Sugar Water for Babies

image001 Sugar water is often given to babies while they are being immunized in order to keep them calm. This is because it has been proven to subdue babies, reducing their crying and the pain they experience. In spite of this, giving sugar water for babies in your own home is not advisable.

Water is not good for your baby because it will only decrease the level of electrolytes in his body. If he is less than half a year old, his body will not be able to adjust accordingly to maintain the proper balance of sodium and salts. Thus, when your baby ends up urinating more frequently because of too much water intake, he will also lose the electrolytes and sodium that are important for his body upkeep. This is called water intoxication.

Is It Safe to Give Sugar Water for Babies?

Although it is useful for medical procedures, sugar water is not very good for the health of your baby. This is because it contains a lot of empty calories that only serve to weaken his appetite. Thus, this will lessen his intake of fresh and nutritious milk, disrupting his body functions and triggering potential harmful conditions. As it contains nothing but empty calories, sugar water does not really contribute to the health of your baby. It will most probably only be used to feed him if a blood sample needs to be taken, or in extreme cases, after intestinal surgery.

Experts advise that the best food to give your child for the first six months after his birth is your breast milk, or colostrum. It contains a lot of antibodies, which will help in his development and growth. If breastfeeding is not a possibility for you, formula milk is your next best option. Excessive sugar water intake will make your baby full very easily, ruining his appetite and disrupting his feeding cycle. In turn, this will lessen the amount of healthy breast milk that he takes into his system. Also, because you end up giving him less of your milk, your supply will dwindle and you will lose your ability to produce milk from your breasts.

In the event that your baby needs additional fluids in his body, consult his doctor for further treatment. He will most probably be given an electrolyte solution or an oral rehydration drink to help replenish his sodium levels. Afterwards, you just have to give him more breast milk. If he is over six months old, giving him water in between his feeding cycles will also help.

On the other hand, if your baby does not regularly pass stool, this does not necessarily mean that he is constipated and needs more hydration. As long as you exclusively feed him with your own milk, he should be fine and his irregular bowel movement is nothing to worry about. If you still have concerns about this, do not under any circumstances give him sugar water. Take him to your doctor instead.

Why Cann't Give Sugar Water for Babies?

Your baby will not benefit at all from sugar water. The only kind of sugar he can really eat is from natural sources such as fruits and vegetables or breast milk. Otherwise, sugar from other sources will just compromise his immune function and add high amounts of unnecessary calories to his body. It will also disrupt his growth hormone activity and trigger a significant increase of his insulin. If this continues well beyond his infant years, his blood sugar will be affected and his pancreas damaged. This will result in diabetes.

It is advisable to stick to your breast milk or formulas, which will give him all the hydration and nutrients he needs to grow properly. It is important that you do not dilute the formula milk you intend to give your baby. Doing so will lessen the amount of nutrients he is supposed to receive, and may even be the cause of water intoxication.

Never give your baby sugar water, or even regular water at all. Until he is six months old, introducing water into his body will cause water intoxication or hyperhydration, more commonly known as water poisoning. Excess water will cause an imbalance in his electrolytes, triggering malfunctions in his brain. In extreme cases, this may cause death. Additionally, your baby will be forced to urinate more frequently, expelling too much levels of sodium from his body. This can lead to his lack of responsiveness and irritability as well as seizures and brain swelling.

How to Treat Dehydration Without Sugar Water

You will be instructed to give your baby more fluids to treat his mild dehydration. If he has not reached three months, it is best for you to keep on feeding him milk, either from your breasts or a commercially available formula. However, you should adjust your feeding cycles so that your baby is fed in smaller quantities, but greater frequency.

If your baby has passed his third month, it might be a good idea to add a specially formulated liquid to his diet based on his age and total body weight. This will add to and regulate the amount of electrolytes and water in his body so that they do not decrease again. ReVital, Infalyte, Pedialyte, or other generic versions of electrolyte liquids can be readily found in any drugstore. Dosage for this liquid is computed to be at 5 teaspoons per pound for every 3 to 4 hours. If your baby weighs in at 15 pounds, for instance, he will be needing 75 teaspoons, or approximately 1½ cups, for every dosage.

Want to know when you can give water to your baby? Check out the video below:

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