Going from the bottle or breastfeeding to the sippy cup is an important step in your baby's development since the use of these cups help our children improve their hand-mouth coordination and prepare them for the transition to regular glasses. The most suitable models for small hands are the cups that have two handles on each side, allowing them to keep a firm grip easier.
How to proceed
- As the sippy cup will be a new item for your baby and he will not necessarily know what to do with it at first, we advise you to let him play with the cup so he can explore it and feel comfortable with it.
- It's important to choose your sippy cup well. Some babies prefer the ones that have a flexible straw while others prefer the rigid ones.
- Start by offering water in the cup. When your baby is used to drinking water in the cup, you can begin to introduce other liquids.
- Go gradually. At first, give the cup once a day, during a meal for example, and allow your baby some time to get used to this new way of drinking.
- Replace one nursing at a time following the rhythm of your baby.
What to offer
When your baby is comfortable drinking water in the cup, you can of course start offering him milk, whether it is your own milk, infant formula or cow's milk. If you choose cow milk, you should not exceed 720 ml (24 oz.) a day. You can also provide fruit juices, preferably fresh and diluted with a little water, but no more than between 60 ml to 120 ml (2-4 oz.) a day.
Your child is refusing to drink from the cup?
If the transition is not going smoothly, it may be that your child is not ready. It's important to follow his rhythm and to be attentive to the signals he sends you. If your baby still has a strong need to suckle, you can delay the introduction of the cup for a few weeks until your child finds another way to reassure himself.
If he is ready, but just doesn't like the cup, you can try to change the style or form of cups you are using and even let him choose it so he can feel in control. Since kids learn through play, you can also try making the experience fun:
- Get several cups with different shapes and colors and vary from day to day.
- Let your child personalize his own cup with some stickers
- Children love new things, so diversify the liquids you are offering in the cup and let him guess what it is.
Advice from the moms on our Facebook page :
- A straw! I own a daycare and have 3 children. Using a straw was the best. (Martine)
- I started with a sippy cup that had a soft silicone spout that requires suction for my daughter. The transition to rigid spouts was easier afterwards. Good luck moms! (Anne)
- I used a social scenario for my son. I told him that from now on, he could only get water in the bottle. It worked really well. After a few weeks, we removed the bottle completely. I think we should start early to integrate the cup in the baby's life to facilitate the transition later. (Anick)
- I went gradually, I started in the morning for a few days, then added lunch but kept the bottle in the evening. After a few days I tried to remove the bottle at night but it didn't go well. The next day, I tried again but I heated the milk a bit and it worked! (Melanie)