What is a sippy cup?
A sippy cup is a training cup with a screw on lid, a spout and a handle. They allow your child to give themselves a drink, without unwanted spills.
The sippy cup is designed to be a transition cup, between your child bottle feeding and drinking from an everyday cup. It allows your baby to enjoy some independence. They may have the hand to mouth coordination but they may not yet have managed to limit spills, a sippy cup is the solution.
When should my baby start using a sippy cup?
You should watch your baby for signs which indicate they are ready to use a sippy cup. Perhaps they are grabbing at the bottle when you feed them, take the hint. Some baby’s are ready at about six months of age whilst others may not be interested until nearer their first birthday.
Never force the issue, babies develop at different stages and it may have a negative impact if they are not yet ready. However remember that dentists recommend a sippy cup from the age of 12 months to prevent the effect of tooth decay.
What is the best way to transition to a sippy cup?
When you introduce a sippy cup to your baby, choose a product which has a very soft and pliable spout. This will feel nice to your baby and encourage them to place it in their mouth.
Help your baby hold the cup to their mouth and place the spout inside, this will enable their sucking reflex.
Have patience. Your baby may be reluctant at first but keep trying and eventually they will get the hang of it.
If your baby does not seem to be interested in the sippy cup, perhaps consider a different brand. These types of cups don’t tend to expensive so you can afford to try different models.
If your baby is still reluctant after many attempts, there are a few tricks and tips you can try. How-ever be careful not to get too hung up because some babies will just go straight from the breast or bottle to a regular cup.
Dip the spout into milk before placing in baby’s mouth. They will be familiar with the taste and smell and you are more likely to have success.
If your baby is bottle feeding, you could try switching from bottle to sippy cup during a feed. It might take a few attempts but they should eventually get the idea.
Show your baby what is inside the cup. Take the lid off and spoon some milk into baby’s mouth. Once they have realised what is inside, they may be more likely to suck.
Lead by example. Remember that this is the first time your baby has seen a sippy cup and they could be confused about what it is for. Hold the cup up to your mouth and make sucking noises. Always take care to clean the cup.