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Breastmilk formula or water should be the only fluids offered to your baby before 12 months. Once your baby is 6 months old you can offer him or her  cooled boiled water on hot days. Breastmilk or formula, however, should be their main drink until 12 months.

After 6 months you may choose to offer water in a cup to help them learn this new skill. Drinking from a cup requires a different technique to drinking from the breast or a bottle, so introducing the cup can reduce any confusion between breast and bottle.

Drinks to avoid

  • Full fat cow’s milk can be offered after 12 months, however this should be limited to 2-3 cups per day
  • Soy, rice, almond, goat or sheep’s milk shouldn’t been offered until over 2 years
  • Fruit juice can interfere with your baby’s appetite for milk or formula and, if offered in bottles, can lead to tooth decay.
  • Sweetened drinks (any drink with added sugar) including soft drinks, cordial, and sports drinks, increase the risk of a child becoming overweight.


[Source: Pregnancy Birth and Baby; Raising Children Network]