If your baby is between 6 and 12 months, you’re probably considering introducing a sippy cup of some kind.
This page will answer all your questions about getting to grips with sippy cups, and suggests some alternatives you might want to try instead!
There are a number of reasons for introducing a sippy cup to your baby.
Perhaps you would like to offer him a little water, or maybe you plan to pump your breast milk and have decided to bypass bottles completely, weaning your baby straight to a cup.
You may simply wish to get your baby accustomed to using a cup in readiness for his transition from formula later on.
As with so many baby-related questions, the answer to this one is it depends on your baby!
The age at which babies are happy to use a cup varies widely – some will accept one quite readily from as early as 6 months, whereas others display absolutely no interest in a cup until much later.
There is no right or wrong time to start introducing a sippy cup, although a very young baby will – of course – need a lot of help to get started.
Unfortunately, there’s no cut and dried answer to this question and it really comes down to trial and error.
There is an enormous range of cups designed for infants on the market these days and recommending the “perfect” style is impossible!
This is because your baby will have his own opinion and preferences related to sippy cups as he will with everything else – so even though your best friend’s baby is happy with a particular variety, YOUR baby may decide to have nothing to do with it!
A sippy cup is basically a cup with a lid to prevent spills and some kind of spout for your baby to drink from.
Some have handles whilst others don’t – and many are equipped with valves that prevent leakage even if the cup is turned upside down.
Many parents, however, find that these type of cups require an awful lot of sucking to release their contents. This can make them difficult for babies – particularly younger ones – to use comfortably.
Other cups offer a more “free-flowing” spout – they may be messier, but they do help your baby quickly understand what drinking from a cup is all about!
This is a very common concern with parents who worry (quite unnecessarily) that their babies are somehow ‘falling behind’ if not using a cup by the end of their first year. If this sounds like you, please be patient.
It is by no means essential that your little one use a sippy cup at this stage.
It is never a good idea to compare your baby’s skills to others – remember that all babies progress differently and handling a sippy cup may just not be your little one’s area of expertise!
IMPORTANT NOTE: Dentists advise that sippy cups should only be used in moderation. You should never put your baby to bed with a cup of juice or milk, because the liquids will “pool” around his teeth, causing dental decay.
And be sure to clean your baby’s cup very carefully – the valve needs particular attention, as it is a great place for harbouring bacteria!
Absolutely not – many parents choose not to use them and it’s worth remembering that sippy cups didn’t even exist when WE were growing up!
They are the perfect size, plus they're durable. What's more, they're made from stainless steel, which keeps liquids tasting fresh.
Tell us about your experiences introducing a sippy cup to YOUR baby. Have you discovered a new way of getting your little one to accept a cup? Have you found a good alternative?
Please contact us and share your story!