I have spent 8 wonderful years in Bangalore, and that’s where Yesh was born too. Before Bangalore, I had never seen coconut water being sold at every nook and corner, why, I had quite some of it during my own pregnancy too. A man used to deliver fresh coconut water every day at my apartment during the time I was pregnant, until I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes.
After Yesh was born, and we did her Annaprashan– when she completed 6 months, I wanted to give her coconut water as well. Given the benefits this cool and refreshing drink offers and the easy availability, I wanted that she develops a taste for it from her childhood. It was then that I did all the research on giving coconut water to babies. I hope your concerns, if any, get addressed in this post.
When Can I Start Giving Coconut Water To My Baby?
Under the age of 6 months, babies thrive very well on breastmilk or infant formula and do not need anything else. Once your baby is able to sit upright and has completed 6 months, you can start giving her soft-semi solids like fruit purees. Because we start feeding solids to the baby, hydration becomes very important to avert problems like constipation. It is at this stage that water is also introduced to the baby.
During this time, when your baby has well-adjusted to new foods, you can feed her a few sips of tender coconut water, sourced fresh and hygienically.
Use the green, small coconuts, and feed your baby just a few sips. Once she gets used to the taste and texture, she may demand more and you can give her an ounce or two, just like water.
Is Coconut Water Good For Baby Constipation?
Coconut water contains many essential minerals and vitamins, prominent being calcium, riboflavin, vitamin C, potassium, manganese and magnesium. The Ayurvedic science claims that tender coconut water can be used as a laxative too, since it contains lauric acid. Lauric acid is makes coconut water easier to digest, and has properties that boost immunity. It is a major component of breastmilk, and thus is very important for a baby.
After 6 months as your baby gets to eat solids, her breastmilk consumption will decrease, but by drinking coconut water, she will get lauric acid and gastrointestinal problems like constipation could be averted.
If your baby is extremely constipated, you could mix coconut water with a ripe banana to make a puree and feed your little one. This works quite well as a laxative, providing relief to the baby.
Though coconut water does have benefits for baby constipation, remember not to replace the world’s best drink – water- with it. Just a cup, a day is enough for a baby.
Related Reading: Coconut Milk For Babies – Nutritional Value, Benefits, And Risks
What Are The Benefits Of Coconut Water For Babies?
If coconut water is easily accessible for you to source, and your baby hasn’t shown any allergic symptoms, you can safely give her coconut water from 6 months onwards. Here are some highly acclaimed benefits of coconut water for babies.
- Boosts immunity: Since coconut water contains lauric acid and other immunity booster vitamins, having it from a young age can help babies develop stronger immunity. When ingested, the lauric acid gets converted into monolaurin which has anti-fungal, anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties and can keep your baby healthy and illness free
- Cures gas troubles in babies: Gas troubles are fairly common in little ones, and while you must have tried massaging and exercises like cycling, adding a few teaspoons of coconut water in your baby’s diet can also help. Coconut water soothes the gastrointestinal tract and prevents gas troubles in babies
- Great for UTI infections: Coconut water is diuretic in nature, and can help not just babies. But just about anyone else to cure urinary tract infections. Infact, regular consumption of coconut water would prevent UTI’s in the first place
- Is rehydrating: Well, nothing beats water, but coconut water comes a close second. Moreover, it has a slight sweet taste which may appeal to many babies who are otherwise not happy with water. Coconut water can keep your baby hydrated for long intervals during the hot, humid weather
- Naturally sterile: Travelling? If there is one thing that is naturally sterile and will keep your baby hydrated too, it is tender coconut water. You can carry a few green coconuts with you or by from roadside vendors. Cool, refreshing and easy!
- Is good for constipation in babies: As explained above, coconut water is easily digestible and has fiber. It is used as a laxative not just for babies but for adults too. Constipated babies surely benefit from being fed coconut water
- Restores electrolyte balance during loose motions: Loose motions can make your baby exhausted, and the body loses a lot of salt and other essential vitamins and minerals. Giving coconut water can restore the electrolyte balance and provide the much-needed energy to the baby
- Helps in treating cholera: If your baby has cholera induced diarrhea, giving her coconut water can help keeping her hydrated and replenishing the lost minerals and vitamins in the body. Nariyal Paani being sweet in taste is well accepted by babies when they are sick
- Treats intestinal worms: Coconut water has anti-bacterial properties that can help expel intestinal worms from the body. Simply make your child have a few tablespoons of water every day for a few days and the worms will get flushed out
- Remedy for bilious fever: If your baby has fever along with nausea and bouts of vomiting, coconut water can come to your rescue. It will be difficult for you to make your baby have anything, even water. Coconut water can be accepted by the baby due to its taste, and it has properties that can replenish the body with adequate minerals and make your child feel refreshed
- Good for prickly heat rashes: Indian summers are something! If you stay in a summer area, make sure to feed your child coconut water to keep her from getting dehydrated. Moreover, is your child has developed prickly heat rashes, add some coconut water to the child’s bath water or apply some coconut water directly on the rashes. You will notice considerable relief
- Contains no sugar: While moms around the globe are having a hard time making kids stay away from empty calories and sugar from drinks, you will be happy to know that coconut water does not contain any sugar and is completely calorie free!
Related Reading: 12 Benefits Of Massaging Baby With Coconut Oil
My baby is allergic to nuts. Can she still have coconut water?
A lot of mothers wonder if coconut water would be safe for their kids if they have nut allergy. Relax, coconut allergy is very, very rare, and let me tell you, coconut is not a nut! The name, I know!
Coconut is classified as a fruit, because it originates from the palm tree and is often referred to as a palm fruit.
Can I give coconut water to my baby if she has cold and fever?
Because coconut water has cooling properties, it should be avoided when the baby has cold, fever or even a runny nose. I recommend these Indian foods for babies during cold and fever. It is always better not to feed little ones coconut water during the winter season too.
Are There Any Risks Associated With Giving Coconut Water To Babies?
Though coconut allergies are a rare phenomenon, it is always advised to watch a baby for any signs of allergy after introducing a new food. Coconut also contains twice the amount of potassium than in a banana, so do keep a tab on how much potassium are you feeding a baby.
Also, make sure that you always feed your baby tender coconut water from green coconuts, cut fresh. Do not feed your baby coconut water that has been extracted already, even if it is kept in the refrigerator.
Make sure the knife used to cut the coconut is hygienic and it is cut just before you plan to feed it to the baby.
Make coconut water a regular drink for your child, feeding not more than a cup (200 ml) everyday till about 8-9 months of age. Bonus tip? It is exceptionally good for nursing moms too!