Bf babies and water

Sorry, I know this has been done a million time before but Search just brings up random irrelevant stuff.

Maddie is 13 weeks old and quite sicky, and I have noticed that this is worse on hot days. She feeds more then as I presume she's thirsty, so I suppose this is why she's sick more. She is also harder to settle, maybe because she has stomach ache from all the extra milk.

Anyway, my question is: shall I give her some cooled boiled water? I have always been led to believe that an exclusively bf baby doesn't need water, but MIL and a few others whose opinions I value swear by it to give their tummies a break from the rich milk whilst still hydrating them (or something like that). Those bf mummies that do give water, what are your reasons for doing so and if they're the same as mine did you notice a difference?

I never had this prob with Lily as she was a winter baby!


  • I can't help too much as you know I didn't BF Toby successfully - but my gut tells me that surely it can't do her any harm? Even if she has a few tiny sips / swallows, then surely that can only be a good thing?

    Jugs xxxxxxxxxxxx
  • I know that the advice now is that bf babies don't need any water. But i would say in your circumstances it wouldn't hurt to try a little. I would rather my baby hydrated by breaking a 'rule' than sick because i was doing everything by the book.

    The advice used to be to give cooled boiled water so i dont see what harm it could do. As long as it doesnt replace a normal feed i am sure it would be fine.

  • I never gave either of mine water, just fed them when they wanted but I cant see it being a problem or doing any harm.....

    Does Maddie have a bit of reflux or is it just posseting? Just as you say she is quite sicky...

    they say milk lines the stomach and eases stomach aches, but they also say to cut down on dairy when the lo's have a bug because it can irritate the stomach...

    sorry about my waffling!

    I'd say if she will take a couple of sips then let her, it might have the desired effect, or it might come up like the milk does (although water is thinner so easier to eject).

    Sorry, not much help there!

  • The only reason NOT to give aBF baby water is the theorythatit can affect your milk supply. If you're well established withno supply issues I don't see it could do any harm to try her. The official line is that they don't 'need' it,but if she is thirsty she might enjoy it as a change!
  • I bf my lo and I have given him a bit of water on a really hot day. I just gave him some mineral water in a sterilised bottle, didn't bother with boiled water. However they do say that in hot weather your breastmilk gets more watery to quench their thirst, and in cold weather it becomes thicker.
    Good luck x
  • Hi Pinktoothbrush,

    The reason you don't need to give water also is that you're milk supply will automatically adapt to ensure lo is getting enough fluids to keep her hydrated, it's clever like that image I didn't give my lo water until i started weaning, and he was fine through last years hot spring/summer.

    However, if it is really bothering you and you are worrying about it, it won't do any harm to give lo some water. Just make sure she is also still getting her regular feeds and not getting a full tummy of water and missing a meal.

    HTH! image
  • I find that Isabel doesnt want to feed as much on very hot days and mentioned this to HV who said that giving water would be perfectly fine.
  • I've given my lo the odd slurp of boiled cooled water, to be honest she doesn't like it and barely has more than a dribble, i think the concern is just that you would fill your baby with empty calories, but you're not stupid and i'm sure you're not going to give your lo an entire bottle of water an no milk lol
  • Thanks girls, everyone seems to agree it can't hurt to try. I'm not worried about hydration or anything, she feeds well and often - I just want to see if it will stop her being quite so sick, as I'm beginning to think she's sick because she over-eats (but yes she does have a bit of reflux, icecreamlover).

    It's so hard not to compare your babies, isn't it! Lily just used to get put on the boob every time she cried and was never sick, whereas I'm beginning to consider being a bit stricter about how often I feed Maddie because of this sick issue (obv she will still be offered the breast regularly, but perhaps I'll try other methods of settling her first rather than the default setting of boob image )

    How much water should I offer do you think, 1-2oz?
  • 1-2oz sounds like a good starter image If she wants more you could offer more and see how it goes.

    wth regards to the reflux, I spent 2 months listening to professionals who told me MJ was just being sick because she was eating too much, until it didnt stop and we eventually got her on ranitidine and domperidone which did seem to stop it, from almost the second she had the ranitidine...

    if she does suffer a lil bit would there be any harm in giving her a half dose of gaviscon to see if that helped at all? It might be enough to stop the sick- i-ness and give her tum a bit of a breather... (would work well alongside the water )

    I know what you mean about comparing - Ollie was a big bubs who took to bf like a dream with rarely a complaint (from me at least) but Mj was much harder with her reflux and I could never seem to get it right for her :\(

    Hopefully the water will help and soothe a bit.

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