I was chatting with a friend lately, and from her, I realised that it can sometimes be very difficult to get babies or toddlers to drink something that’s tasteless (though I do find some water with a little sweetness in them). But then, we all know that it’s important to drink plain water, isn’t it?
So here’s some tips and tricks which I used on my baby, to get her to drink just that little bit more.
(1) Start youngEvery habit takes time to cultivate, even drinking of water. So, right after I stopped breastfeeding totally (breastmilk is said to contain 90% of water), we started feeding her with sips of water. The baby will definitely resist at first as the water is really tasteless compared to milk. Nonetheless, even a sip at the start is good enough.
(2) Limit the types of drinks available
It’s simple. The more options you have for the baby, the lower the probability or chance that they will choose it when they are thirsty. Take me for an example. Basically, my baby (at this point) has only 2 choices of drinks that she can drink – water or milk. It’s a 50% chance that she’ll take water. But if you let her try other drinks like… barley or honey, which is so much tastier than water. What would she choose?
(3) Readily available
Sometimes, toddlers don’t really know that they are thirsty. And in fact, most of the time, they probably won’t ask for water. So what we did was to get the baby to drink every now and then even though she said she don’t want. Most of the time, she’ll actually drink more than what we expected, especially after a walk in the shopping centre, which we conclude could be due to the air condition.
(4) Babies’ own cup
Just to make it a little special, I got her a cup (one that can withstand her throwing or dropping on the floor – Combi Baby’s First Cup) and a water bottle to show that she’s old and independent enough to hold the cup/bottle and drink on her own. She’s ecstatic when she first saw the cup and bottle, and kept on drinking.
(5) The fun factor
Children always learn more when it’s fun. This can be applied to even drinking water. Normally I’ll try to get her to drink. If she rejected, I’ll either try getting her to drink from a straw (at the time when she still don’t really know how to suck), or else I’ll get her to “cheers” with me (I use my own bottle). There’s of course a lot of other fun ways to try. Bottom line is – get the baby to drink water.
Hope some of the above will help. ^^