Water is necessary for life. We know that we need to drink 8 glasses of water a day to stay hydrated and we know that we need to bathe ourselves to keep clean & stay healthy. There are many things you should consider when it comes to water safety with babies. Water can be an ominous hazard for our babies for two different reasons; first of all, your want to make sure that your baby is always safe near and inside of water, and second your want to make sure your closely monitor the amount of water intake your baby gets because too much water can actually be fatal to your baby. By being mindful of how water can affect your baby, your can decrease the chances of drowning and water intoxication.
You should never leave your baby alone near a pool of water or inside a bathtub no matter how shallow it is. Infants can drown in only a few inches of water. Baby bath seats are not a substitute for adult supervision and neither is supporting rings. Giving a bath, especially when you have a newborn, is very challenging for new parents because they are so tiny and it is very hard to keep a grip on them. Wet babies are very slippery. You can purchase a baby bath hammock such as this, which is especially made to put inside of your baby bathtub and it will support a newborns body instead of just having your newborn placed inside the bathtub by themselves.
But a good common sense way to practice water safety with baby is by staying within arms reach anytime your little one is inside or near the water. You can never, ever be too careful so don’t ever leave them alone even for a moment.
Swimming lessons for infants are widely available, but they are not a way to prevent drowning in your baby. The American Academy of Pediatrics does not recommend them for children until after they are 4 years old for several reasons;
You will be less cautious and be under the false impression that your baby can swim. Babies will always enter the water unknowingly, without supervision, regardless of if they feel like they know how to swim or not.
If your have a swimming pool, you should consider installing a 4 sided fence that is at least 4 feet tall and which completely separates the pool from the house. Rigid, motorized pool covers do not substitute a fence because they are least likely to be used consistently and appropriately. Here are some great quality pool fences you can place around your pool to keep your baby safely separated away from any large, private body of water.
Every parent should take a CPR class before baby is born. You can never be too careful.
If your decide on enrolling your baby anyway for a swimming program, make sure the class your choose adheres to national YMCA guidelines. Among other practical things, the guidelines forbid submersion of young children and encourage parents to participate in the activities so think of it as an opportunity to enjoy playing in the water together. When your baby becomes a 4-year-old child your might want to have him learn how to swim so he can feel comfortable in and around the water. But always remember that a child who knows how to swim needs to be watched constantly.
If your baby is relatively young (under 3 months) and you
So until your baby starts to eat solid foods, all the water that he needs he will get it from either breast milk or formula. In the first six months of a baby’s life, additional water or juice is unnecessary for breastfed or bottle-fed babies. After a bottle-fed baby turn 6 months old, your may offer him water between feedings, but do not force him to drink it or get worried if he rejects it. Consistently he might just prefer to get the extra liquid from more frequent feedings. Breastfed babies generally don’t need extra water after 6 months if they are still breastfeeding.
A general rule of thumb says that babies under six months old should not have more than 2 ounces of plain water per day ( if you think they are dehydrated ) anymore than 4 ounces can be fatal so be very careful how much water your younger baby intakes during bathtime or while in a pool.
Once your baby is 6 months old and eating more solid food, his need for water will increase. Getting your baby used to the taste of plain water is a healthy habit that will last his whole lifetime. Trust me. My son prefers water over juice. Sometimes I will attempt to mix equal parts of organic juice and water to see if he might like that, or if he might prefer it over his water cup and all he does it take a sip, fling the sippy cup aside in disgust and then reach for his water cup. I am impressed.
9 out of 10 babies drink fruit juice by the time they are one years old. The most common juices that babies drink are apple juice, grape juice and pear juice. Fruit juice is not recommended by pediatricians because it has lots of sugar, and it is also hard to digest so it results in gas or diarrhea. Some fruit juices like white grape juice are easily digested because they contain a balance of carbohydrates and lack sorbitol, which causes cramping and diarrhea.
Also consider that juices do not have any significant amount of protein, fat, minerals or vitamins other than vitamin C. Usually that vitamin C is an additive and not actually from the juice itself. So instead of giving your baby a lot of juice, try giving him water with his meals. Babies / Children who drink too much water have an increase risk of becoming overweight later on.
You can regulate juice consumption by offering juice only with food, because it will slow down its absorption rate. Or try doing what I did with my son and offer equal parts juice with water. Just be mindful that if your are always offering your baby more juice, formula or milk at mealtimes your might curb your baby’s appetite for solid food and as a result your baby will become malnourished. Your baby only needs extra fluids like this when he’s ill, for instance like when he has a fever or experiencing diarrhea or vomiting. But during these times your should always ask your pediatrician how much water or fluids your baby needs.
The best fluid for a breastfed baby who is sick, is always breast milk.
What are your feelings or fears about water safety with your baby? Are your more concerned about having your baby near or inside water, or are your afraid of your baby accidentally drinking too much water, ( like during bath time or something? ) Most of the time little bits of water is OKAY and your baby will be fine. Water intoxication happens from young babies having more than 4 ounces of water during the day. Leave me your thoughts about water safety with babies in the comments below!