Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Juice vs. Water

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I had a request for juice vs. water, so here I go. I am taking my information from What to Expect the First Year. Page numbers are provided.


  • Water is unnecessary for a baby under 4 months, and in many cases, dangerous. Too much water will dilute the baby's blood. This is one reason it is important to get the water levels correct in a bottle-fed baby. Under 4 months, no water (173).
  • Once baby is on solids, she can handle more water (173).
  • Don't give baby too much juice. Baby's who get too much juice can become malnourished because their appetite is suppressed and juice doesn't have a lot of nutrients (300, 423, 491).
  • Don't give juice under 6 months of age (300).
  • No more than 4-6 oz of juice a day for children up to age 6 (300).
  • Dilute at least by 50% (half water, half juice).
  • White grape is better than apple (300).
  • No citrus juice until at least 1 year of age (in Babywise).
Neither of my kids liked juice at 6 months when I offered it. So I just never really give it to them. I still try with Kaitlyn about once a month, but she really hates it. Brayden prefers milk and water still. Yes, he has juice on occasion. He likes OJ far more than any other juice. I just wouldn't push it, and I wouldn't let it become a necessity. Water is the healthier choice for life, so stick to it. Juice can be a fun treat every now and then, but it shouldn't become a right of passage for your child. I would stick to 100% fruit juice, no sugar added. More expensive, yes, but better for you.
Reader Advice:
  • artsychic76 said...
    I just wanted to add that my Pediatrician did recommend 1 oz of prune juice and 1 oz. of water combined for my daughters terrible constipation. Works wonders! She started this at 2 months b/c NOTHING else worked. I also have several friends babies who drank juice for this reason. I was told as long as they are getting the recommended amount of formula, its ok to add a little bit of diluted juice if it helps them not to be constipated. This is a special situation where juice seems to be fine. :) Just wanted to share that! Thanks.
    February 6, 2008 6:05 PM
    Plowmanators said...
    Thanks for the added information. I have recently heard a lot of moms who give prune juice from a young age for the same reasons you stated. It shows the importance of doing your own research and consulting with your doctor when making decisions for your baby!
    February 6, 2008 8:34 PM


Michele said...

My baby girl is 5 months - she has only had breast milk. I am going to move her to rice cereal next week, but I was wondering about water. What age and how much water does a baby need? Thank you!! THIS IS A GREAT BLOG!!!!

Plowmanators said...


I would talk to your pedi about this to get his/her take for your baby. But it is my understanding that a baby at that age who is breastfed doesn't need any supplemental liquid. Some people do say to give about a tablespoon of water after each solid meal, though.

Around 6 months old, I always start giving my kids sippy cups of water and let them drink as they will. At first, they obviously don't drink much.

McKenna is 10 months old and drinks some at each mea, but it is probably only a few ounces a day.

I have read that too much water too young can change blood levels (the acididic levels of the blood), so be sure to talk to your pedi about it.


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