5 Tips For Introducing The Sippy Cup To Your Toddler

As your baby gets older, you will need to keep adding items to your feeding essentials. While you may have been breastfeeding or feeding your baby the best milk for brain development through a bottle, when he was younger, when he reaches six months, you can start using another item to give your child fluids: the sippy cup.

A sippy cup is a specially designed training cup that comes with a screw-on or snap-on lid and a spout that will allow your baby to drink without spilling. These cups usually have handles so that babies can hold them, while certain designs do not come with any handgrips. They also come with different types of spouts.

Teaching your child to use a sippy cup will let him know that he can drink milk from another container instead of getting it from the usual bottle and breast. Once your toddler is aware of this, it will be easier to wean him from breastfeeding or bottle-feeding, or both.

According to an expert nutrition advisor, when your baby learns to drink from a cup, you also enable your toddler to gain control over his mouth muscles and, at the same time, nurture his fine motor skills and coordination. It’s a great way to help stimulate your child’s growth and development.

To have an easier time introducing the use of a sippy cup to your toddler, here are some tips to keep in mind:

1. Take your time looking for a sippy cup your child will like.

There are different types and designs of sippy cups. According to experts, most toddlers prefer a cup with a soft, pliable spout because this will feel more familiar to your child than a hard plastic one so you can try this type first.

Sippy cups, in general, are not too expensive, so don’t hesitate to buy more than one and to keep an assortment in your home. You can then allow your child to try several sippy cups with different kinds of spouts until you find one that he likes.

Also, if you find colorful cups with whimsical or popular cartoon characters adorable, chances are, your child will be drawn to them, too. As such, don’t hesitate to buy a couple or more. Don’t worry about the other ones he’s not currently using since they can still be utilized.

2. Let your child choose his sippy cup. 

If your child isn’t paying attention to the sippy cup you’re giving him, use the other ones you have (or get a couple more) and let him select the cup he wants to drink from. Show him at least two at a time and wait for him to pick one. When you allow your child to select his cup, you give him a sense of control most toddlers crave.

3. Teach your child by example. 

Once your toddler has chosen his cup, get another sippy cup and show your child how to raise it to his mouth and tip it up to drink. Make sure you demonstrate how the spout works: that it is like a nipple. When the spout touches the roof of the mouth, he has to start sucking it.

Make a show of how much you like drinking from the sippy cup and talk to your child every time you are teaching him. When your toddler sees you enjoying drinking from the cup, he will follow your lead, and sipping from his sippy cup will soon become natural for him.

4. Give your child the sippy cup while breastfeeding or bottle-feeding him.

If your little one is refusing to use the sippy cup, allow him to drink from it while breastfeeding or bottle-feeding him. Halfway through a feeding, give him half of the formula or some breast milk in the cup. Once he’s emptied the cup, continue breastfeeding or bottle-feeding your toddler.

Make sure you continue to hold your child as you do when bottle-feeding so that he will feel comfortable. Also, make sure the lid is tightly covering the cup to avoid drenching your toddler in milk. 

5. Be patient. 

Until your toddler gets the hang of using a sippy cup on his own, it is best to put only water in the cup to avoid making too many messes. Add a small amount of water first as well. Also, don’t worry too much if your child doesn’t develop a liking for sippy cups immediately. Give him some time and be consistent in giving him the cup and he’ll soon learn to use it.

Introducing new ways of feeding your child is part of their growth and development. Start small, be creative, and persist; eventually, your child will be an expert in drinking from a sippy cup.

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