Baby won't drink milk from a cup

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-09-2008
Baby won't drink milk from a cup
3
Fri, 03-12-2010 - 1:51pm

My 15-month-old daughter breastfeeds 4-5 times a day. I'd like to continue breastfeeding, but not quite so many times a day. I'm trying to get her to drink milk from a cup, but she refuses. She definitely won't drink from a bottle. She started refusing all bottles at 7 months, deciding that liquids should only come from me.

It took quite a while to get her to drink from a sippy cup, but we managed that. The problem is that she will only take water. If I put milk in a sippy cup for her, she purposefully spits it out or lets it dribble all over the place, and then she tosses the cup. She would much rather get all of her milk from me, and none from the cup.

I don't want to force weaning on her, just would like her to drink milk of some kind from a cup a few times a day. That way I could leave her occasionally, and I wouldn't feel that so much of her nutrition depends on me.

Does anyone have tips on how to gently nudge a baby towards weaning? I don't need to wean completely, but it's really important to me to nurse less frequently. 4-5 sessions per day is too much for me right now. I've got to find a way to cut back to 2-3 sessions/day, but don't want to upset my daughter too much in the process. And what if I cut back, but she doesn't drink from the cup?

Thanks in advance for any tips!

Bec






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iVillage Member
Registered: 04-13-2008
Sat, 03-13-2010 - 5:38am

It is probably not a good idea to be introducing her to a bottle anyway at this age, given the way bottles can be associated with jaw problems.

Is it cows milk in the cup? or breast milk? Or does she refuse either?

Will she take frozen breastmilk in a mesh feeder or made into an iceblock? Or all slushy and fed with a spoon?

FWIW, if she is nursing even three times a day, there is no reason to be drinking other milk. In fact, there are lots of other calcium rich foods even if she never ever drinks milk of any kind after weaning.

If you are simply trying to cut down the number of session but not wean fully at this point, then you can try gentle distraction methods, to see if she will do something else and forget about it. eg give her water, say Mummy is busy, and she can nurse later, get her doing something else. Of course, there will be times eg if she is tired, that only nursing will do, and you will not want to upset her at those times. But there will be other times when distraction can work.

You also need to know that even if they nurse 4 or 5 times a day when you are the, the same baby may be quite happy to have other foods and wait until you are there to breastfeed, and simply have fewer sessions on that particular day. By this stage, hopefully you would not become engorged while you are away.

I found my toddlers would be happy to nurse a lot more if I was around all day, but if I was out, they would nurse less, and rely on water, and solids on those days. Have you tried it? Is she happy with that approach? She may be more adaptable than you think for the occasions when you are not there. It is quite possible to work it this way.

Fifteen months is still fairly young, and it can be quite normal to still want to nurse a fair bit at that age. Some babies even go through a stage where they nurse even more often for a while. Natural weaning would not be expected for at least another year, if you want to learn more about it.

Teresa

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-09-2008
Thu, 03-18-2010 - 2:59pm

Hi Theresa,

Thanks so much for your response. I'm sorry it's taken me a while to reply. We had a crazy week here (DH hurt his back and was basically out of commission at the same time we had company visiting, so it's been a bit nuts)

Julia hasn't ever had cow's milk. We tried giving her cows milk based formula when she failed to thrive as a newborn, but she got blood in her stool. She had the same reaction when we gave her yogurt made from cow's milk. She got a rash from goat's milk, and doesn't do well with soy. So, she breastfeeds 4 times a day, drinks water from her sippy cup, eats a lot of coconut milk yogurt, and occasionally we try to get her to drink rice milk or hemp milk.

I like your idea about slushies and popsicles. Now that spring is coming, I'll have to give those a try. Maybe I'll try blending breastmilk, coconut milk, and fruit and making a popsicle out of that.

I guess the other upside about warm weather coming is that perhaps she'll be more thirsty. Maybe that will motivate her to drink rice milk or hemp milk from a cup.

I'm so torn about how long to continue offering 4-6 nursing sessions a day. I have some health problems myself, and think I'd have more energy if I breastfed a bit less. But I don't want to take this away from her if it's what she needs (either needing it emotionally or physically, or both). I also feel so guilty about her failing to thrive as a little baby, and even though she's been healthy as a horse for SO long, part of me feels I "owe her" extra months of nursing, to compensate.

BTW, she did drink Enfamil Gentlease (a reduced lactose formula) following nursing sessions for months, while we got her weight back up to normal. But, around 6 or 7 months of age she decided that she hated bottles with a passion. She wouldn't take formula or breast milk from a bottle then. As far as she's concerned, milk comes from mommy and nowhere else! The one time we tried putting breast milk in her sippy cup, she frieked out and opted to reject sippy cups for the next 6 weeks. (She'd cry, throw them, and generally have a temper tantrum if a cup appeared.)

Yeah, I'm raising a little spitfire. She's got a lot of determination :)

Thanks again for the advice! I'll try the popsicles. :)

Bec






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iVillage Member
Registered: 04-13-2008
Fri, 03-19-2010 - 6:05am

Well, she may be determined, but it sounds like she knows what is best for her.

You don't say what your health problems are. Is there anything else you can do for yourself to help? Supplements? Other ways of looking after yourself?

I can see that you need to balance your needs with your daughter's needs, but thre or four sessions per day can be continued for a long time, just so you know.

I know what it is like to have a baby who can't tolerate dairy as I had to follow an elimination diet myself for about 18 months with one of my children. He eventually could nurse while I had some dairy.

Teresa