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(15 Posts)
gardenpixies32 Fri 09-Sep-11 19:30:33

I need some advice/opinions please...

I look after a 16 month old boy (had him from 9 months) and I think he is addicted to squash! He has never been a water drinking child and came to me at 9 months already drinking Cow & Gate apple juice. He then moved onto drinking apple & blackcurrant squash, never water.

Anyway, if a parent is wants me to give their child sugar free squash I will do so. However, this is where the problem comes in...
Over the past month (since he as learnt to hold his own bottle and drink) he started drinking large amounts of squash in the day (4-5 bottles) and he has the heaviest wet nappies. I became concerned and mentioned it to mum and she took him to the doctors and they check him for diabetes. Tests came back normal and doctor said he is just being greedy and likes the taste of juice and that mum must give water, no juice. Mum tried but he throws the bottle down and screams and cries until given juice. This has now got worse, he now drinks 7-8 bottles of juice over 7 hours plus (according to mum, 3-4 bottle during the night!!!!) I have noticed that he seems to be very hyper active in the day and just wont stop! I think it is all the juice sending him loopy! I spoke to mum and said we need to stop the juice and just give water. She said that we can't be mean and if he wants juice he should have it! He now cannot concentrate on playing for more than 10 minutes without looking for his drink, he seems to be using it more as a comfort than actually being thirsty.

What shall I do? If I persevere with water, however, no matter how hard I try it will never work unless the same is happening at home.


FannyFifer Fri 09-Sep-11 19:40:56

Good god that sounds awful.
My children react very badly with artificial sweeteners, anything with aspartame, so all low sugar drinks etc, it affects their behaviour, concentration span and makes them hyper.
Could you just get him out and about so he doesn't have access or maybe water it down so less and less actual juice.

minderjinx Fri 09-Sep-11 19:48:19

So-called sugar-free squash isn't sugar free - it just has no added sugar. There is plenty of sugar in pureed fruit used to make it, and some have sugars from malt or cereals as well. Many also contain artificial sweeteners, which I am not convinced is actually preferable to ordinary sugar. I think I would suggest the parents speak to a GP or Helath Visitor about the effect of this level of consumption, and maybe also get some advice about bringing it down. Maybe if he really is addicted in some sense it may be necessary to wean him off it more slowly.

apotomak Fri 09-Sep-11 19:55:42

I would make my own 'juice'. I never drank water as a child ... where I come from if I drank unboiled tap water I would end up for long periods of time in the toilet ... If my mum had apples that were beginning to wrinkle she just cut them up and boiled in water with no sugar. It gave water nice flavour. I liked 'apple juice' 'cherry juice' was very nice too and strawberry ... You can mix different fruit to make different flavour.

Harecare Fri 09-Sep-11 20:08:40

Agree with Fannyfifer. Water down gradually and do things so he is distracted from juice. If he is sucking on it for comfort can you try just not refilling it?

I only give drinks at snack and meal times and never in a bottle for a child that age. The 16 month old I look after drinks from a tippee cup. He barely drinks at breakfast and lunch, but drinks about half a cup of weak squash at morning snack and over half a cup of milk in the afternoon. I think that would be about average.

Drinking sugary drinks from a bottle constantly is very damaging to teeth.

How often do you have him? Can't you just make it clear that in your setting you must follow guidelines and they state only water in a bottle. Children are able to handle different things at home to a minders so maybe stick to your guns?

gardenpixies32 Fri 09-Sep-11 20:18:26

Thanks for the replies.

Harecare- If we are out and about he isn't bothered with is bottle but obviously we cant be out all day. I agree, he shouldn't be drinking from a bottle, I have a tippee cup for him which I fill daily but he will not drink from it. He is a bit slow at the milestones, crawled at 12 months, not walking yet (almost 17 months) and only recently holding his own bottle. He is very baby like, if that makes sense.

I told mum I was only going to give water and I did try but he cried and cried until I gave in and gave him diluted apple juice. He seems happy with this and I now will not give any squash at all.

I have him 3 times a week.

nbee84 Fri 09-Sep-11 20:19:30

I would think the bottles need to be dropped completely, at 16 months he shouldn't really have them and certainly not with squash in (not against a toddler having a bottle but feel they should be restricted to bedtime/morning milk) - and give squash in a cup (with lid) and every time you make it, make it slightly weaker than the last time, eventually it will be water with just a drop of flavour ti it. But, as you say, if the parents aren't on board with this you are not likely to have much success.

You could see if Mum is happy for you to do this at yours durng the day. Now that summer is over (what summer?) and temperatures aren't hot he's unlikely to dehydrate during the day if he doesn't drink a lot at yours. Particularly if he's had bottles of squash at home. At least this way you can hopefully break the habit while he's in your setting. Children do adapt to things being different from at home - I've had thumb and dummy suckers (that after a bit of perseverence) showed no interest in wanting them when with me but still used them a lot when with parents.

nbee84 Fri 09-Sep-11 20:20:56

X posts - slow typer here grin

gardenpixies32 Fri 09-Sep-11 20:24:35

nbee - thanks for reply. I plan to dilute more and more like you suggested. The problem is that he is using the bottle as a comfort more than being thirsty and he will come to me and crawl onto my lap and say "juicie" I try distracting, which works initially but he always comes back again and again asking for it then cries and cries until he has it. He will drink an entire bottle in 2 sittings!

I think this is going to become a real problem if not dealt with now.

ChildrenAtHeart Fri 09-Sep-11 20:31:00

Do you have this child long enough each week for your influence to have any long term effect? If not and the Mum is refusing to work with you then you are going to find this situation very difficult to resolve.
There are a number of things that strike me from your post that will need to be dealt with:
Firstly drinking from a bottle - children over one-year should be drinking from freeflow cups not bottles. In a bottle the juice stays in the mouth too long and can cause serious damage to teeth. Also sucking on the bottle can cause problems with speech development.
Secondly sugar-free drinks - if these contain artificial sweeteners such as aspartame these are not recommended for under-5's, and as others have said, can still contain hidden sugars
Thirdly night feeds/drinks - not necessary at this age & will just be a habit
Fourthly the volume of squash this child is drinking - overdosing on sugars/sweeteners are definitely going to affect his behaviour & his bladder!

You need to practise some tough love methinks.
Bin the bottles & buy the Tommee Tippee freeflow beakers (no valves allowed!). If necessary do this gradually, maybe allowing a bottle before sleep (though not to fall asleep with)
Gradually make squash (or better still, fruit juice) weaker & weaker until it's just water, or as near to plain water as you can get. Only use 'normal' squash rather than sugar-free.
At night encourage Mum just to offer water from a cup if he wakes. He'll scream to begin with but soon get the message it's not worth waking up for.
Ignore the tantrums. If he throws the cup just put it where he can see/reach for it & offer it periodically. If he is genuinely thirsty he will drink eventually, and by offering weakened squash initially it shouldn't be too unpalatable for him.
Reassure Mum constantly. Do some research on juice/bottles/tooth decay & sweeteners/behaviour for her.

I had a boy come to me at a similar age and he had sweetened tea or pure apple juice in a bottle when he arrived every day and was waking 3 or 4 times a night. I would put the bottle in his bag 'for later' and used the methods above. It took a while and some long chats to Mum but we got there.

I also use Ofsted/EYFS rules on healthy eating/food & drink welfare requirements to reinforce my policy and say no matter what happens at home its not allowed in my setting. I do this tactfully as I don't want to imply the parents are wrong or offend them but at the same time I have to put the welfare of the child first.

ChildrenAtHeart Fri 09-Sep-11 20:32:30

sorry xpost. Good advice from everyone

surfandturf Sun 11-Sep-11 10:30:07

Hi Gardenpixies,

I have a mindee who sounds very similar to this. When I first met the family mum told me that little one will only drink orange squash from a bottle (she's 21 months) She won't drink milk and has the bottle to go to sleep with (both for naps and at bedtime) Mum explained that it was already affecting her teeth and she really wanted, with my help, to try and get her off the bottle.

So a brand new start - I explained to little one that we don't have bottles at surf's house. I bought her a special princess beaker and gave very diluted juice in it. At first she pushed it away but I left it in reach and eventually she tentatively gave it a go. I don't give her anything to go to sleep with with and she goes down fine for her naps with me. Two months on I am still giving her the diluted juice as she just will NOT have water and she gets constipated so I feel it best for her to have some fluids.

She has not once had or asked for her bottle at my house. I have told mum how well she is doing with the beaker and even sent a beaker for her to use at home. Mum still sends bottles filled with 'dayglo' juice every day and the other week the bottle got left at my house and mum rang to ask for it back as little one was asking for it.

Not ideal but at least I am doing what I can while she is in my care. I am very worried about her teeth though - they are a mess. Not sure about it affecting the speech but she doesn't talk much either hmm

Good luck

HavePatience Sun 11-Sep-11 21:50:56

I really thought juice (forget squash!) in a bottle was something everyone knew not to do. These stories are shocking. I'd do what was just suggested and just get child used to your rules and stand by them.

HavePatience Sun 11-Sep-11 21:51:49

Sorry, I meant what was just suggested by surfandturf

HSMM Mon 12-Sep-11 07:05:48

I just have a water and milk policy. It will be harder to change now you've started, but children are often happen to accept different things with a cm than they do at home.

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