Andrea Asks: "When is the best time to start offering water to my baby? She is 5.5 months now."
0-6 months: Babies do not need water before 6 months of age. We suggest only breastmilk (or formula if breastmilk is not available).
6-8 months: Now that they have begun eating solids, water is still not necessary as they should be getting enough fluid from breastmilk/formula. However, if it is particularly hot outside you could offer an ounce or two to keep them hydrated. Another option is to add a small pinch of celtic sea salt to the water and maybe a tiny squeeze of lemon. This will help with hydration.
Bone Broth. This is a fantastic first food that is loaded with a ton of important nutrients, such as zinc and iron. Since it is a liquid it is hydrating as well as nourishing. We like to give it to our babes in a cup with a straw.
8-10 months: Continue with bone broth. At this time homemade coconut water kefir could also be introduced. Does that sound too complicated? It’s actually pretty simple! Purchase a kefir starter kit at the health food store or online and follow the instructions for making coconut water kefir. The coconut water I used was either from my local juicer (they cracked the coconut open and bottled it for immediate sale), or another option is called Feeding Change. It is sold frozen and is one of the only raw ones I’ve seen in Canada available at many health food stores. The end product is a fermented beverage that provides your little one with all sorts of healthy bacteria and gives them a little extra hydration too.
10 months +: Filtered water can be introduced. We suggest offering it sporadically throughout the day instead of encouraging large amounts to be consumed with meals. Small amounts with meals is okay, but large amounts can hinder digestion.