Sippy cup is a small cup with a lid and a spout for infants to drink from. It is not very difficult to make sure that your baby accepts the sippy cup - provided that you take some precautions and keep a few things in mind. Yet, in some cases, it can be tricky. Some babies prefer their mother’s nursing and do not accept the sippy cup very readily.
The sippy cup has a lot of advantages, one of them being that it prevents spillage. They also improve hand to mouth coordination, improving your baby’s motor skills. A sippy cup will give your child some freedom while making sure that things remain clean and tidy.
When should you introduce sippy cup?
This answer is quite subjective and varies from person to person. While some babies adapt to the sippy cup as early as at 6 months of age, some may not want to use it right up till their first birthday. However, dentists recommend the switch to be before your child’s first birthday so as to prevent tooth decay.
Tips to introduce sippy cups:
- Start off with a cup that has a broader base and a softer spout. This will ensure that your baby does not feel too different because of the switch.
- Demonstrate the working of the sippy cup to your baby. Show them how the sippy cup actually works and help them to drink properly by tipping the base of the cup a little. This may take a little time, so be patient.
- Try to use only water to begin with. This will ensure that things do not get too messy when your baby is learning how to use the sippy cup.
- Shop wisely. There are a lot of sippy cups available in the market according to our needs. Make sure that you do not fall into advertisement traps and end up buying expensive sippy cups that fulfill no purpose none whatsoever.
Even after these techniques, however, your baby might reject the sippy cup. In such a case, you can step up your game a little and try these few things:
- Dip the spout in formula or breast milk so that your baby gets that familiar taste and does not refuse the sippy cup completely.
- Switch halfway. Give your baby the bottle with only half the portion of milk, when he finishes, switch this with a sippy cup and let him have the rest half of his milk.
- Certain sippy cups are too efficient at ensuring that the liquid does not spill out. So much so that your baby might have a hard time sucking out the liquid. To prevent this from happening, select a cup by first testing it with water. You can also adjust the valves of the sippy cup if it has any.
- Start with lesser amount of liquid to begin with so that your baby understands that they have to tip the cup for the liquid to flow into their mouth. After they get a hang of it, you can start filling the cup with the liquid.
- Offer them a straw. Some babies find it easier to use a straw than a sippy cup, so be it.
What not to do while training your baby to use a sippy cup:
- Never let your child go to bed with a sippy cup in their mouth. The juice or liquid containing sugars will stay in their mouth for rest of the night and can lead to tooth decay.
- Always clean the sippy cup on regular basis. Don’t just wash it with water, but also sterilize it once in a while.
- Do not stick to the sippy cup too long. Most kids are ready to make a switch to the normal cup by the age of 2.