How do you get your toddler to drink water?

Kimberly - posted on 11/21/2011 ( 84 moms have responded )

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Please give me the "secret" to getting your toddler to drink water. I have a 2 year old that only wants to drink juice constantly and nothing else. Help!

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September - posted on 11/23/2011

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Personally I would avoid the crystal light stuff, it's full of fake sugar which is super unhealthy!

Jennifer - posted on 12/07/2011

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Kids need to make choices and giving them options is great.Just give them the option of water or milk. If they don't want to have either.Say ok, and then put a cup of water out, when they are thirsty they'll drink it. Don't offer juice as much and before you know it, they'll start asking for water.

Tiffany - posted on 12/06/2011

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Another thing you cam try is find something your child idolizes, i.e. superhero, actor, something like that and tell them they got to be that way by drinking water and if they want to grow up to be like that person they need to drink it too. I know a lot of people don't like bribing but its a better bribe than with going potty and getting candy. If your child has issues with going potty also tell them water will make it easier if they drink it.

Elfrieda - posted on 12/05/2011

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My toddler doesn't drink much water, either. Especially when I compare him to his cousin,who is a few months younger. That kid goes through a couple of sippycups each day, where mine is lucky to be 3/4 done by the end of the day. He doesn't drink much milk, either. He's just not thirsty. If a few days go by and I feel like he really is dehydrating himself, I put a bit of juice in his water and he sucks that back, but I don't want to do that as a regular thing.



The only things I do that seem to help are:

1) balance a sippycup of water on the end of his crib. When he wakes up in the night, he likes to drink from it. Sometimes I put a full sippycup of water there when I put him down, and the next morning it's mostly empty. (not always)

2) When he's with the cousin I mentioned earlier, they stand opposite each other and shriek and laugh and drink out of their sippycups. I don't know why it's so fun, but they really like it! Using peer pressure... excellent. :)

Liz - posted on 11/21/2011

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I started out diluting juice very heavily with filtered water, so my daughter never did get the taste of undiluted juice. However, since you're in a slightly different situation now, I'd suggest that you start watering the juice down gradually, starting perhaps with 75% juice 25% water and go from there.

Good luck!

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Kimberly - posted on 12/21/2011

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Thanks everyone for your help. I'm happy to say he is drinking water now. A combination of tricks worked, but most of all he likes to get the bottled water from the refrigerator and pour it into his sippy cup.

Sarah - posted on 12/21/2011

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A friend said to pick out a cool new cup that is only used for water. Then when that one get old (not cool anymore) get another one. Another thing I've heard works is leave it in the fridge on a shelf he can reach so he can get it himself. That is if he can open the door by himself.

Maggie - posted on 12/21/2011

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start by adding water to the juice - 1/4 water, 3/4 juice. After a few days make it 1/2 water, 1/2 juice. After a few more days make it 1/4 water, 3/4 juice. Then just water. OR you can just give them water and if they're thirsty they'll drink it when they realize you aren't giving them juice. My boys (3 and 5) know that they can have juice with meals and water anytime in between.

Kisha - posted on 12/19/2011

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i gave my 18m the water bottle that has the top on it and he drink the water like that.but mostly i put ice in his sippy cup and he drinks it like that

Amanda - posted on 12/14/2011

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My son likes it if you give it to him out of the bottle, like a little man. When it is in his sippy he hates it, but when he is drinking it like us, of course he loves it haha.

Ash - posted on 12/14/2011

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Hi, my name is ashley and my baby is a juice-a-holic. =)
I allow my child to have a small amount of juice so that when it's out, she know's it's water time. I let her drink out the water bottle because she feels like a big girl.

Lexi - posted on 12/13/2011

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I am a big water drinker, so from the start my son has wanted what I'm drinking. It made him feel like a big boy to get sips out of my cup or to get the same thing as me in his tippy cup. I also usually water down his juice about half and half and he only gets a glass or two a week. Since she's already used to juice only you could try starting with half and half and reducing the amount of juice till she's just drinking water. You could add a little lemon juice in the water at first to flavor it or try putting plain water in a cool fun cup. I would also make sure you are drinking lots of water in front of her. You could also go the tough love route and just limit her juice. She wont let herself go thirsty for too long. When my son was about 15 months we had to cut his milk intake back to two glasses a day, or less if he eats yogurt or anything cheesy. It was constipating him too much and the constipation actually caused him to tear his rectum. He loves all those dairy products so cutting back was really hard at first but he learned to deal with out it pretty quick. He now has his routine of wake up milk and ni ni milk. It really only took a week or so for the whining and begging to stop.

Dolce - posted on 12/10/2011

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Do you water down the juice? Ive always watered it down as there is already too much sugar. But my daughter's day care only allows water so there is no other choice. A child will not choose to starve or dehydrate itself take away the choice. Now my daughter happily drinks water all the time. But don't give in :)

Maureen - posted on 12/09/2011

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I let my 2 1/2 year old daughter pick out a special water bottle and it is only used for water. She loves drinking water from it!

Heather - posted on 12/09/2011

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I use crystal light, I make a pitcher of it and they think its kool-aid! I start with just the crystal light and then dilute it over time.

Yurena - posted on 12/07/2011

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If there is a choice for them between water and juice, they will probably choose juice, eliminate choice. If I could chose always chocolate or take away for my meals I would, but I know the consequences because I'm an adult. They don't know, they are little, we need to make these decisions for them, you may think you are cruel for 'preventing' them from having the juice or whatever you give them, but in the end, these first years of their life will create unbreakable patterns for the future. I never gave chocolate, crisps or biscuits to my kids till they passed the 2year, even now it is VERY limited, they don't remember, they don't think I'm cruel, it's just they are not part of their eating habits but something very sporadic. I saved them a lot of refined sugar that doesn't do any good to your track system or teeth or behaviour. Just do it in a natural way, if it is not in the house you can't possibly give them any, 'remind me when we go shopping'. Also keep their cup ever present, some kids can go without if they don't see it, thirst is easier to ignore than hunger. x

Jessica - posted on 12/06/2011

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i tried half water and half juice for my kid..At first it works and then my kid is so smart that he did not want it at all..he just say it is water it is not juice..what can i do?

Brandy - posted on 12/05/2011

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my two year old son is the same way with juice. he knows i put water in his juice so when he asks for juice i get the bottle out but i put water in the cup first then pretend to put juice in.

Tiffany - posted on 12/05/2011

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my son loves drinking water. he started as a baby and still does. its one thing he can get to drink on his own by getting his cup out of the cabinet that is set up with his cups and he can fill it in the bathroom sink, giving him that big boy feeling. water down the juice to where theres just a hint of flavoring, or you can always purchase the mio flavors as theres no sugars.

Tiffany - posted on 12/05/2011

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My son does not like water and he knows the difference between his milk, juice, and water. He will drink water though, but sometimes he is stubborn about it. He is in physical therapy right now and usually I give him some water after his session because he is thirsty. Since I started doing this, he is drinking water more frequently now and he is getting better about it.

Carlie - posted on 12/05/2011

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Give your child water IMMEDIATELY after running or walking. After you have run somewhere......what's the first thing you want? WATER WATER NEED SOME WATER OMG WHERE'S THE WATER...I'M DYIN' OVER HERE.....
Is that not true or what? Your salivatory glands are working in overdrive after running or walking for a long time or even a short time. Give those glands what they are asking for. Sounds kooky I know, but it's a GREAT place to start. The other thing you can do? Be firm. For real. Keep puttin that cup down next to your child. If it's a bottle, put water in there. For EVERY MEAL your child consumes, put water in it. If your child cries for something else, let him/her. Don't respond to that cry. DO NOT RESPOND EXCEPT to say, "DRINK WATER." Give to your child. Don't say ANYTHING ELSE. Keep doing that over and over until your child learns to drink the water. Forgive me.....if you give milk during the day, then by all means, continue to do so......but you have to introduce the water at some point. I would do so after physical exercise...or outdoor playtime...or after mcdonald's....etc.....!! GOOD LUCK mama!! You can do this WITH him!! )

Yurena - posted on 12/05/2011

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Kimberley Mitchell, I'm sorry you take my post personally, I wonder what do you give him instead of water, I imagine he does drink something.

Kimberly - posted on 12/05/2011

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@ Yurena Lopez, My son was offered water as a baby as I stated in a few earlier posts, he has never liked it even as an infant.

Yurena - posted on 12/05/2011

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To start with you should have offer your child water from about 4-6 months of age (as soon as you stop breastfeeding, if you did, or along with formula). Don't offer juice, it is recommended not to give them more than 150ml of juice a day (real juice, not the crappy sugary things 'juice drinks' for kids), with a meal, for example, be careful with those delicate teeth. Since you started with juices, you would need to work backwards and dilute a little bit more everyday the amount of juice you put in the drink, everyday a bit more watery, until you don't need any. Also, if you don't offer juice, everytime you tell her you forgot to buy, for example, she'll eventually drink water, I'm still to hear of a kid that starved or dehidrated to death. Be consistent and don't give in, you are the adult. Also you need to give example, drink water and nothing else in front of her. Good luck. x

Cheryl - posted on 12/04/2011

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My little girl dosen't like to drink water either. She will drink from a squirt water bottle, like a sports one pretty well though. I rarely buy a good 100% juice, like the Santa cruz brand and will give her 1/3 juice and 2/3 water evey once in awhile. I am constantly asking her to have some water before any sort of activity she wants, I ask her a million times a day and sometimes she drinks it and by the end of the day she's usually drunk enough. She loves the drinkable yorget, but that is super high in sugar too. She has also recently stopped wanting Milk, and I have resorted to putting a tiny bit of chocolate syrup in it. She's a little over 3 yrs old and when we go out with others around her age it always suprises me that they are all drinking soda already.

Brittany - posted on 12/04/2011

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The way I have got my two to drink water was give them only half juice and fill the rest with water. Then slowly put less and less juice and more water until they get used to just drinking water.

Casi - posted on 12/04/2011

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My 20 month old is the same...UGH it gets frustrating! We tried SOBE Water. It's flavored & sugar-free. You can virtually use any flavored water brand, I guess! It's all that worked for us & we were at our wits-end bc she was getting constipated & refused water! Good luck :)

Heather - posted on 12/04/2011

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Just don't have it in the house at all for awhile (or ever) You can't have it in the fridge/in the cupboard and expect a kid not to Whhhhaaaaannnnntttt it ;0 If there just isn't any around it doesn't take long for them to switch to something else.

Sondra - posted on 12/04/2011

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My kids love ice water. When they were toddlers, I'd give them ice water in their sippy cups so I didn't have to worry about pieces of ice. Now that they're older, they drink their water from their small plastic cups. They are allowed chocolate milk or juice at times, but most of the time when they say they are thirsty, I don't give them an option. It's going to be water. At some point, I think they realized (unintentionally) that water quenched their thirst better than anything else.

Sheri - posted on 12/04/2011

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I dilute my daughters juice when she's not looking as that's all she wants too and I make her preschool snack after she's gone to bed and only put water in her straw cup for school and she drinks it from her princess and fairy straw cups as that's all they get in those cups my son likes water in anything and doesn't drink much juice. She's 3 and he's 20months. I also give them lemon tea too and it's basically just flavored water use Yerba mate teas they have more nutrients in them and the lemon zinger one helps relieve colds

Chantal - posted on 12/04/2011

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I couldn't ge my son to drink water either. Though he did always want a sip of mine because it came out of a cool container. Maybe try starting with like a sports bottle or getting them their own funky cup. Might make them more willing to try

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my son refuses to drink water from a cup but if he can drink it out of my bottle and share the water he drinks some

Nicole - posted on 12/03/2011

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My daughter is almost 1 and refuses to drink plain water. I have been giving her Propel water, it is good for you too! Just a flavored water with some vitamins. Works like a charm

Megan - posted on 12/03/2011

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my kids get water in a regular cup like mom and dad they think they r getting something special my now 5 year old loves water

Jenn - posted on 12/03/2011

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Don't offer juice. Eventually they will drink water. It's your decision not theirs. We do juice on Fridays as a treat.

Susan - posted on 11/30/2011

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I do the same thing as Erin (posted on 11/21/11 I give my son milk most of the day and at lunch and dinner we give him kool-aid after that we give him water i just rinse out the sippy cup and he takes it just well and drinks it all the way down and asks for more but i fill it half way since he goes to bed at 9pm and dont want any woopsies in the night

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a friend of mine told me to try buying capri sun...they think its juice (the roaring water) but its really flavored water. i drink them too and they are really good. and at walmart they are $2.00/box and i think there is 12pks in them. I also buy my daughter propel water thats flavored and she likes it. best of luck

Janessa - posted on 11/29/2011

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I only know what I have done, and that is I don't give them any juice until they are used to water. But I do that at a young age. Whenever they eat I give them a sippy cup of water, juice isn't even introduced until they can be reasoned with. What I would do now, is just not give him the option and there might be a fight for a little while, but if you stay firm, he'll give in. Anyways, that's just what I do, hope that helps.

Angie - posted on 11/29/2011

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It may take a while for him to adjust, but I would stop offering juice. I just plain don't buy it. It's not even an option in our house. You get milk or water - and yes, the ice cubes do tend to be a big hit. I wouldn't worry about him letting the water sit. Eventually if he's thirsty enough, he'll drink it. As long as you keep giving him juice, he'll hold out for it.

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I would dilute the juice with water. My preschoolers do try to test me, but after reading up on 1, 2, 3 magic I need to be in charge of the good things going into their bodies. Mine usually cave in after a short tantrum once they know that I'm serious about something like health (or unsafe play, etc)

Perhaps you could say it's run out and don't buy anymore. Hide juice in another fridge or on a high shelf out of reach.

I bought both my boys a colourful water bottle which they have access to all day. Like a mini drink bottle like their father has on his bike. Good luck and I hope that if you can hold out until the water is going in happily.

NOR AZEAN - posted on 11/28/2011

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well i would buy those bottles that they like then fill it up with water.... and as parent we too should drink the water with them .

Tiffany - posted on 11/28/2011

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I have told my children that they get 1 8 oz cup of milk and 1 8 oz cup of juice per day. the rest of the day they get water. if they dont want water they dont get anything. it will take a couple weeks but they will get used to it. and you also have to be the role model, drink it yourself all the time!

Danielle - - posted on 11/28/2011

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You drink it - in front of your kid(s). And always have a water bottle with you, be it around the house, out doing errands, or driving in the car - if your kid sees you doing it then they'll pick up on it.

I say this with first hand experience, I drink lots of water daily and I always have a water bottle with me. When my son was thirsty, I just gave him the water bottle and he'd drink.

Sometimes he wanted his juice and that was fine with me, but it was the constant vision of mom with water that got him into drinking it. Now he prefers water over anything else.

Also, don't feel that juice is bad. It too has water in it and the actual juice in it does provide nutrients. Let them drink either or both really, long as they're drinking and eating properly - I don't think it's a problem.

Good luck - now go pick out a few cool water bottles for you and your angel. :)

Karin - posted on 11/28/2011

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I always dilute my son's juice 50%, sometimes a bit more. Plus, I drink a lot of Propel water and he likes the taste of it. There is no sugar and no calories so he's getting flavored water.

Bernadette - posted on 11/28/2011

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I simply never introduced my daughter to juice until she was about 2 years old. And then it was only the occasional treat, like if we were having soft drink or something she'd get a juice. Or when we go out. Otherwise, she only gets water and milk at home.

Kendall - posted on 11/27/2011

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Hi. My suggestion would be to get rid of the juice. I have a 6, 4, and 2 yr old. They all drink water or milk. I don't keep juice in the house so it's not a temptation. Good luck.

Claudia - posted on 11/27/2011

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On breakfast my son only have milk or H2O, on lunch and dinner he can have one cup of juice, but I mix it 1/2 water and 1/2 juice. In between meals no juice or milk at all, and if he does not drink at least one cup of water in between meals, he is not allowed to have juice or milk with his meals... took some time for him to accept, but now it works great.

Alicia - posted on 11/26/2011

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my daughter was like that too. but now if i giver her water with ice in a cup with a straw she will drink it all! probably helps that now at 2 we still half her juice with water. :)

Amanda - posted on 11/25/2011

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I would just stop offering juice and only give milk and water. Your child will get thirsty enough to drink it instead of juice. Once they know they can have juice trying to give them water is pretty difficult. If it's apple juice then I would really just stop all together. It's so bad for their teeth.

Kristy - posted on 11/25/2011

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Just put water in the cup and water only. Children don't need the juice. Drink water yourself and make sure your child sees you. let them pick out a cup that they would like for there water and only give them that cup with water in it. Just keep offering the cup of water or leave it out for them to drink each day. Eventually your child will drink it if that is all they are going to get offered. My two kids 1 and 3 both drink water and sometimes as a treat a bit of lemonade which is once in a blue moon or some flavoured milk. Persistance is the key. Good luck.

Hollyanne - posted on 11/24/2011

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I have an 18 month old. I mix water with his juice, so it is not as sugary. He gets one sippy of juice or lemonade out and one sippy of water. Sometimes I just give him water. He might play around with it, but when he is actually thirsty he drinks it, because there is nothing else. During breakfast and dinner he gets milk and at lunch he can pick what he wants to drink. When we go anywhere I put his sippy of water in the car and he often gets thirsty and will drink the whole thing of water while we are out and about. I figure if he is thirsty enough he will drink it. He would rather have juice or his favorite is Crystal light lemonade, but he does get enough water and milk through out that day.

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