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Old 10-04-2009, 05:05 PM   #1
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PLEASE DO NOT WATER DOWN YOUR BABY'S FORMULA!

I apologize for the all-caps in the title, but a 2-month old baby I know is in the NICU because his mom has been watering down his formula. He is malnourished, and may have kidney damage. They have been told that he will have to be in at least one week, and they're not even sure if he will make it.

Watering down formula leads to babies not getting the appropriate nutrients and calories that they desperately need. Additionally, it can lead to water intoxication.

Here's some more info:
An infant’s systems are extraordinarily delicate because they are still developing through the first year of life. Rick Stafford, M.D., FAAP, and Director of Neonatology at Northern Westchester (NY) Hospital, explains, “It is so easy for infants to overdose on water because they need a very specific concentration of electrolytes.Even a seemingly small amount of water can be fatal because an infant’s homeostatic mechanisms are not matured.” A disruption of this fragile system can have catastrophic effects on an infant’s health. Infants suffering from water intoxication may display a number of symptoms, including lethargy, malnourishment, puffiness in the face, low body temperature, fluttering eyelids, irritability and irregular heartbeat. The baby’s internal mechanisms begin to fail immediately.

Excess water dilutes the sodium in the infants’ blood, flushing it out of the body.This reduces the electrolytes in the body, alters brain activity and may cause swelling of brain tissue, which can result in seizures, coma or even death. Fluid can accumulate in the lungs, resulting in severe breathing difficulties. “If the intoxication progresses into seizures, infants will likely suffer from the long-term effects of the damage experienced in the central nervous system,” says Stafford. While water intoxication can lead to horrifying health concerns, the syndrome can be easily avoided.

http://www.parenthood.com/article-to..._dont_mix.html

If you're doing this because it seems like your baby is not tolerating the formula well (upset stomach, fussy, gassy, reflux, etc), please speak to your doctor. There are other and better solutions to any of these issues.

It's a hard economic time for a lot of us, so if you're having difficulty buying formula, please seek help rather than water down formula to make it last longer. Also, whole cow or goat's milk is not appropriate for infant either. You can contact your local WIC office for assistance, apply for food stamps, get on the email lists of all the formula companies (they will send you samples and coupons), use generic formula, use coupons from your local grocery store, or ask your doctor for samples.

Here are some links:
http://www.fns.usda.gov/wic/ (WIC info)
http://www.fns.usda.gov/FSP/ (Food Stamps info)
http://www.enfamil.com/
http://similac.com/
http://www.gerber.com/Public/Default.aspx (Nestle Good Start)
http://www.parentschoiceformula.com/
http://www.brightbeginnings.com/
http://www.naturesone.com/
http://www.vermontorganicsformula.com/
http://www.earthsbest.com/products/infant-formula.php

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Old 10-05-2009, 06:14 AM   #2
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Re: PLEASE DO NOT WATER DOWN YOUR BABY'S FORMULA!

When my little guy was a newborn he was having constipation issues and I had sooo many friends that recommended I water down his formula a little bit. Thankfully, I asked my best friend who is a pediatric nurse. She completely flipped out and basically told me all of the above! I'm so glad I had someone to tell me this info! Thank you for sharing it with everyone. It's an issue that a lot of people don't have a clue about!
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Old 10-05-2009, 06:35 AM   #3
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Re: PLEASE DO NOT WATER DOWN YOUR BABY'S FORMULA!

That's really interesting! I know my ped said I could water down my son's formula because of constipation (give him the same amount of formula, 8 oz, and add two oz add't water) but he was 9 or 10 months old. I'm sure the fact that he was older and on some solids made a big difference when it came to this. But definitely good information for moms to know!
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Old 10-06-2009, 07:35 PM   #4
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Old 10-06-2009, 07:39 PM   #5
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Re: PLEASE DO NOT WATER DOWN YOUR BABY'S FORMULA!

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Old 10-06-2009, 08:38 PM   #6
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Re: PLEASE DO NOT WATER DOWN YOUR BABY'S FORMULA!

Thank you for this information!
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Old 10-07-2009, 08:04 AM   #7
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Re: PLEASE DO NOT WATER DOWN YOUR BABY'S FORMULA!

I knew about this even before we TTC'd, but I think it's great info to have out here.

I'm posting, however because I'm in disbelief of what i just read in the What To Expect email newsletter...there's an article about strategies to stop night waking, and one of them was regarding making sure that baby has enough to eat before putting her to bed, and cutting out night feedings. here's the part that disturbed me:

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Another disincentive to those night feedings: Make those undesired night feedings, well, undesirable, by shortening nursing sessions or cutting back (or diluting) the formula in her bottle.
WTF!!!!!
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Old 10-07-2009, 09:06 AM   #8
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Re: PLEASE DO NOT WATER DOWN YOUR BABY'S FORMULA!

Quote:
Originally Posted by cmarie14 View Post
That's really interesting! I know my ped said I could water down my son's formula because of constipation (give him the same amount of formula, 8 oz, and add two oz add't water) but he was 9 or 10 months old. I'm sure the fact that he was older and on some solids made a big difference when it came to this. But definitely good information for moms to know!
I think this is a bit different. You should feed a baby a lot of water anyway, but water in addition to formula in a FF baby will help constipation. and 9 mo old, the majority are fine with it.

Like we play with the sippy cup with water in it, he never gets more then a tablespoon actually IN his mouth, it's just sippy practice.

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Originally Posted by justbishop View Post
I'm posting, however because I'm in disbelief of what i just read in the What To Expect email newsletter...there's an article about strategies to stop night waking, and one of them was regarding making sure that baby has enough to eat before putting her to bed, and cutting out night feedings. here's the part that disturbed me:
I hate the WTE books, I think they smoke crack then wright them...
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Old 10-07-2009, 10:36 AM   #9
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Re: PLEASE DO NOT WATER DOWN YOUR BABY'S FORMULA!

I think there is a huge difference in a little extra water for a 9 month old and extra water for any baby under 6 months. My ped said I could start giving small amounts of water at 5 months (like one or two ounces a day) because we live in texas and well it is freakin hot in the summer. He has said I could increase the amount now, but (here's the important part) if she started taking LESS formula because she was too full, then to cut back because she needs the formula....
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Old 10-07-2009, 10:40 AM   #10
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Re: PLEASE DO NOT WATER DOWN YOUR BABY'S FORMULA!

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