Starting Sippy Cups

by Julie

Will drinking water from a Nuby sippy cup

At Will’s 6-month appointment, my doctor suggested I start using sippy cups. A couple week later, I decided to give it a try. It took us 1 week to learn this fun, new skill, and this is how we got there:

1) Let your baby explore –Anytime you give a child something new, whether they are 6 months, or 6 years old, they need time to play and manipulate the new object. The second you set that cup down on their tray,  they are going to want to touch it and put every part of it in their mouth. Let them do it! It’s part of learning.

2) Test it – I don’t know about you, but I have three different brands of sippy cups: Nuby, Munchkin and Playtex. All of these sippy cups have handles, but the way the liquid flows from the nipple is different. Try it out for yourself, so you can see what your baby is working with.

3) Model – Show your little one how to drink from a sippy cup. Babies love anything that you like, including cell phones, keys, jewelry, and so on. Let your baby watch you test out their sippy cup (holding both handles, and tipping the cup and your head back to drink).

4) Use Guided assistance – Day 1-3, you are basically going to have to hold the cup for your baby, while they learn how to suck, and swallow from a different size plastic nipple. During these first three days, put your babies hands on the handles, or as close as you can get, while you hold the bottom of the cup. Day 4 and on you can slowly give your child the reigns.

5) Practice – Let them practice without your help. If you see them struggling for a few minutes, give them minimal assistance-just tip the cup back slightly, gently push their shoulders back so they are tilting their head, or adjust their hand positioning. The hardest thing for parents is letting their child make mistakes, but that’s how they learn!

6) Patience, Persistence, and Praise – At first you are going to think your baby is not ready for a sippy cup, because they have no idea what they are doing. Don’t give up! Make sure you use the sippy cup at least once a day, so they become familiar with it.

How did you teach your little one to use a sippy cup?