When Should You Introduce Your Baby To A Sippy Cup?

Introduce Your Baby To A Sippy Cup

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Each milestone your baby crosses bring bittersweet emotions. You celebrate your baby’s growing independence. But you also mourn the loss of days when it was just you and her. But that’s part of parenting!

One milestone you may actually be looking forward to is starting on sippy cups. Maybe you are done breastfeeding and want to move straight to cups. Or, you may simply be trying to know how to transition baby from bottle to sippy cups. Whatever the reason, there comes a time when you want your baby to grab a cup and start sipping! If you are nearing that stage, let us help you know when to use sippy cups for your baby along with all the ins and outs of using a sippy cup.

When To Introduce Sippy Cups To Your Baby ?

The answer to that question is pretty simple – it depends on your baby!

No two babies are alike. Just because your friend’s son started using a sippy cup at seven months doesn’t mean your wee one will too. As a general rule of thumb, you can introduce the sippy

when you start your baby on solids. Somewhere between six months and one year is the perfect time for sippy cups.

The American Academy of Pediatrics suggests that you should “teach your child to drink from a cup as soon as possible, usually by one year of age.”

But it is better to start early. Try and introduce the sippy cup at around six months of age. This will give your baby ample time to get comfortable with her new drinking partner.

[ Read: How To Introduce Solid Foods To Your Baby ]

What Type Of Sippy Cup Should You Buy?

If your baby is ready for a cup, it is time to go sippy cup shopping. Unfortunately, a trip to the market will only confuse you.

  • There are a variety of sippy cups available. You might buy the one that looks most impressive, but your baby may refuse to use it. That’s some good money down the drain! But that’s the way it is with sippy cups. It’s all trial and error. You may strike gold, and your baby may start using the first cup you buy.
  • There is no ‘best’ sippy cup variety. Some come with handles; some don’t. Some sippy cups have valves that prevent spillage – a heaven sent if you want to keep your carpet clean and dry!
  • But if you are ready for a little mess, you could try cups with a ‘free-flowing’ spout. They are the perfect tools to teach your baby what a cup is all about.

Dos And Don’ts Of Using A Sippy Cup:

In the beginning, your baby may just use the sippy cup as a toy. After all, throwing stuff is fun! Don’t worry, by nine months your baby should be able to start drinking from her special cup. But before you begin transitioning to a sippy cup, keep the following points in mind:

  • Do not use sippy cups as pacifiers or toys. Use it only to provide your baby with water, juice, or milk.
  • Do not allow your baby to take her sippy cup to bed.
  • Over usage of sippy cups can increase the chances of tooth decay. Make sure your little one does not get addicted to it.
  • The whole purpose of using a sippy cup is to get your baby ready for a real cup. Do not use the sippy cup as a bottle. Try and move on to real cups as soon as you can.
  • Keep the sippy cup clean. The spout is a great place for bacterial growth!

Now you know the ins and outs of a sippy cup but what if your baby refuses to use one?

[ Read: How To Introduce Cow Milk To Your Baby ]

Tips To Make The Transition Easier:

So, your baby is refusing to take a sippy cup. Should you give in and bring back the bottle? Maybe. But not before you try the following tips:

1. Don’t Compare:

First things first. Do not compare your baby with others. Just because XYZ took to the sippy cup like fish takes to water, doesn’t mean your little one will too! All kids follow their very own developmental schedule. They hit milestones differently. Same thing applies to sippy cups.

2. Be Patient:

Remember, your baby does not NEED the sippy cup. She does not need additional water or juice before she is one. The sippy cup is just a transitional tool. Your baby’s refusal to use one does not reflect on her growth or your parenting.

3. Make It Easier:

Some sippy cups come with valves that require your baby to suck hard. If your baby seems frustrated with all that sucking, remove the valve.

4. Get Her Interested:

The sippy cup is something new for your baby. It is normal for her to be uninterested in it. She may not even know that the cup contains her favorite drink! To make it interesting, dip the spout in something she enjoys drinking. Get her to taste it. It may be enough incentive to start sucking.

5. Keep Her Happy:

Introduce the cup when your baby is happy. A grumpy baby is less likely to accept a sippy cup.

Not all families opt for sippy cups. Whether you use it or not is completely optional. Yes, it makes life a little easier. But if your baby just doesn’t want to have anything to do with a sippy, don’t push her. She will use a cup – sooner or later!

Hope you got your answer regarding when to introduce sippy cups. Did you use a sippy cup? What kind did you use? Did you face any difficulties while introducing the cup to your baby? Share your sippy cup stories in the comments section below.

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