11-month olds decrease in fluid in take and constipation: how many ounces of water?

Updated on November 04, 2008
L.G. asks from Mountain View, CA
22 answers

Once again, I am tapping into the collective knowledge and experience of this awesome group! My 11 month old girl is not taking in as much fluid as she used to and is constipated. She used to take about 14 ounces of formula a day, plus what I mixed in with her and her twin brother's cereal. I also offer water in a sippy cup, which she only takes a couple sips of. Lately, her formula intake has declined to about 8 to 10 ounces a day. She is having at least 1 BM a day, but she cries/wails when she does it. It is a lot firmer than her brother's BMs, as well. (BTW, he drinks about 22 ounces of formula per day, but he is also about 5 pounds heavier and a couple inches taller than she is.) The pediatrician suggested offering juice - apple or prune, watered down to 1 part juice and 3 parts water. I tried that, but she only took a few very small sips. I am adding extra water/formula when I mix her cereal, as well. I actually took her into the pediatrician last Thursday, as this had been going on for a couple weeks. I took his advice, but nothing has changed. She is teething, but I’m not sure if that is having an effect on her fluid intake - it doesn't seem to have any effect on her brother's fluid intake. Any advice you can offer would be greatly appreciated. I did email my pediatrician this morning to let him know the problem still exists and, supposedly, he's having his nurse call me today - but who knows when. Most of the time, you all are better with the advice than the pediatrician.

Thank you!!!!
L., mom to Nicholas and Katherine, 11/19/07

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D.T.

answers from San Francisco on

L.,
Here's a few tips. Try new sippy cups. She may prefer a different one with a different spout. Or introduce a straw. My baby didn't drink a lot from sippy cups but does great with a cup/lid/straw. Give oatmeal for breakfast with a teaspoon of ground flax seed mixed into it.

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J.F.

answers from San Francisco on

Hello
I would recommend massage. Abdominal massage around navel 50-100 X. I offer a 25.00 pediatric massage clinic on Fridays in Lafayette, from 2-6 by appointment. I also teach a free massage class at Elephant Pharmacy in Walnut creek ( you can call for my schedule).

Good Luck!
Jennifer French L.Ac
www.pearlmoon.us
[email protected]____.com

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C.A.

answers from San Francisco on

Wow, are you speaking of my daughter? She too doesn't like to drink anything and is almost always constipated to the point that she screams when she poops. It is the worst feeling in the world to watch your child in that kind of pain. I tried different types of cups, some days she would get a cup with a straw, another a sippy cup, etc. I found she would drink from different types of cups and loves to drink from a straw. It really helps if she eats melons, they have a lot of water. Blueberries are great to help constipation, as well as squash, pears, and most fruits and veggies. I stay clear of cheese, bananas and anything that may back her tummy.
I also give my daughter a smoothie every morning with flax-seed oil in it. I started with 1 tea in the smoothie in the morning and 1 tea in her milk at night (it kind of floats on the top) and I've progressed to 1/2 tbl morning and night. To make the smoothie I use 8 oz Vit D yogurt and 1/2 cup fruit (frozen or fresh).
I hope this helps, I understand your pain so if there's anything else, ask away!
C.

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I.S.

answers from San Francisco on

Our GI specialist suggested the "constipated baby cocktail"... 1/6 prune juice, 1/6 pear juice (pure organic juice... not juice blends) diluted with 2/3 ratio of water. Over time you can increase the prune juice and decrease the pear juice... prune juice alone has a bit of a tang to it so it takes a while to develop a taste for it. If teething is a contributing factor then sucking on anything with a valve will be painful... try a straw cup... not the Munchkin because it actually has a valve in the middle of the straw... we liked the playtex insulated sports cup to keep the cocktail cool. We did that and started putting DS2 on a potty when we knew pooping was about to begin... we were washing cloth diapers and loved the fact that there were hardly any poopy ones :P

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C.D.

answers from San Francisco on

Pears can help with the constipation and are pretty high in water, try a pear sauce or just mush up some pears, or finger food bites, offering fruits and veggies can help with constipation and have alot of water in them, avoid bananas and apple sauce as they can promote constipation. Keep trying the water and juice, even a few sips once an hour will help
good luck

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L.S.

answers from San Francisco on

My 15 month old can be rather constipated at times. I give her the pureed prunes when I notice any strain. One little box usually clears anything up by the next morning. Sometimes it might take 2 rounds, but it eventually works...almost a little too well! good luck! -L..

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L.R.

answers from Sacramento on

Hi L.,
My daughter has always had a bit of a problem with constipation. I make sure she is eating lots of fruits and veggies like blueberries, pears, peaches, apricots, prunes, papaya, figs, carrots, sweet potatoes, peas, and tomatoes. I also give her whole grains with ground flax seed or flax seed oil. Yogurt is also a great help. I found that my daughter likes prune and pear juice better than apple so I mix them with water. Try giving her juice in a straw cup, she might like the new challenge. I also give her almond butter which I was told has a lower chance of allergic reaction than peanut butter.
Sincerely,
L.

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K.G.

answers from San Francisco on

You can buy papaya juice mixed with apple juice at a health food store. You might have to add a little sugar to make it sweet enough. If you add water and it is too watery or not sweet enough your little girl might not want to drink it. Taste it yourself before you offer it to her.
Papaya is a natural digestive aid and very healing for the stomach and bowels. It will assist with digestion and constipation just like the prune juice.
My son when he was about the same age refused to drink too. My pediatrician said to give him fluids in other ways such as frozen juice pops, jello, ect. Yes, I believe teething can contribute to not taking fluids. To drink from a bottle or from a sippy cup or straw you have to suck. That causes the gums to have more pressure and become engorged with blood can can cause more pain and discomfort making the child not want to drink. The frozen juice might help soothe teething pain. Make sure if it is on a stick that she sits to eat it so she in not injured. When my son became older he developed head aches in school from not drinking enough fluids. Once he started drinking more fluids the head aches went away. Your child might be one that you will have to make sure drinks enough as she grows older. You might have to teach her the importance of drinking water to stay healthy like I had to do.
Good Luck
Mom of 3

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N.P.

answers from San Francisco on

Hi L.
I had the same issue with my daughter (who is 9months) when I introduced solids. She is a peanut and doesn't gobble down loads of liquids--I tried the watered down juice also, which she HATED, so what I do now is puree either prunes or apricots and add them to her cereal almost daily. It works wonders! Good luck!
N.

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V.R.

answers from Redding on

How about some kind of popsicle made of frozen diluted fruit juice>

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J.G.

answers from Modesto on

Will she take fluids better from a bottle? If so, you might consider giving her more water or juice/water mix from the bottle for now--perhaps she's not ready to drink mostly from a sippy cup. My daughter didn't like the sippy cup much at that age, so I found one with a silicone top (Munchkin brand at Target) that felt more like a bottle, and she drank water and juice eagerly from it. I used white grape juice, as apple juice can be constipating and wg juice is not. At times I also gave her prune juice from a dropper (she wouldn't drink it from a bottle or cup, but she likes medicine so I made it her "poop medicine" and she drank it up--usually 1-2 tsp/day). Also, if she likes finger foods, try cutting up a prune and feeding her one or two prunes each day. My daughter ate them eagerly (to my surprise) which helped get her through several constipation spells. If that doesn't work, try giving her more fresh apricots and plums, both of which help with constipation, and lessen her intake of constipating foods. In general, darker-fleshed fruits help with constipation, while lighter fruits can worsen it (like bananas).

Another thought, when my daughter switched to toddler formula, it really constipated her. If yours is on a toddler formula, try mixing it with baby formula or switch back to baby formula until she's 1. Good luck!

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M.F.

answers from Stockton on

My daughter was the same way. When she does take her formula, try mixing apple or prune juice in instead of the water. Also, try mixing the cereal with the juice. This helped my daughter a little, but she is 3 and still cries during her BM's.

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T.S.

answers from San Francisco on

Give her foods that are high in fiber, and fluids. Applesauce is one example. Also, during this time include a little flax oil in some of her foods. Don't put too much as it will have a strange taste. Just a little bit, probably a fourth of the recommendation on the label. It really gets them moving again!

She may have a slight allergy to dairy, my dd did as a baby. Keep an eye on it if it lasts past the teething. Also, if she is prone to having runny nose all the time, and even ear infections it may be a dairy allergy. Good luck!

T. Solar
Founder
www.theparentpack.org

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M.K.

answers from Chico on

A couple things to try:

offer her the water or juice in a different way: use a bottle instead of a sippy cup (just brush those teeth :-) ) or try a new sippy cup with a different spout or a straw.

You are already adding water to her cereal, but try adding it to the fruits as well. I never gave my kids formula so I don't know what the intake level is supposed to be, but 10 oz a day when that is all she is drinking doesn't sound like enough? Maybe her teeth hurt when she sucks on the bottle? Try teething tablets or Tylenol 20-30 minutes before her meal (so it has time to kick in) and see if that helps her take more.

Last thing, give her more foods that start with P (I was given that advice by my ped., and it worked) peas, pears, prunes, peaches. Also cut back a little on the cereal and don't give any bananas (because they have the opposite effect) until she is regular again!

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G.D.

answers from Modesto on

Magnesium citrate:
http://www.calmnatural.com/product/18340500003

Magnesium Citrate w/ Vit. C:
http://www.calmnatural.com/product/18340500005
(this one is better for costipation because of added Vitamin C)

Both are great... Check out all their great tasting products!!!

Love, G.. :0)
http://stemcellforautism.blogspot.com/

"I know of nobody who is purely Autistic or purely neurotypical. Even God had some Autistic moments, which is why the planets all spin." ~ Jerry Newport

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K.B.

answers from San Francisco on

Your son is probably not bothered as much by his teething. My first daughter barely noticed when she was getting her teeth in.

My second daughter (16 months) won't eat or drink much at all each time her teeth come in. Her bi-cuspids are growing in right now. If I give her infant Tylenol or infant Motrin about 40 minutes before her meal/nursing she will eat a full meal though.

I try to time the Tylenol/Motrin so that it overlaps meal time and nap/bed time. After all, if I had a cut that really hurt, I would take a pain killer. Your little sweetie's teeth are literally cutting through her gums from the jaw bone, and it hurts! In the grand scheme of things, what's a bit of pain killer for her when it makes her so much more comfortable?

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D.H.

answers from San Francisco on

Why don't you try frozen fruit gelato or frozen juice ices? Scrape the treat with a spoon, then feed it to her. I was able to keep my daughter very well hydrated during teething, and when she was ill also in this manner. It tastes and feels good. Good luck!

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S.B.

answers from Redding on

Dear L.,
Formula in and of itself can be constipating. Make sure you give plenty of other fluids. Water, juice, etc.
My children loved warm apple juice or prune juice. And it really helped. I never had to do it with my son, but my daughter had to have suppositories to help her out until she could just go. She got clogged up no matter what I gave her. I only had to do it a few times, but she did great afterwards.
Making sure she has enough fluids is the main thing. Try warm applesauce or pureed prunes.

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C.B.

answers from San Francisco on

Your poor baby girl! I would do my best to increase her fluid intake - I would give her water. Then I would also give her some mineral oil to soften up her stools so it won't hurt her to go. If you continue to let her have pain when she has a BM she will eventually try to not go which will bring on a whole new set of problems (stretched bowel, etc.) mineral oil is 100% natural - you don't have to worry about giving too much because it can't hurt them. the more you give, the more will come out her rear end! The mineral oil will go into the bowel and will soften up her stools. You will probably see some oily brownish "residue" in her diaper; that's because the oil is coming out. Some of the oil will soak into the feces in the bowel and some will slide right by it and out the rear end. I have used this for two of my grandchildren and I also used some myself once when I was having a problem - works like a charm. Also, there is absolutely no taste to it. Good luck!

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I.P.

answers from San Francisco on

My son has had issues with fluid intake and when I find him taking less than he should, I use a medicine syringe - 10ml size and give him his formula like that. I make sure to burp him ever 2-3 ounces and I put sesame street on the tv. I lay him on the ottoman and start doing it in little squirts against the inside of his cheek. I can typically get a 7 ounce bottle into him in about 35 minutes.

Also, is she using a sippy cup? If not, perhaps this new concept may stimulate her to drink more... Good luck!

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P.B.

answers from Fresno on

Babys are all different, each one has there own identity, wants needs and dislikes. I think the teething is bothering your baby girl. Maybe some ice pops, u can make them from juice & water, pedialyte makes some good ones too. If she is eating maybe some prunes mixed in with some cold applesauce. Just a suggestion, Good luck.

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K.V.

answers from San Francisco on

Try more fruit. Instead of prune juice, which can be kinda strong, try the baby food jarred prunes & mix about the 1/2 jar in w/her cereal instead of giving her them straight up. My older son loved them this way & it helped loosen things up. But I also suggest talking to your ped. or advice nurse to get some other suggestions. Good luck!

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