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13 month old refusing drinks

(6 Posts)
hiviolet Mon 05-Nov-12 21:16:41

My 13m old has never been great when it comes to drinking enough, but I'm having such trouble getting her to take on any liquid at all at the moment. Today I didn't change her nappy from lunchtime to bedtime.

She used to drink loads of milk, but once weaning was established she dropped to
three bottles of milk a day. She dropped one around 8m and another around 10m. She refuses water, so I reluctantly give her juice because there is quite literally nothing else she'll drink.

She drinks a bottle of milk first thing in the morning (anything from 200ml to 50ml) and during the day I really struggle to get more than 100ml of juice down her. I have all manner of (free flowing) sippy cups, and occasionally foist an open cup and straw at her, but her knee jerk reaction is to push it away, or if she's feeling particularly naughty, she'll take a mouthful and then dribble it down herself.

Obviously I try to get liquid into her in other ways. She eats fruit and fruit puree pouches. But I really am at my wit's end when it comes down to actual drinking. To complicate matters slightly she's chronically constipated, she NEEDS to drink a great deal more than she is right now and I'm failing to get her to drink her daily dose of Movicol most days.

Any suggestions? I really think it's behavioural, btw. Sometimes I have to be firm and hold the sippy cup in her mouth, and it's like she realises she really is thirsty after all and has a big drink. Most of the time it seems like she refuses out if sheer stubbornness.

lemontwist Mon 05-Nov-12 23:59:00

Hi hiviolet. I sometimes feel that my 10 mo DS2 hardly drinks but if I make something available all the time I'm sure the little bits he gets throughout the day add up. He is still bf at least twice a day and usually just plays with sippy cups if given them. He will drink tasty things like apple juice from a straw though. Have you tried a doidy cup? DS2 loves this and treats it like a game. I have to hold it and help him but he manages quite well. I'm sure if a drink is made available/offered frequently they wouldn't let themeslves dehydrate.
Depends what you give them too. DS1 would never and still won't at 2.5 entertain the idea of milk from anything other than boob or bottle. A friends DS, now 4, would never drink plain water, but would gulp down v diluted squash.

JiltedJohnsJulie Wed 07-Nov-12 10:18:12

Once they are past 12 months the NHS don't advise giving bottles of milk and your DD should be on 300ml of full fat cows milk per day which includes any milk used in cooking, say with her cereal in the morning or custard, yoghurts and cheese.

It could simply be that if she is having formula or follow on milk, that making her constipated so perhaps reviewing her milk should be the first point to start at. Mine enjoy the milk whizzed up with a banana and whatever other fruit I've got in, or even frozen berries, to make a nice milkshake.

Then I'd stop the juice. I know it will be hard if you are concerned when she isn't drinking but she needs to drink water too. Perhaps you could offer diluted fruit juice at one meal and then make sure she always has access to water the rest of the time. Mine drink more if I simply leave the sippy cup in front of them. Giving them a straw sometimes helps too. I'd also stop asking her to drink and sticking the cup in her mouth. They have so little control at that age and you don't want to turn drinking into a battle. Just take a step back for a while and she what she does (know it's much harder to actually do it though smile). We've done this with our DDs eating and it really does work.

Can you up the high water foods too and reduce things like bread? Things like oranges, peaches, watermelon, jelly and fruit, soup are all good.

hiviolet Wed 07-Nov-12 11:26:03

300ml cow's milk a day? Bloody hell, she doesn't have that much liquid in a day full stop. But she won't touch cow's milk, which is why we've persisted with the bottle of formula first thing in the morning.

We are waaaay beyond blaming formula for her constipation. She's under a gastro consultant and we're currently deciding whether to get her tested for Hirschsprung's disease. I didn't move her over to follow on milk because I know the extra iron it contains commonly causes constipation.

I'm a bit confused re. juice being the devil's work. Yes, it isn't ideal, but is it really so bad. Clearly it isn't, if she won't drink anything else. If I ban the juice my concern would be that she'd reduce the already paltry amount she drinks. She's stubborn and evidently doesn't realise or particularly care that she's thirsty.

I have ordered a doidy cup to join the half dozen other cups in my cupboard!

JiltedJohnsJulie Wed 07-Nov-12 20:08:41

Well the 300ml of cows milk does include the dairy in the diet, for instance cheese, so isn't necessarily 300ml of cows milk to drink plus other drinks.

As for the juice, mine drink the water precisely because they know there is nothing else on offer but then I haven't had to put up with the issues you are dealing with and the obvious anxiety it is causing. Perhaps you could take her along to your next check up at the dentist and discuss the drinks you offer and how your dentist feels it might affect your DD?

If she is stubborn though, I really, really recommend backing off asking her to drink or putting the cup to her mouth. You don't want this to be a power struggle that could last a long time, you just want her to drink smile.

Here's what the British Dietetic Association have to say about children and drinks and fluids.

Thought these might go down well and ope the tests go well too smile.

IWillOnlyEatBeans Wed 07-Nov-12 21:21:33

My DS was the same at that age. I can remember posting on here about it and getting grief for giving him diluted fruit juice - but it was the only thing he would drink so I certainly wasn't going to stop offering it. It's not ideal, but as long as you practice good dental hygeine and your DD doesn't have a bottle of juice hanging out of her mouth at all times then you'll be ok! smile

I can't remember when things started to improve, but they did...and now at 2.9 DS drinks lots of everything. I actually found that those mini sports bottles with juice in worked well for DS - I think Goodies Organix do them. They are pricey but I would buy a couple and then re-use with my own juice in.


For a while, these were the only sippy cups he would use:


The standard TT ones with the flip lid were roundly rejected until he was at least 15-16 months. I have a cupboard FULL of rejected sippy cups!

Keep persevering - this too will pass! smile

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