My 15 Month Old Refuses to Drink Fluids!

Updated on February 23, 2008
J.P. asks from Mound, MN
6 answers

My 15 month old drinks 6-12 ounces (total liquids) during an average day! We've tried many different kinds of sippy cups, cups with straws and regular cups, there is no clear cut winner. Some days she will drink a lot of fluids and other days she refuses. I believe some of it is her ability to say "no". We've talked to her doctor about this issue and she doesn't seem too concerned about it, because she continues to have wet diapers. The doctor recommends encouraging her to drink whenever possible....this can be very frustrating for me, when she refuses to drink! Has anyone else had a child that refused to drink?

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answers from Milwaukee on

My daughter took pretty well to the sippy cup until she learned she could say 'no' to everything. I eventually just stopped making a big deal about it. As a mother said below... I just alternate juice (50 juice/50 water) and milk and left it on a shelf/table of her height. She now drinks whenever she wants and she drinks about 24 - 30 oz a day. I think the big thing is she is doing it herself and she would rather decide when to drink instead of my forcing a sippy cup at her.



answers from Rapid City on

There was no mention of the temperature of the liquids. Perhaps toddler prefers a certain temperature. ie. slush it up or warm it up



answers from Des Moines on

Hi J.,

This probably isn't good advice but I'm having a similar problem with my 12 month old. I've been trying to get him to take a sippy cup and he just isn't interested. He will only drink from his bottle, so I just let him continue to use that. I keep offering the sippy cup, but I also give him his bottle at other times of the day so I know he's getting some liquids. The ironic thing is that he used to hate the bottle! I just stopped nursing him but around 5 months I was starting to travel a lot with him (summertime), and it took forever before he'd take the bottle. Now he won't give it up! So it may not be the best advice, but if she'll take a bottle you could try using that some.

And if anyone has advice on how to get my little guy to use the sippy cup, that would be great too! We've got about 5 different kinds and he doesn't seem to like any of them!



answers from Omaha on

I agree with Katie that you should leave a sippy cup with whatever liquid (juice, water, ect) on a table or shelf where she can reach it. that way when she wants a drink she can get it. Then she feels in control of the situation and will be more likely to drink.



answers from Minneapolis on

Hi J.,

Rest assured that even in scientific experiements, scientists monitor hydration levels by urniary output - so if she does have a good amount of urine in her diapers then you know she is doing fine. If your changing her diapers every 3-4 hours and they are not really heavy, then she probably needs something to drink. Also, if her stools are hard or pellet-like then thats a sign that she's either held it in a long time OR she's dehydrated and her body has reabsorbed the water from her stool (if she holds it in a long time this will happen regardless of how hydrated she is).

That being said, it seems like she's asserting her independence through this. If it were my daughter, I would combat that by making a sippy cup around her all the time - that way she can drink if she feels like it even if the moment only lasts for a second. Fighting also looses it's appeal that way. For us, the boys have a sippy cup near their play area from the moment they get home until bedtime; in the morning when they wake up and with meals, and whenever we go anywhere.

If she's in a daycare setting at all, I would express your concerns with the provider and see if they can help by providing drinks more often. I bet they would be happy to help.

Another thing you can do if you're still concerned, is adding liquid to her foods. As a mother of 17 month twin boys, I know how messy that is, but it'll get fluids into her. Give her soups, oatmeal with breakfast, scrambled eggs with some milk mixed in (before cooking), maybe even using jars of baby food like the mashed green beans, bananas, pears, or whatever she likes, because those have water in them also. We still feed our boys soup on cold days even though it takes forever, use Stage 2 or 3 baby food if it seems like they aren't consuming enough fruits or vegetables on their own. We do it for nutrition and variety despite the insane amount of mess it creates, but it can also be done for hydration. Also, fruits and vegetables have a large percentage of water in their weight, so if she eats those food groups well, she's getting more fluids in than you'd think.

Good luck! Hope some of this helps!



answers from Minneapolis on

Hi J.
My advice would be Fill her sippy cup with something you know she likes and tell her where it is and not make a big deal about it. If she is thirsty she will drink it. Also if she feels like she has control of the situation she will probably be more willing to drink. Hope this helps :) T.

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