15 answers

17 Month Old Toddler That Will Not Drink Milk from a Sippy Cup

Need help we tried all different types of sippy cups, using regular cups etc. But our son will not drink milk from a sippy cup or a cup only a bottle. We are trying to wean him off the bottle.

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you,

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

I wanted to thank everyone for their great advice.


Matthew is off his bottle. He however he is still not drinking milk from any type of cup or straw etc. We are not giving up hope as I am sure in a couple more days he will realize that the bottles are gone.

I have started to include snacks with higher levels of calcium. We have discovered he does not like cheese or yogurt. So we are getting creative.

Thanks again.

Featured Answers

hi there, I'm not a pro, however my first son was off the bottle by 1. I started putting his milk/formula in his cup, I'd put him in his highchair, place he's cup of milk and a snack (cherrios) in front of him. At first he wasn't having it, but once he realized it was the only way to get the milk, he soon started. I still fed him at night and certain times with the bottle, but I sware it didn't take long.

More Answers

What worked for me and my 5 kids? Take them off the bottle cold turkey, today. If they get thirsty, they'll drink. It's not going to hurt them to go without milk for a while, or just little amounts. Their bones won't shrivel up, lol. Their teeth won't fall out. It's a battle of wills and your child can already see that he's winning, lol. Give a half vitamin to supplement anything he's missing during the picky eating and drinking stage that lasts a couple years. It may take a week or two, but soon you'll see the milk being drank little by little and more and more. Right before my triplets turned 4, they were still on all sippy cups because I didn't want the mess. They had used open cups and knew how but with 3 kids I didn't want the mess. Well, I finally decided enough was enough and they went to open cups for all 3 meals. Well, they didn't like this and didn't want to drink their milk. Well, Mom took away their juice and they got milk for every drink until they drank their minimum amount a day (24oz), which meant no juice for about a week. They slowly started drinking their milk in open cups cuz they wanted their juice, lol. They drank milk like crazy out of a sippy cup so they liked milk. They were just hooked on their sippy cups. Now they drink their milk at each meal and get their juice at morning and afternoon snack times. Sometimes you just have to play tough love.

K. B
mom to 5 including triplets

Chat and Events, within 2 hour radius

hi there, I'm not a pro, however my first son was off the bottle by 1. I started putting his milk/formula in his cup, I'd put him in his highchair, place he's cup of milk and a snack (cherrios) in front of him. At first he wasn't having it, but once he realized it was the only way to get the milk, he soon started. I still fed him at night and certain times with the bottle, but I sware it didn't take long.

I would try the straw trick too- as they say, you're child won't go hungry or thirsty over a bottle.

Take them to a store with the whole premise of getting their "big boy/girl" cup. Allow your child to choose one or two and start putting their drinks in them. A lot of times putting ownership on the child makes them feel like they have had a say (illusion of control) and often times this is all kids need to make the switch.

Don't give up with the regular cup. There were times when we were weaning our daughter that were very frustrating (especially since she seemed to take it so easily from my parents when they were visiting). During dinner times she had to drink from the cup, before naps and bedtime she got her bottle, eventually we worked on cutting one bottle. For a week, no bottle before her am nap, the next week we got rid of another, then another until she was solely on the cup. I know it's frustrating, but as all things in toddlerhood, this too shall pass:) Good luck!

My son likes the Nuby cups. We used the regular sippy cup at first and now use the straw version. There are 8 oz cups with straws and some larger ones, too. If you want to try the straw, just keep trying til he gets it. It's sort of hard to suck out of until you get the hang of it. Good luck!

My daughter is the same way. She is almost 17 months old and refuses a sippy cup. But, she does drink from a cup that has a straw. You can pick these up at Target or Walmart or basically anywhere. They are wonderful and they are spill proof, too.

Good luck!

Hi R.,

My girls were breastfed, then went to a Playtex sippy cup. My 6 yo didn't drink milk until about age 4, and my 2 yo will only take a sip or 2 from ANY cup. So, for kids who don't like milk or don't like sippy cups of milk, you can give whole milk organic yogurt, tofu and cheddar cheese. All are rich in calcium. The goal should be to have him get his daily allowance of calcium (600-800mg), and not stress over the milk in a cup. Definitely try the straw, or a "Nuby" brand cup. Meanwhile try 1/2 cup yogurt at 2 meals plus bits of cheese at meal time or for snacks. You can ask your ped about other strategies for getting calcium into the diet as well.

a few of my kids went from breastfeeding to a drink container with a straw. no bottle, no cup.

ugh. good luck.

Hi R.. You are giving your toddler too much control and too many choices. Choose a sippy cup, toss the bottles and go for it! When he realizes that he has no other choices or way to drink he will drink! You will go through a couple of hard days when you toss the bottle, but he'll get through that too! Sometimes you just gotta be tough, "This is the way it is...peroid" with kids. Keep your rules simple, the consequences quick, and firm. Best wishes.

I took a little different approach than all the others. I started dilluting the milk in the bottle with water, first 3/4 milk, then half, then 1/4 milk & 3/4 water. I would give him whole milk in a sippy cup with no spout so he knew it was in there and he switched to the Avent or Gerber sippy cups. It's a comfort issue more than anything, they are very attached to the bottle. If that fails, just get rid of it and make sure he gets his dairy servings elsewhere in yogurt, cheese, ice cream. They don't NEED milk, so if you take away the bottle he'll still be healthy.

Rubbermaid makes a small rectangular 8 oz sports-type bottle with a flip-top and a straw inside. This top lets the liquid flow out with just a gentle sip - it's almost like a vacuum action. My son was unable to drink from any of the traditional sippy cups mostly because he had to suck so hard on them to get the liquid - this bottle didn't require that...we tried every drink container on the market and this was the ONLY thing that worked. Hope this helps...

I had the same problem weaning my son off of a bottle. I foung NUBY cups (the tops are really soft like a bottle nipple, but it's a sippy cup) at Target (Babies R Us, etc) and they worked like a charm. Also suggested to a friend and her son transitioned beautifully as well. Good luck!

I tried sippy cups with my son at that age. He never took a sippy cup...went strait to a regular cup with a lid and a straw for juice and anything besides milk. With milk we used a soft spout sippy cup (Nubby) and he likes it warmed up. Now he will be 3 in feb and still likes his milk in a nubby cup and warmed for 1 min.

A straw might be a good option, but also if you just get rid of the bottle and it's no longer an option, your son will likely come around in a few days (at least if he likes milk). A few days without milk isn't going to harm him. I always took the bottles at 12 months, so it may be harder at 17 months, but if you stick with it you should be successful.

Hiya! Unfortunately, i do not have any advice for you, but i can sympathize with you. My son is 2 and WILL NOT drink milk from a sippy cup. I have been trying for a year with no success. If the cup is clear, and he can see that it's milk....forget it. And with the other cups, as soon as he takes a drink and realizes it's milk.... he throws the cup and then throws a fit. He will only take milk in his bottle, which he usually takes at night. Because of our schedule, he takes one in the morning before daycare. But i don't work full time, so its not every morning.... (He will not eat as soon as he gets up, and our morning sched. doesn't allow enough time to hang out and wait till he's ready to eat!!!) He sometimes refuses the bottle, which i'm hoping is a good sign. I know this probably doesn't help your situation, just figured you would like to know you're not alone!! Good luck!!!

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