Toddler refuses to drink water

Brittany - posted on 06/03/2013 ( 13 moms have responded )




My 2 year old refuses to drink water, I would really like to put an end to his juice drinking habit. It's getting very expensive and its just not good for him. I've tried diluting it a lot, which works but hubby tends to forget to do that. And ideas or cheaper healthy alternatives??


Cmoline32 - posted on 06/08/2013




My daughter didn't like drinking water until we started putting ice cubes in it. She thought that was super cool! I've also seen people cut pieces of fruit, freeze, and add to the water. Gives it a little sweet taste as it melts.

Barbara - posted on 06/10/2013




Christy's suggestion is good, I wouldn't use the others. Fake sugar is actually worse than real sugar for him, and food dyes are terrible for kids and increase hyper activity.

Your child might not like the taste of your water, trying putting it through a Brita filter or some other filtration process. Our local water tastes absolutely gross to me, so we got a reverse osmosis system. It helps that our daughter sees us drinking water all the time. We only have milk in the house, I broke my soda habit during the year before she was born. Hubby has soda at work or if we go out to eat if he wants it. We will buy juice for camping or parties, it is a special occasion drink. I also buy a small bottle of juice from the convenience store when we are dealing with diarrhea, I use it to mix in powdered probiotics (culturelle) so she gets about 2 tsp worth twice a day. The probiotics doesn't taste good mixed into water, and getting her better trumps no juice.

Maybe set the expectations, tell him that juice is going away, so he can pick his favorite one at the grocery store and drink all the juice he wants, but when it's gone, it's gone. Also, tell him why if he's an older two year old. Juice isn't good for you and you want him to grow up big and strong, so he's going to have milk and water from now on.

Or if you want to transition him to water through diluted juice, dilute it right away when you buy it. Keep extra bottles or pitchers around so you can dilute it right away and store the extra in the pantry. Then you don't have to worry about hubby forgetting to dilute it.

Either way, set a deadline for yourself and let him know it's coming (that's about setting expectations so it won't be a huge shock when you say no more, not because he'll have a concept of 3 days or 5 days or whatever time you set) after that give him an option of water or milk. My daughter gets milk at meals and water the rest of the time. Juice just isn't an option.

Changing the habit won't be easy, and be prepared for a few tantrums. But just remind yourself that you are the parent and you are doing what is best for him.

Amanda - posted on 06/12/2013




Take it from a mother that had to watch her son be put under to get his teeth capped. My son never drank much juice unless diluted, but found out he had no enamel on his teeth. Just put water in his cup. I don't know why you are even giving him the choice. If he is thirsty he will drink it. Or even milk i know it had sugar but at least it has more healthy things then juice. If your son likes cheese make sure he eat cheese while drinking juice. My dentist told me that cheese helps to take the sugar off the teeth. But at two I don't know if I would use the flavor adders. He needs to learn to drink water, because on hot days you don't want him to down cup after cup of juice when thirsty. Make it fun I found submarine ice cubs for my son and he loves to put them in his water, well anything really, and he is a monster attacking the subs. It cute really.

Cecilia - posted on 06/04/2013




Mio and any other sugar-free drink has fake sugar. Some people are okay with it. Me personally, i prefer to just give my toddler real sugar.

My teens on the other hand drink crystal light. They don't have diabetes, but they do have a problem with too much real sugar ( it leave lines on their necks ) Their neurologist told me not to switch sugar until about 10 years old.

As for what to give her, have you tried things like chocolate or strawberry milk? I know milk isn't cheap but it is much healthier. Even WIC told me to get my 2 year old to drink the 1% to add a syrup.


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Lintvar85 - posted on 06/16/2017




What about add some lemon juice to water or another home-mixed juice.We never drink tap water for the very reasons that you've posted too much contamination.We don't drink water from plastic bottles either because of the ingredients in plastic that can mimic estrogens.We drink only bottled water from glass bottles. Also we have cozzy RO system When it comes to my health I am not going to compromise.

Chanais - posted on 06/19/2013




i am the single mother of an only 4yr old "dairy" lover/fruit hater & i am in the same boat!!!! I find that my daughter loves "sparkling water" with the different flavors. I agree with the other mom's on the mio issue b/c it does have artificial sugars in them. This water is just carbonated with a natural various flavor & cost 60-90 cents/bottle. it can be found in the supermarket water isles with club sodas & is a great sub to soda/sugar anything because it taste just like soda. this is the only way she will drink water and the dr has said its safe.
I also agree with the fruit in water or ice cubes, yet she hates fruit(pureed/blender/jelled). I've tried & i was told by dr that it's ok don't push.
My babysitting family didn't get the "diluting" issue either and felt really bad when she had to undergo the teeth capping issue as well at 2 because of cavities.
I have gone into whole foods that have regular water yet different herbs in it. (ie-ginger& lemon peel/lavender&mint/cinnaman/wheatgrass&mint) they are really good as well and the ginger/lemon u can do at home with ground ginger from the spice rack & 3 drops of lemon juice(the peel is less bitter yet hard to get the flavor).
Good luck in the journey & always remember that your not alone in any issue.

Christine - posted on 06/13/2013




My son is the same. I buy flavoured water for him and most grocery stores have thwor own lable or a fairly cheap one.

Jessica - posted on 06/10/2013




My kids both get a glass of juice (about 150ml) for breakfast and the rest of the day they have a water bottle that is just with water. Try some ice cubes so he can shake the bottle and makes a great noise.
There is too much sugar in juice to give them any more than a small glass once a day. Teeth have also have to brushed as the sugar will take its toll.
You're his mum and its your role to look after him not for him to dictate what he will or won't have. I'd love to eat chocolates and pastries all day but I have been taught and know better...thats our jobs as parents to teach our kids just as we were taught... 
I believe they will have plenty of time in their lives when they get older to drink or eat what they want. But being so young they need to be shown and taught what is good for them and if its a treat, why its a treat. Good Luck...

Jennifer - posted on 06/10/2013




You could try giving him a special cup that can only be used for water.

September - posted on 06/10/2013




You could make a fruit puree and freeze it in ice cube trays and add the cubes to his water. Adds a little flavor and vitamins. Plus it's healthy and all natural. You could also just add the puree right into the water. Our 4.5 year old son loves his water this way.

Brooke - posted on 06/06/2013




My son refused to drink water until we started putting food colouring into it. Then he was quite happy to. Just make sure you warn his daycare! When my son decided for a few days in a row that he wanted red water, we got a panicked phone call saying there was blood in his faeces. I still feel sorry for that poor teacher and what she went through before we explained what happened.

Heather - posted on 06/04/2013




Have you tried adding flavor like Mio? It just squirts in the water. They make a Kool-aid now too, It doesn't have sugar but still tastes good. My son wouldn't drink plain water either but we started with the packets, like propel, crystal light, etc. The kind that squirts is so much easier though especially on the go and they're only about 3 dollars.

Liezl - posted on 06/04/2013




How about getting home-mixed juice concentrate? Check the ingredients; some of them are really natural (with no added sugar and so on). You're forced to dilute it, and you can make it very watery. You can make a big batch at a time that's kept in the fridge to fill his cup/glass with. Plus, if you only have that in the house, your hubby has nothing else that's less diluted to give him. Hope it helps.

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