Introducing a Sippy Cup

Sippy cup

Did you know that drinking from a straw helps strengthens baby’s oral development?  This is why you should introduce a sippy cup starting around 7 to 8 months old.

First you will need to buy some sippy cups.  There are many out there but I think starting with ones that are used for transition from bottle to cup are the best.  I would recommend buying two different kinds and see which one works the best.

Some of the features you should consider are;

  • One cup with just a spout and one cup that has a straw.
  • A sippy cup with handles for beginners so they can hold on to it easily.
  • A sippy cup that has no Bisphenol A plastic (BPA free).
  • Detachable parts

Here is a list of some top rated sippy cups for you to check out.

The best way to start is by showing him how to use it.  It would be good if you used one too since he will be watching you or buy yourself a water bottle with a spout or straw spout and drink it in front of your baby quite often.  Children love to imitate their parents. I would put some diluted juice in his cup to start as this will be more enticing.  First put cup to his mouth and dribble some liquid into his mouth.  Show him how to tilt his head back.  Then let him hold the cup himself and try it.  The first time he may just play with it or even throw it so just keep trying and give him many chances during the day to learn during snacks and meals.  When first introducing a sippy cup remove the valve if it has one so it is easier for the liquid to come out.  After he has mastered it you can put the valve back in.

If your child doesn’t get the hang of lifting his head back, you can take the lid off and teach it in reverse by putting a very small amount of diluted juice or water in an open sippy cup.  Teach him to raise the cup to her mouth and lift head back.  Yes, it will spill a bit but this will get him to understand there is liquid in the cup and in order to drink it he needs to lift his head back.  Once he can do this put the lid back on and let him take control.

Some children prefer a sippy cup with a straw and find it easier to learn.  Straw cups can strengthen speech development and proper swallowing patterns plus help with chewing more advanced foods like meat or chewy high grain bread.  I like this cup if you are interested in one with a straw

To introduce a straw put a straw in a cup of water or diluted juice and you suck some liquid into it but don’t swallow it.  Now put your finger over the tip to keep it in.  Place the straw in your baby’s mouth and dribble the juice into her mouth and hopefully she will suck on the straw.  Do it again but don’t release the liquid until she sucks on the straw herself and then let it go so she is sucking it herself.  Here is a great video of how to do this.

Offer the sippy cup at all meals and snacks and don’t expect her to get the required liquids of milk or formula while she is learning.  When she learns how to use it you can begin replacing it with her bottles one feeding at a time over the course of a week.  Her bedtime bottle will be the last to go.  Most babies master a sippy cup quickly when given the opportunity to learn.  Don’t delay 9 months is the recommended age for using a sippy cup, spout or straw full time and by one year she should definitely know how to sip from a straw for better oral development.

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