5 Things You Should Know When Introducing Sippy Cup

image001The best way to think of a sippy cup is as a training cup that a baby uses when he or she is learning how to drink from a real glass.

The big advantage to a sippy cup is that it has a lid with a spout that the baby can drink from without spilling. Since it is similar to a nipple, the sippy cup’s operation is already familiar to the baby. Sippy cups can also encourage the development of motor skills such as hand–eye coordination, because the baby has to pick them up and hold them.

When Should I Introduce My Baby to a Sippy Cup?

The best answer to this question is when your baby starts demonstrating the ability to pick things up and hold them. This usually occurs between the ages of seven and nine months. If you see your baby picking up balls or toys and carrying them around, he or she might be ready for a sippy. A healthy baby should be using such a cup by age one.

When the baby starts grabbing and holding things, try an experiment of giving him or her a cup to drink from. Remember to have the baby wear a bib and have some clothes ready because a spill might result.

Watch the video below, which provides some tips on when baby should begin to use a sippy cup:

How Should I Introduce My Baby to a Sippy Cup?

It can be hard to get a baby to use a sippy cup because he or she is completely unfamiliar with it. You’ll probably have to guide the baby through his or her first few drinks to get him or her used to it.

Tips for introducing baby to the sippy cup include the following:

  • When you first use the sippy, use one with a soft spout that’s shaped like a nipple because that’s what the baby is used to drinking from.
  • You may have to demonstrate how the sippy works by drinking from it first. One way to get the baby used to the idea is to drink out of a water bottle with a similar spout around the baby.
  • Try the half and half method. Give the baby a bottle that’s half full of formula or breast milk. When he or she empties it, simply substitute a sippy filled with the same substance.
  • Don’t get discouraged; some babies may not switch to a sippy until they are ready for whole milk (usually age one).

What Should I Do If My Baby Doesn’t Like the Sippy Cup?

Here are some tips you can follow if the baby hates the sippy. Every baby is different; some take to the cup right away, while others may take weeks to get used to it.

  • Use a straw as some babies prefer them to spouts.
  • Experiment with different kinds of sippy cups (there are hundreds available in the stores) and different drinks to see what the baby likes.
  • Demonstrate by drinking from the cup or a similar container yourself in front of the baby. If you drink from the same cup as the baby, be sure to change spouts or wash the spout before giving to baby to avoid the spread of germs.
  • Switch to a cup without a valve; some sippies contain valves that babies simply suck on instead of drinking from. You can also remove the valve from such cups.

How to Choose a Sippy Cup

The variety of sippy cups in the stores these days is simply staggering; there are hundreds of different models and styles available. Parents should experiment by buying cheaper versions of different cups until they find one the baby likes. Once you’ve learned the baby’s preference, you can always buy a more elaborate version of the same cup. If you buy a plastic cup, look for one that does not contain the chemical Bisphenol A, or BPA; it is known to have toxic side effects.

Check the video below and find out how to buy BPA-free sippy cups:

Dos and Don’ts When Using a Sippy Cup

A sippy cup is designed as a training device to help children learn how to drink from a glass or a cup. It is not meant as a regular drinking container for toddlers and young children. Toddlers need to be transitioned away from sippy cups because they can soak their teeth while drinking from one. This can expose toddlers to sugar in drinks that can lead to tooth decay.

Here are some tips for making life with a sippy cup easier:

Dos

Don’ts

Start working to transition the child to drinking from real cups and glasses as soon as possible.

Don’t let the child take the sippy cup to bed. This can create a mess and cause sugars to pool in his or her mouth, which can cause tooth decay.

Make sure the cup is completely dry after cleaning. If liquid collects on the cup, mold and bacteria can grow it and make the child sick.

 

Don’t let the child carry the cup around or use it like a toy. This can create messes and cause tooth decay.

Have the child drink sugary beverages such as soda pop or juices (which contain high levels of sugar) through a straw. This lessens the exposure of the teeth to sugar and prevents tooth decay.

Don’t let the child suck on one all day. Only use the sippy cup during snacks and meal time.

Make sure the child’s teeth are clean. Wipe teeth off every day as soon as they develop, and start using a tooth brush and paste by age two.

Don’t use the cup with mold. Mold can grow on the cleanest cups. If you see mold, throw the cup away and get a new one.

The child should see the dentist as soon as his or her teeth appear. If teeth don’t appear by the first birthday, the child should see the dentist anyway.

Don’t use the sippy cup for weaning. In many cases, it becomes a substitute for the nipple or bottle, and the baby will have to be weaned from it as well.