Hydration woes…

I’ve debated whether to talk about some of this on my blog for a couple weeks now, but I’m in a bit of a conundrum and needing some advice from moms that have been there and done that. There’s a bit of background on the issue, so hopefully you’ll stay with me.

A couple months ago, Bean started waking up in the mornings completely dry. She’d also do it sometimes during naps. While I was slightly concerned about this, I figured that maybe it meant she would potty train early or be easier to potty train. She was still making plenty of wet diapers throughout the day and about 15-20 minutes after waking up she’d have a super soaked diaper like she’d been holding it all night long.

Then, a month ago when we went to Tahoe we had another “scare” with this. The morning we left for home, Bean woke up dry as usual. I gave her a bath, we packed the car and headed out. For the most part Bean slept the whole way. A couple hours later when we stopped still no wet diaper. This went on for two or three more stops. I was really freaked out. I had nursed her several times during the previous night and at every stop we made. So I started to think that something must be wrong with my milk supply. This is also when I was starting to feel pretty gross in the pregnancy so I worried that I wasn’t staying hydrated enough due to my morning sickness.

I contacted my midwife from the road and she said that it sounded like I needed to get some more fluid into Bean. We stopped at a Target somewhere on I-5 to get a bottle and some juice. I gave her a bottle of watered down juice and by our next stop she had a wet diaper and at every stop thereafter. My midwife said that I might have to consider supplementing, but that it might just be a fluke thing because of all the travel and sleeping.

After that car trip we really didn’t have any issues. She was still skipping wet diapers during naps and at night from time to time, but still having plenty of wet diapers otherwise. I had several friends that said their girls did this from a very early age and that it would make potty training easier. So I stopped worrying about it.

Since dealing with our diaper funk issues I’ve added an extra step to my diaper laundry routine, and that is rinsing out my diaper inserts in the sink prior to tossing them in the washing machine. During my last two loads of diaper laundry, I noticed that the wet diapers were highly concentrated (I could tell by the smell and the discoloration for those that are wondering). While this is pretty normal for a diaper that has been sitting at the bottom of the diaper pail for a day or two, it is not normal for a diaper that just came off her.

So once again I started worrying about my milk supply. I think it is a pretty valid concern since it is highly probable for one’s supply to decrease during pregnancy. I called my midwife yesterday and after talking to her about it I really don’t think my supply is the issue. If Bean wasn’t getting anything during nursing she wouldn’t nurse for as long as she does. When we offer her other forms of food or drink she would likely gulp them down as if she was starving, which she does not (she’s actually pretty picky and slow when it comes to that stuff). I know I still have plenty of milk because I can hand express it even after she’s just nursed, I can feel my letdown still and I can see the stuff in the corners of her mouth when she’s nursing.

The best conclusion we can come up with is that for whatever reason my milk doesn’t have as high a water content as it used to. This totally makes sense to me because when I have pumped I noticed it is way thicker looking, almost like cream. So the need has arisen for Bean to get additional hydration throughout the day. Which isn’t that big of a deal really except that I have to spend what sometimes seems like hours and hours of my day glued to the couch between nursing and giving her bottles of watered down juice (we’ve tried plain water and she won’t have anything to do with it). And it doesn’t usually help things that she takes FOREVER to finish a bottle, much, much longer than it does to nurse her.

So I’ve been a bit jealous lately hearing about friends who have babies younger than Bean that can hold a bottle or sippy cup all on their own. Gah!

I’m thinking this is probably a consequence of the fact that she hasn’t had that many bottles in her lifetime, but I’m not completely sure.

I’ve been trying to introduce Bean to a sippy cup or at least to holding her own bottle for some time now, but I haven’t had much success. We’ve tried the starter, no-spill sippy cups that require sucking to get out the liquid and even the more advanced ones that just spew liquid when put at the right angle. She just doesn’t seem to get it. Taking my sister-in-law’s advice about how straw cups seemed to go so much better with her girls, I tried that today as well. All Bean wanted to do was chew on the straw. So then I reverted back to the starter sippy cup for another attempt. This is how it went:

I actually got her to drink out of it and even hold it a couple times but if I tried to put her down or let go of the cup for too long she’d throw the thing down in frustration and errupt into a mess of tears and red cheeks. So she is capable of doing this, she just doesn’t want to.

Anyway I guess that is my long winded way of asking for help from my fellow readers and moms. When did you introduce sippy/straw cups? How did you go about getting them to accept it? And any other tips you have for me on this subject would be greatly appreciated.


Filed under Family, Natural Living, Parenting, Pregnancy and Birth

17 responses to “Hydration woes…

  1. It sounds to me like you’re doing all the right things. If you have to keep holding her and feeding her the sippy cup, at least you can know she’s getting what she needs. Sorry for the hassle of it all!

  2. Liz

    I will be interested to see the comments on this. My 9 month old son won’t take a sippy either yet. He nurses, no bottles.

    My older son started drinking out of straw cups at 1. He just got it right away, so I’m absolutely no help.

    However, I want to reccomend Adventures in Tandem Nursing by Hilary Flowers. It’s a great resource for nursing while pregnant.

  3. lovelearnandlive

    For the straw, try this:

    Put the straw in a cup of liquid, and then put your finger over the top of the straw. Pull it out of the cup, keeping your finger on to provide suction so that some liquid stays in the straw. Put the other end of the straw in her mouth and release your finger so she gets a drink. Do this a few times so she understands what the straw is for.

    After she knows that straws are for drinking, continue putting the liquid-filled straw into her mouth. But now, don’t release your finger until she attempts to suck at the straw. As soon as she sucks at all, let her have it. Keep doing this for a while until she understands that sucking on the straw=getting a drink. Then try the straw in the cup again.

    This may take a few days of trying for her to “get it.”

    Another option, if you don’t want her having a lot of juice and she won’t drink water is to give her some watered-down keifer (liquid yogurt), kind of like “pre-milk,” haha! And much tastier than formula. 😉

    Also, what nipple are you using on the bottle? Maybe she needs a faster flowing nipple?

    The transition is kind of a pain, but soon she will be a sippy cup champ. 🙂 Hang in there!!

  4. Barbie

    Oh man, sounds stressful. First, I want to say that Aubrey has had dry morning diapers FOREVER…in no way did it help the potty training process…just the holding it process. I hope it’s better news for you 😉 Also, Aubrey HATED the bottle and sippy cups, but luckily we had success with straw cups. I was always drinking out of straw water bottles when I would nurse and as she got older she would sometimes want to chew on it, one day she sucked and from then on she got it. Just keep trying the straw cup. I really think that is the easiest for non-bottle fed babies to get. They’re used to sucking, so they suck. Maybe try it after she’s been outside in the heat and she hasn’t nursed in a while. GOOD LUCK!

  5. are you getting enough water? Tracy Hogg, the author of ‘secrets of the baby whisperer’ recommends 16 glasses of water per day for a nursing mama. which you probably already knew…

    my boys were roughly 9 to 10 months when we introduced the sippy, and some took a little longer than others to want it. basically, if they LOVE to nurse, they are less enthusiastic of the sippy. ollie did not really take to the the sippy til he was done nursing. now he loves it like his bff!

  6. eeshl! i posted my last name! is there any way you can remove my comment? so sorry about that! next time i will be more careful!

  7. I have been introducing Princess Magpie to the sippy lately but she really doesn’t seem to get it. I am taking my time with it.

  8. lwuertz

    Davi, if you do it again I’ll try to remember and moderate it. I just edited the comment and took out your last name. 🙂

  9. Kourtni

    My kids never liked sippy cups. It took forever for them to drink out of them. I’m always so amazed when I see little babies who will use them. Both my older kids were over a year old before they really got the hang of it. I never really fussed with it… just gave them juice, water, etc. in a bottle. I actually have photos of the kids at 16-24 mon. drinking out of bottles!! Ack!! LOL. They eventually liked them… just in time for me to take them away because I was worried about their teeth. hehe.

  10. Sara

    I’m a reader who never comments, but as far as the Tahoe incident- is it possible that she peed in her bath, and that’s why you didn’t notice that she hadn’t gone in a while? I know my daughter probably pees in her tub all the time (gross, yes, but not much I can do about it!). Not that there doesn’t seem to be an issue, but maybe that one incident has an explanation?
    Just a thought.

  11. My daughter had the same problem holding bottles because, she, too, was nursed and rarely had an encounter with a bottle.
    I found a bottle that’s perfect and I think will help you out, too. It’s available at Babies R Us and I’ve seen similar things at other stores. It’s called a Podee. It’s a regular nipped bottle with tubing that goes from the nipple to the bottle. You put the nipple in their mouth and they suck like any regular bottle. The fluid comes up the “straw-like” tubing and the bottle can sit on the floor/couch next to them and they can do it themselves. It worked great for car rides! That nipple and stuff will fit on a number of different bottles.
    My guess is Bean just needs a little extra fluid during the day since she’s getting bigger and that extra juice mixed with water might do the trick. My daughter still off and on wakes up dry, even though she drinks quite a bit during the day. My son never did that!

  12. Hi 🙂
    I nursed and pumped for my son Keegan until almost a year. I tried to get him to hold his own cup and bottle from about 6 months on, but had no luck until around 9-10 months. It’s like, it seems like they could do it physically- but something isn’t connecting before that. Good luck! Meanwhile, you might consider a Podee bottle. It is a bottle, with a tube that attaches to a nipple but that is not screwed on to the top of the bottle. You can pop the nipple into her mouth, the tube acts like a straw into the bottle and you can set the bottle next to her. It was a big help for feedings in the car on long trips so I didn’t have to pull over to nurse, or hold the bottle for Keegan in an awkward position for 20 min! They were initially designed for moms of multiples without enough free hands 🙂

  13. Tiffany

    It took Lucy a long time to get the sippy, but I started early and was really persistent- especially because she never took a bottle.
    I started her on the sippy at 6 months, just with a tiny bit of water. I would give it to her while she was sitting in her highchair watching me cook, while she was in her carseat traveling (again, just a tiny bit of water so she didn’t choke), and while she was in the shopping cart or stroller on various outings. I tried to be diligent about giving it to her on a very regular basis so that she could get used to it.
    Keeping in mind that I started at 6 months, she didn’t actually take more than a couple sips from a sippy until about 11 months. And she didn’t take drinks of anything besides watered down juice until she was over a year. I just had to keep with it, be persistent, and give her time to figure it out.

    Sounds like you’re doing all the right things. You’re doing a wonderful job and keep following your instinct. :O)

  14. GrandmaTiger

    Here’s another thought – why does it have to be the whole bottle at one sitting? Adults rarely drink down a whole serving of fluid except at meals, usually it’s a sip here and a half cup there, maybe if you could get her to take a couple of sips, then let her romp around, take a couple sips, etc. That way you’re not tied down holding her for an hour or more. Actually, same for your self – keep a waterbottle handy, sip at every commercial break or every time the song on the CD changes, etc. The look on her face in that last picture just says it all, that’s frustration mixed with confusion, just “Mama, what are you trying to get me to do???? I don’t get it!”

  15. Hi, my 14 month old boy still doesn’t want the zippy cups, he does drink directly from the glass and uses the straw… although it is hard for him to control the flow and gets liquid all over himself. We use bottles on car rides but I have to hold it for him. There is nothing wrong with your DD. Breast fed babies don’t hold the bottle. They don’t get it. My son is now barely starting to hold it because we started to give him more juice. By the way the stronger urine smell is also normal now that they start eating solids and drinking juice, just like the poop consistency changes, the urine smells more too. The idea of using the “Podee Bottle” is great. I have it but haven’t really try it yet… I keep forgetting it is in there somewhere in my kitchen… Just take it easy, keep trying every so often but don’t stress over it. Every kid is different. Some kids never use the zippy cups and learn to drink directly from a regular cup. Have you tried this? :))

  16. crystal

    We started sippies with water around 5 months. Ella hated them and would just throw them until we figured out the secret. It has to be ice water. Freezing cold ice water. Anything even approaching cool and she gets mad.

    Have you tried giving her a sippy while she’ slaying down? Ella had trouble with having to tilt it at first so laying down saved everyone a lot of frustration.

  17. My son doesn’t do well holding the sippy cup, even though he tries so hard. But he is very interested in drinking whatever we drink, which is water. So usually he’ll grab for one of our cups while we’re tying to drink for it. I usually take a straw and dip it in the glass and put my thumb over the top of the straw to keep some of the water in the straw and then give it to him that way (which he loves), or I will hold the glass up to his mouth and very slowly and carefully let him drink water that way. We tried watered down juice with him too when I noticed him being dehydrated or having lots of dry diapers but he didn’t like it. So now we just try the water a few times a day, like after he eats solids.

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