Babies undeniably have a special connection with their bottles, but with age comes many transitions and switching over to a sippy cup is one of them. Learning to let go of their dependency towards a baby bottle and adapting to a new method of taking in fluids might just be one of the hardest experiences a growing child, as well as their parents, will ever have to face.
Because babies showcase just how much they hate drinking from a sippy cup, parents might feel like it isn’t appropriate for their babies to start using one until they’re ready and willing. However, allowing your child to continue drinking from a baby’s bottle can actually present negative results. As soon as your child hits the age of one or two, the first few teeth should begin to appear and if your baby is still reliant on a baby’s bottle, this can cause minor issues such as premature tooth decay.
The best way to integrate the use of a sippy cup is to do it gradually. Children develop an attachment to their bottles like any adult would towards a vice. Forcing them to quit cold turkey won’t yield you many positive results. Parents have to understand that there is a process when it comes to teaching your baby how to drink from a sippy cup and this must be followed in order to diminish the chances of any sudden changes that might be very traumatic for the baby.
Can I Give My Baby a Sippy Cup? Answer: Yes.
Doctors would actually prefer you get your child started on a sippy cup as soon as they can grip on to things themselves. An advantage of familiarizing your infant with a sippy cup earlier in life is that they’re given enough time to get used to it and prepare for when they will have to give up the bottle completely. This however should not be used to permanently substitute breastfeeding or breast milk.
Once children begin to use sippy cups, parents start to replace breast milk or milk formulas with other fluids such as juice. Children still need the nutrients that can only be obtained through drinking milk, most especially when they’re at such a tender age. If you plan on breastfeeding even after your child reaches the age of one, that is absolutely amazing and should be continued along with the use of a sippy cup.
When Is the Best Time to Introduce My Baby to a Sippy Cup?
There really is no wrong time to get your child acquainted with a sippy cup. It is recommended you introduce it to your baby as early as five months old and not older than 9 months old. Usually by this time babies will have already developed motor skills to some extent and should be able to hold their own bottles, therefore allowing them to grasp on to the handles of a cup. Drinking from a bottle should already be a thing of the past by time your baby turns one.
How Can I Get My Child to Want to Drink from a Sippy Cup?
Your baby’s first impression of the sippy cup heavily depends on the manner in which it was introduced. Again, you can’t take away the bottle and expect your child to immediately want to drink from something else. The first thing you must do is get your baby acquainted with it. Allowing your baby to see it, hold it and play with it, even if it means sending it sailing into the air, will promote familiarity with the inanimate object.
Sometimes, babies just need a hint. Don’t get too excited to give your child other fluids such as apple juice or water. Put just a little bit of milk into the sippy cup as well as around the spout and begin to train your baby to place it up to their mouths. The familiarity your baby already has with milk will just make the transition easier.
Invest in a catchy design to attract to your baby’s attention. Sippy cups come in all shapes, sizes and colors. Avoid purchasing a one that might be too hard for your baby to handle, such as large cups or cups without handles.