How do I get my toddler to drink water?

Toddlers can be very fussy about what they want to eat and drink. What are ways that moms can get their toddlers to drink water when all the are interested in is juice and milk.

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40  Answers

39 23

some think im mean but kids dont always need juice or milk water is good for them! my daughter hated water at first and refused to drink it but im the adult and i make the rules! drink it or go thirsty!

2 0

Thanks for your perspective Candyce. Sometimes I feel like I'm the only Mom left among my friends that understands the difference between an adult and a child. The adult makes the rules and the children follow them. When did the concept of the child deciding what is best for himself take over? I'm pretty sure that my 30 or so years of experience trumps my son's 2 years of experience when it comes to making good decisions!

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307 31

I would dilute her juice with water by percentage. At first, just a little bit. Then like 15 percent of the cup would be water, then like a fourth of the cup. I just kept going and would add more water each week until I'd put in just a little bit of juice for flavor and mostly water. That's the way she likes it now.

7 0

Thanks so much for this great comment. I am definitely going to try this with my son! He doesn't like to drink water and I struggle with getting him to drink it.

43 107

My son wouldn't drink water either. I got him a cool little sports bottle with buzz lightyear on it and he drinks water all the time now. I don't put anything but water in the sports bottle.

4 11

In our house, we pretty much stick to a water/milk rule with the occasional watered down juice. And by occasional, I mean maybe 1 or 2 times a month. Would much rather they have a piece of fruit than a glass of juice and they go with the program. They will have plenty of time to make their own food choices when they get older but I feel it is my duty to give them the tools to know which ones to make. We set the example. My 2.5 and 4 year olds asked me to make asparagus and salmon for dinner the other night and each had two servings. I think we're doing pretty good! Consistency and persistence will pay off.

123 3

I like your attitude. When my son asks me for juice, I hand him a piece of fruit and say "Have some orange juice, it's in the orange."

33 0

When the kids said they were thirsty I put water in their glass. Since I didn't raise them on fruit juice, koolade or soda it was never an issue.

But if they said they didn't want something I just said ok and put it on their table so it was there when they wanted it.

1 3

That is pretty much what I did. Every now and then I let me DS have a "special" drink, but for the most part if he is thirsty, all he has available is water. I'm the same way with food.

12 1

Not introducing any drink other than water was great for us, my 15mth old drinks water from a cup because she doesnt know anything else (apart from breastmilk)

9 19

My daughter is 3, she would not drink water for anything when she was younger. I started buying bottled water more often (I drink bottled water) and my daughter would want my drink. Well it was water, I wanted her to drink water, and she wanted what I wanted.... SO I rolled with it. I gave her my bottle of water and she drank the whole bottle! Now, she will drink tap too. I guess the moral of my story is, drink water too and he will follow :)

1 15


First off I wanna start by saying I thought this was to help parents not criticize them. I was reading suggestions hoping to find new ideas I never thought of but stopped reading because of so much negativity. If you don't agree with someone parenting style keep your comments to yourself because everyone does what they think is best for ther child and what works. Also I'm sure the ones that are criticizing would not want their style of parenting question or criticized! Secondly, I see all these negative comments about how juice is SOOOO bad for kids. Umm I'm pretty sure that 100 percent real fruit juice is healthy and if it was not it would not be approved for the WIC program. I'm sure alot of you that are saying juice is unhealthy probably had juice when you were a kid. I would say everyone does what works for their household and I'm speaking strictly from my point of view in my household and the way I see it juice is not unhealthy if not overdone and as far as drinking water as long as they are drinking it a little every day and making an effort to drink some I have no complaints! I am not gonna force anything with my children because the more you push the more they are not gonna want to have it. Hope you find some good suggestions! Good luck and god bless!!

Best wishes!
Kristie :))

61 33

Yes the WIC program gives juice but they say no more than 4 oz a day. That is such a small amount if you actually look at it. Juice is healthy in very small amounts. Fruit is ideal for children to eat over drinking juice. Juice is a very concentrated form of fruit, and both are high is sugars. Yes natural as they may be, sugar in any form can have bad effects on anyone. Not just bad teeth and being over weight, but it can cause other problems such as having high blood sugar,which can lead to diabetes. 4 oz a day max. Is that what most parents are giving? Everyone has their own parenting styles.

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0 7

ice water in a cup works for me or flavored waters

79 37

I like that, or try them with ice-cubes if they are old enough. Put a sweet in the middle of something so they have to suck it in order to get the sweet out. As they suck on it, they will taste the water. For younger children, where you might worry about them choking on the ice cube, try one of those baby/toddler net food holder things.

2,843 7

This is what I do for myself, I add lemon slices to a pitcher of water. It adds just enough flavor without really any calories or sugar. I went from barely drinking water to drinking easily 20oz a day. I then slowly removed it from the water until I was just drinking regular water.

I buy bottled water. Our tap water makes me sick. I give the same to my toddler. She'll have days where she just wants milk, but others just water. I don't offer juice at all. She's asked for it after seeing her dad and me drink it.

9 11

our rule is you get a big glass of water or milk FIRST and then if you're still thirsty you can have some juice. i get the healthy stuff in them and they still get the option to have a little juice (which is still watered down ). what happens is they end up drinking only a little juice if they even ask for any at all after the big first glass. during the day for quick drinks i put out a pitcher of water with some lemon in it and they can serve themselves. they love their "lemonade" and they love their autonomy to help themselves!

1 20

i tried flavored water and eventually my daughter started drinking water. When shopping I'll buy her the little mini water bottles & the regular bottles for myself...she loves that BC she feels she has her own water.

23 69

This is genius! I'm thinking my daughter will totally go for this!

253 2

My daughter won't drink plain water either, except in the bath tub! She would fill a glass up of bath water and drink (it's clean; I soap her up in the shower, before her bath). So now I have a glass of filtered water ready and whenever she tries to drink the bath water, I just hand her the fresh one.
As far as getting her to drink water during the day goes, she has a sippy cup she drinks from and I just fill it with 3/4 water, 1/4 V-8 Fusion Light fruit juice. It has a strong flavor that overpowers the water and it's healthy.

23 69

So I gotta say I like the way you do it with the v8 the only thing is. The v8 fusion LIGHT has an artificial sweetner. And studies show this isnt good for.. Well anyone really. I know you think less sugar is gonna be better but the aspertane in the "sweet n' low" in the light v8 is a forgin object to any body especially a toddlers. Look into it, this is just a suggestion and a "look out" as they say. From mom to mom :)

3 9

my son always drank water but I sometimes would put fresh strawberries in it and call it strawberry water...he always thought of it as a special treat!

3 9

could also freeze fruit in i cubes trays with water and throw them in cups with water!

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8 34

We use a water cooler at home, so its almost fun for them to get their own water. I'm Mom to a 6 year old and twin 3 year old boys.

35 10

My son was EBF, and when we expanded his drink options, we only offered water. Eventually, we started giving him a little fruit and vegetable juice cut with 50% water, primarily because he won't eat much in the way of veggies. However, my parents started giving him sips of their diet soft drinks, lemonade, and even COFFEE when I wasn't looking. When he started talking, he ratted them out by asking me for some of my coffee one day. Sigh. One day, he said "Want DRINK!" so I gave him water in his sippy cup. My mom said "Aren't you going to at least cut it with something?" My answer to her was "Why should I do that? If water is ok for ME to drink, why shouldn't HE?"

Besides, my son has a kidney disorder, and needs to avoid kidney infections at all costs. You'd think that would be enough to keep my parents from giving him other drinks. Alas, it's not. In the meantime, I give him water when he asks for it, water when he just says he's thirsty, and when he begs for juice or lemonade, I'll cut it with water. I don't really ever give him anything at full "potency."

7 5

My 2 year old likes to drink his water from the faucet when taking a bath so I started giving him luke warm water and he drinks it fine. I also give him flavored water that is carborated and he thinks its pop.

3 11

what i do with my son is put ice in his water it makes it more fun! :)

23 69

Shaped ice cube trays work for us too... Sometimes. We have flowers and stars oh and pumpkins! :D

1 13

First of all, we never offered anything other than water or milk after my son was weened from breastmilk. And, our pediatrician suggested no juice only fruit as well. We also have a water cooler and he loves the idea of serving himself. He's now 2 1/2 and has been introduced to juice at birthday parties and such so he is allowed as a treat on occasion. Much like candy and sweets. We don't keep them in the house and therefore he doesn't eat them unless we are out and about and there is a special occasion. Unfortunately once you've introduced them to these things they tend to head in that direction.

279 28

1. Remember to be proactive. Start kids with very little juice and lots of organic milk and water right from infancy.

2. If your child really turns his/her nose up at a glass of water, make it cool. Add some coloured ice cubes, a twirly straw that only comes when he/she drinks water... or mush up some very ripe raspebrries, stawberries, etc and put it in the water to change the colour and get a little boost of flavour/vitamins.

62 26

We sometimes add mint leaves to the water to give it a slight flavour and make it a bit special, and when they are in season, a few cut up strawberries make the water extra nice to drink! My son prefers juice too but he knows its just for breakfast time!

6 8

i let my daughters draw on and decorate their own water bottles, and they LOVE drinking water now... also, if their bottle has their name on it, or if the bottle is of the characters they like, e.i. princess, dora, hello kitty, tinkerbell.. anything girlie :)

29 1

That's a great idea. I also have a pretty good supply of sippy and regular cups that I rotate. When I bring one out she hasn't seen in a while she is excited and eager to drink out of it.

9 17

I make "special water". I fill a pitcher with water and add a propel packet or two (depending on the size of the pitcher). It gave the water a bit of a taste, and he enjoyed it alot. I also give him a cup of juice in the morning, and that's it. He has juice with breakfast...milk with meals...and water throughout the day. If he asks for juice after the morning, I tell him "We only have one cup of juice in the morning. What kind would you like for tomorrow?" That normally satisifies him.

48 71

My first thought it so lead by example. Toddlers love to mimic their parents and if they see you drinking lots of water, more likely than not, they will follow suit. With my now 4 year old (Not necessarily a toddler anymore though) we allow him to have one semi sugary (we dilute his juice: 1/3-1/2 juice, the rest water)a day and the rest of the day we alternate milk and water. He isn't so thrilled about it but if he's that thirsty, he'll deal with it... sounds kind of harsh, but he needs to understand the I am the parent, not him. After 7pm, all we allow him and his siblings to drink is water... that way they're not as wound up as they'd be if they were drinking juice.... Most times if he wants a drink of juice I'llsay ok but you need to drink water before I give it to you and then, like I said, I dilute his juice. Kids really don't need to have much juice... if anything, it's just for the flavor. Milk is good for them but water is the absolute best thing.

206 12

My daughter is 19 months old and she really doesn't get a choice between water or juice.. She gets water. She gets her milk before breakfast and after she eats her dinner, but otherwise its mostly milk. We may give her a little strawberry lemonade or something if we get it when we go out to dinner, but otherwise she drinks her water and never complains, so its never been an issue. I don't think there is any reason she needs to have juice all the time when she will drink water. I won't give it to her out of the tap though, either jugs or bottles of water and she likes it just fine :)

7 2

Dont give him a choice. If he cries and have a tantrum just let it run his course. Eventually he will drink whatever you give him. Check out the book by Betsy Brown Braun "Just tell me what to say" Fabulous book!

3 0

I bought the 'No Spill" playtex sipper that has the plastic straw that pokes out the top and has the plastic slide closure on the top that hides the straw when not in use. It has become the special WATER ONLY sports bottle/sippie and now she begs for it. Its a novelty, different from everything else she drinks from and she LOVES IT! Now she drinks lots of water - every day :)

14 1

I have those! I think I will do that!

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1 20

My daughter actually heard from a friend at preschool and neighbor that drinking water makes you smarter! I recently have decided that I want to get rid of all the sippy cups in my house since my daughter is 4 and my youngest son just turned 3, so that has helped. I let them have a water bottle in their room at night and if they drink anything else they have to sit at the table with a regular cup.

0 1

The water fountain is fun for him. I just help him.

0 27

I put a small amount of the sugar free pre-packaged flavors you buy to put in your bottled water or MIO.....When I pack lunches my kids would rather take the flavored water than the juice boxes that all the other kids are taking =0 makes me a happy mom. Brandy IN.

0 6

I really don't have trouble with her drinking water. Though she likes it better when it comes in a "cool" cup or mommy's bottle. Recently she started loving ice cubes and frequently asks for them. Might be another good way to get water in a kid, that doesn't like it... just an idea...

1 11

My son feels like a really big boy when he gets to use a cup so I put water in it, never juice. He loves it. So I kept giving him a cup and now that he is used to it, he doesnt fuss (too much) when I put water in his bottle for outings.

0 0

I hold the water in a bigger cup then empty little by little in whatever cup she wants to use...its like a game..and by the end of it, she will have taken almost all of it.

2 6

Lately, my kids have been drinking milk all the time. I give water instead sometimes and when they ask for milk, I tell them they can have milk if they drink their water first. The cool sports bottle idea works, too.

11 23

I discovered my 2 1/2 yr old prefers room temperature water, since we still warm her milk, I guess this makes sense! She is our first, so yes she is spoiled! haha

1 12

This is funny to me because for two years now I have to force my daughter to drink milk ( juice is a little easier) but she ONLY wants water! haha. She drinks more water than anyone I've ever met. She can't get enough.

6 0

My daughter likes water with a splash of apple juice. This might be a good compromise.

29 1

Our daughter is 19 months and has never had juice. There is no need for it. She eats well, including fruits and veggies. At meal and snack time she is always given a cup of water and she always drinks it. Besides her milk it's all she knows so it's just not an issue.

1 17

We have rain water at home so we always have called water cloud juice.. my son has never had a issue with drinking Cloud juice!!!! i think its a reverse sycology thing... Good luck. Rachex.

40 13

I got around that issue by buying my daughter Mio drinks. You can get them at any grocery store, and they are a godsend. You squirt in the flavor and they go nuts. Then you gradually lessen the amount of flavor you add. Before too long, it's just plain water.


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