By giving water to babies, they are exposed to the risk of diarrhoea and malnutrition. Sometimes the water is not clean and transmit infections to the child. This can also lead him to drink less breast milk, or to premature interruption of breastfeeding, which can be a cause of malnutrition. If mothers give water instead of breastfeeding their child, they may have less milk later.
Breast milk consists of water at more than 80 %, especially at the beginning of each feeding. So, as soon as a mother thinks her child is thirsty, she can breastfeeding her. This way the baby will quench its thirst and will continue to be protected from infections, and its growth will be promoted. Babies don’t need water before the age of 6 months, even in hot climate. This is one of the reasons why the who recommends exclusive breastfeeding in the first 6 months of life.