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9m old refusing any drink but milk and is getting constipated/waking in the night thirsty. At end of my tether, can anyone help?

(28 Posts)
emeraldgirl1 Wed 04-Dec-13 10:26:17

It's the sleep deprivation that's getting to me sad

DD's sleep never great so I'm coming to this off the back of 9 months of sleepless nights. But she was just gradually getting better, eating more consistently was really helping this last month or so.

BUT now she is getting very very thirsty at night because she refuses any water all day. She is dropping milk feeds (not entire feeds but drinking less and less milk as she is eating more and more food) and obviously needs the extra fluid as she is waking several times throughout the night, having a few sips of her bottle, and then going back to sleep (ie I don't think she is hungry, just thirsty).

Her routine with food etc goes roughly:

7am - 7oz bottle
8am - porridge and fruit
9.30-10.30 nap
10.30 - snack of cheese and fruit, I offer water but she refuses.
12 - lunch - shepherds pie, cucumber and avocado on the side, yogurt/fruit. Then around 4oz formula. I offer water but she refuses.
1-2.30ish - nap
3 - biscuit/fruit, I was offering water but now am offering a small 4oz bottle just to try to get some fluid into her
5pm - pasta with cheese sauce or tomato sauce and chicken, fruit, cheese or yogurt. Offer water but she refuses.
7pm - 7oz bottle
In the night, until recently she was having a 6oz bottle but now she isn't hungry (after all that food I' not surprised) and just has 2 or 3 oz, but twice a night.

I have tried tommee tippee beaker with hard spout but she won't drink from that. I have tried a regular little open cup with handles, but she won't drink from that. i have tried v diluted apple juice, she won't drink that.

I know she will drink if she's thirsty etc etc but she IS thirsty, all night long!!!

The only mild success I have had in persuading her to sip a tiny amount of water is in one of the little weaning pots she used to have mushed apple etc in when first weaning. 2 or 3 sips but she takes in too much for her to handle, chokes on it and then thinks it's a game/gets upset.

I was up every 2 hours last night, partly because she is now constipated too and was uncomfortable, other times just to give her a drink.

She then woke for good at 5am, I think uncomfortable as constipated, eventually got something out and had nappy change and then she was all perky and ready for the day.

I am beyond exhausted, it has been months and months of poor sleep anyway and now just as we were turning the corner and she was settling well and not waking hungry, she is waking thirsty... far more often.

Sorry, am rambling but I am desperate.

Any advice?

FastWindow Mon 09-Dec-13 23:38:20

OK this might be too soon for a 9 month old but you did say she was quite with it... Does she have a favourite telly character? Just like the straw suggestion, a favourite bottle or cup with <shudder> peppa pig or Minnie mouse might do the trick. But only ever use it for water.

sonlypuppyfat Mon 09-Dec-13 23:26:37

Can you freeze some juice into an ice lolly she might enjoy licking the juice as it melts. It might work it did for mine but they were older.

StarsAbove Mon 09-Dec-13 23:21:20

Have you tried offering water in the bath? My DD is 8.5m and is always trying to drink bathwater from her stacking cups! So I just fill one from the tap for her. She likes drinking warm water too so that could be worth a try.

Jiltedjohnsjulie Sun 08-Dec-13 23:11:02

How are you getting on now OP? Agree with the others, it might not be anything to do with her diet it could just simply be the 9 month sleep regression.

Agree to that 3 meals plus 2 snacks is a lot for a 9 month old. The nhs only recommend moving to 3 meals between 8 and 9 months.

I'd swap her 2 snacks after her naps for a bottle and offer her some more water dense foods. Things like jelly, cauliflower, broccolli, soup and melon are all good. Have you tried her with a straw? The novelty might encourage her to drink smile

Gileswithachainsaw Thu 05-Dec-13 15:24:58

Sounds like you have done a great job smile I always loved feeding my babies for the same reason as they loved it. Dd2 took a bit longer as she was literally just trying the food so she was 8/9 months old before she are proper meals. Dd1was a greedy madam and tucked right in straight away blush

Mine did regulate very well but I've had plenty of friends who's babies would just eat and eat given the chance. They had to be conscious of saving room for milk grin

emeraldgirl1 Thu 05-Dec-13 15:20:22

Giles, thank you smile
Thing is it's v hard when they aren't yet verbal and you don't know if you are giving them enough to eat/drink... it's very stressful! And she loves her food, which is a real blessing as I know a lot of babies her age who WON'T eat and stress their parents out that way!!! So I just thought if she loved it, I'd keep offering it until she didn't want any more!
Trying to do some finger foods as well but because she can feed with a spoon herself (I have to scoop up the food but she can do the rest) I thought there wasn't much danger of her having too much as she'd just stop when she was full.

Gileswithachainsaw Thu 05-Dec-13 15:16:40

No bad mummy award!!!

Babies don't come with manuals it's trial and error. We have all stuffed up trust me. All we can do is out best. Sometimes it's right sometimes it's wrong and it's back to the drawing board. Funny thing about babies is they know we love them and they won't hold it against you wink not til the are 2 anyway

emeraldgirl1 Thu 05-Dec-13 15:14:17

Thanks so much giles!!!
Thing is she's been perfectly ok (ie not at all constipated) on 3 meals for about 5-6 weeks now, the constipation has only just started, I think maybe because the actual amounts she's eating at each meal have increased? And the 2 snacks is quite a recent thing too...
Bad mummy award for me today I think sad

Gileswithachainsaw Thu 05-Dec-13 15:10:59

If it doesn't help then I'd go see the gp about the constipation.

Although the guideline is eight months, if she still isn't coping with three meals then don't worry about dropping one and replacing with milk. Some babies are extra sensitive and are ready for it a bit later. You can always try again on a couple of weeks. Get the constipation sorted then try gradually re introducing lunch.

Gileswithachainsaw Thu 05-Dec-13 15:07:22

I always gave mine pudding smile but yogurt would only be once a day. So lunch would be a few teaspoons of yogurt and tea would be fruit . And sometimes a home made sponge and custard when they were a bit older. At nine months if stick to fruit and yogurt.

But again only if they were hungry still. If they didn't eat dinner then I'd not bother

emeraldgirl1 Thu 05-Dec-13 15:01:14

Giles - thank you, that's a good-looking routine.
Will drop the snacks and just do milk then instead.

emeraldgirl1 Thu 05-Dec-13 15:00:11

Boetunes - half of her fist, not mine...

Is it also too much to be offering yogurt/cheese after her 'main' food? She absolutely loves yogurt and always seems to have room for it after her savoury stuff. But should I just be offering fruit?

It's plain yogurt btw, not flavoured.

Gileswithachainsaw Thu 05-Dec-13 14:56:25

Mine always went something like

7:00-porridge/ready brek and cup of water

9:30/10:00 ish milk before nap.


2:30 /3:00-milk

5:00 -tea with cup of water

7:00-bottle and bed.

(Although dd2 wasn't able to go to bed full of milk so hers would be a bit earlier before bath and then bed)

It doesn't look a lot of milk but bottles were usually finished and yogurt and sauces /custard etc was given at meals or for pudding.

I also had a tommy tippee cup and water was available at all times .

Boetunesgirl Thu 05-Dec-13 14:55:32

Sorry is that half of her fist or yours? Either way, I still think that's quite a lot at that age.

emeraldgirl1 Thu 05-Dec-13 14:51:46

I should add that the snack she eats are v small - four or five small cubes of cheese, about half a fist's worth, that kind of thing.
Feel completely blush - didn't realise about not offering snacks at this age sad

emeraldgirl1 Thu 05-Dec-13 14:48:15

Thanks everyone!
Oh God I feel awful, have I been totally over-feeding??! Saw HV for check-up last week and she seemed to think food amounts were ok...
I will drop the snacks...
I thought the idea was to start offering bottle after food at around this age? HV also confirmed that but maybe is wrong? I give her the breakfast time bottle before the food but for lunchtime I offer it after - until a couple of weeks ago I was offering it before, then I did a couple of weeks of offering it while she ate, and only just gone onto offering it afterwards.
Can anyone give me an idea of what a 9mo should be eating?
Thing is, aren't babies all different? She's 75th percentile weight and height and extremely active (given that she's not actually crawling properly yet, she almost never sits still) so I just thought she needed this amount of food. Have tried to be led by her.

Artandco Thu 05-Dec-13 14:27:59

I thought before a year milk should aways be offered before food?

So maybe:
7am milk
8am breakfast

11am milk
12pm lunch

3pm milk

5pm milk
6pm dinner

Even at 4 years old I still offer eldest milk in a cup before breakfast and milk with afternoon snack. Ie glass of milk and banana. Then he sometimes has warm milk in the eve at the table before bed

noblegiraffe Thu 05-Dec-13 14:23:09

Yes, 3 meals and two snacks is a lot for a 9 month old. Perhaps if you dropped the snacks she'd drink more milk? She's supposed to be having about 20oz I think.

Have you seen the doc about the constipation?

Gileswithachainsaw Thu 05-Dec-13 14:19:48

I think the guidelines are that they reach the three meals a day at around 8 months. So to me three meals plus two lots of snacks is more a toddler diet when they are down to just one or two milk drinks a day. So all that on top of the 4 or so milk drinks to me does seem a lot .

I think the constipation might well be down to too much food. Diet should still be mainly milk at this age.

I would also keep having a cup of water ready. Next time you go out in the buggy give her a tommy tippe with some water just get her used to holding a cup.

Fizzyfuzzy123 Thu 05-Dec-13 14:16:16

My ds is nearly 9 months and is exactly the same apart from he has a 7oz bottle in the morning too. I had just started getting him drinking from his cup but then he got a virus and I'm back to square one x

emeraldgirl1 Thu 05-Dec-13 14:11:37

Gileswithachainsaw - is it a lot of food? Oh dear... she does eat it all up but am I over-feeding? As soon as she loses interest I stop. And actually she's able to use the spoon herself so she usually just stops when she's not hungry any more...

Gileswithachainsaw Thu 05-Dec-13 14:00:53

I would perhaps drop the morning snack and replace with a bottle of ever of she will have. Bottle or milk if she won't take the water. That's a lot of food for a nine month old.

emeraldgirl1 Thu 05-Dec-13 13:54:33

Thanks everyone!
plummyjam - it could of course be teething/9 month development... actually I think it's a bit of that too! But she is definitely thirsty at night and it's just making her waking-up problem even worse.
Also the constipation is getting bad now, she has plenty of fruit and veg so I think it has to be simply because she's not getting enough fluild now that she's eating more.
Melanie - we started adding extra water to her bottles y'day, just her lunchtime and early pm ones, a good tip!!
It does seem to be a common problem, I guess I just need to keep offering it and she'll gradually drink?

Icedfinger Wed 04-Dec-13 17:59:08

Have you tried a doidy cup? It's open so she can see in, she might prefer that.

MelanieRavenswood Wed 04-Dec-13 16:48:54

I agree that it may not be thirst causing the waking, but it would be good to keep offering water as she will start to accept it sooner or later.

Also, as she is having 18 oz (morning, lunch and evening) formula a day plus yogurt and cheese, you could dilute the afternoon bottle a bit to see how that goes down - won't do any harm.

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