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Drinks for your baby

Sip, sip, hooray!

During meal times, offer your baby sips of water from an open or free-flow cup. This type of cup will help your baby learn to sip, and is better for your baby’s teeth.

If your baby is younger than 6 months, it’s important to sterilise the water by boiling it first and then letting it cool right down.

Sweet drinks like squash, fizzy drinks, milkshakes and fruit juice can have lots of sugar, so avoid these to help prevent tooth decay – even drinks labelled as suitable for babies and toddlers can be sugary.

Little boy drinking from cup

Cows’ milk is not a suitable drink until your baby is 12 months old, but it can be used in cooking or mixed with food from 6 months of age.

Bottled water is not recommended for use with your baby due to high levels of sodium, unless travelling abroad and you do not have access to safe tap water.

View a transcript of this video here.

Travelling overseas

If you are travelling abroad and have to use bottled water because the local water is unsafe, make sure you check the water contains:

  • less than 200 milligrams (mg) a litre of sodium (also written as Na)
  • less than 250mg a litre of sulphate (also written as SO4)

Useful links

Page last reviewed: 06-02-2020

Next review due: 06-02-2023