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How do you keep your LO hydrated? what do they drink?

post #1 of 34
Thread Starter 

My Lo is almost 14 months- I wasn't sure if I should post this in baby or toddler forum- but I am curious to hear how people keep their LO's hydrated- what do they drink regularly?


Here is my thing: I Am still nursing, but really down to 3-4 times a day. So he gets some hydration there, but not tons- our nursing sessions aren't super long. Occasionally he will drink plain water- we offer it regularly. But he won't drink it much, just a few sips and then he pushes it away.

But I know he really needs to stay hydrated and drink- so we do give him apple juice mixed in with the water, which he will drink quite a lot of.  I also give him cow's milk sometimes- either every other day or someties every day, depending on if I think h needs it or how much we have nursed that day- once a day or so.

But he does drink a lot of juiced- water.


Here are my concerns about it:


I hear a lot of people saying that they don't give their babies/ young toddlers juice because it is way too much sugar. so that is a concern- for his digestion, and a lot of concern for his teeth- my concern is that we give him  too much juice. I do brush his teeth at least once a day often twice.


But, I want to make sure he gets enough liquids. I know I get thirsty many times a day and like to replenish my liquids, and so must he. With the juice in the water he drinks quite a lot, and I feel good about the part that he is getting enough to drink. On some levels I feel like the juice isn't bad for him- because  it helps hydrate, and also has good things in it- electrolytes, vitamins, etcetera. I also feed him fruit in his diet- I know juice is more concentrated sugar than fruit but I wouldn't feel bad about the fruit-


I guess I am hoping someone can tell me that the juice-water is not bad! or if it is, what do I do instead? If juice really is bad for him, but he won't drink plain water, and we only nurse 3 times a day- how do I keep him hydrated?


Also- has anyone else given their LO juice (watered down) regularly and taken care of their teeth and had it be fine?  Regarding the teeth thing- I read many posts here on MDC where people say their Lo's have cavities and decay and that they never even gave them juice or sugar. so are there people who did give their LO's juice and their teeth were fine?

thanks for helping me sort this. I maybe should put it in babies section but I thought more people there are still doing mostly breast milk so I want to hear from people who do less breast milk regarding how to hydrate your Lo if they refuse plain water?


post #2 of 34

My 18.5 month old still only drinks breastmilk and water, for the most part. She nurses several times during the day - probably four or five times on average - and I give her a cup of water with meals. She only drinks a few sips of the water. She won't drink any other kind of milk or juice, but she seems to be adequately hydrated. I guess I just figure if she were thirsty, she'd drink more.


Some kids I know like unsweetened fruity herbal teas (non-caffeinated, of course). Maybe he would like that better than plain water?


I can't really speak to how much juice is too much. I would give my dd watered juice if she would drink it, but would probably stick to four ounces per day because I'd worry about her filling up on empty calories. it's so individual, though. Maybe you could ask your pedi for her recommendation, if you're not sure how much you're comfortable with.


post #3 of 34

My son is 100% just water. Occasionally I will get a pitcher of water and put cut up fruit in it but thats all he drinks. I make sure his urine is light yellow to clear and he goes enough during they day....and i'm surprised by how little that takes! But he eats tons of fruit (watery stuff like melons, grapes, etc) so that is probably the majority of his hydration at this point. oh he is 21 months old.

post #4 of 34

my 24 month old just has mama milk and water. I don't do juice because I feel like it gets kids used to mostly drinking sweet things, and every kid I've known who had a lot of juice as a toddler grew up to be a major soda drinker.

post #5 of 34

Another water-only kid here.  My kid has a cup that we keep filled with water and he will go find it when he is thirsty.  We've done this since he was mobile and it works well for us. 


I am someone whose mother is a huge liquids pusher and so my whole life I have been told I need to drink more.  Constantly.  She carries water everywhere she goes and will panic if she doesn't have a bottle of it with her always.  It drives me freaking crazy, so forgive me, I know its my issues here, but your post rubbed me the wrong way.  I think you are focusing too much on hydration.  Your kid will drink when he is thirsty.  I truly think that some people have a stronger need for constant hydration than others.  Trust your kid to know when he is thirsty.


The issue with juice, other than the teeth thing, is that it is sugar untempered by fiber.  When you eat fruit the sugar does not enter your bloodstream as quickly and so your system can regulate more easily.  I would also be concerned that you are teaching him the lesson that drinks should be sweet, which is likely to make him more interested in things like soda in the future.


Just my 2cents.gif.

post #6 of 34

DD1 drinks water mostly and still nurses and sometimes juice (maybe 1 time a week) and cows milk, although we started that after she was about 2 years old.  At that age, it was just water.  Now that DD1 nurses much less, she does ask for water much more often.  I guess you may be giving more liquids than you thought?

post #7 of 34
Thread Starter 

I did ask my pedi about it and he also said to just offer plain water and that ds would drink if he were thirsty/ This whole ting started because at around 9 months or so ds ad some severe constipation for like 2 months-  I forget timing maybe 7or 8 months to 9 months- anyway- it was in conjunction with starting solids, and it got to the point where he would go very long stretches regularly w-out pooping. MY sister suggested to try to give him more liquids and actually suggested the juice water. So we started it and it totally fixed his constipation. which was a hug relief for all of us. Then we just kind of kept up on it. so my feeling became that I really need to make sure he drinks enough. I like the idea in theory that if he is thirsty he will dirnk the water if offered, but he will really only drink a sup at a time. It seems like most of the responses so far are less concerned with their LO's getting enough to drink- I gues people figre the kid will indicate if they are thirsty and drink the water. I don' feel like I am neurotic about it in any way- I just feel ike, if we come in from a walk on a warm day, or whatever situaton, I Am thirsty- so is he. I can see why the juice is bad so I do feel like I ant to figue out another way. Not entirely cut it out bu cut it down. But he really will only take one sip of plain water usually- occasionlly he will drink more plain water

post #8 of 34

I think the assumption that if you are thirsty he must be is flawed. It's along the same line of if I'm cold/hot/hungry/tired then the person with me must be too but that simply is not true.


I truly believe that if you have water available children will drink it when they are thirsty & learn to trust their own bodies. Much like hunger - we should be eating at hunger cues not because someone says it is time.


I started with a water bottle for ds around 9 months. Just always kept it available to him (on a low table) & he quickly learned that he could have some whenever he wanted. He only gets juice when we are elsewhere (at my mom's or mil's or sometimes at a friend's) - we literally do not purchase juice ever.


As to the comment about juice drinkers becoming soda drinkers it is totally true for dh & I. Both of us had unlimited access to juice/kool-aid as children & we have reallllllly struggled with getting a pop habit under control as adults. I struggle to drink enough water 'cause I do not enjoy it (unless I'm exercising) whereas, so far, ds LOVES water & will choose it over milk (his only other choice) most of the time.


I know you want people to say go ahead, juice is great but imo it's barely a step up from pop - especially when you look at how our bodies process sugar.

post #9 of 34

I only offer milk with meals.  i always offer water after we have been outside playing.  I offer V8 Fusion (veggie/fruit juice) that is diluted 50/50 when he wakes up and when we're riding around in the car.

post #10 of 34

DD is 15 months and drinks breastmilk, and water and i offer her coconut milk with meals but she really only drinks about 3 ounces of it a day. She loves her water. I've given juice on occasion like when i am having juice and she indicates she would like a sip but i was told by my doctor that it is mostly just sugar and she is better off just eating fruit and drinking water. So i have tried to keep juice as a special treat. Maybe you could try cutting yours with more and more water slowly until he is mostly just drinking water.

post #11 of 34
Thread Starter 

rethinking this, I don't really want people to tell me juice is fine if it isn't. I am trying to learn what others give their babies/toddlers in leiu of juice-water. I do try to cut the juice am't smaller and smaller and offer more water. I realize I did say in the op that I Want people to tell me it's okay- I was being sort of quick stream of consciouss thoughts there. If it is not good for him I want to figure out alternatives, not just pretend that it is if it isn't.

post #12 of 34

What about cut up cantalope, watermelon, honeydew etc? I imagine that would contain quite a bit of liquid and be a healthier alternative to juice. 

post #13 of 34

Hi Snapdraggon,


I offered only water, then goats milk.  I go by how her wet diaper smells too. If it is really strong urine smell, then LO probably needs more hydration.  I offer juice only occassionally.  I do juicing, so she also gets a taste of beet/carrot juice, but that's not for regular hydration.


I would agree that too much juice can be issues with blood sugars and sweets.  I might be tempted to offer apple chunks instead of the juice, that way he gets the juicy part of the apple plus the fiber. 

post #14 of 34
Thread Starter 

I am really grateful for the input and open to more suggestions of alternatives. I have been feeling increasingly wary of giving him this much juice, I think it is making his bowels somewhat loose and starting to possibly irritate his belly sometimes. I always cut it with water and we try to do as little juice in the water as we can. But I like the idea of offering more plain water and also melon and watery fruits. more suggestions welcomed-

post #15 of 34

I offer my daugher water often but she rarely drinks it. She's 19 months and still nursing. When I started her on extra fluids I started out with goats milk to keep up her calorie intake. Even now if I give her water, she usually won't drink it. I have had days where I'm stubborn and refuse to give her anything but water, and she will literally just increase her nursing and refuse water for days (and I don't nurse her nearly enough to sustain that). Anyways to answer the question.. most often I give her 3/4 water 1/4 juice mixtures (non-concentrate organic juice ONLY), and goats milk, and she gets a big sippy cup of water when she goes to bed. Other times she gets coconut water, hemp milk, almond milk, and very occasionally soy milk. I add Kids Greens and Omega Smoothie to her drinks usually.

post #16 of 34

oh, I hear you on the constipation thing, DD had chronic constipation when we first started her on solids, but it only took an extra once oh water a day to solve it. their little bodies just don't need nearly as much water as an adult would. even just a sip or two at a time may be all your LO needs.

post #17 of 34

We struggle with CONSTANT contstipation here, so if she doesn't poo one day I will definitely offer a pear juice the next day (dilituted 50/50) to try to get things moving.  We have water available in reach 24/7 and cows milk on request "baba", but sometimes she obviously doesn't get enough fluids.  We also do A LOT of fruits and veggies with every meal, but it really has come to juice several times a week.  I don't like it, but it kills me watching her scream, cry, and bleed having a hard bowl movement. 


My only suggestions:

1) Straws!  DD is 18 months, but has been using straws for sometime.  I know it helps me drink more too!  With straws she drinks twice the water than out of a sippy (or normal) cup.  She has sevearal "straw cups" that don't spill :)

2) Recently, I have started buying organic baby food in the pouches that has a straw top (Happy Baby, Plum Baby, Elias...).  She loves them and I found it does help keep her a little more regular.  It's also a great distraction in the car or in a store :)




post #18 of 34

Milk and water. She does get the occasional sip of sweet tea (!) Her daddy thought it was cute.... but 95% water. She doesn't really even like milk that much but I do offer it with meals. She also eats a lot of fruit, like watermelon, grapes, canteloupe. Oh yeah, she's 15mo.

post #19 of 34

DS is 15 months. He drinks breastmilk and water in a straw cup. He's not aware that there's anything else in the world to drink, and I'm okay with that. ;)


I'm not particularly anti-juice, as long as it's 100% juice, but he doesn't need it, and I'd rather not go down that path.


DD was having constipation issues last year and it was suggested that apple juice would help. It DID - but we started to rely on it too much, and now although her bowels are great, she has been having some acid issues, so we've stopped juice altogether for now, and it's helping. Your suspicion that it might be contributing to belly issues with your DS aren't unfounded, IMO.

post #20 of 34

Juice is a Very Special Treat for my 18mo (and he probably doesn't remember the last time he had it). I just leave a straw cup with water where he can get it whenever he wants, and the water cup comes with us when we go out, too. But if your kid is not a fan of plain water, juicy fruits and veggies can be good too--peaches, nectarines, oranges, cucumbers, tomatoes, water- or other melons, grapes ...


Can you reduce the amount of juice/water ratio and cut it down to a few drops of juice in the water?

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