L’eau pour les bébés : comment bien hydrater son enfant en été ? - Élhée

Water for babies: how to properly hydrate your child in summer?

Water for babies is essential to life. Moreover, your little one's body is made up of 80% of it. And because infants dehydrate very quickly, how can we ensure adequate hydration, particularly during the hot summer months? When should you start giving your infant water, how often, with what water, and at what temperature? Élhée brings you all the answers in this new article.


Why is water so important?

An infant can become dehydrated very quickly: because his body is made up of 80% water , because his skin surface is larger than that of an adult, fragile and without lipid protection and because his kidneys, still immature, make it eliminate more often. It is therefore crucial to ensure that he receives enough water throughout the day.

  • For a well-hydrated body

    • Water helps maintain a stable body temperature , which is particularly important in babies, who are more sensitive to temperature variations.

    • Adequate hydration is essential for the proper functioning of vital organs , including the kidneys, heart and lungs.

  • For his urinary system

    • Drinking water helps the body eliminate accumulated waste and toxins through urine , thus contributing to kidney health and preventing urinary infections.

  • For the health of your skin

    • Well-hydrated skin is softer, supple and less prone to irritation or breakouts.

  • For his brain development

    • Sufficient, healthy water is essential for the proper functioning of the nervous system , including the transmission of signals between the brain and muscles.

  • For the electrolyte balance of its metabolism

    • Natural mineral water helps maintain the balance of electrolytes (responsible for transporting positive or negative ions in body fluids) which play a role in muscle contraction and the regulation of acid-base balance .

  • For a strong immune system

    • Proper hydration helps support the immune system by facilitating the flow of nutrients and immune cells throughout the body.

  • For digestion and good absorption of nutrients

    • Once baby is diversified , the water he drinks helps him break down food, digest it and absorb it .

    • Drinking enough water also helps maintain soft, regular stools , which prevents constipation , a common problem in babies.

What are babies' water needs?

According to data published by the French Pediatric Society , depending on their age, the season and their state of health, children have different hydration needs.

Age Primary source of hydration Average water requirements per day
Birth to 6 months Breast milk or infant formula 700 to 800 ml of water via milk (i.e. 125 to 150 mL/kg/day)
6 to 12 months Breast milk or infant formula + introduction of solid meals 800 to 1000 mL total — including water from food, milk, and small amounts of water (i.e. 100 to 110 mL/kg/day)
12 to 24 months Breast milk, or infant formula, or cow's milk + solid food 1,000 to 1,300 mL total — including water from food, milk and water (i.e. 100 mL/kg/day)

offer water to the baby regularly

As is the case in adults, babies' water needs increase when it is hot , but also in cases of diarrhea , vomiting or fever . If this is the case for your child, make an appointment with the pediatrician without delay.

From 6 months

Babies of this age still consume between 500 and 800 ml of milk each day , which can be supplemented with small volumes of water offered in another bottle or, for a change, in a training cup.

Recommended from 6 months, the Bubble learning cup offers a capacity of 240 ml , neither too much nor too little, which allows baby, in addition to his milk bottles, to reach the quantity of water necessary for his good health. Made from 100% healthy, flexible, unbreakable medical silicone , and equipped with a leak-proof suction nozzle , it is particularly suitable for babies' first trips.

At 1 year and older

From 12 to 24 months, children's daily milk needs do not change much and remain between 500 and 800 ml . Their water needs increase to reach 1 L to 1.3 L per day , which are quite easily met by milk on the one hand, water in a cup on the other and the water contained in foods consumed, especially in summer.

BEFORE THE AGE OF 6 MONTHS, baby does not need to drink water. The breast or infant milk he consumes is sufficient to cover his water and nutritional needs. In this regard, the WHO recommends exclusive breastfeeding during the first 6 months of life, to all mothers who can. Also, if it is very hot or if the baby is sick (which can cause him to lose a lot of water, through sweating or stools), doctors advise, initially, to increase the number of feedings. or bottles, in order to reinforce hydration. Note that water is neither dangerous nor prohibited, but not recommended before 6 months, as it is useless , can cause baby to become satiated too quickly and cause diarrhea if distributed in too large a quantity. However, in some cases, your doctor may recommend adding small sips of water between your baby's milk meals.

When to give a child his first bottle of water?

baby's first bottle of water

To put it simply, remember that the first sips of pure water must coincide with the first bites of solid food . You can therefore offer a first small bottle of water to your baby, some time after starting the dietary diversification.

If you had opted for the Élhée birth set , it is time to take out the very small 150 ml bottle and equip it with an XS teat with extra-slow flow , to limit the risk of misdirection.

If your child refuses to drink his water , try the experiment again at another time, in another container, or after having taken a few sips yourself to encourage him, but do not add any sugar or syrup, not even a little. of fruit juice, much too sweet.

Of course, if your little one is asking for a drink and wants to do like you, it might be time to hand them their first toddler cup.

Which water to choose?

Whether preparing a bottle with it, or offering it by the glass, the composition of water for babies should always be carefully detailed. Note that waters like Mont Roucous, Évian or Volvic , and beyond the brand, all low mineralized waters , without nitrates and whose dry residue at 180° is less than 500 mg per liter, are entirely suitable .

To help you, look for the words “Suitable for preparing infant foods” on the bottle . To find out more, the regulations relating to the quality criteria of packaged natural and spring mineral waters are indicated by the decree of March 14, 2007 .

Tap water in France can also be used without problem for babies' bottles from birth. It even has the advantage of not generating any plastic waste. Before using it, however, always remember to follow certain rules:

  • let the water run for a few seconds before collecting it,

  • only use cold water ,

  • do not use a filter jug ​​or softener , bacteria can develop excessively,

  • Clean and descale your faucets regularly .

  • Was your home built before 1948? To avoid lead potentially present in pipes, choose bottled water.

For your baby's digestive comfort, in addition to good hydration, preferably offer water at room temperature and in small quantities during and outside meals. However, if you use bottled water, keep it in the refrigerator, but no more than 24 hours after opening , to avoid any microbial development (bottled water is not sterile).

In case of extreme heat, how do I know if my baby is drinking enough?

When a child is born, new parents ask themselves a host of questions . It's normal. And the bad news is that over time, it doesn't get better 😉 . As the months and years pass, the questions pile up, fortunately often accompanied by their answers. For example, water for babies, when it's hot, how do you know if your baby is well hydrated?

3 signs of good hydration

Generally speaking, a baby who feels good is smiling and gracious, eats and sleeps well. Thus, a well-hydrated baby regularly wets his diapers in quantity , day and night, is alert, responsive and has supple skin which quickly returns to its place after light pressure.

a bottle of water always available

11 Symptoms That May Indicate Dehydration

Conversely, if you have doubts, if your baby worries you and if you think he is lacking water, don't panic, call your pediatrician or go directly to his office . In the meantime, check for the following symptoms:

  • dry mouth and tongue , with cracked lips ,

  • a great thirst difficult to quench,

  • a constant state of drowsiness ,

  • unusual pallor ,

  • dark circles and hollow eyes ,

  • fever ,

  • breathing too quickly ,

  • diapers that remain dry ,

  • a depression at the level of the fontanels ,

  • a skin fold that does not resolve when the skin is pinched,

  • a baby losing weight .

3 main causes of dehydration in infants

Without being exhaustive, here is a list of the most common situations that can lead to dehydration and which prove, once again, the importance of water for babies.

  • Gastrointestinal illnesses , diarrhea and vomiting, can lead to rapid fluid loss and dehydration.

  • A high or prolonged fever , due to the excessive sweating that accompanies it, can drastically increase the water needs of the infant's fragile body.

  • Too hot weather, a heatwave , can cause babies' body temperature to rise and at the same time increase the risk of dehydration.

IF IT'S TOO HOT, don't hesitate to offer an extra bottle every day or give your breastfed child more often. After 6 months, offer small sips of water regularly during the day and add, if possible, some fresh fruits and vegetables saturated with water to the baby's plate. Stay in the shade and cool as often as possible, prefer light cotton clothing and watch for the slightest sign of discomfort or dehydration in your child.

Hydrating your baby also involves meals

In spring and summer, to hydrate a diverse baby , also think about seasonal fruits and vegetables ! Particularly useful while your child becomes familiar with water, melons, watermelons, but also cucumbers, tomatoes, zucchini or strawberries, provide in addition to nutrients (and their good tastes) an always welcome overdose of hydration.

To add in small, ripe or well-cooked pieces, as a starter or dessert to baby's meals, they make tasty recipe ideas that it would be a shame to do without.


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