Saturday, August 22, 2009

The rules have changed again: Feeding infants



We've been blessed with taking care of our newest grandchild Alexis several times recently. She's almost 3 months old. We know how to take care of infants having successfully raised our own. We thought we knew all we needed to know. Well guess what? The rules have changed again.

Last week when she was with us I gave her a small amount of water (3 ounces). I always gave my children water when they were infants. It never hurt them. Well, when we told Timothy we gave her water he told us we could not do that again. He said his pediatrician told him NOT to give infants water because it caused seizures. My initial reaction was WHAT? ARE YOU CRAZY?

So I got on my trusty computer and read and read and read until I thought my eyeballs were going to fall out of my head. The general consensus is not to give infants an abundant amount of water because they can suffer from water intoxication and it can cause seizures.

According to Wikipedia, "It can be very easy for children under 1 year old to absorb too much water, especially if the child is under nine months old. Because of their small body mass, it is easy to take in a large amount of water relative to body mass. Drinking water will replace lost water and avoid a dehydration, but if the person is unable to take any other drink or food then lost electrolytes will not be replaced, which can result in water intoxication. Water intoxication (also known as hyper-hydration or water poisoning) is a potentially fatal disturbance in brain functions that results when the normal balance of electrolytes in the body is pushed outside of safe limits by over-consumption of water."

In other words, it's safe to give infants small amounts of water as long as they are getting the nourishment that they need. Pedialyte should be used in cases when formula, breast milk or food is not being consumed so that the electrolytes are replaced. Pedialyte will also help your infant from becoming dehydrated.

After all my research I feel a little better about the 3 ounces of water that we gave Alexis. Less guilty anyway. We would never want to hurt her and had no idea that water could do that.

1 COMMENTS:

Brittany said...

i didnt know that :( i gave my babies water

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