We have started giving Nestle Cerelac Rice (12 spoons per day) + 360ml infant formula per day to our 6 month old baby (at the gap of 3 hours). The baby has started producing hard stools for past few days.

I don't want to fill her stomach with water instead of food. How much water should be given to the baby to reduce constipation?

Answers with references will be appreciated.

3 Answers 3


Well, the first answer is the common "ask the doctor".

We asked our, and he said that our girl (10mo) should get about 800ml of liquids daily. Since we can't be sure how much she is getting (my wife is breastfeeding), we do the following:

  • adjust the level of water, teas, juices as we observe her diapers;

  • we provide her something to drink after 30 min of her last meal. She stops or gives signs she wants more, and we deal with that.

I'm not sure you'll find some specific recommendation, since it varies with lots of factors: his/her age, his/her weight, how much he/she wastes in her diapers, how's the weather or temperature inside your house, if he/she is sweating or not.


The assumption regarding water as the solution may or may not be correct. You asked for references and I'd like to suggest 2: 1) Your doctor -- s/he is best suited to evaluate the entirety of your child's health, and 2) Your doctor ( if you read this WebMD Link, you'll see that some things are natural and others may need treatment -- who's best to decide? Your doctor .)

Simply put, the human body is so complex that not even doctors fully understand it... but their training makes them best-suited to assist us. Listing a few characteristics on a forum about your child's diet is by no means sufficient information for us non-MD people to begin to competently comment, no matter how desperately we want to help.

I hope your child is well and if sick, heals quickly!


After agreeing with 'ask the doctor', I'd also suggest perhaps stopping the rice+formula and seeing if that fixes things. Adding cereal to formula is almost entirely pointless; if you're trying to get into solid foods, go another route - 6 months for most babies is old enough to eat regular food (ie, carrots or whatnot). The rice cereal in the bottle (I assume that's how you're giving it given the description) may be interfering with her eating her formula, and thus getting properly hydrated.

The old recommendations to start off with cereal in the bottles are very outdated, and even the recommendations to start with cereal at all are largely outdated - our pediatrician for both of ours recommended starting with vegetables, not cereal, and strongly discouraged cereal in bottles (we were breastfeeding, so it's a bit different, but not that much).

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