Can't Get Baby to Drink Milk or Formula Out of a Sippy

Updated on May 08, 2008
V.K. asks from Glen Mills, PA
23 answers

My daughter is 13 months old and she refuses to drink anything but water from a sippy cup. I have tried formula, soy milk and regular milk in several different kinds of sippy cups. She also will not drink milk from a bottle- only her formula. I want to get her off the bottle and formula but I am not sure what to do. Has anyone else had this problem?

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J.N.

answers from Williamsport on

Have you tried mixing it half formula and half milk or different ratios until you wean her off the formula completely?? That is what we did for my son.

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B.W.

answers from Erie on

It sounds to me as if she doesn't like milk. Try apple juice. Try some other stuff, and if she likes her formula in a bottle, why not?

Adding other flavors, like juice, may help her begin to try new things.

But what's the rush? She's only 13 months old.

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K.N.

answers from Pittsburgh on

V.,
I agree with Jen B. I did the same thing, we did it over a period of two weeks slowly going from formula to milk. I strongly recommend the NUBY cups. They have a silicone soft spout that feels like a bottle nipple. We bought ours at Walmart for about $2.00 each. My daughter didn't even notice the difference. As time went on i transitioned her to a regular sippy cup and she is doing wonderfully. It will take time but be diligent... your baby will drink when she is thirsty. Good luck.

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H.M.

answers from Philadelphia on

Hi!

My first was exactly the same. She would only do water from a sippy. I just beefed up on other dairy/calcium - yogurt, cheese, spinach, broccoli, etc. My ped. said that was fine. Have you tried mixing her formula with milk in the bottle and then gradually do less of the formula until you have her completely switched?? Good luck.

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J.S.

answers from Philadelphia on

Transistion it over slowly, like many of the other moms are suggesting. I did that with my son and he had no problem with the bottle. I did warm it. Also, I couldn't get him to drink it out of a sippy cup for a very long time, I'll say about 18 months. And I tried everything, he just wouldn't do it. I finally bought one of those sippy cups that have straws instead of the spouts and he took to it right away. I only put milk in it for a few months since he would use the other cups with juice. I've talked to other moms who said the same thing about the straw cups.

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J.M.

answers from Pittsburgh on

Hi V.,

Try mixing your daughters formula with milk - start with 4 parts formula, 1 part milk and then gradually decrease the amount of formula and increase the amount of milk until she gets used to it. Also - as long as she is drinking water, there really isn't any reason to drink milk. You only need milk for calcium - so as long as she is getting calcium from other foods (or from a supplement) then it doesn't really matter if she drinks milk. My son is 2.5 and won't drink milk - so we give him a calcium supplement and he drinks lots of water.

J.

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K.S.

answers from Pittsburgh on

I say no more bottles and offer the milk in the sippy cup at meals. She will eventually take it. I had the same problem. I did also add a drop of chocolate, then gradually reduced it until it was all white milk. Choose one sippy cup and stick with it. Offer water between meals and for the time being offer lots of other sources of calcium, yogurt and cheese. Basically this is a standoff. You have to stand your ground here. It took my son a good while to start really drinking the milk, but he eventually did. Just simplify the process so that she will know what to expect.

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H.T.

answers from Pittsburgh on

Yes, try a little chocolate. If that doesn't work, wait it out. Give her cheese, yogurt, even icecream. My son would not drink milk for awhile after I took the bottle away and now that's all he will drink!!

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J.S.

answers from Philadelphia on

V. K did you try the sippie cups with the bottle nipple or a sippie cup that has a straw. There are straws that go in all crazy directions when you drink from them try one of them for her and one for you (so you can show her the milk going all threw the straw). If she sees the milk going threw the straw she may like that and want to drink out of the cup more. she really needs to get on whole milk and off the formula. GOOD LUCK

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F.U.

answers from Syracuse on

We went through the exact same problem a year ago with our son. One day I finally had enouogh. After he went to bed I gathered up all his bottles, packed them in a box, put it in the attic. The next morning I gathered up all the patience, and courage I could find and put "big boy" milk in a sippy cup, sat it on the table and plugged my ears. He screamed for about an hour but finally he gave in. He hasn't had a bottle since the day after is 1 year birthday.

I know it's mean, but it had to be done. Hope this helped.

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B.P.

answers from Pittsburgh on

My 18 month old will not do this either. What is weird is that when he's at my mother in laws with his cousins he will drink milk from a sippy but at home he won't. He will drink it from a bottle but not the sippy cup. I can't wait to see the responses, but just know that you're not alone, ever since we transitioned him this has been a problem. I'm just enjoying bottle time while I can I guess lol When he's ready it will happen. I might try a different cup too, maybe one with a straw, and make it his special milk sippy cup and see if that works. I've tried everything else. Putting in Choc and strawberry milk still doesn't work because he knows its milk lol These kids are smart! Good luck!

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J.M.

answers from Scranton on

My son is 12 months and we were having the same problem. I breast fed him exclusively, so he wanted nothing to do with milk. He would drink juice and water fine from the sippy cup and just take a sip of milk and then spit it out. I tried adding a small amount of chocolate syrup (like Katie S. did) and the first time he tried it, he gulped down the entire 7 oz cup!! I was very happy and we too have been decreasing the amount of chocolate syrup and he is drinking about 14 oz of milk a day now. GOod luck.

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J.T.

answers from Scranton on

My son was the same way. He completely refused to drink milk the minute I put it in a sippy cup, he would drink it out of a bottle though. Its hard because they trun 1 and all of a sudden they have to lose the bottle and start milk. Anyway, at first I discussed it with his pediatrician and he said that if he is not drinking milk all day that is fine as long as he is getting calcium through other foods, he loved yogurt and cheese. So i pushed those and tried to at least get him to drink some milk at some point during the day. Otherwise he had water or very watered down 100% juice, like Juicy Juice. Here is what worked best for me and my son, I also tried all the sippy cups and found the Nuby cups with the soft spout the best and then I either mixed the formula and milk or mixed the milk with a little chocolate milk (not the powdered kind) There are a bunch at the store from Skinny Cow to Nesquick that are real chocolatey and you only need a little for flavor. The chocolate milk worked really well for me, Brandon loved the flavor and I actually told him I was making him a milkshake. Fill the sippy cup 3/4 with white milk, 1/4 with chocolate milk and shake, a milkshake! He loved it and I very slowly put in less and less chocolate milk and now he will drink as much white milk as I give him! Hey a little extra chocolate in the day never hurt no one and at least he was getting his calcium and vitamins. Good luck and be patient it'll come! One other idea, if she likes the yogurt drinks that they have now, like the Dannon danimals, they're real small and I just poke a straw through the top and it cna't really spill. He also loves to drink those and they come in many flavors.

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J.B.

answers from York on

hi V.. sometimes the transition from milk to formula is hard on them when they are sooooo used to the taste of formula. (other kids dont seem to mind though) what i had to do for my daughter was mix the 2 of them together. start with say... 5 ounces of formula and only one ounce of milk. that way they dont really taste the milk. i did that for a few days or up to a week until she was used to drinking that amount. then the next week i did 4 ounces formula and 2 ounces milk. did that for a few days... then 3oz formula and 3oz milk... and so on and so on till she was drinking almost all milk and just a little formula. it did take about a month till it was all said and done. but i didnt have to fight her to drink the milk that way. she slowly started drinking it on her own and she didnt even know it. also, just keep offering it in the cup. no more bottle, since shes old enough for the cup now. good luck. hope this helps.

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H.F.

answers from Pittsburgh on

I haven't had this exact problem but I have a suggestion or two that may or may not work. First, you can try the NUBY sippy cups. Their tops are more like bottle nipples. This may work for her. The next suggestion is skip the sippy cup and move to the cup with a straw (even if it is just a plastic one you got from a restaurant). Milk is a little more difficult to get out of some sippy cups but most kids don't have problems drinking it with a straw.

Anyhow, hope this helps and good luck.

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S.P.

answers from Philadelphia on

It sounds as if she does know how to use the sippy cup, because she does drink water from it. I would just get rid of the bottle and put her formula in the cup. Once she starts drinking the formula from the cup, then start transitioning it to milk by going 3/4 formula, 1/4 milk for a few days, 1/2 formula, 1/2 milk etc etc etc. If she in fact doesn't like milk your could maybe try strawberry or chocolate flavor if you really want her to have the milk. This is the best idea I have, once my kids figured out the sippy cup they ditched the bottle immediately, both before a year of age. Neither objected to milk either, but I did transition from formula to milk the way I just described. Good Luck!

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D.P.

answers from Pittsburgh on

Hi V.,
I think they always resist new stuff and changes like that. I remember just getting my son to the point where he only got a bottle at night before bed, and sippies otherwise. You could just go cold turkey and have her give all of her bottles to the bottle fairy who gives them to babies who need them! Once you do it--no turning back. She will eventually get it. She'll get to the point that she will want the milk more than wanting to protest! Good luck.

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T.S.

answers from Philadelphia on

I had the same problem when I lived in Tokyo. My pediatrician was a father himself and brilliant man. He was licensed to practice in USA, Japan and Korea. His sister works for the CDC. HE said--QUIT worrying about it. It doesn't matter if you buy 5 different brand cups for every day of the week, when the weekend comes your child will still do as they want. They will switch when they are ready and it isn't worth buying multiple cups or pushing! Advice that I took and he was right, eventually my daughter drank from sippy cups! Good luck. T. in Delaware
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N.W.

answers from Harrisburg on

I would talk to your pediatrician; it may not be as big of a deal as you might think. My 19 month old daughter does not like milk either, so I am sure she gets dairy products and nutrients in other ways.

She was weaned from the bottle at 12 months, having been on soy formula. I have tried numerous times to get her to drink milk, but she refuses. So, I use Similac's Go-and-Grow formula (still soy) for 9-24 month olds and mix it with rice cereal and fruit for an evening snack. I also make sure she gets to eat dairy products like yogurt and cheese.

I have spoken with the pediatrician's office several times - two of the three doctors there, actually - and they tell me that she will get enough dairy and related nutrients through other sources – even watered-down orange juice can offer calcium and vitamin D!

Hope that helps!

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R.F.

answers from Philadelphia on

Hi, try putting a little pancake syrup on the tip of the sippy cup.

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K.B.

answers from Harrisburg on

Some children have a hard transition to cup from bottle. Basically you need to go cold turkey. It'll take a while for her to start drinking, and that's ok. Just put a little in the bottom of the sippy so you're not wasting but keep offering her milk at her scheduled time and juice mixed with water at her scheduled time. She'll start getting thirsty and will drink sooner or later. Don't give it. It may take weeks. It's a control thing. Just give her half a vitamin to supplement anything she may be missing. Just crush it up a bit. It'll taste like candy to her.

K. B
mom to 5 including triplets
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/HarrisburgPAChat

B.K.

answers from Pittsburgh on

Hi V.! First, throw/pack away the bottles. If you don't have them she can't. She may fuss a bit at first but she will get over it quickly if you don't give her the choice.

Start with her formula in the sippy cup. Just keep offering it to her in a cup that she already is using for her water. Once you are over that hurdle then cut the formula with milk...2oz formula 1 oz milk. Then half & half, then 2oz of milk 1 oz of formula...then all milk.

Part of the problem is giving her the choice. At a year old she is not ready to have more than one choice about simple things, like red shirt or pink shirt? Red cup or blue cup? It's nice to give kids choices, but when they are little they should be simple and clear and not all the time and never about the food they eat. If you listen to the "experts" they say you have to offer a child a food item 15 times before they can really decide that they don't like it! Switching cups, and milks just confuses the situation. IT could be the cup, or the choices or both. So give yourself and your daughter a break and make the decision about what you are going to do and stick to it. You'll both be better off for it. Good luck and best wishes!

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S.K.

answers from Philadelphia on

My son wouldn't drink from a sippy either. I ended up getting cups with straws and then he would drink from them. Yes, there will be the occasional accidental spill if it is tipped over but I didn't have too many accidents. I found one cup in particular that is large like a bottle and had a straw but the straw was flared at the bottom so it could be removed. My son is 24 months and has been drinking out of a sippy with a straw since he was about a year.

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