Tricks to get Your Toddler to Drink More Water

The two main ways to keep your kids healthy is to make sure 1) they get lots of exercise and 2) they drink lots of water.

Exercise is not problem for us. My daughter wouldn’t sit still if she was duct taped to a chair with a fifty pound weight on her lap.

Water, on the other hand, is a bit of an issue. The only way I can get Mazzy to drink water is to mix it with juice. Or possibly force feed it to her in that whole duct tape scenario mentioned above, but it’s not my favorite option.

So, if every week brings a new parenting challenge, this week I am determined to get my daughter to appreciate daily servings of H2O.

I’m hoping that through a combination of fun products (sinking Titanic Ice anyone?) and parental ingenuity (aka lying), I might have some success. But as with everything concerning a three-year-old, I’m sure there will be lots of trial and error, so take my suggestions with a grain of salt.


1. Buy fun cups.

I’ll start with the obvious. Let your child pick out a special cup and then only let them use that cup when they are drinking water. Always leave the special cup of water where your child can reach it and have it on hand whenever you are on-the-go.

Screen Shot 2013-04-03 at 12.04.42 AM2. Make drinking water into a game.

Challenge your kid to drink to a certain level of the cup. Like if it’s the Dora the Explorer Sippy Cup (pictured left), say: “Drink until you reach the bottom of Dora’s shoe!”

3. Freeze some cool shapes.

41E02t79KlLMazzy loves ice. Always has. Someone bought us a penguin-shaped ice cube tray and the other day when I tried and failed to get Mazzy excited about water, I suggested we put the penguin ice in the cup. SOLD! There are tons of fun alternatives— everything from mustaches to sparkly jewels to Hello Kitty.

4. Stick a slice of fruit in there.

You never know what’s gonna be exciting to a toddler so you might as well give this one a shot. Maybe it will be the greatest thing that ever happened or maybe she’ll pluck that slice of lemon out and whip it across the room. It’s worth a shot. You can also try freezing a raspberry in an ice cube.

5. Suck it from a silly straw.

When we were younger we had Crazy Straws. Of course, I remember drinking mainly chocolate milk out of those things but there’s no reason why you can’t use them to bring a little excitement to your child’s cup of water. Chocolate milk is exciting on its own. There are also Strawz Connectible Drinking Straws that work a bit like Tinker Toys. Or how about the magic wand ice cube tray? You freeze a star at the end of a straw— genius! Just pray your kid doesn’t get pissed when it melts.


6. Teach your kid to serve herself.

We’ve got a water dispenser on our fridge. It honestly never occured to me to teach Mazzy how to use it until I started writing this post. This morning I set up some cups in an accessible place and told her she was free to get her own water whenever she wanted. You would have thought I gave her the keys to our car.

7. Be a water role model.

“Yummmmm. Water is my favorite!!!! Tinkerbell LOVES water! So does Spiderman! You know what I could really go for? A glass of water! I’m going to chug a glass right now!”

8. Create a Pissing Match.

Yeah. Literally. Tell your kid you can tell how much water she is drinking by the color of her pee. Very yellow means not enough and pretty clear means you are winning at water. And who doesn’t want to WIN AT WATER???!!!

If all else fails…

9. Make a cup of juice the reward for finishing the water.

Products in the graphic above: Alphabet Ice Silicone Rubber Ice Cube Trays, Plastic Fun Loop Straws, Silly Straw Plastic Tubing Eyeglass Straws
, Sigg Water Bottle, Strawz Connectible Drinking Straws, Hello Kitty Ice Cube Tray, Princess Plastic Goblets
, Bobble BPA Free Water Bottle Set, Ice Invaders ice tray, Titanic Ice Cube Tray


Screen Shot 2013-03-30 at 9.58.04 PMThis post was sponsored by PediaCare who asked me to write about ways to make staying healthy fun.

PediaCare Children’s Cough & Runny Nose Plus Acetaminophen is specially developed for kids (ages 4-11) and provides safe and effective relief for your child’s cough, cold and fever symptoms. All PediaCare’s products are 100% child-focused with kid-friendly flavors and appropriate dosing restrictions. Check here for their dosing chart which uses weight as opposed to height.

Disclosure: I am honored to be a 2012 paid brand ambassador for PediaCare. All opinions expressed are my own. For more information about PediaCare products, please visit their Facebook page: