From Sippy to Regular Cup: Transitioning Toddler Drinking Habits

October 13, 2016
From Sippy to Regular Cup: Transitioning Toddler Drinking Habits

Transitioning from sippy to adult cup can be easy with these top tips.

There comes a time in every child’s life where they must make the important transition from a sippy cup or bottle to a regular, “grown up” cup. While helping your little one give up the sippy cup or bottle can be a tricky and messy milestone for everyone involved, there are a few good tips that will help make moving on to a regular cup just that little bit easier.

philips avent toddler cup

What age?

As is the case with most key milestones, there is much debate as to when the appropriate time to move on is. Some experts recommend phasing out the bottle between 12 and 24 months of age, while others suggest a good time to start teaching your baby how to use a regular cup is around 7 to 9 months old.

There is no need to stress too much though. In reality, there is no absolute “best time” for a child to give up a sippy cup. All things happen in good time and as long as your child is drinking water, there is no need for concern.

What about the mess?

When introducing your little one to an open cup, you should no doubt be prepared for some mess and lots of spills. Thankfully there are products out there that help with this transition.

We love the Philips Avent spoutless and strawless Grown Up Cup which allows drinking from all around the rim, just like an adult cup. The cup’s unique spill-proof valve only lets fluid through when activated by your little one’s lips making the move to independent drinking just that little bit easier and helping your toddler learn to drink from an open cup just like Mum and Dad, minus the dreaded mess!

philips avent toddler cup blue

Practice makes perfect!

Up until about 2 years of age, your child will not fully master the motor skills required in drinking from a regular cup. While it may come as second nature to us as adults, don’t forget, there is a lot to coordinate between picking up the cup, holding it steady as you bring it towards your mouth, getting the right amount of liquid in, and then putting the cup back down!

Continued practice with a cup will help your little one develop the necessary movements and coordination required.

Top Tips

When it comes to binning the bottle, for a few lucky mothers, it will be as easy as going cold turkey. For the majority of you though it will be much harder, with defiance and control issues common, especially in older toddlers. Never fear though! The following techniques may be of assistance in getting your child to give up the sippy cup or bottle and will have your baby drinking out of a regular cup in no time:

  • Wean off the bottle or sippy cup gradually.

  • Make a big deal out of drinking from a regular cup: It is not secret that toddlers love to imitate the things you do, so if you point out that you're drinking from an open cup, chances are your little one will want to have a go too. Likewise, explaining that “big kids” use cups and babies use bottles is another approach for those having trouble detaching from a bottle or sippy cup.

  • Give the bottles a send-off: Sometimes, bidding an actual goodbye to their bottles may help give your little one a sense of closure. Tossing out the “baby cups” themselves will help them understand that they are a big kid now who deserves a “grown up” cup.

  • Let your child pick out a “big kid cup”: If your child has control over which cup they choose, they will be more likely to drink from it! So go out and find a new cup with your child’s favourite characters – they won’t be able to wait to drink from it!

Don’t forget, every child is different and will therefore develop at their own pace. So, if your child is a bit behind the eight ball when it comes to transitioning from a bottle of sippy cup to a regular cup, don’t fret, it will happen when they are ready. It may involve some trial and error – and sometimes tears, but before long your little one will be drinking from a regular cup like a pro!

Learn more and shop the Philips Avent Grown Up Cup