Your toddler doesn’t like to drink water. Can you substitute it with juice?
“The average 10kg 12-month-old child needs 1 litre of fluid per day; those who sweat excessively or have constipation may require more,” says Dr Natalie Epton, a specialist paediatrician and neonatologist.
Of that, around 500 to 600ml should be milk – ideally either breast or full-fat cow’s milk after 12 months.
There is no medical need to continue with infant formula beyond the age of 12 months, Dr Epton points out.
The rest of the 400 to 500ml should ideally be plain water, but if it’s a struggle to get your child to drink up, you can offer diluted fruit juice – mix one-part apple juice to four-parts water.
Avoid other sweetened beverages or any drinks that contain caffeine, such as iced tea.
Note that a baby under six months old usually doesn’t need water, especially if she is exclusively breastfed, Dr Epton adds.
If it becomes necessary to introduce water to a young infant, due to constipation or other medical problem, do so only on the advice of a doctor, and in small quantities (30 to 50ml, up to twice daily).
Remember to only use cooled boiled water.