do you give your toddler coffee? - Mothering Forums

View Poll Results: do you give your toddler coffee?
yes! 63 22.74%
no! 214 77.26%
Voters: 277. You may not vote on this poll

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#1 of 124 Old 08-14-2010, 02:50 PM - Thread Starter
 
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this sounds like a joke post, but its not!

I have twice in the last few weeks heard very IMO sound-minded mamas say that they give their toddlers coffee "because they throw a fit otherwise".
One gives her daughter the foam from her cappuccino and the other gives her DD sips of her own coffee with milk and sugar.

I don't give DS coffee because I can't imagine what the caffeine would do to his behaviour, and I think its not good for physical development (though that might be a myth, not sure!)

If I was drinking a martini and DS was screaming and squawking because he wanted some, I wouldn't give him any, so why is coffee any different?

ETA: I meant to add- CAFFEINATED coffee. If you give your child decaf, but not regular, then please vote no.
also this poll is not about tea, so if you give your child tea but not coffee, vote no.

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#2 of 124 Old 08-14-2010, 03:01 PM
 
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I let dd sip coffee. In my family people have been giving their kids coffee and tea for generations. In fact, I was drinking a cup of coffee every morning by the time I was 12 or so. We were also given hot totties when we were sick (hot whiskey, lemon and honey). Maybe it's a Scottish thing!

ETA
I don't drink martinis, but I let dd sip wine and beer(we rarely drink at all, maybe once a month)

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#3 of 124 Old 08-14-2010, 03:25 PM
 
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I answered no but I guess I'm in the "other" category.

We don't buy him his own non-fat latte or anything but he's had a couple sips of coffee or certain coffee drinks when we've had it.

So no, we don't serve him coffee drinks but he gets sips now and then of ours when we have them.

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#4 of 124 Old 08-14-2010, 03:29 PM
 
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Yes - sips. Well, the one of my four kids that likes coffee is not a toddler anymore (he's 5), but I've been letting him have a taste since he was that age. This isn't daily, and it's such a small amount I don't have any concerns. He really only likes it b/c of the cream and sugar - I doubt he'd enjoy it black.

ETA: I wouldn't be opposed to a small sip of alcohol, so I guess that comparison doesn't apply to me.

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#5 of 124 Old 08-14-2010, 03:36 PM
 
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She's never been interested but I don't think we'd offer it to her either.

My brother though drank coffee since he was 2. It was just one of those things where he drank it with my grandmom.

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#6 of 124 Old 08-14-2010, 03:41 PM
 
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I just give my kids small sips of tea/coffee. Sometimes I will give my older one (4 years now) a cup of tea/coffee with milk 25% tea/coffee 75% milk. She usually only drinks about 1/2 or so. I figure that some parents give their kids pepsi/coke in the bottle so really a couple sips of tea/coffee (no sugar) really isn't a big deal. It's the sugar that is the big issue for me, not the caffeine.
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#7 of 124 Old 08-14-2010, 03:44 PM
 
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DD is almost 2 and not interested right now. I probably won't have a problem with giving her sips once she's closer to 3.

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#8 of 124 Old 08-14-2010, 03:46 PM
 
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I have coffee every morning, and DS always wants what I have.. I do my best to minimize his interest "ohh, its very hot!" etc but he usually ends up getting at least 1-2 sips a day..

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#9 of 124 Old 08-14-2010, 03:46 PM
 
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No, but then, we don't generally drink coffee. DH has a cup in the morning, but that's usually before she's awake.

We do drink pop and she has gotten a sip or three, but I try not to allow her to share drinks period. It tends to create a crawling all over the person sharing that I don't like at all. And alcohol, no, that's an adult drink. We have adult drinks and adult words in our house and these are things that kids just don't do.
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#10 of 124 Old 08-14-2010, 03:49 PM
 
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We don't, though she's never asked (though I always jokingly offer her some, to be polite ).

We do let her sip green or black teas though. I don't think it's horrible to let a kid sip coffee I guess, but probably best not to make an early habit of.
I fear what my dd on caffeine would be like, too. And would challenge anyone wanting to give her caffeine to have to deal with it (have gone through & continue to battle the issue with sugar-giving MIL and her already, that's bad enough).

eta: Wanted to add, I'd never give her coffee just cause "she'd throw a fit", and pretty much whatever she's asking for when she's in that mode I don't give her until she's calmed down. I also don't go around eating ice cream in front of her saying she can't have some, either, but that's all a separate issue imo than whether I think it's okay for her to try coffee at all or not.
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#11 of 124 Old 08-14-2010, 04:18 PM
 
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I HATE coffee, so I clearly don't offer it to DS, but DH and his family enjoy coffee and espresso, and I wouldn't be happy if he gave DS a sip. I am very sensitive to caffeine though. I used to be able to have a cup of caffeinated tea every once and a while if I drank it before noon, but since my pregnancy, I find any caffeine at all really messes up my sleep. Sometimes I forget and drink a small amount, like when we go out to a Chinese restaurant and they put the tea on the table, I sometimes drink half of a tiny teacup without really thinking about it, and I always pay for it big time at night. DH on the other hand can drink several cups of coffee during the day and a stiff espresso after dinner and STILL fall asleep faster than I do. I think there is a genetic component to caffeine sensitivity, and sleep is a precious enough commodity, that I'm not willing to test whose genes DS inherited by seeing how he reacts to a few sips of coffee. Luckily DH only drinks it black, so I think if he ever did offer DS a sip that would curtail his interest very quick. We also don't give him sips of alcohol at this point, though I think I would actually be more comfortable with that than with caffeine.

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#12 of 124 Old 08-14-2010, 04:25 PM
 
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Caffeine actually has a calming effect on my oldest DD (who is no longer a toddler at 6.5yo!). In small amounts obviously. I don't allow her caffeinated soda (generally, no soda at all, but if it's a treat, no caffeine) but when she was a toddler I'd allow her very weak coffee with more milk than coffee. It calms her, go figure, which happens to be the same effect it has on me.

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#13 of 124 Old 08-14-2010, 04:29 PM
 
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I've been drinking coffee, tea and soda since I was 4 or 5 years old and have been addicted to caffeine most of my life as a result. It was easier for me to quit smoking than to give up caffeine!

I won't give DS coffee because I don't want him to have the same problem. I do occasionally let him have sips of iced tea, but that's only happened a few times.
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#14 of 124 Old 08-14-2010, 04:41 PM - Thread Starter
 
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well I'm glad I posted then. It seems like its not uncommon at all.

Like a PP said, I am, and come to think of it, DH is also, really sensitive to caffeine and so I just imagine that DS will be as well.

And, to Laughymama- I am rebelling against the "other" option
I think this is a YES or NO type poll- either you do let your LO have coffee or you do not. no middle ground! so in your case I would have voted yes!

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#15 of 124 Old 08-14-2010, 04:43 PM
 
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I think sips count as yes b/c I doubt most parents would fill up an entire mug (or sippy cup ) and let their toddler chug it. So, that's how I voted, even though my kid and I don't sit and drink coffee together reading the newspaper every morning.

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#16 of 124 Old 08-14-2010, 05:04 PM
 
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Nope. No caffeinated drinks at all

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#17 of 124 Old 08-14-2010, 05:50 PM
 
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I gave my DD a sip once because I hoped she would hate it and she would stop bugging me for mine. To my dismay she actually liked it! I still don't give her any though.

I can understand why some parents may allow their child to have sips or very small portions. When I was a kid my grandmother would often give me my own tea.... mainly milk though.

What really blows my mind is when I see young kids with their own frappacinos... the amount of sugar and caffeine in those things would be enough to make most kids bounce off the walls!!

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#18 of 124 Old 08-14-2010, 06:00 PM
 
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Originally Posted by covertlycrunchy View Post
I just give my kids small sips of tea/coffee. Sometimes I will give my older one (4 years now) a cup of tea/coffee with milk 25% tea/coffee 75% milk. She usually only drinks about 1/2 or so. I figure that some parents give their kids pepsi/coke in the bottle so really a couple sips of tea/coffee (no sugar) really isn't a big deal. It's the sugar that is the big issue for me, not the caffeine.
Mine gets a small cup some mornings with sugar and milk. I figure moderation is OK. We don't have martini's but we do drink beer and I've offered a sip when she got to 4 or 5 and was really interested. She hated it. And YES - she will throw a fit and it's easier to give her the coffee so we can all get out the door in the morning. I think she was probably 4 when the coffee started, so maybe not a toddler. Definitely out of the sippy cup phase.

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#19 of 124 Old 08-14-2010, 06:04 PM
 
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I can't even imagine my toddler on coffee.

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#20 of 124 Old 08-14-2010, 06:10 PM
 
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Originally Posted by annettemarie View Post
I can't even imagine my toddler on coffee.
would describe my toddler without coffee added!

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#21 of 124 Old 08-14-2010, 06:11 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Melly24 View Post
would describe my toddler without coffee added!
We've been following the three-day potty learning method and pumped him full of red Kool Aid. I actually can't imagine that coffee could be worse than that. It was bad.

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#22 of 124 Old 08-14-2010, 06:23 PM
 
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No, but only because neither of my kids have expressed any interest in it. If they did, I'd have no problem with letting them have a few sips. I doubt I'd fill up a straw cup for the toddler though.
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#23 of 124 Old 08-14-2010, 06:23 PM
 
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Dh is a big coffee drinker and yes, the kids sip his coffee. Black, no sugar.

At first I was opposed to it but he showed me the "numbers" - there's more caffeine in a cup of hot cocoa or a chocolate candy than there is in a sip of coffee.
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#24 of 124 Old 08-14-2010, 06:32 PM
 
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I said yes, although none of my kids are toddlers now. I have let all my kids try coffee - my oldest spit it everywhere and never tried it again, my dd didn't like it, but my 4 yo ds love love loves it and would probably down a whole cup if I set it in front of him. He gets a sip every now and then, or if I have an iced coffee, I'll give him one of the ice cubes. I don't think it's a big deal.
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#25 of 124 Old 08-14-2010, 06:32 PM
 
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both of mine do but i dont see it as a big deal. its not like they are drinking it everyday all day. they are allowed coffee, cappuccino, ice coffee and iced cappuccino but then mine are allowed to eat things with cocoa or carbo. coffee is 1/2 milk most times.
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#26 of 124 Old 08-14-2010, 06:36 PM
 
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I've let him try it, and he makes a huge face and now says "Coffee Yucky! You like coffee Mama? My not like coffee." Same for my older kid and soda. She pretty much drinks water, lemonade, oj, and apple juice. If it's carbonated or hot, she wants none of it. Since neither of my kids likes any "junky" or "kid-inappropriate" drinks, I've never really thought about it. I let them try it bc I know they'll hate it.

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#27 of 124 Old 08-14-2010, 07:17 PM
 
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My kids have all had sips of coffee. But I wouldn't give them a whole cup of it, not at this age-- seriously, they wouldn't sleep for a week afterwards. But I don't see the harm in a sip. They were just asking because they're curious about what it tastes like. They've had tiny sips of tea and wine before, for the same reason. No soda, though, except once DD2 had ginger ale when she had rotavirus. I think soda is a bigger problem, because it's sweet. Tea and coffee are naturally bitter, and for the most part my kids haven't really particularly liked them anyway, so they've never begged for more. I would think that highly sweetened caffeinated drinks full of cream or whatever would be a problem for the same reason-- they're so tasty. Our coffee and tea are black and only lightly sweetened or not sweet at all. But again, a sip here and there does no harm.

That said, I wouldn't give a child ANYTHING because they'd throw a fit if I didn't. I don't let my kids bully me into things like that.

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#28 of 124 Old 08-14-2010, 07:51 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MadiMamacita View Post
this sounds like a joke post, but its not!

I have twice in the last few weeks heard very IMO sound-minded mamas say that they give their toddlers coffee "because they throw a fit otherwise".
One gives her daughter the foam from her cappuccino and the other gives her DD sips of her own coffee with milk and sugar.

I don't give DS coffee because I can't imagine what the caffeine would do to his behaviour, and I think its not good for physical development (though that might be a myth, not sure!)

If I was drinking a martini and DS was screaming and squawking because he wanted some, I wouldn't give him any, so why is coffee any different?
No, I don't think I will. I say think because I have end up doing many things I say I would never do and end up doing, lol.
However, the only reason I wouldn't give it to her is because I haven't take the time to investigate if this is good or bad and decide to play safe.
I do know that chocolate have some caffeine and I do allow her to drink it some times so is not really about the caffeine because if that was all it worried me I just simple diluted with tons of milk, but for some reason just the idea of giving her coffee just doesn't seam right to me. Like I said, I haven't really have the need to investigate the effects on coffee on toddlers.
I actually don't give coffee to my 12 year old, maybe when she start getting interested I will have to educate my self about this subject to take a good decition.
With that say, so far I have being able to don't give my kids things just because they trow a fit...my husband on the other hand is not so good at it

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#29 of 124 Old 08-14-2010, 07:56 PM
 
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There should be an "Other". So, here's my "other".

No, I don't, but only because I don't drink coffee. I do drink tea, and my daughter has grown up on tea. I think it's a midwestern thing.
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#30 of 124 Old 08-14-2010, 07:59 PM
 
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I drink coffee very, very rarely. ds is a "foodie" who really enjoys his sense of taste and loves trying new flavours. We routinely share a cup of herbal tea several times a day and when I do have coffee, it would feel strange not to share with him. Coffee is a rare treat that I don't keep in my home. I try to give him sips as surreptitiously as I can to avoid judgement and "tsk tsk"ing from disapproving strangers.

It affects his behaviour about the same way it does my own: a band-aid alternative to a nap in a situation where we have to stay alert. I don't give him very much but I don't see it making him irritable or irritating. He probably gets more caffeine from chocolate, which I also limit for the same reason: the abuse of child labour by both industries.

My parents were both very heavy coffee drinkers. I have many fond memories of sitting in their laps begging for sips. Sometimes they said I'd had enough and I accepted that. It wasn't weird back then.
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