August 1997

Water Supplementation of Infants in the First Month of Life

Author Affiliations

From the Epidemic Intelligence Service, Epidemiology Program Office (Dr Scariati), and Division of Nutrition and Physical Activity (Drs Scariati and Grummer-Strawn), National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Ga; and the Office of Scientific Analysis and Support, Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, Food and Drug Administration, Washington, DC (Dr Fein).

Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 1997;151(8):830-832. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1997.02170450080013

Objective:  To describe the prevalence of and risk factors associated with regular water supplementation of neonates.

Design:  Evaluation of data from the Food and Drug Administration's Infant Feeding Practices Study, a panel study of US women of fairly high socioeconomic status who were followed up from late pregnancy through their infants' first year of life. The sample was drawn from a nationally distributed consumer mail panel. Each mother was asked whether she gave her neonate water at least 3 times per week.

Participants:  A total of 1677 mothers of infants who were neonates in April through November 1993.

Main Outcome Measures:  Percentages of mothers who gave their neonates water at least 3 times a week, considering infant feeding status, mother's education, and family income.

Results:  About one fourth (24.7%) of the mothers reported giving their neonates water at least 3 times per week. Stratification by feeding practices and socioeconomic factors revealed that 41.6% of mothers who formula-fed their neonates, 47.4% of mothers with less than a high school education, and 35.4% of mothers with an annual family income less than $22 500 gave their neonates water at least 3 times per week.

Conclusions:  Water supplementation of neonates was a prevalent practice in this cohort of women. Feeding practices, maternal education, and family income were all significant risk factors associated with this behavior.Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 1997;151:830-832