My 11-months toddler drinks around 1 liter of water a day. He likes to drink and drinking also calms him down sometimes. He is breast-fed one time a day.

Can too much water lower the level of an important minerals? For 11 months toddler?

ps. I have seen many questions about drinking water and none of them address my concern.

  • One could consider substitutes, such as milk, juice or warm herbal tea, to ensure that some nutrients join the liquid. Commented Apr 13, 2014 at 20:14

1 Answer 1


I believe what you are asking about is water intoxication.
To answer your question simply, yes, too much water, especially in a very short amount of time, can lower sodium levels for an 11 month old, an 11 year old, or pretty much anyone at any age. Babies younger than 6 months and athletes are the most vulnerable. Symptoms of water intoxication are (to name a few) drowsiness, confusion, weakness, fluttering eyelids, and, seizures. Besides age and activity level (in the case of athletes) the other factor that increases risk is a recent bout of diarrhea or any other illness that causes dehydration. Since your child is older than 6 months, is not a marathon runner, and (I assume) has not had a recent illness, he is therefore highly unlikely to be at risk for water intoxication, which very rarely affects "normal" people. Based on your statement that your child is drinking 1 liter a day and the recommendation of 1.3 liters of total fluid intake for a child his age (which includes the water that is in food and other sources) I doubt your baby is drinking enough to put him at risk.
The only thing that may be an issue is the loss of appetite that can result from a belly full of water which would perhaps prevent your child from getting enough vitamins and minerals because he's not eating as much, but honestly, this seems to be a stretch.
I would say that if your baby is otherwise healthy, gaining weight, and happy, his water consumption probably isn't anything to be worried about.

  • +1 for the loss of appetite. That's by far the bigger concern for children and why you shouldn't offer water to very young infants (<3 months) - it replaces too much nutrition. At 11 months I doubt that's a significant problem.
    – Joe
    Commented Apr 14, 2014 at 0:39
  • Loss of appetite will be more severe if the toddler gets juices. Then water intoxication is more likely because most calories come from juices and the toddler doesn't eat salty (savory) foods.
    – Robert
    Commented Apr 15, 2014 at 19:13
  • @Robert while I agree with you that toddlers shouldn't drink large quantities of juice (because of the sugar content which are "bad calories" that temporarily reduce hunger;) I disagree with your reasoning as it relates to water intoxication. Juices do in fact contain electrolytes (usually sodium and potassium.) Water intoxication is caused by flooding the body's cells with so much fluid so quickly that they essentially drown. It has nothing to do with a salty vs. sweet caloric intake.
    – Jax
    Commented Apr 15, 2014 at 23:22
  • @Jax I didn't say "bad calories" -- energy is energy; you just don't get other trace elements and minerals from some foods. According to author and food chemist Udo Pollmer the juices don't bring in enough sodium, and without sodium the cells cannot get rid of the excess water. Hence eat more salt to prevent water intoxication.
    – Robert
    Commented Apr 16, 2014 at 13:41

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