Forum home Babies Breast & bottle feeding

Water while breastfeeding - conflicting advice

Just wondering what you do about giving water to your breastfed babies.

Ryan is nearly 7 months, and been on solids since about 5.5 months. He's still breastfed, no formula, and tends to have feeds roughly 7.30, 11.30-12ish, 4-5ish then 6.30 which is bedtime. I've stopped feeding him overnight now and he tends to sleep through.

I was getting a bit worried about his bowels, as since he's been on solids he only goes once a week. So i visited the doctor who said i could give him extra fruit and cooled boiled water. But then the same week i saw the HV, and asked her how much water he should be having, and she said none, as he's breastfed he gets the right consistency from me, and if he has water it could affect my supply. (she also said as long as his poo is soft when it does come, once a week is fine).

I was already a tad worried about my supply, as he's started asking for both sides at some feeds recently, when he was previously happy with one, and i don't get as much off when i pump after the morning feed as i used to.

So what to do? If it's warm, he's ill or he asks i do give him extra feeds to keep his fluids up, but am now so confused about the water issue!

Any advice?



  • Hello

    My little girl is ebf too and has just gone 6 months. We started weaning at 19 weeks and have just started to add chicken and cheese to her veg. Iv been trying to give her water out of her cup, mainly just to get her used to drinking from it. She has never had a bottle and is very attached to me. Im not too worried at the minute as i dont go back to work till September but i do think she should have a drink with / after her meals.

    We have a bf about 6.30am / 8.45am after breakfast / 11amish / 1pm after lunch / 3pmish / then on and off till around tea time 5pm ish / then 7pm onwards to go to bed. We are co sleeping so i do still feed in the night too.

    A lot of the time i know my daughter is feeding purely for comfort but she sometimes only has a quick 5 mins after food i know she is thirsty. I have thought part of the process of weaning is offering them water to drink too?? I know its not necessary when just BFing.

    Have you tried offering more fruit for the constipation?
  • I started offering water to my dd as soon as I started weaning her, which was from 5.5 months. I was advised to do so by the hv who did the weaning chat. I offered it to her at meal times. It didn't affect my supply as I fed her until I she was 13.5 months. I will do the same when it is time to wean my ds.

    He could be asking for both sides because he's hungrier, not because your supply is dropping. It might be that he's ready for more food. Have you increased the amount you're giving him since starting weaning and is he on 3 meals a day now?

    With the poo issue, they're all different, but as long as he's not in any discomfort and his poos aren't too solid or like rabbit droppings when he does go it might just be the way he is. If you'd like him to be a bit more regular, or he is constipated, I found that watered down apple juice would always help my dd go, as would fruit (except banana). She is nearly 2 now and still eats lots of fruit, and still does 1-3 poos a day, but that is very much at the top end of poo production!!
  • hi tigerlilly

    i always thought the advice was exclusive bf for 6 months - with no other food or water - then food and water alongside breast milk from 6-12 months, and obviously breast milk for however long you want to after that.

    My hv advised me to give sips of water in a cup with meals, when they start eating they need water to aid digestion and when you think about it their little kidneys are flooded with fluid for months, their bfs cut down dramatically and then they have to digest food. Plus its nice to sip on something when you're eating.

    Lo only takes sips so its not going to cut my milk supply down - its the food that has done that. He is 7.5 months and until the last week took 4 bfs like your baby,for the last 5 days he hasnt asked for his mid afternoon feed. He feeds at 0600,0900 and 1900. Because he only sips from the cup, for the last week, after lunch, he has water in a bottle as i feel its too long to go without a decent drink. In the afternoon he'll take about 4oz of water and i give him a snack too. He decided to drop the bf so its all been down to him.

    Have faith in your milk supply hun, after 7 months your body knows what to do and your baby knows how to regulate things, I very rarely get that super full feeling anymore and i do tend to give both sides where i never did - as with there only being 3 feeds in 24 hours it means one boob only gets fed from once if i dont alternate! my hv advised a baby of lo's age doesnt need milk in the night, if its a heat wave or he isnt well offer sips of water as we would want a drink too if we were hot or poorly.

    Not being rude but your hv sounds a bit confused - im pretty sure the argument for water cutting your supply down is relevent to the first six months, not once your LO is eating. Hope this helps xx
  • I agree, water as soon as you start solids.

  • Before you start solids the advice is to stick to one side per feed so that the baby can have the fatty hind milk as well as the watery foremilk. Maybe now your LO is taking solids, he doesnt want the fatty hindmilk so much so he's just switching to the otherside for more of the watery stuff to quench his thirst.

    I wouldnt worry too much, as the others have said. I would offer him water each feed and he'll take it when he's ready and if your supply dwindles, as long as he's happy, would that be a problem?

    If he wants to continue on the breast then he'll keep sucking and you'll produce what he needs.
  • breast fed babies are known for going longer between bowel movements, so as long as its not hard it may be normal for your lo, getting baby used to water at mealtimes is useful as that will increase as the BF reduce, but until feeds are dropped its not needed as a main drink, DD is 9 months and has 3 BF and water with each meal and in the afternnon since she dropped her afternoon feed.

    you will find as they go through the major growth and development spurts that they will feed more, or he may just be extra hungry at times, x
Sign In or Register to comment.

Featured Discussions