Babies & Toddlers Need Plenty To Drink

Babies & Toddlers Need Plenty To Drink

Formula-fed babies may also need boiled, cooled water. Toddlers should be offered drinks throughout the day.

Formula-fed babies may also need boiled, cooled water. Toddlers should be offered drinks throughout the day. Healthy babies who are drinking enough will usually have 6 or more very wet nappies a day.

Best drinks for babies and toddlers are:

  • from 0 to 6 months – breast milk (or formula if breast milk is unavailable)
  • from 6 to 12 months – breast milk (or formula) and water

Your baby or toddler may need extra drinks:

  • when the weather is very hot
  • if they have a temperature and are feverish
  • if they are vomiting or have diarrhoea

Do not offer drinks containing natural or added sugar, such as fruit juice, cordial, fizzy drinks, or flavoured milks. These can damage teeth and cause the baby or toddler to develop a taste for sweetened foods.

Never give babies and toddlers tea, coffee, alcohol, or energy drinks or other adult drinks.

If your baby is unwell for 24 hours, continue to give breast milk or formula but see your doctor.

From birth until baby is 3 months old, all water used for formula should be boiled and cooled on the day it is used.

Preparing water

  • from birth until baby is 3 months old, all water used for formula should be boiled and cooled on the day it is used
  • from 3 months of age you can use the town supply water from the cold tap to make baby’s formula. Run the tap for 10–15 seconds before you fill the bottle
  • if you are concerned about water quality, use boiled and cooled water until baby is 6 months old
  • water from tanks or bore holes should be boiled until baby is 18 months old

This page last reviewed 11 June 2013.
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