The Scoop on Giving Your Baby Juice

Many moms like to think that as soon as their baby turns 6 months of age, they should start giving them juice. But this couldn't be further from the truth. In fact, juice is NOT necessary for an infant. Here's why:

- Because of the sugars in juice, it can cause diarrhea.

- Too much juice can cause a child to be overweight or obese.

- Juice contains sugars and acids that can cause tooth decay.

- Giving your baby too much juice can hinder growth and development, and can cause malnutrition and anemia due to lack of nutrients like proteins and complex carbohydrates.

- If you are still breastfeeding, juice can cause your baby to nurse less.

Although juice contains Vitamin C, you don't want to give them too much. It should never be considered a supplement. If you must give your baby juice, consider these guidelines.

- Wait until your baby is at least 6 months old. But even then, babies at this age still do not require it.

- Dilute juice by at least half and half. Most grocery stores have a baby aisle with juice specially diluted for babies. These juices also contain more Vitamin C than regular juices, but are also more expensive.

- Never give your baby juice from a bottle. And never give them juice from a cup to suck on all day. This can cause tooth decay.

- Don't give your baby juice at bedtime.

- Babies shouldn't have more than 150ml (one half cup) of juice a day.

- Instead of giving fruits in liquid form, try giving them real fruit!

- If your baby is thirsty, give them water instead. If your baby doesn't like water, try flavoring the water with a little bit of juice.

- If you start feeding your baby water from the beginning, they won't naturally prefer juice instead of water.

I hope these tips will help you in your decision to feed your baby juice. If you are concerned about your baby's health, contact your physician.

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