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<p>Our daughter recently turned a year old, and she is still BFing about 4-6 times per day.  We have never given her any kind of supplemental fluids, but now she seems to be thirsty sometimes after nursing (in particular, after I ovulate, my supply seems to dip somewhat) - the last few days, she keeps asking for milk repeatedly and if I'm all out but we give her some other milk (goat, cow, soy, coconut) in a bottle, she will sometimes drink up to 6 ounces of that. </p>
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<p>My MIL who looks after her during the day now thinks that she is getting dehydrated and that she needs fluids other than breastmilk during the day.  I also find it tempting to give her other fluids to replace her middle of the day nursing since I work full time.  But I don't want to accidentally wean her before she is ready, and I don't want to overload her with liquid calories when a varied solid food diet with breastmilk might be healthier. </p>
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<p>I think she is drinking about 21 oz per day still, based on my estimates of how much expressed BM she drank when I was away on an overnight trip to a conference earlier this month.  Any tips on how I decide how much supplemental fluid I give her at this age (without affecting the BF relationship)? </p>
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<p>How do you decide how much fluid to give your nursing toddlers?  (And if I try to replace her one mid-day feed with other liquids, how likely is this to impact the BF relationship?  I don't really want her to wean, or to go down to only one or two feeds per day, anytime soon...)</p>
 

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<p>Do you give her water?</p>
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<p>DD turned 1 yesterday. I started giving her water when she started doing well with solids around 8 months. She nurses 3x a day and twice overnight. Unless she isn't feeling well, she pretty much nurses when she wakes, before her nap in the middle of the day, and before bed (and then twice overnight.) Outside of that, she drinks water with her meals, and any other time she seems to be not getting enough fluids (no wet diaper, acting thirsty). </p>
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<p>I don't think water impacts our BF relationship at all, but it does quench her thirst. I allow her access to water (an open cup with meals, a sip cup when we're out, or a sport-type water bottle around the house) pretty much the same way I do with my 3 yo DS, so she doesn't get dehydrated and to help prevent constipation. Every once in a blue moon, if I'm feeling too tapped out to nurse (especially around cycle), I will give her 4 oz of coconut milk. We haven't done any juice because I don't want to give her the sugar, and we haven't done any animal milks because we just mostly don't (as a family). </p>
 

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<p>Thanks for the reply, anjsmama, I really appreciate hearing what you guys do.  I haven't really given her water - I did try once, but just with a regular small cup, which she summarily dumped on the floor.  (We don't even own a sippy cup yet!)  I was concerned about water disrupting BFing before now (and whenever she seemed thirsty before, I just nursed her), and so the few times we've given her non BM fluids, we've just put them into a bottle, which she is already used to from the occasional times when she has to drink pumped milk.  I did finally just order a few sippy cups online yesterday, but I haven't been all that sure about how to use them!  I guess I haven't been sure if I should still always try to BF her as much as possible before giving her other liquids, or if at this age she is ok deciding when to drink water and when to ask for milk on her own.  I'm also not sure that I can always tell when she's thirsty - my only clue so far has been that she keeps asking to nurse repeatedly!  Maybe I will try just letting her always have a sippy cup of water around, and see if that seems to reduce how much she's nursing.  Has anyone else out there also found that this worked ok with a 1yr old and didn't impact your supply?</p>
 

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Yeah we give water thru out the day and my one year olds twins seem fine and nurse plenty. I would say the solid food and just being busy toddlers impacts nursing more, but still really not that much at all. My twins still nurse about 6-7 times a day including nights. And suckle or comfort a few times in the wee hours of the morning.<br><br>
They really love water and enjoy playing with the sippy cup and the occasional regular cup.
 

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<p><br>
 </p>
<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>anjsmama</strong> <a href="/community/t/1343591/supplemental-fluids-for-nursing-toddler#post_16853982"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br><p>Do you give her water?</p>
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<p>DD turned 1 yesterday. I started giving her water when she started doing well with solids around 8 months. She nurses 3x a day and twice overnight. Unless she isn't feeling well, she pretty much nurses when she wakes, before her nap in the middle of the day, and before bed (and then twice overnight.) Outside of that, she drinks water with her meals, and any other time she seems to be not getting enough fluids (no wet diaper, acting thirsty). </p>
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<p>I don't think water impacts our BF relationship at all, but it does quench her thirst. I allow her access to water (an open cup with meals, a sip cup when we're out, or a sport-type water bottle around the house) pretty much the same way I do with my 3 yo DS, so she doesn't get dehydrated and to help prevent constipation. Every once in a blue moon, if I'm feeling too tapped out to nurse (especially around cycle), I will give her 4 oz of coconut milk. We haven't done any juice because I don't want to give her the sugar, and we haven't done any animal milks because we just mostly don't (as a family). </p>
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<p>I do almost the exact same thing as the above poster. It's worked out really well for my son who is now 15 months, and hasn't impacted his nursing or desire to nurse at all. We still nurse about 6 times a day and once or twice at night. He loves drinking water from his sippy cups (we have a variety of them!) and I also give him small amounts of coconut milk sometimes with dinner. </p>
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<p>I started offering my DS water whenever I was thirsty starting in the summer time when DS was about 7 or 8 months old.  When I take a sip of water, I offer one to him. Usually, he is really excited to take a couple of sips.  If he's not interested, he just turns away.  I have had to give him juice a couple of times to deal with constipation. For some reason I never really thought about giving coconut milk - we don't drink regular milk because of allergies.  And I have let him carrying around a sippy cup on occasion - he really likes water, and I offer him a cup at meal times.  He never took to a bottle as a baby, so I switch between just letting him carry around a sippy cup/sport bottle and sharing my glass with him.  It does not seem to affect our nursing relationship at all. </p>
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<p>I think that if you are still open to a nursing relationship, it shouldn't affect her desire to nurse at all.  If she wants BM instead of water, and you are willing to give it, there is no way that offering other liquids would make her prematurely wean.  Although, I did find that it was one of the things that made my DS realize that he could be more independent, and he really liked that.  But he still LOVES to nurse.  :)</p>
 

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<p>We started giving my son water around 6-7 months, just offering at meals at first from an open cup (with assistance) or a sippy.  It definitely doesn't seem to affect our bf relationship because he still nurses several times throughout the day and 1-2x night and is almost 17 mos old.  I think he would get dehydrated if he didn't drink any water, especially once they are more mobile and active.  The nursing at this point seems more for comfort, though sometimes he nurses for 3-5 min (which is a longer nursing session for him) but I think it is a good idea to offer water as well.  I have just started offering other non-animal milks but he isn't so interested as of yet.  It's funny though, because he knows it is more similar to mama's milk than water, when he takes a sip he says "mama?" and looks at me as if to say, is this from you?  haha i just love toddlers!</p>
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
<p>Thanks for all the responses, everyone.  We've been trying to give her water - she's not really getting how to use a sippy cup yet (or maybe when I've tried she just hasn't been interested).  I've tried letting her drink out of a normal cup, and of course she gets water all over herself, but she seems to enjoy that.  We'll keep working on it.  My MIL, who watches her when I'm at work, has been giving her some different milks during the day (on top of her one BF in early afternoon) - I'm not sure if that is a good idea or not.  I'm always worried that she'll wean to quickly, probably especially since she had such trouble getting enough milk as a newborn until we got her posterior tongue tie corrected at 3m.  It's so hard for me not to worry that she'll stop nursing, or stop nursing "enough" - whatever that means!  Thanks again for the suggestions - I'll post here again once I feel like we've figured stuff out to let you guys know how it is going. :)</p>
 
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