Toddler won't drink....help!!

(26 Posts)
ohsohoh Fri 26-Apr-13 20:58:01

hello everyone,

this my first post and I wish it was one that didn't worry me so much.

our ds is 22 months old and isn't drinking and we are so worried. So heres a bit of background.

ds was our first baby (so soooo many things we'll do differently if we have another!) and he's never been that bad with feeding. We were a bit slow with starting him on a cup but he's always been fine with a bottle. up until recently he would take milk (and diluted milk) from a bottle 3 times a day (about 7 ounces each time) and his eating is good. He has a sippy cup (tommee tippee) which was the most successful cup after quite a few. He has put it to his mouth and tip his head up but doesn't suck and has been trying less and less although he has it with him all the time.

Up until 5 days ago during his morning feed, he sucked so hard that the teat inverted and blocked. This upset him and he wouldn't have any more. This happened for the other feeds and since then he has not drunk from a bottle. Everytime he sees it he just cries.

That is pretty much the last time he had a significant drink.

To compensate we have been giving him lots of watery food and he's been getting some milk from a spoon from cereal in the morning but other than that he doesn't drink.

We've tried:
- straws
- cups with no lids
- diluted fruit juice
- pretending to toast him ("cheers" and clinking of cups) and that worked for a bit but not anymore
- we've even started showing him youtube videos of babies drinking to try and encourage him

The thing is, he's not acting any differently. His nappy is lot less wet but is wet. He's still active, he looks fine and noone would think 'he looks dehydrated'.

But its really upsetting my husband and I as we know how important it is to drink.

Has anyone been in this situation before? I guess we're looking for other tips/reassurance/anytyhing!! If we keep on making water available to him in a sippy cup during the day and a open cup at meals will he eventually drink??

gaggiagirl Fri 26-Apr-13 21:12:17

DD was the same we had success with letting her chose a cup from the shops she chose a monkey one and we got her a crazy loopy straw that was fun to drink from we also made a great fuss of our own drinks " oooh mammy is having a lovely drink so is daddy". We also made our own ice lollies using very dilute juice and let her share our "grown up cuppa teas"
Everything you are doing sounds brilliant just keep trying til you hit the jackpot try juice boxes fruit shoots sports bottles character cups sippy cups your DC will eventually just drink x x x

ohsohoh Fri 26-Apr-13 21:28:02

Thanks gaggiagirl. He did choose his sippy cup and we made a big deal out of it and he still seems attached to it. We just wish he would drink from it properly!

How did you get her to drink from a straw? DS just dips it in the drink and puts that end in his mouth. We tried showing him and also dipping the end in the drink and putting our finger over it so the liquid comes out when we take our finger away but he just goes back to stirring.

I'm sure he'll get it, its just a worry. Thanks for the reassurance though.

ohsohoh Fri 26-Apr-13 21:29:36

we'll try the choosing of a cup though (to add to the many he has!) and try a fun straw

JiltedJohnsJulie Fri 26-Apr-13 21:35:52

Think the idea of taking him shopping for big boy cups he can choose himself is a great one (also works with pants when you start to potty train smile).

I'd also try to relax a little. 3 x 7 floz per day is a lot for his age. Perhaps he is taking less but its more in line with what he should take? If you are not bfing the recommendation is 300 ml of full fat cows milk per day which includes milk used in cereals and cooking, things like milky jellies, fish pie, cauliflower cheese etc. you can even make some nice lollies together with things like condensed milk and fruit.

So my advice is basically make sure there is always a drink to hand but don't persuade, you don't want this to develop into a power struggle and keep offering the high water content foods.

gaggiagirl Fri 26-Apr-13 21:42:52

My DD has about 8 different drinking vessels! It was a nightmare. I don't know how she worked out the straw but it was an apple juice box and she just got it.we also spoon fed her milk from a bowl and gave her chocolate milk which she liked. Give soups s go too like a watery broth. We also let her play with cups in the bath and she will often drink the bath water ha ha.
I don't think the only thing you can do is try everything!

gaggiagirl Fri 26-Apr-13 21:46:14

I mean I DO think the only thing you can do is try everything.......fingers too big for wee keys.

JiltedJohnsJulie Fri 26-Apr-13 21:46:42

We gave dd an open cup in the bath from about 6 months, just to get her used to it. Might be worth trying with dc1 smile

ohsohoh Fri 26-Apr-13 22:25:01

Thanks everyone. It is hard not to worry and we keep on telling ourselves that he is eating normally and is acting normally which is the main thing.

We are just about not making it too bigger deal with him but I think you're right (JJJ) that we should just leave him to it and make sure drinks are available always. Thanks for the reassurance about the amount he needs :-)

I think a trip to the shops in order......come to think of it where do they sell a good range of cups?!!

gaggiagirl Sat 27-Apr-13 08:39:08

Asda, also they have a baby event on this week I think so should be bargains to be had failing that try Tesco.

GingerPCatt Sat 27-Apr-13 08:44:31

Our DS loves drinking from our glasses. I guess it's an imitation thing. But you could try giving him a sip from your glass of water or juice. DS will now chug about half a pint of water from DHs glass.

ohsohoh Sat 27-Apr-13 09:07:09

Trip to tesco this w/e for a cup! Will let you know how it goes. I think while we're down their we'll get some smaller tumblers for us too so he might be tempted by ours (thanks for the tip gingerpcatt).

Feel much better this morning. For breakfast I gave him milk from cereal bowl with a spoon. Was curious to see how much he had and after pouring similar amount into a bottle it worked out to be about 9 oz which I'm more than happy with!!

JiltedJohnsJulie Tue 30-Apr-13 14:19:14

How are things now? smile

ohsohoh Wed 01-May-13 21:01:39

Hi JJJ,

Thanks for asking. We're a lot less stressed about it than before. His nappies have been wet so he can't be that bad.

My inlaws had a cup that he likes (his cousins old cup) and he has been trying although still not all that successful. He still carries round his sippy cup but seems to have stopped sipping from it confused

We'll just let him learn at his own pace with gentle encouragement grin

JiltedJohnsJulie Wed 01-May-13 21:14:17

Sounds like a good plan smile

narmada Wed 01-May-13 23:25:00

Has he got a blocked nose or potential ear infection? Just trying to think of things that would make the action of sucking/ slurping uncomfy...

ohsohoh Fri 03-May-13 07:52:28

No problem with ear or anything. It seems like he just doesn't know to suck from the hard spout. It's almost like he's forgotten which is crazy as it should be the most natural thing in the world for him!

He's not really doing much better. With the tommee tippee he just carries it around. He must be thirsty right? Do you think that he might not realise that when he's thirsty he has to drink?? I know it sounds silly but at that age have they made that association?

narmada Fri 03-May-13 13:28:02

Well, it could be that he has been psychologically put off the act of drinking by the incident with the bottle inverting. In which case I don't really have any solutions or helpful advice except time and patience.....sad

I would take him to the docs just to make double sure nothing untoward's happened with his ears, make sure there's no throat redness, etc. Some kids can have burst eardrums and not give you any signs that anything's particularly wrong (yes, DS, I'm looking at you!).

FWIW my DD drunk gallons and gallons of breastmilk - I would guess at least 21 oz a day equivalent when she was around your son's age. She just loved the act of feeding. When I got pregnant, she abruptly stopped BF and her liquid intake went down very markedly. She just didn't seem to be drinking anything much at all. It was a wonder how she never got dehydrated, but she didn't.

I think with bottles (and possibly breasts too!) older babies don't always drink to thirst but for comfort - you can get a false impression of how much they 'need' this way.

Having said all this, I still have to nag DD to drink. I don't think she would have more than about 3-4 fl oz per day of additional fluid if I didn't nag her. Her wee is sometimes super-yellow and so I know she must be dehydrated a bit, but she doesn't seem to recognise her own thirst.

ohsohoh Wed 08-May-13 22:40:46

Need a bit of advice please!!

So I'm fairly happy that DS is getting enough liquid (somehow!) as his poos are wet and his nappies are wet. But....

He's not really doing any drinking. He just carries his sippy cup around but doesn't drink from it. And at meal times the mist he does with his cup is put a fork in it and puts the fork in his mouth. He does do the same with a straw and he has put mouth to straw in cup but doesn't suck. Occasionally he picks up the cup and puts it to mouth but not much else. If we try to help he just goes "No" and shakes his head. He's stubborn.

We have eased off and not made it a big deal but its been 2 weeks with no progress.

I'm wondering if we should cut down on the watery food to maybe make him a bit more thirsty?

What do you think. Either leave things as they are and let him get to it in his own sweet time (if ever!) or cut down on watery food so he gets a bit thirsty and hopefully drinks?

Help!!!!confused

narmada Thu 09-May-13 09:36:45

It does sound like he's getting enough liquid, somehow! As long as he's not getting dehydrated I think all you can do is carry on as you are. I think he must be having a sneaky sip when you're not looking grin.

Is he, by any chance, drinking large quantities of bathwater? Does he play with cups in the bath, or other receptacles?

narmada Thu 09-May-13 09:37:06

The reason I asked about the bathwater is because DS does this. He drinks gallons of it...

oscarwilde Thu 09-May-13 11:18:53

Can't really help, sounds like you are trying everything and he'll come round in his own good time .....as they do..... Had a toddler that did this and we got there in the end, mostly it made her pooing quite difficult but it sounds as though he's getting enough hydration if that's still ok.

Couple of things that might help.
Home made ice pops made of juice. Ikea sell the moulds for about £2, Sainsburys probably have them in store already.
Watermelon - as fruit or as ice lolly.
Soap free bath with a straw to blow bubbles, they can't help consuming it but it makes for a very wet nappy later so you might want to put a change mat under them.

Have a baby refusing a bottle and here's the low down from a doctor
" A child less than 10kg requires a maintenance volume of fluid of 100ml/kg/day. If a child can sleep without hydration for 6-8 hours it stands to reason that they can go a similar length of time during the day without fluids assuming they were reasonably well hydrated before then. It is important not to give children too much fluid too quickly afterwards though."
So 10 kg child = 1000ml a day. It's not really that much when you think how much milk they are recommended to drink.

ohsohoh Thu 09-May-13 21:53:09

Thanks Narmada/oscarwilde :-)

He hasn't ever shown any interest in drinking the bath water but we might start bringing in straws and cups if it might get him drinking. We'll also try the ice lollies as soon as we get our freezer fixed smile

With the milk in his cereal, very liquid porridge, wet fruit (pear and grapes) and yoghurt I reckon he might just about make 300-350ml a day. Oscarwilde - did you mean to say 1000ml a day for a 10kg child (that's about what Ds is) coz if so we're well under!

ohsohoh Thu 09-May-13 21:55:21

Just reread your message oscarwilde and it sounds like Ds should be drinking about a liter a day. He's sooooo under if that is true!! Getting worried again!!!

oscarwilde Fri 10-May-13 19:45:55

100ml per kg, yes. But don't forget that milk and fluid in food will count towards this? How many kgs is your toddler?
I can check this again tomorrow, seeing family friend then. Seems like a lot when you think about adults being told to drink 2 litres of water a day --mine is all in tea and coffee--hmm

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