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Toddler not drinking enough - any tips?

(12 Posts)
bobchaing Thu 15-Nov-12 22:15:22

Our 3 year old hardly drinks anything - refuses in spite of bribes (stickers, chocolate buttons) or us talking firmly or saying (eg) 'no mr tumble until you've had you're drink' and so on...tried making mini hot chocolates too.

Fed up of throwing away many undrunk cups of juice or milk. Feel a bit disheartened. He is very stubborn, but don't really want it to turn into a battle.
He has never been a big drinker from the word go.

Grandma and nursery also report minimal success (his drinks get 'mysteriously' knocked over). He's like an airplant - maybe has one or two small cups max in a day - should be having lots more (about 1 litre I think)!

Worried that he is getting dehydrated and keep feeding him cucumber and melon just for the liquid - so any tips out there for determined non-drinking children?

usualsuspect3 Thu 15-Nov-12 22:16:51

Ice lollies?

NoNoNoMYDoIt Thu 15-Nov-12 22:17:17

Is he actually dehydrated tho? Does he have wet nappies or if toilet trained does he wee? My DD is 3 and drinks only about 2-3 small plastic beakers a day through choice. She pees though and I assume she is fine. Lovely skin etc. You can't really make then drink at that age if they don't want to.

bobchaing Thu 15-Nov-12 22:40:37

He does wee from time to time (currently being potty trained but in nappies when he goes in the buggy) but noticed tonight his pants (rescued wet from nursery bag) smelled awful - concentrated ammonia. Nappies not properly wet apart from the night time one. His skin is fine. Had lollies in mind usualsuspect, thought he's not mad keen on very cold stuff - thought it's worth a shot though. Will make some tomorrow.

CJMommy Thu 15-Nov-12 22:56:07

Jelly always a good way to get extra fluids in wink

Alfiepants Thu 15-Nov-12 23:00:01

What juice are you giving him? My two year old will only drink Ribena and wouldn't drink apple or orange juice as his regular drink although he would have on accession. Milk is only a sip or two at bedtime also. He completely weaned himself off bottles a while ago. So what in saying is experiment with squashes. Mine is so fussy that if I don't dilute to the right strength he won't have it!

JiltedJohnsJulie Fri 16-Nov-12 13:35:23

I think 1 litre of fluid a day is a bit optimistic for most 3yo, so I just try and start with adding a little extra to his day and see if you can build it up very gradually.

The NHS has some good information on dehydration here. Useful to see if you need to speak to your GP smile.

My DD hasn't been a reluctant drinker but has been a reluctant eater. One of the things that has really worked for us is just backing off. We don't ask her to eat or coax her, it is entirely upto her if she eats all, some or none of the food but there is nothing else. She is actually eating far more than when mealtimes were dragged out with us coaxing her but know how hard it is to back off when you are worried.

Also, if he leaves milk and you want him to drink it (the nhs recommendation for 3yo is here) have you tried warming it up? He may just prefer it this way, I know my DD still does sometimes if she is tired or feeling a little rough.

Have you tried straws too as the novelty element usually helps and you could try taking him shopping for a "big boy cup" now he's 3 and a big boy.

I would just try and relax though. Give him water with his meals and make sure you drink water too with yours. Make sure there is always water available in a lidded cup for him all day, where he can reach it and serve high water foods. Both of mine have a lidded cup with water where they can reach it at night too, and sometimes I'm still surprised by how much they will drink at night.

Grapes, jelly, melon, soup, brocolli and cauliflower and lollies all good, as is hot chocolate. Mine also like milk whizzed up with banana and some berries or how about these?

lolalotta Fri 16-Nov-12 18:27:38

Agree with JiltedJohns about backing off. My nearly 3 year old DD is also a reluctant drinker, I have much better luck when I just hand her a beaker with no comment whilst she is distracted, like watching telly or something, than when I tell her to drink...

lolalotta Fri 16-Nov-12 18:28:45

She will eat ice lollies too, I make them 50% orange juice, 50% water which she enjoys...

CollieEyeOfNewt Fri 16-Nov-12 18:34:22

My DD went through a phase of refusing to drink enough and became a bit dehydrated. She adores cucumber so I chopped some up, put it into a jug of water like toddler Pimms and let it flavour the water. It was a big hit. She couldn't get enough of it.

Anything's worth a try!

Startail Fri 16-Nov-12 18:35:39

I've come to the conclusion DD2 drinks when she is thirsty.

I've gave up stressing about undrunk drinks.

She is the way she is and she seems fit and healthy.

bobchaing Fri 16-Nov-12 20:39:36

Thanks for all the tips, as ever reassuring to hear of similar tales and to try to remember to not get stressed but keep trying. I made ice lollies with cranberry juice and water - his fave - no joy, just nibbled it and ran off giggling.

Think he knows its a wind up to refuse drinks or ask for them but not actually drink them when he's just about to go to bed (time wasting!) hhmmm

Nursery have made him a special no spill sports bottle with his name on which he can have with him all the time. Have brought it home to try over weekend.
We do have a cup to hand for him through the day - so he can access fluid as and when. Backs away and peeps round door

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