What Parents Can Do
Get rid of all bottles by your infant's first birthday. Research shows that bottle use past one year of age poses a higher risk of tooth decay and ear infections. Sippy cups are an easy and spill-minimizing way to allow your baby to practice holding and drinking simultaneously. It seems that there are as many sippy cup brands out there as there are babies to drink from them. Find a cup that seems comfortable for your baby and stick with it.
What the Docs May Do
Talk to your pediatrician before introducing water if your infant has any dietary or medical issues. Special babies who are followed by feeding experts, for example, may require special instructions.
Also, many doctors are recommending no fruit juice at all in the first year. If you choose to "flavor" the water or start fruit juice, limit your child's exposure to one small serving (less than four ounces) once daily. I have seen far too many complications of excessive juice intake in older infants (tooth decay and obesity to name two). And juice is nutritionally unimportant in this age group.
More 4th Month Health Help
Even the most confident parent has concerns about her child's health and wellness from time to time. Learn more about which medical issues are most common at each baby age, here. (If you have any pressing concerns or questions about your baby's health, please check with her healthcare provider.)
- What was last month's most popular health worry?
- Learn which medical question you might have next month.
- Here's what else is happening with your baby's health and development this month.