Is My One Year Old Drinking Too Much Water?

Updated on July 29, 2019
R.G. asks from Corona, CA
12 answers

My son (16 MO.) drinks nothing but water (thank goodness) BUT he drinks SO much of it.
He drinks up to 30 Oz. (I keep a water bottle that has measurements on it, he drinks the whole bottle most nights) Throughout the night (8pm- 6am, he wakes up 5 times a night), does not use a pacifier and does not keep the sippy cup in his mouth to self soothe.
He drinks water throughout the day as well.
Should I be concerned? He does urinate a lot which is not a surprise considering how much he drinks.
He is not a fan of veggies, but I try and give him a multivitamin.

1. He DOES drink milk up to 16 OZ. a day, which was recommended for infants his age
2. We bed share (please no negative comments, he has done great when at his grandparents in his crib there) so when he wakes up for water, I fill up his sippy, and when he is done, he hands me the cup and turns over to fall back asleep, so he does not have the cup within reach of him.
3. He Loves Fruit and Yogurt, He just is not a fan of veggies, which I am working on.
4. Before He turned one, he slept through the night, from the day he was born until he was 1 years old, when I stopped breast feeding/formula feeding, is when he started waking up at night.
5. His Urine and Breath Do not Smell sweet, but I have emailed his ped with my concerns

What can I do next?

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answers from Denver on

Are you actually sure that he is drinking nearly one quart (which is 32 ounces) of water every night? Does he drink from a bottle at night (like, is he falling asleep with the bottle in his mouth and just sucking on it all night)? Does he wake up to get a sippy cup of water? How much do you think he drinks during the day?

I'm thinking that you or another adult must be waking during the night to refill his bottle or cup. So problem #1 is that he's nearly 18 months old and still waking frequently wanting a bottle or a cup all night long. He's not soothing himself to sleep but relying on a habit of drinking a lot of water, if that's the case.

Is he thirsty? Is he crying for water? Problem #2 could be excessive thirst, and if he's not drinking the water just to have something to suck on, then a doctor should be consulted ASAP because a child who is that thirsty can have a medical issue that needs to be addressed.

Also, did a doctor prescribe a multi-vitamin? Do you cook for him or is the chicken and rice from a package, jar, or frozen?

You might ask your child's doctor for a consult with a nutritionist who can advise you on water, vitamins, and a well-balanced meal plan.

But first, something that you can easily do right now, is to start keeping track of the water and the waking. On a piece of paper, write down (using a page a day) how often your child asks for a cup or bottle of water, and how much is actually in that cup. Use a measuring cup to measure the amount of water that your child's drinking cup will hold. Don't just refill the cup or bottle, wait until it's empty and then refill it, so that you know exactly how much he drank. Also keep track of what he ate that day, and when. Write down how often (and for how long) he wakes during the night to drink water. A doctor will find that very useful.

7 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

Welcome to mamapedia, R.

What does his urine and breath smell like? If it's very sweet smelling? I'd take him to the doctor and have him tested for diabetes. PLEASE DO NOT FREAK OUT yet.

He could be drinking because it's there and you have trained him to drink. Waking up 5 times a night is a LOT for a 1 year old. He should be sleeping the night through. You might have allowed this behavior by leaving the water there in the crib for him. Stop doing it. It might be a rough week, but try to keep an eye on him.

If his breath smells sweet and his urine smells sweet? Call your doctor and tell them this. They can fit him in for an appointment and get him tested. Does diabetes run in either of your families?

If he doesn't smell sweet? IT's a HABIT. So again - please don't panic.

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Norfolk on

As long as the doctor is not worried about it then it should be fine.
But the doctor should check him out.
Excess thirst is a sign of diabetes.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Portland on

So instead of getting up to bottle/breastfed he's got a habit of drinking water (like a Swell bottle size?) during the night and then getting up 5 times a night to drink/pee.

He needs sleep training - is my thought. He's just replaced water with milk during the night.

He shouldn't need to be up to drink in the night - period. Nighttime is for sleeping.

If he's waking due to thirst - that's a problem. Could indicate diabetes - get him checked out.

If he's waking due to habit and he never learned to sleep through the night - then you need to take action.

I wouldn't worry about the multivitamin. He should be getting his nutrients through his diet. My relative is a dietician who works in pediatrics. I have asked and that has been her reply in the past. Where's the milk/dairy in his diet? I don't see that mentioned. Does he eat fruit? My kids loved fruit at that age. Grapes, with cheese, multigrain crackers .. yogurt ... eggs??

Good luck. Remember to mention to pediatrician about drinking water all night.

ETA: Your baby slept through the night since the day he was born?

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Albany on

I agree with everyone...that diabetes would be my first concern.
I want to address the 'not being crazy about vegetables' issue. If you offer them in creative ways and over and over, he should come around. We put 'dip dip' (mayo) on the plate so that our little one can dip the veggies in it. Asparagus is a favourite. Just put an array on the tray and he or she may try and eventually even eat a bite or two. Just keep offering it without pressure. Sometimes sprinkling something on the veggie makes her think it's special. (pepper, cheese, paprika...)

Breakfast and/or mid afternoon snack includes fruit and almond milk smoothies with spinach or some other veggie and/or nut thrown in. There are recipes on line for healthy kiddie smoothies. Of course, we give our wee one a vitamin but also baby probiotics daily.

Waking in the night...omg! Our 3 slept in from 3 months on max. Yes, there was crying but reassuring pats on the back for one minute and not taking the child out of the crib and then leaving the room and letting the child cry it out (5 days max) and you have a child (and family) that sleeps through the night. Just think; it must be disturbing and disorienting for the child to wake up so often in distress. 5 nights and it's all over for him and for you. And you all get a restful night's sleep.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Boston on

Is he drinking 30 ounces at night? Or is that the total for the day? If at night, I am curious how an 18 month old manages a bottle like that in a crib!!

But mostly I'm concerned that this child is up 5 times a night and reaching for a bottle. His brain development is dependent upon sleep, and he's not getting enough at one clip. And if you know he's up 5 times a night, then you are also up 5 times a night - not sure if you are hearing him on a monitor, or if you are going in to give him more water or change his wet diapers. But that's terribly unhealthy for you as well. You don't drive a car, do you? A sleep-deprived driver is a hazard to herself, her child and everyone else on the road.

Your child may be filling up on water and then being less interested in foods. But lots of foods have a high water content, and you may find that those satisfy his thirst without making him dependent on a bottle of water.

I think you should talk to the pediatrician and inform him/her that your child, still at this age, does not sleep through the night. I also think you might benefit from a parent/toddler support group, both for new ideas of foods and for healthy snack opportunities so your child can see other kids eating fun and colorful foods. Chicken and rice are not enough, either in nutrients or in fiber, so you've got to broaden his tastes without showing anxiety or trying to force a vitamin. Try grapes (cut in quarters), watermelon, cucumber, kiwi, berries, and beans for nutrients (vitamins but also minerals and fiber). Put out a few of each and just let him see you enjoying them. Some kids like to dip things too, so put out some hummus with the veggies.

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answers from Miami on

I would be shocked if this didn’t worry the pediatrician. You have a lot of problems going on here. How much milk does he drink? He should be drinking whole milk with plenty of fat for the brain - the doctor can tell you how many ounces. He needs CALCIUM and that’s in the milk. If he is substituting water, he’s not getting enough calcium. That can cause broken bones down the line - I have seen that, and it’s just plain inexcusable.

You have to take this problem seriously. Tell the ped what’s going on. Tell him or her you are concerned about diabetes, not enough calcium and fat, and not enough sleep for brain development. If this ped passes it off and does not test him for diabetes, go get another ped who will take you seriously. If there is a children’s hospital in your area, that would be excellent. Good luck.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from San Diego on

Does he not drink milk? He might have a vitamin D deficiency or needs electrolytes.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

Hello R.,
You should tell your son this, “I know you like water and it doesn’t rot teeth, but it is better to drink something else like milk and other stuff.” If it doesn’t work then it is better to keep the bottle in a safe place where he could not reach. I hope this helps.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Portland on

That does sound like a lot. It may not apply but I didn’t even know it existed so it took me years to figure out: diabetes insipidus. (It’s actually not related to the diabetes.) this can cause somebody to feel thirsty all the time and drink copious amounts of water. It is pretty rare so you might have a hard time with doctors. I’d start with a pediatric endocrinologist if you think the symptoms fit. I’ve had to do 24-hour urine collections (diapers might be your friend here) and blood draws.

Interesting that it only started after weaning. Hope you get it figured out!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

you seem very anxious, looking at this and your other question. good for you for making him a water kid, not a juice or soda kid.

but asking these questions from strangers on the internet when i'm sure you have a good pediatrician and nurse hotline is going to lead you down a spiraling path of terror. by the time you get done 'researching' here you'll be convinced your child is diabetic, in kidney failure, autistic and starving.

puree vegetables and stash them in spaghetti and pizza sauce and soups. if he doesn't care to eat fresh veggies, make them into smoothies.

and talk to your doctor. she will allay most of your fears, and give you far better, more accurate and more relevant relevant information than strangers on the internet.


1 mom found this helpful


answers from New York on

I would definitely run it by doctor. Oops just saw that you sent email to doctor👍

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