My baby is two months old and is half Thai. My Thai relatives say that I must give my baby water after milk and when she hiccups.

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Hello My baby is two months old and is half Thai. My problem is that Thai relatives keep saying that I must give my baby water after milk and when she hiccups. I feel very confused because I have read that giving my baby water every day at this age can be dangerous. I am losing confidence in my ability to take care of my own baby because they think I’m doing it wrong. Please could you tell me if I am wrong and at what age should my baby start to drink water – it is making me worry a lot and the cultural misunderstanding is affecting my relationship with my husbands family.
Many thanks.

In response to your question, I assume that you are exclusively breastfeeding your baby and the baby is doing well and gaining weight. In that case there is no need to give your baby any water after breastfeeding because there is plenty of water in mother’s milk. Nursing is important because breastfeeding can give ideal food for the healthy growth and development of baby. However, giving water might cause the baby to nurse less.

Hiccups can happen normally even when the baby is in the womb. It is usually not serious and most cases only last a few minutes. The hiccups should stop by itself so there is no need to give water. Babies under 6 months should not drink water. When the weather is hot, you can give extra breast milk to the baby to give him/her more liquid.

You can share this doctor recommendation with your family. Please understand that Thais believe water should be given after milk or when the baby has hiccups. So if you feel that you need a doctor to explain this to your family, your pediatrician can help you.

Buppha Phaosawasdi, M.D.
Pediatrician and Lactation Consultant
Samitivej Sukhumvit Hospital

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