Now that your baby is trying foods, are you also wondering what drinks he or she should try? Between 6-12 months, babies only need to drink breast milk and/or formula AND water. That’s it!
- Breast milk and/or formula. Continue feeding your baby breastmilk and/or formula throughout your baby’s first year. It will remain your baby’s main source of nutrition even as you start to introduce foods.
- Once you start introducing foods, you can also start to give your baby water in a cup (about 4 ounces). But just plain water. Using a cup (with a lid is fine for early learners) will help your baby to develop the motor skills needed for feeding him or herself.
And for the record, your baby does NOT need the following drinks in the first year:
- Cow’s milk. Drinking cow’s milk before 1-year-old can cause intestinal damage to your baby.
- Alternative milks. Alternative milks like soy milk, almond milk, coconut milk, oat milk, etc. should not substitute breast milk and/or formula in the first year.
- Sugary drinks. Juice (yes, even 100% juice), soda, tea/coffee, horchata, etc. should be avoided in the first year.
And remember, talk to your child’s pediatrician or health care provider about any questions or concerns.
To learn more, check out these additional resources related to this topic:
- More bite-sized videos about introducing first foods – 1,000 Days
- What to drink – Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
- Starting Solid Foods – American Academy of Pediatrics’ Healthy Children
- Tap Water Database – Environmental Working Group