Toddler Won't Drink Milk!

Lounge By lecrn Updated 22 Sep 2010 , 7:28am by mistiek2006

lecrn Posted 24 Aug 2010 , 5:20pm
post #1 of 22

We have a 20 month old who until a few wks ago was drinking milk twice a day from a bottle (one morning & one night). I think we let him have the bottle more b/c we loved holding & feeding him. He's never been attached to his bottle nor has he ever asked for it. A few weeks ago, I thought it was past time to stop the bottles. We started giving him his milk in a cup with meals and offered it before bed. Before the milk went into the cup, he has only drank watered down apple juice from the cup. Of course, he wouldn't drink the milk out of the cup (only the juice). We went for several days without him drinking anything except the watered down juice b/c I didn't want to pull out the bottle again. He eats 2 servings of cereal a day with milk mixed in plus 2 servings of yogurt, so I'm not too concerned with the calcium. I was concerned b/c the lack of Vit D, so I called the MD to ask for advice. The nurse suggested that we cut out the juice all together & only give water or milk. We're just into the 2nd day of this, and he hasn't drank anything! When I voiced concern over dehydration, the nurse said that he wouldn't let himself get dehydrated. Does anyone have any suggestions? He's very stubborn & I'm afraid that he will get dehydrated.
Oh, we've also tried adding different things to his milk, & he hasn't drank any of it (OJ, choc. milk, drinkable yogurt).
Thanks!

21 replies
DefyGravity Posted 24 Aug 2010 , 5:47pm
post #2 of 22

He won't get dehydrated. There's liquid in his food, so I wouldn't worry too much about that.

Have you tried a different style cup?

LisaMarie86 Posted 24 Aug 2010 , 6:13pm
post #3 of 22

When he gets thirsty enough he will drink the water or milk from a cup.

Texas_Rose Posted 24 Aug 2010 , 6:34pm
post #4 of 22

You're right to stop the bottle, even if it seems hard to do.

My youngest won't drink milk. She always refused as a baby, once she was off formula. She's five now and she says it tastes disgusting. Sometimes she can be persuaded to have banana milk or chocolate milk, mostly at Grandma's because Grandma thinks it's really important for her to drink milk. I give her yogurt and low-fat ice cream and a little cheese. The only milk she'll drink at home is lactose-free chocolate milk.

It's kind of funny, because my oldest drank so much milk and milk was more expensive back then...we went through two gallons a week. Now it's cheaper and the little one won't have anything to do with it.

Try not to worry so much, your son will drink when he's thirsty. I'm not too sure why the nurse said to stop the juice...sounds like he eats enough milk products in the day that the watered-down juice wouldn't be that terrible for him to have.

LisaMarie86 Posted 24 Aug 2010 , 6:50pm
post #5 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Texas_Rose

You're right to stop the bottle, even if it seems hard to do.

My youngest won't drink milk. She always refused as a baby, once she was off formula. She's five now and she says it tastes disgusting. Sometimes she can be persuaded to have banana milk or chocolate milk, mostly at Grandma's because Grandma thinks it's really important for her to drink milk. I give her yogurt and low-fat ice cream and a little cheese. The only milk she'll drink at home is lactose-free chocolate milk.

It's kind of funny, because my oldest drank so much milk and milk was more expensive back then...we went through two gallons a week. Now it's cheaper and the little one won't have anything to do with it.

Try not to worry so much, your son will drink when he's thirsty. I'm not too sure why the nurse said to stop the juice...sounds like he eats enough milk products in the day that the watered-down juice wouldn't be that terrible for him to have.




I'd be willing to bet its all the sugars in the juice. Its healthy in moderation but a lot of juice can contribute to diabetes and such.

lecrn Posted 24 Aug 2010 , 9:09pm
post #6 of 22

Yes, I've tried about 10 different cups. I put his water in one kind of cup and his milk in another. He does want to drink out of my glass when I'm drinking ice water or some other beverage besides milk. I've let him have some water out of my glass, but nothing else. He can't handle a regular cup just yet. I've tried not to drink anything exc water or milk in front of him (which has been very hard).
I think the reason the nurse said to stop the watered down juice b/c he prefers the sweetness to the taste of milk. I think that he thinks that the cup is for juice only. I was only putting about 1/4 juice and the rest water, so I don't think that it could lead to obesity or diabetes unless he drank about 10 cups a day.
Thanks for all your advice. I know that he's getting some liquid from his food, but it's hard not to see him drink anything. Plus, his diapers are just barely wet now.

Texas_Rose Posted 24 Aug 2010 , 10:53pm
post #7 of 22

If you're diluting the juice one part juice to three parts water, then there's less sugar in that than in milk. I always watered it down like that too...otherwise they get diarrhea.

Nurses (and doctors) don't always know what's best for your child the way that you do. I listen to our pediatrician, but if something he suggests just doesn't work out for us, then I do what works. I would go ahead and give him the juice/water mix. Even if he's getting a little liquid from his food, he may get constipated from not having enough water. I've dealt with constipated toddlers before and it is not fun at all. (we had to use those little suppository thingies).

I really liked using the sippy cups with the valve made into the lid, I think they were Nuby brand, but when my oldest was four and we couldn't understand a word she said, we were told to take the sippy cups away, and within two weeks her speech had improved enough that we could understand half of what she said. We were told that the cups with straws were okay, just not the spill-proof ones with valves.

lecrn Posted 25 Aug 2010 , 12:45am
post #8 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Texas_Rose

If you're diluting the juice one part juice to three parts water, then there's less sugar in that than in milk. I always watered it down like that too...otherwise they get diarrhea.

Nurses (and doctors) don't always know what's best for your child the way that you do. I listen to our pediatrician, but if something he suggests just doesn't work out for us, then I do what works. I would go ahead and give him the juice/water mix. Even if he's getting a little liquid from his food, he may get constipated from not having enough water. I've dealt with constipated toddlers before and it is not fun at all. (we had to use those little suppository thingies).

I really liked using the sippy cups with the valve made into the lid, I think they were Nuby brand, but when my oldest was four and we couldn't understand a word she said, we were told to take the sippy cups away, and within two weeks her speech had improved enough that we could understand half of what she said. We were told that the cups with straws were okay, just not the spill-proof ones with valves.




Yes, there's not much sugar if it's diluted that much. We may try what the nurse suggested for a few more days to see if it works. After that, it's back to the diluted juice & the calcium will come from what he eats. They make vit D drops for kids.

I know that doctors & nurses don't always know what works best for your child (and I'm a nurse). I couldn't imagine trying to put a suppository in him!

I had no idea about the cups with valves! I'll have to research that. He started with the soft spout, Nuby cups, now he drinks from a hard tip with a valve. I've tried straws, but he won't drink from them so far. I've tried to remove the valves, but he spills it everywhere.

Oh, the wonderful world of toddlerhood! Thanks for your advice!

Texas_Rose Posted 25 Aug 2010 , 12:57am
post #9 of 22

They make some, or did three years ago when I needed them, that were disposable cups with straws. I think it was about three dollars for a pack of four or six cups at walmart. I washed them in the dishwasher and used them over and over. They were fine for milk and juice...did not leak when they were tipped over. Once when I was babysitting one of the older kids tried to use one for soda and it sprayed everywhere.

The suppositories were when we moved right after my oldest was pottytrained, and she held her poop for a month in protest. The doc said to give her milk of magnesia, which we did, then tried prune juice...nothing helped. So I went and asked my favorite pharmacist, who always has good ideas and little tricks that work, and she sold me a jar of suppositories. They looked like little bitty birthday candles. I wasn't thrilled with the idea, but my kiddo was screaming in pain whenever she needed to go and didn't, plus she was having hershey squirt issues. Anyhow, they work...and they work fast. Just in case you ever need to know icon_biggrin.gif but it did take two of us to get the job done.

DefyGravity Posted 25 Aug 2010 , 5:13am
post #10 of 22

We also have the cups with straws in the lids, and my twin 2 year olds think it's so much fun to drink out of. They also like drinking from water bottles with a sport top lid. Pretty much anything different from their regular sippy cup is a total novelty to them.

My girls have gone in spurts of refusing to eat (they'd rather run around and go crazy) so I know sometimes irfan be completely frustrating. I hope he comes out of this phase soon!

redpanda Posted 25 Aug 2010 , 6:30am
post #11 of 22

As a mother who had a son who nearly ended up in the hospital from dehydration, following the doctor's advice that "no toddler will make himself sick by refusing to drink...when he gets thirsty enough, he'll drink". After several days of that, he had basically no urine output and his eyes looked sunken. I brought him in to see the pediatrician's partner to get a second opinion, and they ended up putting him on an IV in the office to take a blood sample and give fluids. They were sure he must be sick to be so dehydrated. Nope, just stubborn.

I have since figured out that he really doesn't recognize thirst, until he is REALLY dehydrated. He's 17 now, and will get horrible headaches that go away when he drinks. I can't get on his case too much, because I am similar. (except that I don't need to be told to drink when the headache hits)

I really don't see a problem with the bottle, although most will probably disagree. If you have a rule of the bottle can only be used while sitting down, and only at specific times (like before bedtime, before a story), he'll get tired of it sooner or later. One thing that we did was experiment with different inserts for the bottle, for example, one that turned the bottle into a sippy cup (it went into the nipple ring instead of the nipple). It didn't have a valve, but very little spilled.

dldbrou Posted 26 Aug 2010 , 2:14am
post #12 of 22

Try something very simple like let your child pick out what cup he/she wants to drink from and then let him/her help you pour the milk into the cup. If it is a control issue, this might make him/her feel like it is their choice about their drink. By the way, when you are ready to potty train your child, you need to stop all liquids around 7:00 p.m. The reason is their bladder can not hold 8 oz. of milk all night through the morning.

lecrn Posted 26 Aug 2010 , 9:29pm
post #13 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by dldbrou

Try something very simple like let your child pick out what cup he/she wants to drink from and then let him/her help you pour the milk into the cup. If it is a control issue, this might make him/her feel like it is their choice about their drink. By the way, when you are ready to potty train your child, you need to stop all liquids around 7:00 p.m. The reason is their bladder can not hold 8 oz. of milk all night through the morning.




I don't think he's advanced enough to pick out his own cup yet or help me pour the gallon of milk (ha-ha).
I hate to event think about potty training right now. I know that will be lots of fun!

dailey Posted 27 Aug 2010 , 4:01am
post #14 of 22

There are other ways to get vit d that are better then the milk form (mainly the sun, in moderation). I personally would not make him drink it if he does not care for it. I never drank milk, nor do my kids.

lecrn Posted 28 Aug 2010 , 5:34pm
post #15 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by dailey

There are other ways to get vit d that are better then the milk form (mainly the sun, in moderation). I personally would not make him drink it if he does not care for it. I never drank milk, nor do my kids.




Okay, after we were in the 4th day without him drinking anything (exc a few forced sips), I gave in. It's not worth "waiting it out". I would rather have him drinking the watered down juice than nothing @ all. He will just have to eat his calcium & vit D.

huntlilbel Posted 28 Aug 2010 , 6:04pm
post #16 of 22

my daughter did the same thing. i tried EVERYTHING!! after she realized the bottle was not coming back (she didnt ask for it, just wouldnt drink milk from a cup) I made it warm, i gave it cold, i flavored it etc. i just kept offering it and a good week or 2 later she started drinking it. she doesnt drink as much as my other children, and not even everyday. she still doesnt like "white milk" so i put some ovaltine in it. good luck! I know its hard when they arent doing what you think they should. On one last note... as a nurse and a mother... doctors nor nurses know everything!! trust yourself first!! as it seems you already haveicon_wink.gif

lecrn Posted 28 Aug 2010 , 9:47pm
post #17 of 22

Just tried mixing some Carnation instant breakfast with some milk, & he's actually drinking it! I feel a little better now. ha-ha!

DefyGravity Posted 28 Aug 2010 , 10:06pm
post #18 of 22

Hooray! Glad you found something that works.

JaeRodriguez Posted 2 Sep 2010 , 3:51pm
post #19 of 22

I'm glad you found something that works too! :] I know how stressful that is! My boy couldn't figure out how to drink from a sippy cup for the longest time! icon_razz.gif

margaretb Posted 3 Sep 2010 , 6:39am
post #20 of 22

lecrn -- is this your first kid? Sure, it would be perfect if you could force your kid to drink milk, but it won't kill him if he doesn't, and it might kill you if you set the parenting bar at "perfection". Three kids in, my parenting philosophy is more or less, "Whatever works for you". Also, if this is your first, I'll tell you a little secret I learned from an experienced mom. Anything that you do where you think, "OMG I'm such a bad parent because I do this" -- LOTS of parents do it too, but they just don't talk about it because everyone is so scared of being judged! I only know one parent where I think she might actually be perfect -- as in perfectly follows every perfect recommendation for children. And to be honest, she's annoying as heck -- very fussy, although at least not too preachy, and her kid, while having some very nice qualities, can also be quite a brat, so I don't see that all her effort is getting much better of a result than my lackadaisical approach with my sometimes wonderful sometimes rotten kid of the same age!

tavyheather Posted 6 Sep 2010 , 5:06am
post #21 of 22

I'm tired and dont feel like reading everything icon_wink.gif so forgive me if this is a repeat but my 3 yr old twins, well one of them, Jake....he refused to drink milk so I'd sneak it into his juice and make smoothies for him...finally he noticed and balked but I called it "juicy milk" and he loved watching me make it...if u mix orange-y drinks w/ milk it tastes like a creamsicle. He got over it a few months later and now drinks straight milk but every once in a while he'll ask for "juicy milk" icon_smile.gif

Also, Trader Joes sells "Dynamo" an orange/carrot/pineapple juice ?? that has a "plus calcium" version if you're worried about that, and if you're worried about the fat just add some ice cream and yogurt to his diet!

mistiek2006 Posted 22 Sep 2010 , 7:28am
post #22 of 22

As a past 2&3 yr old daycare teacher,we had this come up often. Sometimes it was that the kid was confused about what we wanted. We would explain the big kids drink milk from cups and babies drink from bottles. Usually it was the child's way of remaining in control. We would offer milk or juice and let them choose, whilw maintaing control. As the parent of an autistic child, I found that most of our battles were unnecessary. All she wanted was to maintain some control of her world, whether it was a color of cup or choice of beverage. Good Luck and this too will pass, but donlt take away all his fluids that he will drink all the time.

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