Do you have a baby that tastes water in the bottle, and then pushes the bottle away, refusing to drink? You might have already started giving your baby some water in early infancy. Or, you might have waited till baby was 10 months old, before beginning to offer water in a bottle. Either way, if you have a baby that’s 8 months or older and not taking water from a bottle well, try these steps which might help:
- Put water in a new snazzy free flow lidded cup (a bright colorful one is best) so it is something new like a toy. Designate this as the water cup. Help baby learn how to drink from it the first few times until she gets it. It’s alright if she wants to play with it more at first, as long as she doesn’t choke on the water.
- Offer it every day before and after meals and after breastfeeds (so that giving water won’t affect your breastfeeding milk supply as much) even if it is just a sip, so that baby will get used to it. It works well as a time filler when baby is on the high chair and you are getting baby’s food ready!
- Give LOTS OF ENCOURAGEMENT and praise when she holds the cup right, or takes a proper sip (instead of just playing with the bottle nipple). She/he will lap up the attention and praise!
- Model. When you give baby a drink, drink some water from a cup yourself (see through is best) so baby can see you are doing the same thing.
Giving your baby water is important. Besides helping with hiccups, offering some water can help when you start your baby on solids by keeping the bowel movements going smoothly and the stools from getting too firm. It’s especially important to give your baby water often if your baby is formula fed as formula is not as hydrating as breast milk. So don’t give up, keep offering that water!