Weaning: Baby refusing fluids after weaning

I have a five-month-old baby who is refusing all fluids. He was fully breastfed until four months and when weaning started he began to refuse any formula in preference of solid food. He took to his meals extremely quickly, wanting more and more. I wasn't too worried about no milk feeds as he got plenty with his solid food and one bedtime milk feed. He is now refusing that and as I really need to be making his food lumpier and thicker now I don't know what to do. I have tried milk, water, juice from bottles and cups. He isn't dehydrated yet but he is getting constipated. Since he is my third child I am quite a relaxed and confident parent, but this has got me beat!

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You think you have it all figured out on the first two, and then the third comes along and throws a wrench in the works! I sometimes think kids do it just to keep us on our toes. But really, it is their uniqueness that makes each one so special.

I suggest a couple of things. First, continue to offer fluids, in cups at mealtime, and in bottles for snack and bedtime. Being only five months old, the nutrition from formula is very important. Offer only a bottle at snack times. His hunger may encourage him to drink it. Also, continue to offer the bedtime bottle, along with a good rocking and a book or song. Patience may be the key. It is very normal for weaning times to be downtimes in fluid consumption. Usually it will pick up again, especially once they gain some skill at drinking from a cup. At five months, your son will need time to develop that skill. That is why I suggest you continue with the bottle for a while.

Second, try serving some soups -- they really are liquid food. Creamed soups would be a good choice. Try making some creamed vegetable soups using formula. For example, mix some pureed baby carrots with mashed potato, butter, formula, add a little seasoning like a speck of cinnamon or brown sugar. Serve it as a soup. He will be getting liquid that way. Use your creativity to invent more that he may like. For example, mix some jarred peas and brown rice with formula or chicken broth and heat gently. Perhaps there are other things you can make with the formula, such as a smoothie. In a blender mix formula, ripe banana and a little apricot juice. It will be thicker than straight juice or formula, but the foodlike consistency may get him to take it.

I predict, that given time, his drinking will pick up. Constipation can be a concern in the meantime. Try adding some baby prunes to his diet to try to prevent that problem.

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