My 9 Month 1/2 Month Old Wont Drink or Have His Milk.... HELP!

Updated on March 18, 2010
L.L. asks from Miami, FL
17 answers

My son is now 9 1/2 months old. We started weaning him at 18 weeks and since then we had always offered him a drink with food but he never really took to it. We have tried giving him juice aswell but he has refused it too. we have tried and tested every cup out there and he hates all of them. About a month ago he stopped taking his morning bottle, so we mixed it with his cereal. after a couple of days he started to refuse the cereal and will now only have it with cows milk. Now he has stopped taking his afternoon and bedtime bottle... along with not drinking. im really worried he is going to dehydrate. he completly refuses the sippy bottle, and last week bought a straw cup, which he did drink from for a day... but now has stopped completely. we give him yogurts and cheese to compensate for no milk but dont know what to do about him not drinking. any suggestions would be really appreciated....

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answers from Portland on

If he doesn't drink breastmilk then he needs to have formula until he's at least a year old.
Most doctors recommend NOT giving cows milk until they are a year old anyway.
Bottom line, he needs the formula for the nutrients. If he's hungry then don't give him solid food until he drinks his bottle because babies dehydrate at a much quicker rate than we do.
Good luck

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answers from Tallahassee on

Hi Leslie,

Infants should be on formula until they are a year old. Cows milk after that. I would try and go back to the formula and see if he likes that better. Have you tried just plain water? Hope this helps a little.

Good luck!

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answers from Gainesville on

You 9 1/2 month old has no business drinking cow's milk! Breastmilk or formula should be baby's primary nutrition for the first year. Cow's milk does not have the proper nutrition for an infant under 1.

This is direct from the National Institute of Health's website:

**Infants fed whole cow's milk don't get enough vitamin E, iron, and essential fatty acids. They also get too much protein, sodium, and potassium. These levels may be too high for the infant's system to handle. Also, whole cow's milk protein and fat are more difficult for an infant to digest and absorb.**

Am I getting this picture correctly that your child is taking no liquids by mouth at this point? If this is the case you need to make an appointment with his doctor immediately. There could be some underlying GI cause for his refusal.

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answers from Chico on

Talk to your pediatrician. It is recommended that children under 1yo NOT have cow's milk and if they are not breastfeeding, stay on formula. If he's not taking it, then see your Dr.

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answers from Madison on

I'm not sure what to suggest for getting him to drink more, but your 9 1/2 month old should not be drinking cow's milk. Not until he turns one. He should be drinking formula or breastmilk. Regular milk does not have all the nutrition he needs right now.

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answers from Honolulu on

He is a baby... not a toddler. So he has to feed and eat like a baby.
No milk until after 1 year old. And WHOLE milk... because the milk fats in it is crucial for brain development.

He seems to not drink from any cups... so you either give him a bottle (out of pure necessity so that he DOES get adequate intake and nutrition), or you just keep trying cups but in the meanwhile he can get dehydrated and not get enough intake.

At this age, for the 1st year of life, a baby's PRIMARY source of nutrition is from breastmilk/Formula. NOT solids and NOT other liquids. This is per our Pediatrician. And to feed on-demand 24/7.

He is not ready for cups. He does not have to drink from cups... and not at this age. Its normal.

Giving him a drink with his "meals".. is not working either. He is only a baby. Not a grown up. He should be having feedings (of Formula) on demand, NOT only with food.
Feed him FORMULA.. not milk. And feed him before any solids... otherwise he will be too full, to drink his formula. Formula is more important at this stage... than eating his "meal" of solids.
Keep in mind, that this is the building-block time... when a baby needs to get all the nourishment they can from breastmilk or Formula... for proper brain development and physical development.

Or is he teething? Some babies reject drinking, when they are teething.
A baby at this age does NOT need juice.

A baby, this age, should be drinking Formula... since you have breast weaned him. Not milk.
And, if only giving him milk, he will not be getting enough iron. Which can lead to iron deficiency... ie: anemia.

Watch for dehydration...

All the best,

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answers from New London on

decrease the food and increase the formula feedings. A baby doesn't really need food until he is one. But a baby does need the nutrients from breast milk or formula. Give bottle first then food an hour later. It could also be the temperature. My son only drank his formula at room temperature on the cool side in a playtex lined bottle with a fast flow nipple. He had a morning and nightime bottle of formula until he was two, then we used sippy cups full time and switched to whole milk. It took about two weeks to wean him from breast milk to bottles.

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answers from Pensacola on

Keep trying different sippy cups...My grandchildren like the nuby sippy cups



answers from Tampa on

Your son is way too young to either not have breastmilk or formula. Cows milk does NOT have what your infant needs. You need to go to the doctor and get some help. He must be on either formula or breastmilk.



answers from Las Vegas on

hi leslie! maybe you can ask his pedia to give him a vitamins to increase his appetite...or try putting a little of sugar in his milk just to have a little taste on it...




answers from Tampa on

I'm a little confused.... 1st about weaning at 18 weeks???? I've never really heard of that. That is like 4 1/2 months old?? According to research and the

American Academy of Ped it is not recommended to mix cereal in bottles nor give cows milk or juice until after 1. Your childs body is telling you something, it is NOT ready for cows milk. Babies of that age generly should be drinking their formula and then water if needed when hot or just
thirsty, not hungry. I would completely stop pushing the cows milk completely. It's not meant for human babies to begin with, so please don't worry about them not drinking it. Do some online searching for how much calcium a baby really needs.... It's very small, much less than you would think and they can get this from their other sources of formula and veggies. Dairy is Not necessary. Listen to your child.... Cereals are not necessary either as long as you are feeding good formula or breastmilk in combination with fruits and veggies. Just mash your own and keep the salts and additives low, especially if you are worried about dehydration. Milk is not good for hydration and if feeding juice it should be watered down by AT LEAST 50%.....



answers from Tampa on


I am in agreement with may others that 9 1/2 months is too young for milk and if you can't breast feed go with some form of ORGANIC formula.
Sometimes what we grew up with, and what we were taught, as being good nutrition....really isn't. Don't panic there are plenty of other ways for your child to get calcium, or whatever he needs. He obviously needs some form of liquid and will drink if he's thirsty enough, but it doesn't have to be dairy or juice. Try Vitamin Water (this brand does not have any artificial sweeter) FOCUS it has lots of B vitamins and lutien. Let him have his cereal dry it has lots of vitamins as well (including calcium!).

Also you can try Almond, Rice, or even Hemp milk (NOT SOY....unless organic..Soy Myths Sometimes children refuse things they have an allergy to!! It may make their stomach upset and this is why they turn down anything that may contain the irritant. You can sometimes tell by their bowel movements(sounds gross, but think about how you feel after you've eaten something that does not agree with you).

If you have any further problems you may want to have IgG food sensitivity testing. He is still young, so don't worry and follow your a mother they are spot on. Do your own research and realize the things we were taught as a kid are not always the right thing for your kids.

God bless and good luck to your family.
A. Henderson



answers from Dallas on

I can sympathize! My daughter has always been a bad drinker. (As an infant we could never get her to take more than 15 oz a day). People would always get on my case about her needing more breastmilk but she just would not drink for anything. Talk to your doctor. Be sure they check for an ear infection. I would also talk to them about the cow's milk. I think it tastes much better than formula/breastmilk which might explain why now he doesn't want anything but cow's milk. They can also give you the information about the importance of formula vs. cow's milk. If you need to get him back to formula, maybe you could try to mix the cow's milk & formula and gradually put less and less of the cow's milk in to re-acclimate him to the taste of formula.

My daughter went through a stage (at about 13 months) where she was drinking less than 4 oz a day. Thank god that phase passed, I was constantly worried about dehydration. After numerous doctor visits, the doctor finally told me that she was "exerting her independence." To give her lots of food with liquid (fruits, soup, veggies, yogurt, etc) to prevent dehydration and not to make too much of an issue about it. After a few days, it worked. We stopped trying to force her to drink and she stopped insisting on no drinking. She started drinking out of a straw cup and now drinks 15 oz of milk a day plus water & occasionally juice.

Hope some of this helps!
I would start with the doctor first, though. They can check for signs of dehydration, ear infection, etc (to make sure there is no medical reason for the not drinking) and also give you accurate info on the use of cow's milk at this age.



answers from Tampa on

You are not supposed to give a child that young milk or juice. Call your ped.


You are not supposed to give a child that young milk or juice. Call your ped.



answers from Miami on

Get him to a speech and language pathologist or occupational therapist who deals with sensory integration issues, immediately. He is not feeling his own mouth and needs things woken up in his mouth, body and brain. His refusal is shouting help me.


answers from Charlotte on

try letting him drink from a regular cup, it'll be a mess but help him and he might get a kick out of it. Also try jello and Popsicles. When I wanted my kids to drink something they weren't interested in, I'd put an ice cube in it. They were fascinated by it, and they drank it!



answers from Orlando on

9.5 mos is WAY too young for regular cow's milk. Their digestive tracks can't handle it at that age, and I'm guessing that's why you're having so many issues. He should be on formula until 12 mos, if you've weaned him. Otherwise, water or watered down juice (no more than 4 oz/day of juice at his age).

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