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When Can I Give My Baby Juice?

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Updated September 14, 2011

Written or reviewed by a board-certified physician. See About.com's Medical Review Board.

Baby Juice

Know the Facts When to Introduce Baby Juice

Peter Kortleve
Question: When Can I Give My Baby Juice?
I would like to offer our baby juice, but I am not sure how old he should be before I give it to him. What would you advise?
Answer:

The introduction of juice is another one of those topics where there are lots of opinions on when and how you should give it. The hard and fast rule that you should know is not to give juice before 4 to 6 months of age, except if it was suggested by your doctor to help relieve occasional infant constipation. Before 6 months of age, your baby's nutrition should come from breastmilk or infant formula. Juice simply does not have what your developing baby needs before this age.

When to Introduce Your Baby Juice

When you have your baby's 6 month check up, ask your doctor when he feels juice should be introduced. Depending on several factors, some doctors might be fine with starting at 6 months, others will suggest 9 months, and others still might say to wait until a year or longer.

Juice Guidelines

When you have talked to your pediatrician and you feel comfortable beginning juice, be sure to follow these guidelines:

  • Never give juice in a bottle. The American Academy of Pediatrics states it this way: "It is prudent to give juice only to infants who can drink from a cup."
  • Never give juice before bedtime.
  • Choose 100% pasteurized juices that are void of added sugars.
  • Water down the juice that you offer.
  • Limit juice consumption to no more than 4 ounces per day.

Once you have the facts from your pediatrician, you'll be able to inform and educate others who may have been overly critical or opinionated on the topic.

AMERICAN ACADEMY OF PEDIATRICS Committee on Nutrition: The Use and Misuse of Fruit Juice in Pediatrics. PEDIATRICS Vol. 107 No. 5 May 2001, pp. 1210-1213.

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