April 22, 2009,
A.K. asks from Nottingham, MD on April 15, 2009
Weaning off Bottle
Hello, Moms! My son just turned one and we are trying to wean him from the bottle. We are meeting with success, but I was wondering about his fluid intake. How many ounces of milk, juice, or water should he be taking in? He drinks out of my cup and he finally figured out the sippy cup a little over a month ago. However, I don't think he's drinking a lot. What are your suggestions?
R.H. answers from Norfolk on April 16, 2009
You don't have to worry about fluid intake children know how much they need. I am a person who takes it more in my food than in a cup but my daughter drinks more out of a cup. Each person takes on water or fluid in a different way and each persons body knows how that happens and takes care of it if it's offered. My suggestion is to take away the bottle if he's willing to take from a cup. Offer milk or what not with EVERY meal and have a cup of water available all the time on a counter or table. He will take care of it from there. Don't worry he's not going to let himself go dehydrated. The biggest prob. anyone has is a child wanting a bottle and refusing the cup when you stop giving a bottle. Don't give in. He will accept the cup after a while. He's won't go dehydrated he won't allow it. Taking the bottle in one swift move is the easiest on you and him. Dragging it out by taking away one bottle at at time each day just drags it out and drags them through hell. I wouldn't want to drag something out if I'm stopping something. Just take it away, throw them away and be done with it. It's easier than it seems.
K.L. answers from Washington DC on April 15, 2009
We weaned my 11 month old son off bottles 2 months ago (wanted to do it before the first birthday). He drinks a sippy cup (I think they are 6 oz) of milk with each meal (most of the time he finishes it, sometimes he leaves a little that I simply add to for the next meal). Sometimes he drinks all the milk with his meal and asks for more, so I give it to him.
I offer him water with his snacks and throughout the day. I don't offer my son juice because there is no nutritional purpose for it and it is simply wasted calories. Its much healthier for him to drink milk and water!
C.L. answers from Washington DC on April 16, 2009
We had the same concerns when weaning our son off the bottle. He would drink down an entire bottle of milk but when given a sippy cup, he would take a small sip and then set it down and go play. I was concerned not only about him getting enough fluids but also we are all vegetarian so it is important that he get enough soy milk for protein (my pediatrician recommends at least 22 oz. of milk or soy milk a day). Due to our concerns, we weaned him a little more gradually until he only got a bottle before brushing teeth and going to bed and we constantly offered him his sippy cup throughout the day and encouraged him to drink (even made up a silly song about drinking his milk which actually helped!) We had a few episodes of him wanting a bottle instead when we offered a sippy cup but we would just give him the cup and distract him with something else to forget about the bottle. Now he has fully adjusted and drinks the whole cup down if he is thirsty or goes more slowly if he is not but he drinks plenty. I agree with others about not giving juice--our son had a lot of juice when we were on vacation and doesn't usually get it at home (but it was easier to get than soy milk at restaurants and such) and he refused to drink milk or water for a little while b/c they like the sweet stuff so we cut the juice out again when we got home!
K.H. answers from Washington DC on April 15, 2009
Hi ,I don't think there is a right or wrong amount of milk , juice or water for a 1 yr old , guidelines suggest around 18oz of milk/day , not to give too much juice as this can fill them up & then they don't want to eat , water is good though & if you think that he's maybe not taking enough since putting him on sippy cups then keep giving him water from a bottle until he has mastered the sippy cup properly. I always make sure mine has water with meals , my youngest is 10 months & I don't really give her juice very often...maybe as a treat every now & then , I just stick to water.
R.D. answers from Washington DC on April 20, 2009
My youngest was the only one of the three to use a bottle at all, the only one I worked while he was an infant, because he was my big surprise baby :). He was breastfed until about 9 months when he lost interest, and so we had to introduce formula to get him to 12 months. Even when he turned 1 and he still had a bottle (we moved when he was 13 months and watned to get past that shock before taking them away) he drank whole milk. I was going through about 4 gallons of milk a week, my other son is a huge chocolate milk fan, and now my youngest rarely drinks milk at all. He likes juice, water, and soda sometimes. I would give him some pedialyte if you are concerned with his fluid intake, but he is probably fine :).
J.J. answers from Washington DC on April 22, 2009
When my daughter turned 1 year, our pediatrician suggested that she get no more than 16 oz of milk per day to be sure, as one of the other commenters suggested, that she doesn't get too full and replace other nutrient-rich foods with milk. And on the other end of the spectrum, he said not to be too concerned if she doesn't drink much because he said she really doesn't need milk at all. Humans are the only mammal that continue to drink milk once weaned from the breast. Just be sure to provide the nutrients in other ways - i.e. yogurt, cheese, and other dairy foods if you feel he is not getting enough milk.
I offer my daughter milk with meals and water with snacks. In the beginning, she didn't drink much but over time she has begun to drink more. As for juice, I think there are many different opinions on this, but I don't give my daughter any juice and don't intend to until she's 18 months or older. So many fruit juices have added sugar, and my daughter eats plenty of fruit during the day so I don't feel the need to give her any juice.
Another thing you may consider is the sippy cup you're using. My daughter didn't respond very well to the first sippy cup we gave her. It had a soft spout and she tended to chew on it rather than bite and suck, so we switched to the First Years Take and Toss cups which have a hard spout and are easy to sip (at least for my daughter), and she has taken to it very well.