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Q&A: Should I Give My Breastfed Baby a Bottle of Water?

by Wendy Goldenthal, Certified Breastfeeding Counselor |
2 Comments

Q I have a two-week-old baby, I'm breastfeeding. I was curious to know when I can begin to offer her a bottle. I plan to continue breastfeeding, but would also like to offer her water, since it is so hot where we live.

A You can offer your baby her first bottle at around 3 weeks. Until your baby is much older, we recommend that you only offer her breastmilk in a bottle. Offering her water will eventually reduce your milk supply and can negatively affect her growth. Water has no calories and no nutrition, while breastmilk contains everything she needs. In fact, as long as she is breastfeeding at this stage, she won't need water at all. If you are offering her water, then she will nurse less because she is full. And if she nurses less, she will receive less nutrition. Just try to keep her comfortable and don't overdress her.

Warmly,
Wendy Goldenthal

Click here to ask your breastfeeding questions

A Certified Breastfeeding Counselor with eight years of experience. She is the founder and owner of Nursing Mothers Supplies, a website where breastfeeding mothers can purchase breastfeeding supplies and get a little advice as well.


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Tanya Feb 20, 2012 04:37:17 AM ET

I have a two month son and im strictly breastfeeding and i was just wondering if its safe to give him boiled water cause all lot of people are telling me its ok to give him water and some say no can u please let me know what should i do

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Dad Oct 6, 2011 04:04:53 AM ET

Wendy's answer about supplementing water with a breastfed infant sounds reasonable to me, especially the "don't overdress" the child part. how many parents unwittingly overheat, torture their little one for the sake of clothes? a baby can't say, "hey people, i'm burning up here!!!". overheating kills brain cells: infants can't modify their environment, remove clothes, hydrate, or thermoregulate like adults can. that said, my wife always overdresses our child no matter what i say.

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