Q&A: Fluid intake
I have a 7 month old, healthy daughter who is much more interested in eating than drinking. She weighs about 18 pounds and measures 28 inches. She never drank a lot and weaned herself off the breast at 4 months. She is now on iron-fortified Enfalac. At 6 months, I started her on solids, and her formula intake has been gradually declining since then. On a good day, she'll have about 20-22 onces of formula. On a bad day (like today, she has a cold), she only has about 15 onces. She also refuses any other liquid. I've tried water, diluted apple and white grape juice.
Any suggestions to increase her fluid intake, or am I stressing for nothing?
You are most likely stressing for nothing. A child who isn’t getting enough liquid is thirsty, and thirst is a powerful drive. If deprived, your daughter would seek more to drink, or more foods with a high water content, like applesauce. She would also not be urinating the usual 4 to 6 diapers a day, since her kidneys would be trying to conserve as much liquid as possible. So, if none of this applies to her, she is probably getting what she needs, both through her drinking and eating. She’s also a good size, so doesn’t seem to be lacking in overall calories, either. You might need to pay attention to her calcium intake, however. Her formula provides much of the calcium necessary for bone health, and the ‘typical’ 7 month old takes about 24 to 28 ounces a day. Try to include a dairy product like vanilla yogurt in her diet to compensate for the one bottle she seems not to prefer. Don’t worry about her not wanting juice or water, since her formula is her most nutritious liquid. But, no, as she is healthy and thriving, you shouldn’t need to change your child’s preferences.