As your infant enters toddlerhood, there are various changes that you have to make. This is where the sippy cup comes into the picture. It will help you train your baby to drink from it without spilling anything. A baby sippy cup has a spout with a lid and handles to provide maximum sipping assistance. There are various options with different types of handles and spouts that you can choose from.
Sippy cups are excellent to help babies transition from breast and bottle-feeding to a regular cup. They can also help with hand to mouth coordination as your child learns to do things on her own. It can help improve your baby’s motor skills while keeping spills to a minimum.
But how do you ensure that your sippy cup training is on point? What are the dos and don’ts of sippy cup training?
Let’s find out!
Introducing a Sippy Cup in Your Child’s Routine
You know your child the best, so when you think it’s time, encourage the baby to drink from a training cup. Some babies transition to sippy cups in as early as 6 months while some might take a while. Ideally, you should try switching to a training cup before your baby starts teething.
According to the American Dental Association, parents should help their babies shift from a bottle to a cup ideally by the time they turn one. This is recommended mainly to keep tooth decay at bay.
The Dos of Sippy Cup Training
Before you begin training your child for a sippy cup you should know that she might either get used to it immediately, take some time or may never use it at all!
Whatever the outcome, do try it once. Here’s what you should do when introducing a training cup:
- Get a sippy cup with a soft and flexible spout as your child will be more accepting of it as compared to a hard plastic one.
- Raise the cup to your baby’s mouth and tip it up to show how she can drink from it. Touch the spout of the cup to the roof of your baby’s mouth to let the sucking reflex kick in.
- Be a little patient as this might take some time. Till your baby gets a hang of the process, put only water in the cup to prevent spills and mess.
Don’t fret if your baby dismisses the sippy cup entirely. Let a couple of weeks pass then try again. As sippy cups aren’t too expensive you can experiment with different brands and models to see if it works.
The Don’ts of Sippy Cup Training
Sippy cup training is not that hard, but there are some things you should definitely avoid.
- Don’t let your baby take the sippy cup to bed with either juice or milk in it. The sugars from these liquids get collected in the mouth for hours and lead to tooth decay. Similarly, do not let your child keep walking around with the sippy cup for hours on end.
- Between uses, ensure that you thoroughly clean the cup. Residue from milk and juices can easily get trapped in the training cup and its valve. This can lead to the growth of mold and bacteria. So wash and sterilize the cup regularly.
- Don’t think that a sippy cup is a magic solution to weaning. For babies, its a matter of simply replacing the bottle with a cup and if you don’t keep it in check, there’ll be another weaning challenge for you to conquer.
- See to it that your baby doesn’t use the sippy cup for hours at a stretch. As soon as your child learns how to drink from her sippy cup, ensure that the baby switches to a regular cup as soon as possible. By the time kids turn two, most of them can drink from an open cup with two handles on their own.
As parents, you will prefer to see your child grow with a sippy cup in hand instead of a bottle. But in any case, you have to ensure that you restrict its use to meal and snack times. Proper use of a sippy cup is good for your baby’s dental health as compared to a bottle. So make sure that you monitor sippy cup training well and transition to a regular cup as soon as possible.