Q&A: baby who won't drink anything

Before we go on to the question, does anyone know how to get iron drop (like Polyvisol) stains out of fibers like clothes and carpets? A couple of people have written in to ask me, and I have no idea. The only thing I can think of is trying a rust remover, but don't know if that would work (or if it would ruin the carpet).

Now on to the question. Mrs. Gryphon writes:

"I've searched your archives, and I don't see anything that addresses my concern with our almost-10-month-old.  She was breastfed exclusively for the first 6 weeks, then I pumped and/or she had formula on the odd occasions that I was away.  She was great at taking a bottle, and never had any issues that way.  We waited until she was 6 months to start introducing solids, which she loooooves.  She is a great little eater, and eats a wide variety of foods now.  The problem lies in the fact that she started self-weaning at 8 months (pushing me away and crying when I tried to feed during the day - she still breastfed at bedtime and in the morning, sometimes I could sneak one in if she was tired enough before her nap!).  I'm not concerned that she's weaning since she's the one dictating it BUT she refuses to drink anything from a sippy cup, a regular cup or even a bottle now.  She only has 3 heavy wet diapers a day, and I know she's not getting enough fluids!  We've tried cold formula, warm formula, room-temperature formula, water, watered-down juice.  We've tried spooning it into her mouth (works for about a 1/2 ounce and then she sticks her tongue out and we can't get the spoon in there anymore!), have tried several different types of sippy cups, with and without the valve sealed.  We've tried plastic cups, glass cups, plastic water bottles... I'm stumped.  Please help :)"

It is my guess that this is a temporary thing that's got everything to do with developmental spurts and new skills. I predict that she'll be back to drinking within a few weeks.

In the meantime, try two things. The first is letting her drink out of a regular cup/glass with a straw. You'll need 3-4 straws, so she can play with a few and can drink out of one. Try whatever beverage she'll take. Sometimes plain seltzer water will fool kids into drinking because the bubbles are so unnerving and fun. The hope is that she'll be so tricked into thinking she's grown up or so excited by the straw and real glass that she'll forget to refuse to drink.

The other thing is feeding her as many water-rich foods as you can. Cucumber, watermelon, grapes, etc. all day long. The problem is probably either that she doesn't like the sensation of the liquid or she's refusing to drink on principle, and feeding her foods with a lot of water in them should sidestep both those issues.

Does anyone else have any suggestions?