We think a lot about when baby is able to eat, but what about drinking?

You may have questions around the topic of when can babies drink water, how much water baby should drink, and anything else about their ability to drink. Here are some answers to common questions about baby’s drinking abilities!

When can babies drink water?

Once they’re old enough! Baby can be introduced to drinking water around 6 months. Before then, all liquids should be breastmilk and/or formula.

How much water should baby/children drink?

The amount of water baby and children drink depends on their environment and level of activity, so it will be different for every baby. A rough estimate is:

When babies can drink water will depend on their environment and activity

  • Around 6 months-1 year, baby will drink about 2-3 ounces of water at a time, usually between feedings. Baby may drink up to 4-8 ounces of water per day. This should be in addition to breastmilk and/or formula. Breastmilk and/or formula will still be the primary beverage at this age.
  • Around 1-3 years, baby will drink 4 cups of beverages per day, including water or milk. This is also the age when baby can be transitioned to drinking water as their primary
  •  beverage.
  • By 4-8 years old children will drink 5 cups of healthy beverages every day.
  • By 9 and older, children will drink 7-8 cups of healthy beverages every day.

When should baby stop drinking from a bottle?

You can begin to phase out baby drinking from a bottle shortly after their first birthday. Around 6-9 months, encourage children to drink from a cup, so they have transitioned to drinking from a cup around 12 months. They’ll probably spill while they’re getting used to drinking, so make sure cups are lightweight and won’t break!

Is it safe for baby to drink milk?

It’s recommended that baby waits to have cow’s milk (or any milk alternative) until they are 12 months old. Why is this? There are two reasons: first, baby cannot completely digest cow’s milk. Additionally, formula and breastmilk contain all the nutrients baby needs in their first year.

Should baby avoid sugary drinks, like juice?

The AAP recommends children do not have any sugar-sweetened drinks until they are 2 years or older. This is to promote healthy weight and avoid cavities. But don’t worry, there are ways to make water more fun to drink! Try adding some fruits or vegetables to water, like cucumbers or strawberries, to add some color and flavor. You can also give children fruits and vegetables that contain lots of water, like tomatoes, watermelon, berries, and cantaloupe.


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