Help 12 Month Old Drink More

Updated on July 06, 2009
J.C. asks from Evergreen, CO
12 answers

My little sweetie is almost a year, but still doesn't like to drink many fluids. He is breastfeeding still, but I am not sure if my breastmilk is getting him enough hydration, especially since we are at 10,000 feet this week with in-laws and he has been having much fewer good pee diapers (maybe one or two per day, and maybe only 4 or 5 other scant pee diapers. He is still pooping, but less liquidy than normal). I can't nurse him more b/c he doesn't like to nurse frequently and my supply may be waning (I am taking fenugreek).

He doesn't like sippies, regular plastic or glass cups, straws. He may take a swallow or two, especially if I pour liquid into a large water bottle cap. But he also gets the liquid in his mouth and then drools it out instead of swallowing. Then he gets tired of it and clamps his mouth shut and bats the juice or water away. I am feeding him wet foods. He doesn't take a bottle or any sippy with a soft spout. I am going to call the doctor this morning, but would love some ideas from other moms. I am also tried feeding liquids with a spoon this morning, which he didn't not like.

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answers from Dallas on

My daughter's a bit older, but she loves to drink out of the camelback. My nephew loved it too when we were on a family trip - kept asking to drink out of the backpack. We've joked that if she's ever sick and we can't get her to drink, we'll pull it out.

More Answers



answers from Phoenix on

Studies have been done of babies who love in dry, hot deserts in Africa that nurse and they are never dehydrated, if he is nursing enough he will not get dehydrated. Also, try giving him sips of water from a regular cup, sippy cups are so frustrating! Popcycles made with watered down fruit juice with no sugar added are another great option.



answers from Salt Lake City on

It sounds like you're still in the range of normal, but you're a wise mom to keep an eye on his diapers.
You might be interested to know there was an Australian study a few years ago that showed that the percentage of water in breastmilk increased as the temperature of the mom's environment increased. So, when it's hot outside, your body automatically compensates to keep your baby properly hydrated.
If Baby still has tears and his mouth is not sticky nor his eyes sunken, he is not dramatically dehydrated. You're only looking for at least five to six urine outputs a day, and a urine output is only a tablespoon or two, which would not be a very heavy diaper. If Baby is cheerful and playful and willing to nurse regularly (if not frequently) you can probably relax a bit. 12 months is a very active age and Baby may simply have other things on his "agenda" besides nursing often and drinking other fluids.
Consider contacting your local La Leche League Leader (find her at for free, medically accurate help with your concerns--they have been so helpful to me.
Best wishes!



answers from Denver on

Hi J.,

I have the same problem with my 8-month-old son. He stopped brestfeeding suddenly because of an ear infection. He still won't nurse, and like yours, refuses a bottle and most sippy cups. If I can get him to drink out of a sippy cup, he won't take more than 1-2 ounces. I then mix the rest of it in cereal so he still gets the breastmilk. My doctor said to aim for 10 ounces of liquid a day, and that is hard for us. I don't have much help to offer you that hasn't already been suggested, but if your doctor has any specific tips or information for you about how much liquid they need, I'd love hearing it to get another perspective! I feel for you; this can be such a frustrating and worrisome problem! Good luck, and let me know what works for you!



answers from Denver on

I breastfed my 3rd child until he was 16 months. I began giving him sippy cups of milk/juice when he turned a year, every time he ate a solid meal. He refused the cups, no matter the kind, for about 2 weeks and then started drinking from them. Be consistent with giving your little one the same kind of cup at every meal and just leave it by him. If he is interested, he will pick it up, but don't force it. After a little time and patience, he will start using it. Good luck!

Make it a GREAT day!




answers from Boise on

A syringe if you are desperate would help, and you may want to do pedalyte if the point is hydration. As far as getting him to drink more on his own, does he like to eat/drink what you are eating/drinking? My son loves drinking out of my water bottles, yes, they are messy and we get water everywhere, but he seems to like it (even when coughing and sputtering). Also, take all of the sippy cups that you have offered him and try them yourself. Most require them to bite down and then suck to get anything out of them, and require so much suction, it is a wonder that kids can get anything out of there. Gerber's Nuk is more like a breast and the Born Free pour more easily. My son is almost completely weaned now, and the Nuk did it for him. He will also take sips out of the Born Free, but I have to help since the flow is so fast. Also, a normal cup may help too, you might just want to sit outside with that one. Good luck!



answers from Denver on

Hi J.,
Maybe you could try making some healthy home made juice ice pops. Use 1/2 juice and 1/2 water. King Soopers has ice pop trays or you can use ice cube trays. They are fun for the kids and a great way to get liquids in them in the summer.
I hope that helps,



answers from Salt Lake City on

If you're really worried about dehydration, you could try popsicles, either regular ones made with natural fruit juice (no sugar) or I think Pedialyte also makes popsicles now too...I wouldn't normally recommend juice for a 12-month-old, but maybe he's more likely to try it. He is going to have to learn to use a sippy or straw cup at some point, so maybe if you drink water out of one, too, he'll like the idea more? Re: foods, watermelon and berries have a pretty high water content. My little guy also loves cucumbers and celery, which are also mostly water....



answers from Salt Lake City on

If he's a good solids eater, try feeding him watermelon. It's in season right now and not too expensive. Seedless, of course. But that's a great way to "sneak" in some liquids!



answers from Provo on

We live at 7500 feet. My daughter loves water -- I'm trying to get her to drink milk so I can wean her completely. Just be consistent with what you offer -- I've noticed that when I stop being consistent that she stops drinking milk.

If he's having that many wet ones per day -- even scant wet ones, you are probably doing ok and not getting dehydrated. With the change in altitude and climate his body may just be sweating or holding on to the water more.

Good luck!



answers from Casper on

If you can get a syringe and just get it in there, I think I would be at that point with this scenario. Try teas or pedialyte, or gatorade if you can't get those, to make sure his electrolytes stay in balance.



answers from Denver on

You could temporarily give him fruit juice popsicles--in his high chair. I am sure he would love them.

Meanwhile talk to the dr. And see if you can show him other kids using sippies.

Hang in there, it is probably nothing.


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