Facts and myths about babies and water

FALSE – children know the best when they are thirsty and will ask for a drink

Children, and in particular the little ones, do not feel the thirst the same way as grownups; often they will be cranky, crying, tired, and it is up to the parents to recognize their needs.  It is important to serve them liquids in regular intervals in small amounts  and  not wait for the acute signs of thirst

TRUE – children should drink more often than adults

Smaller the child, more water her body contains and accordingly is more affected by inadequate water intake. Her bladder capacity is relatively small and it is necessary that she drink regularly and in small amounts.  One year old baby needs around one to one and a half litre of liquids a day, which he can partially get from solid food and mostly satisfy by drinking. In essence, every waking hour, he should drink around 50ml. The ideal check is the number of wet diapers (approximately 5-6 a day).

TRUE – if I teach my child to drink pure water, I might prevent obesity issues in the future

Psychologists claim that children learn by observation and in the first three years of their life, they create most lifestyle habits, including, for example, the basics of healthy diet and drinking habits.  Not exposing the child to sweet drinks early in life could lead to life changing consequences.

TRUE – infants less than 6 months old do not need any other liquids than breastmilk

Breastmilk is the ideal and the most appropriate source of liquids for babies at least until six months of age.  Adding other liquids to the baby’s diet at this age is only necessary if directed by a paediatrician if the baby has a fever or in very hot weather.  When we start with the solid food, it is appropriate to start creating healthy drinking habits – the simplest rule here is that the pure water is the most appropriate choice. 

FALSE – for a little baby, the most appropriate water is one with the lowest amount of minerals so it does not affect their little bodies.

Each regular drinking water should contain at least some amount of health beneficial minerals, such as magnesium and calcium, usually recommended at a ratio of 1:2.  This ratio is generally recommended to guarantee the best absorption of the minerals into their growing bodies.

TRUE – infants should not drink heavily mineralized waters

Water used for infant formula and young children should not have more than 500mg/l of total dissolved solids. Since the labeling requirements for marking water as mineral or spring water change and depend on the country, look specifically for the value of the total dissolved solids or TDS and don’t rely on what the water is marked as.  

Do you think he is happy or thirsty?

Behind various behaviours of your baby could be hiding thirst.  Don’t wait until your child is cranky, irritable or behaves in an unusual way to offer a drink.  Children are prone to become dehydrated much faster than adults because their small bodies can lose fluids much faster than adults. Watch out for common signs of dehydration that include irritability, sleepiness, absence of tears, sunken fontanelle and decreased number of wet diapers. Also, don’t assume that in colder weather children don’t need as much water.  Proper hydration is important for the body in every season.  In cool weather, the hydration needs might even be higher because the hydration affects metabolism and circulation that helps keep our body temperature.  

Facts about boiling and filtering water

Many harmful substances, such as chlorine and nitrates, cannot be removed by boiling

Chlorine is added to the municipal water supply to kill bacteria and make it safe to drink.  Chlorine evaporates so it might seem that it should be possible to remove it completely by boiling.  However, studies have shown that the boiling does not always remove all the chlorine and the harmful byproducts of chlorination found in the chlorinated water.  The concentration of such substances could actually increase if the water is boiled uncovered.  As to the nitrates, they may be carried to our water supply by rain, irrigation and other surface waters through the soil into groundwater when nitrogen fertilizers are used to enrich soils.  They behave similarly and the concentration in the water increases with boiling.

Using carbon filters (such as Brita) does not remove fluoride and harmful chemicals from the water

Filters, as their name implies, filter out certain substances from the water.  The common misconception is that the carbon filters commonly available on the market such as most refrigerator filters and countertop filters remove all minerals and impurities from the water.  However, such filters only take out some components of disinfection substances such as chlorine. For example, Brita pitcher & dispenser water filters reduce chlorine (taste and odour), copper, mercury, cadmium, zinc and particulates. The minerals such as fluoride and lead, pesticides and all byproducts of disinfection are not removed by carbon filters.

Reverse osmosis and distilled water are stripped of all beneficial minerals 

Reverse Osmosis removes virtually all minerals from the water, including the beneficial minerals such as calcium and magnesium that are crucial for baby’s heart, muscles, and nerves to develop and grow stronger and help supporting the immune system of the mom and the baby. In addition, the reverse osmosis water can have a slightly lower than normal pH level (neutral is pH 7), which makes it more acidic.  Distilled water, similar to reverse osmosis water, is stripped of all essential minerals commonly occurring in the nature. The distilled water is also quite acidic, with the pH between 5.6 and 6 because carbon dioxide in the air easily dissolves in the water.  There is some controversy as to whether it is harmful to consume large amounts of distilled water. Some research suggests that although distilled water is helpful in eliminating toxins when one drinks distilled water for short periods of time, longer one drinks distilled water, the more likely the development of mineral deficiencies and an unhealthy acid state. A pure natural spring water is healthier than processed water striped of all minerals. 

See for yourself...

The values for the Toronto tap water represent the maximum values in the samples obtained by city of Toronto and reported in the Toronto Drinking Water Analysis Summary 2017.  The full report published by the city of Toronto can be found here: https://bit.ly/2CV5GGS

Calcium
Magnesium
TDS
Water pH
Calcium

Calcium is essential for babies.  It is vital for building bones and teeth, but also keeps your baby's muscles moving and promotes various nerve functions.  During pregnancy, your body takes calcium from your bones and teeth to give it to the baby.  Once the baby is born, for the first six month the baby gets Calcium from your milk.  Health Canada recommended daily amounts for Calcium are as follows: infants 7-12 months 260mg, babies 1-3 years 700mg, children 4-8 years 1,000mg and children 9-18 years 1,300mg (the same as adults).  Luvita contains 105mg of Calcium per litre.  

Magnesium

All children need Magnesium for proper sleep, mood, nerve function, energy, strong bones and teeth and healthy heart.  The most common symptom of magnesium deficiency is sleep issues and constipation. When the baby is born, for the first six month the baby gets Magnesium from your milk.  Health Canada recommended daily values for children are as follows: infants 7-12 months 75mg, babies 1-3 years 80mg, children 4-8 years 130mg, 9-13 years 240mg, girls 14-18 years 360mg, boys 14-18 years 410mg.  Luvita contains 35mg of Magnesium per litre.

TDS

Total dissolved solids refer to minerals and salts (such as calcium, magnesium, potassium, sodium, bicarbonates, chlorides, sulphates, manganese, iron, zinc, lithium, copper, selenium) and small amounts of organic matters dissolved in water. The level and combination of the total dissolved solids affects the taste of the water and their health benefits.  Luvita's total dissolved solids content is 360mg per litre. 

Water pH

pH is a measure of how acidic/alkaline water is. pH ranges from 0 - 14, with 7 being neutral. pHs of less than 7 indicate acidity, whereas a pH of greater than 7 indicates alkalinity.  The human body has a natural pH between 7.35 and 7.45 and it is designed to maintain a very delicate pH balance in its fluids, tissues and systems for optimal health.  Drinking demineralized water such as distilled or reverse osmosis water or eating acidic food can make our bodies acidic. This can lead to various serious health issues.  Luvita has a well balanced pH of 7.5.