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Drinking Liquids

Updated: Jun 30, 2023

Being able to drink liquids is an important skill for a child to have (Peterson et al., 2015). Whether it’s from a bottle or a cup, it helps promote independence and continued nutritional growth. A tip for positive bottle feeding, includes cuddling opportunities and having a consistent liquid temperature during feedings (Satter, 2000). When the infant is feeling a sense of comfort, the infant will eat until she/he is full rather than eating too much or too little for comfort. Ensure the comfort and feeds are occurring during mealtime, as bottle feedings should be avoided as a comfort mechanism such as to put the baby to sleep. When it comes to the number of ounces an infant should intake for each feed, it is different for everyone. A good suggestion is to contact your pediatrician for specific measures. As long as your infant or baby is growing consistently, the intake should not be a concern.

When it comes to introducing solids along with liquids, drinking liquids for a child is different than for an adult. As adults, we can drink liquids throughout the day without it ruining our appetite, hunger, and mealtimes. This is not the case for children, for a child it can interfere with their mealtime routine. For children, drinking liquids before a meal dampens their appetite (Fraker et al., 2007). If a child consumes liquids throughout the day, it is equivalent to snacking throughout the day, therefore the child will not be hungry by the time mealtime comes. If the child consumes too many liquids throughout the day, sitting at the table can become difficult. A good tip to follow to have successful eating, is to only offer liquids during mealtimes. If your child is thirsty between mealtimes, offer water!

Want to make sure your child is hydrated on water? Here is a water tracker for kids from ages 1 to 9+ years old:


Fraker, C., Fishbein, M., Cox, S., Walbert, L. (2007, November 2). Food chaining: The proven

6-step plan to stop picky eating, solve feeding problems, and expand your child’s diet.

Hachette Books.

Peterson, K. M., Volkert, V. M., & Zeleny, J. R. (2015). Increasing self‐drinking for children with

feeding disorders. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 48(2), 436–441.


Satter, E. (2000). Child of mine: Feeding with love and good sense. Bull Publishing Company.

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