Babies and toddlers need plenty to drink and should be offered drinks throughout the day. Breast milk is all your baby needs until they are around six months old. Formula-fed babies may also need boiled, cooled water. Healthy babies who are drinking enough will usually have six or more very wet nappies each day.
Best drinks for babies and toddlers are:
- From 0 to 6 months – breast milk (or infant formula if breast milk is unavailable).
- From 6 to 12 months – breast milk (or infant formula) and water.
- From 1 to 2 years – breast milk, whole cow’s milk (dark blue lid) and water.
Your baby or toddler may need extra drinks:
- when the weather is very hot
- if they have a temperature and are feverish
- if they are vomiting or have diarrhoea. If your baby is unwell for 24 hours, continue to give breast milk or formula and see your doctor.
Water from tanks or bore holes should be boiled until your baby is 18 months old.
Do not offer drinks containing natural or added sugar, such as fruit juice, cordial, fizzy drinks or flavoured milks. These can damage teeth and cause your baby or toddler to develop a taste for sweetened foods.
Do not offer artificially sweetened or diet drinks to your baby or toddler.
Never give your baby or toddler tea, coffee, alcohol, energy drinks or fizzy drinks.