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How to make rice water for babies and what it is for

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Rice is a natural cereal, easily digestible, which brings multiple benefits to our body. It is popularly known for its properties to cut annoying diarrhea, but does it work the same for babies? Is it good to give them rice water?

This will depend mainly on the age of our son or daughter since according to the World Health Organization (WHO). If it is less than 6 months, it would not be advisable to give a different food to milk. But we must also take into account other factors that we will see below.

Rice water with baby milk

Rice water

Formerly rice water was added to formula or breast milk bottles to prevent reflex in babies. Or because it was considered that the milk was further enriched. In fact, in some cultures this recipe is still elaborated. Currently, formula milks are prepared for any type of digestion of the baby. So it is not advisable to mix it with rice water. In case of breastfeeding. It should not be mixed, since the mother’s milk is perfect for the baby and does not need any supplementation.

What is rice water for babies?

For many years, rice water has been used in homes as a home remedy for gastrointestinal problems in both babies and adults. It is common to hear older people recommend this technique if our baby has vomiting or diarrhea. Since this water, in principle, reduces liquid bowel movements while moisturizing. Another use that is given to rice water is the cutaneous. Because applied to erosion in the skin such as eczema, can improve them. In this case, before applying anything on our baby. It is best to consult with your pediatrician.

Rice water for diarrhea in babies

Rice is a cereal that absorbs a large amount of water. And once we consume it, does the same function in our intestines after digestion. Therefore, when someone is going through a gastroenteritis process. Or has diarrhea, it is usually recommended to eat rice with some cooking water.

Instead, babies, boys and girls, recover from diarrhea and vomiting by eating their usual diet. And the most important thing is that they are hydrated at all times. In any case, it is the pediatrician who should assess the condition of the baby and who has to give us recommendations on how to act, since diarrhea can have different origins and not all are treated the same.

Should babies be given rice water?

WHO recommends exclusive breastfeeding until 6 months of age. Until that time, babies do not need anything other than milk to grow properly and, until one year of age, this should be their main source of food. Therefore, until the start of complementary feeding, babies should not be given rice water , as well as any other type of solid or liquid food. In fact, it is not recommended to give water to babies under 6 months.

Once you meet the requirements to start the complementary feeding, it could be offered in small quantities that do not replace milk, since the water from the rice alone will not retain as many properties as the cereal itself. Even so, it has been investigated about its benefits, and it has been concluded that rice water for babies is not very recommendable and can have negative effects on the future health of our sons and daughters, since in its natural environment; rice absorbs a large amount of arsenic, a chemical element that is very harmful to the human body.

In case we want to offer it to our baby, we must be careful and wash it very well or let it soak the night before to remove excess arsenic. Anyway, rice water is a food that we can do without, since it will not bring too many benefits to our son and daughter.

How to prepare rice water for babies

Rice water preparation is very simple. You just have to follow these steps:

  • Select the rice. It is better to avoid brown rice since the husk absorbs a greater amount of arsenic and, in addition, it is more indigestible than normal rice.
  • You have to cook a glass of water in a covered casserole and add a couple of tablespoons of rice. In approximately 20 minutes, it will be soft and ready.
  • Once done, the rice is strained and the remaining whitish water is preserved and ready!

When a baby can be given water

 Water is indispensable for life. How many times have we heard how important it is to take it in sufficient quantity? We adults are very aware of the benefits of drinking 2 liters of water daily, as well as the importance of staying hydrated, especially in summer or when we do some sport. But what about the babies? How much water do they have to drink?

Why babies should not be given water

As much as one thinks that water is good, that it cannot do anything bad, it is not necessary for small babies to drink water, because if we do it can become dangerous and their health compromised.

When can a newborn baby drink water?

Under normal conditions, newborn babies cannot and does not need an external supply of water or other liquids other than milk. Your body does need water, but this need is already covered thanks to exclusive breastfeeding or formula milk in a bottle. What water does is hydrate, not nourish.

The baby requires approximately 700 ml of water each day that comes from:

Breast milk. The mother’s milk is made up of 87% water, especially the first milk she consumes in each dose. When they are only thirsty, it is normal for them to ask for a breast very often and take it for a short time.

Formula milk. The bottle is prepared with a mixture of water and powders and that is precisely where they get the water. It is not recommended to add more water to the preparation. Always keep the concentration of 30 ml for each bucket, while the pediatrician does not indicate otherwise.

Therefore, even if we are in the hottest months or in areas with humid and hot climates, if we notice that the baby may be thirsty, he does not need to drink water. In this case, to ensure hydration, the key is to ingest more milk. You should breastfeed more often or you will take the bottle more times with your artificial milk. The same happens if the child has diarrhea.

It is best not to mark schedules, but each time the baby asks for it, on demand. In this way they manage to regulate hunger and thirst.

When babies start drinking water

At what age can a baby be given water? When to give water to a breastfeeding baby? When do babies with artificial feeding start to drink water? Babies can start drinking water at the time that milk is no longer the exclusive element of their diet, that is, when we introduce complementary feeding, around 6 months of age. In some cases it may become a little earlier, because there are occasions that start taking new foods at 4-5 months if they are taking a bottle, always following the pediatrician’s guidelines. But for example, it is not advisable to give water to a 2-month-old baby.

And why now? Because they are starting to eat foods that do not contain as much water as milk, which is very good that extra supply of water. To get an idea, approximately two-thirds of the water they need is obtained from the milk they continue to drink and the remaining third from the complementary food, including the water they drink.

How to give water to a 6 month old baby? From this age, babies are able to drink from a cup or glass. If we offer water and it rejects it, there is no need to worry. This may be because you are not used to it and, as you grow in your first year and eat more solid foods, ask for it. It may also be because before giving the mash he has been breastfed and that is why he does not want water, because he really does not need it. In any case, it is not convenient to force.

What water is best for the baby?

Ideally, the consumption of natural mineral water of weak generalization. In the label we will find suitable for infant feeding, that means that it has low levels of sodium, fluorine and nitrates.

  • If you choose to give tap water, it is best to boil it first, to avoid possible contamination and infections.
  • It is not convenient to replace water with juices. Or add sugar, since it is not a healthy option for children.
  • If we go out for a walk and bring water for the baby. We will store it in a closed and cool container; it is also not advised that they drink directly from the bottle, due to the risk of diarrhea and infections. The most appropriate is to take a glass and throw away the water that has been left over.

In conclusion, from 6 months of age you can use rice water if we consider it appropriate. But we must take into account the latest studies related to its contraindications. Since, despite being regulated the amount of arsenic present in such food, high consumption can be very harmful for both children and adults.

The author is an expert on occupational training and a prolific writer who writes extensively on Business, technology, and education. He can be contacted for professional advice in matters related with occupation and training on his blog Communal Business and Your Business Magazine.

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