N.N. asks from Fresno, CA on November 22, 2008
9 Month Old Will Only Drink Formula - How Can I Get Him to Try Juice and Water?
I am the first-time mom (and first time writing in) of a beautiful, smart 9 month-old son. He loves to explore and is very curious about his surroundings. I want to expose him to more foods (he's starting to only like solid foods, not just baby food) like juice but he refuses to drink it! Our pediatrician was surprised that he didn't drink juice or much water told me that we need to train him to like jiuce and water but didn't say *how* to do it! A few months back he was sick (viral infection on his throat and wasn't drinking much milk. The dr told us to give him cold pedialyte to hydrate him) but he didn't like the flavor and wouldn't drink it! My husband told me to just offer juice or water to get Adam to try the juice or water (even if he's asking for his "ba", the bottle) and to give him water or juice at night instead of his nightly bottle so that he'll eventually drink it out of thirst but that seems too cruel to me. Have any of you guys ever had this problem and if so, how did you get your baby to accept juice and water?
On another note, like I said, he's starting to only want solid foods (he's showing an independent streak, even at this age) and I am at a loss as to what to offer him. I wabt him to get enough fruit and veggies. So far, I've given him peas, he's had noodles and pasta at daycare and LOVES them, little cubes of cheese and I fed him a multigrain waffle that he almost finished. What are other good food ideas that I can feed him?
So What Happened?™
Thanks so much to all you Moms who wrote in about the juice thing! I had never really been big on juice myself, but Adam had gotten the flu from the flu vaccine and hadn't been eating and I was in a fretful state (obviously). I've decided not to stress about the water(his caregiver says he does drink water, he just likes it from a straw, not a sippy cup) hold off as long as I can on juice.
Thanks so much everyone!
C.L. answers from Fresno on November 25, 2008
I agree with the previous post about no juice. My daughter only drinks milk and water. She has had juice before at birthday parties, but it is useless calories and bad for their teeth. If they get used to the sugary juice they may eventually refuse water and milk, which has happened to a number of my friends.
L.P. answers from San Francisco on November 23, 2008
I have understood that little one's really don't need juice as it is basically sugar (per my ped), try real fruit; my daughter loves fruit, apples, pear which is soft, banana. And that water is okay, but milk is best. Keep him hydrated with fruit instead, less sugar and good for him.
C.D. answers from San Francisco on November 23, 2008
My son loved avocado and steamed carrots that were very soft and easy to pick up, also puffed cereal and organic cherrios which pretty much melt in the mouth, As far as the water and juice, just keep offering over and over and he will learn to like both- it took 3 weeks for my son to take to cow's milk in a sippy cup and now he loves it
S.M. answers from Stockton on November 24, 2008
I am from the "school" of no juice. It is just sugar, and unless you are making it yourself or buying really expensive juices it is sugar with little nutritional value. Introduce him to the actual fruit.
You can introduce meats now, his body can handle it. My son loves meats. Youv'e introduced him to wheat without a problem, so whole grain pastas are good too.
Honestly, start giving him small portions of your meals. I find that way easier. Children do not need special meals like mac n cheese or easy foods. That is commercialism telling us how to feed our kids.
Doctors have VERY little nutrition training - i think like 1 semster. So they are not the best, unless your doc is nutrition focused.
Check out babycenter.com, parenting mags have great recipes sometimes for family focused foods. And a lot of the mom's on this site have great food ideas.
I can send you more if you want to email me. My boy is more than ready to go on his walk!!
Congratulations on your blessing!!! I am so happy for you!
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C.B. answers from San Francisco on November 23, 2008
Odd that the pediatrician would be concerned about drinking juice. Juice has too much sugar and is not important for a still infant to be drinking. My kids are older (4 and 6) and I still rarely will give them juice not mixed with water.
Breast milk / formula are most important and will keep your baby hydrated if they are drinking enough ounces per day. Try water in a sippy cup that's easy for your young one to handle (Munchkins makes some nice ones for the little guys) and if you do give juice mix it with mostly water.
As far as solids go, I always liked Earths Best and they offer a really nice variety. Stay with the veggies then introduce fruits. Make sure the peas are VERY soft or you are mashing them. Most veggies can be boiled and mashed for easy feeding- Trader Joe's has a pre-cut packet of butternut squash that both my kids loved- just boil and blend. He sounds like a good eater already. Just make sure you cut things up small and don't try too many new foods at once- 9 months is still pretty young. :) There are some really good books out there for ideas on food for infants/ toddlers: "Small Helpings" was one of my favorites.
This is a fun age- enjoy it while they will still eat pretty much anything you put in front of them.
Best of luck.
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C.F. answers from San Francisco on November 23, 2008
You're lucky if he doesn't like juice, it is not necessary and is not usually good for us (too much sugar). I only ever gave it to my daughter if it was over half watered down. Just keep giving him good, healthy fruits and vegetables, he'll do great. Sounds like he loves to eat, so put bananas (of course everything cut very small), cooked carrots, etc. and let him go to town. My daughter loved beans... kidney, garbonzo... she could pick them up and eat them herself. I would also put a sippy cup, with handles, full of water there when he eats. He'll have to get thirsty and probably wants to do it himself. He's only 9 months old, I'm sure he'll start drinking his water if you just have it there, easy to reach, whenever he gets thirsty. Take care, sounds like you're doing a great job! C.
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A.P. answers from San Francisco on November 23, 2008
I would only suggest giving your baby milk or water. Don't worry about juice. Most are loaded with sugars and other stuff, give her fruit instead. The water will come in time.
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G.K. answers from San Francisco on November 23, 2008
In my opinion, juice is OVERRATED!!!! Most of them have too much sugar, and it can start to eat at their teeth if they get too much. My son is 2 and has never liked juice; water is his favorite drink. I understand your frustration, but you need to trust your instincts. If you don't think he's ready, then he probably isn't. One mistake parents make, I feel, is to not listen to their child. They just assume that doctor (or spouse) knows best, and they try to push the behavior on their child/ren.
I've been blessed with a pediatrician who's a little different than others in my experience. Most parents are all gung-ho when it comes to giving their child milk as soon as he/she turns a year old. My son HATED milk; wouldn't drink it. We tried EVERY kind of milk there is, and I finally said, "Forget this!" His doc told me not to worry about it as long as he's getting what he needs through foods. He likes milk now, but I try very hard not to push things on him. I've learned that he will try things in his own time.
As far as foods you can feed your son, he can pretty much eat anything you do. Peanut butter, nuts, orange juice, and eggs being the only exceptions. OJ and eggs after 1 year, and PB and nuts after 2. My son ate off my plate as well as his baby food. I gave him little bits of chicken, pork, even steak, and he loves veggies and fruits!! Literally, anything I ate I offered to him.
I think you're doing great, and I love that you feel blessed to have your son in your life!!!!!!!!!!!
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A.B. answers from San Francisco on November 23, 2008
Dr. Ari Brown was on a program I caught a few minutes of on t.v. and she said we have to introduce new things up to 12 times before we see our little ones trying them. I've found it frustrating too... my oldest ate and drank everything, but my 11 month old doesn't. I've been offering water in a silicon sippy (similar to a bottle) and textured food at each meal. Slowly he's been picking up the cup and bites of food on his tray. It has been two months of this though and we are finally seeing some progress.
S.B. answers from Redding on November 23, 2008
It sounds like you have such a lovely family!
That said, I want you to know that it is not cruel to get your baby used to juice or water. I will say though, that you should never give juice in a night time bottle. I worked for a pediatric dental specialist and you would faint if you knew how many little tiny kids were having their teeth worked on because of juice in the bottle at night. Plain water is the very best in a night time bottle. Meaning, one you will let him have to go to sleep with in his crib.
Try using sippie cups during the day. My kids loved having ice in them because they could shake it and hear the rattle. You can freeze juice cubes and put it in with the water. As they shake it and it melts, they get the flavor of the juice. It's just a matter of getting them used to it. Your baby fusses because he is used to a certain thing coming from his bottle and it's most likely not that he doesn't like it, it just seems strange and it's not what he was expecting to come out.
Try ice cubes, even in his bottle. He may be fascninated by the noise it makes and want to taste it.
You're doing a great job and with a little time, I'm sure you will find a way that works.
L.N. answers from San Francisco on November 23, 2008
I have to tell you that it took a very long time for us to transition over to water and juice in the situations you describe. My daughter is/was very milk dependent, and we had to work on this transition for months. I think it finally happened around 18 months, although we take things very slowly. One trick is to gradually dilute the formula in situations where you want him to be drinking water, until he's basically drinking water. You'd be surprised at how effective this is, particularly if you change the dilution ratio slowly. Also, be careful about giving him juice at night (you said your husband recommended this). This is supposed to be one of the worst things you can do for kids' teeth. It also seems to me that juice at night would give a sugar rush that wouldn't help with sleep. Good luck and hang in there!