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When your baby is first born, they’ll rely on either breastmilk, formula or a combination of both, to not only provide their nutrition, but also to keep them hydrated. Maintaining proper hydration is very important, as dehydration can be life threatening in infants.

But what should you give them once they’re older?

Water Basics
Once your baby reaches one year of age, you’ll begin giving them water on a daily basis to help them stay hydrated. Before that, it just isn’t necessary since they’re on an all-liquid diet. How much should they have? Be careful not to give your child more than a few ounces of water at a time to start out, since too much can actually deplete them of valuable electrolytes like potassium and sodium.

Moving Onto Milk
As your baby moves onto solid foods, you may want to start giving them milk to provide additional calcium, protein and vitamin D into their diet. You can go either the dairy or non-dairy route, but stick to giving them about 4 fl oz a day.

Juice: Good or Bad
Babies and toddlers love juice because of its sweet flavor, but the sweetness isn’t necessarily good for them. Bottled juices may be high in added sugar — some brands have so much you could almost swap out the juice for a soda. Dilute bottled juices for your baby once they’re old enough to have them (six months) or use a juicer to make your own. Maybe even infuse fruit into water, which has become a popular trend.

Smoothie Magic
Got a picky eater? Maybe they just won’t sit still long enough to get through an entire plate of food? Smoothies are an easy way to introduce new fruits and vegetables into their diet. The fruits will add sweetness without adding sugar, so you can sneak in vegetables they may not want to try otherwise. It’s pricey, but the Vitamix makes light work of this.  Throw the mixture into a cup with a straw and let them work on it for a while.

More Hydration Tips
Now that you know what types of beverages are best for your kids, here are some tips to help you keep them properly hydrated around the clock:

  • Avoid too many fluids before bedtime to avoid accidents.
  • Teach them to use a variety of cups to avoid poor development of their teeth.
  • Always dispose of beverages at the end of the day due to germs.
  • Be sure to bring fluids with you any time you leave the house, allocating extra space for more when the weather is hotter.

Use these suggestions as a way to offer your child some variety while taking an important step to protect their wellbeing. Hydrated babies are happy, healthy babies.

 

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