Regardless of whether you breast or bottle feed, the transition to a sippy cup is inevitable.
An important step in your baby’s development, the transition not only helps to prevent tooth decay, but also helps to improve hand-mouth coordination and prepare your little one for when they are ready to start using regular glasses.
In a perfect world, this transition would be as easy as tossing away the breastfeeding tops, hiding the bottles and handing your bub a sippy cup. However, in the real world, it does not quite work this way.
While some babies may take to a sippy cup practically straight away, for most it will require a little bit of time and patience.
Here are some tips on how to smoothly transition your child from the bottle or boob to a sippy cup with minimal tears, tantrums and stress.
Every Child’s Different
There is no right or wrong time to introduce your child to a sippy cup. Ultimately, it comes down to whenever you think your bub is ready to make the move. A child is usually ready at 10 - 19 months, however this can be earlier.
Even though they may not get the hang of it right away, it will give your baby a chance to get used to the idea before moving away from bottles or the boob completely.
Show them how it’s done
Demonstrate how to use the sippy cup and help guide them through the motions, helping your little one raise the cup to their mouth and tip it up to drink.
Let them play with it
Allow your baby to explore and play around with the sippy cup. Yes, it may mean a bit of noise and mess as they bang and toss the cup around but it will help them get used to the whole idea. You may want to start with only water in the cup to avoid too many messes!
Find the perfect cup
Not all sippy cups are created equal! There are all kinds of sippy cups, with varying spout shapes, cup shapes and flow rates. Try a few and find out what works for your baby.
Here at Tinitrader we are particularly partial to the Phillips Avent Sip, No Drip cup. With a soft silicone spout for tender gums that is angled for easy first sips and soft touch trainer handles for little hands, it is the perfect first step to a drinking cup for bubs!
Mix it up
Try different liquids. Some babies will drink water or juice, but not breast milk or formula from a sippy cup (Do not give juice to a baby 6 months or younger and limit juice for older babies or water it down to manage the amount of sugar you are giving them).
Some parents find success easing into the transition. Start with one cup feeding per day and gradually increase the number as your baby gets used to it. Alternatively, if your little one drinks from a bottle, try giving them half their feed from a bottle then when its empty, switch to the sippy cup for the second half of feeding.
Do not expect it to happen overnight
Don’t expect your baby to be an expert from the beginning. It can take some time for your child to get comfortable with taking a drink from a cup. Just hang in there! With time and practice they will eventually get the hang of it!
Yes, it may take some time, tears and a whole lot of patience, but give these handy tips a go and hopefully before long your little one will be drinking from a sippy cup without any issues at all!