extra water.
Accidentally giving your newborn water can be a scary experience, but a few sips are unlikely to cause any harm. It’s important to remember that babies under 6 months of age should not be given any water at all, as their kidneys are not yet fully developed. If you’re concerned or have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact your doctor. By following the tips above, you can help prevent accidental water ingestion and keep your baby safe and healthy.