This Is Why You Should Never, Ever Give Babies Water To Drink

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When you become a parent, it suddenly becomes apparent that water is very much off the cards for tiny babies.

But prior to that, most of us go around completely unaware of the fact all they drink is milk – and for very good reason.

Everyone’s favourite online doc Dr Karan Raj recently took to TikTok to explain why babies shouldn’t be given water.

“If you own a tiny human or are expecting a delivery of one soon or [are] even acquainted to one, do not give them water to drink until they’re six months old because it could be fatal,” he said in a video which has been viewed almost 900,000 times.

So why is it so dangerous? Well, he explains, newborn babies’ kidneys are about half the size or less of an adult’s – and they’re not mature enough to correctly filter plain water.

“This leaves the baby susceptible to water intoxication,” he continues.

Basically, excess water backs up into the blood stream and dilutes the salt content in the blood – also known as hyponatremia (excessively low sodium).

“It can cause all sorts of havoc from brain swelling, seizures and even death,” said Dr Raj.

Why don’t adults end up with this issue then? Well, explains the doctor, we would need to consume several litres of water in a short space of time to get to this point. Whereas with a baby it just takes a tiny amount.

No need to worry though, Dr Raj confirms babies’ hydration needs can be adequately met with breast or formula milk. If it’s hot outside or they’re sick, you might just need to feed them a bit more frequently.

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