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When Should Babies Start Using Sippy Cups?

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Wondering if your baby is ready to start using sippy cups? If your baby has started sitting on a high chair, you can slowly introduce open and sippy cups. 

According to AAP, babies can start using sippy cups from 6 months to help babies develop cup-drinking skills. 

Sippy cups are great transitioners that help babies learn that water or milk doesn’t only come from bottles and breasts. 

It reaches a point when you want to do away with the bottle, and you can’t help but wonder how you’ll achieve this goal. A sippy cup can help you do that, and before you realize it, your baby has outgrown the bottle. 

How Do I Teach My Baby To Use A Sippy Cup

The best tip I can give you on starting to use a sippy cup is when your child starts eating solids. After the baby has finished eating, you can start giving the baby water using a sippy cup. 

However, some babies seem to resent bottles and are ready for sippy cups before they hit six months. You can use the sippy cup or an open cup to give the baby milk or formula. 

Below are some of the tips to help you teach your baby how to use a sippy cup:

Start By Giving The Baby An Empty Sippy Cup

Before putting water and breastmilk in a sippy cup, start by handing them an empty cup. You want to ensure that your baby gets used to the cup by playing with it before they start drinking. 

Buy Several Sippy Cups

I know you don’t want to buy several sippy cups, but the issue is there are so many types of sippy cups designed differently. You might not know which sippy cup is ideal for your baby unless you introduce them to your baby and observe how the baby adapts. 

I’m not saying you should buy a bunch of them. You can purchase two or three sippy cups and try them out. 

I love spoutless sippy cups because they don’t hinder the baby’s feeding skills development. Our pediatrician recommended the spoutless sippy cups, and I have never looked back. 

Exercise Patience

Remember, you’re dealing with a little human being trying to figure out things. If your baby doesn’t take the sippy cup immediately, remain calm and patient. Try again after some days, and you might be surprised when they start taking the cup. 

Stay Consistent

Most parents make a mistake by becoming inconsistent. Say you’ve chosen to give your baby a sippy cup after meals, and ensure that you stick to that routine. 

The moment you fall back on giving the baby a bottle after solids then, your baby will take a long time to adapt to the sippy cup. 

Cheer The Baby Up

Using a sippy cup is a huge milestone. You might not see it as a big deal, but it is. When teaching your baby to sip the liquid from the sippy cup, you want to ensure that you are encouraging the baby. 

Limit The Use Of Sippy Cups

Once the baby has learned how to use a sippy cup and has gotten used to it, you want to make sure that you limit the times the baby uses it. 

When the child keeps sipping milk out of the sippy cup for prolonged periods, it might cause tooth decay because even breast milk contains sugar. 

Choosing The Right Sippy Cup For Your Baby

A good sippy cup should have a hard spout, two handlers, and valveless. Avoid sippy cups that don’t allow the baby to sip from them; instead, they force the baby to suck out the liquid. Ensure the lid is spill-proof, so your baby doesn’t get soaked up when drinking water or milk. 

What To Put In A Sippy Cup

If your baby is below 12 months, you can put breastmilk, water, or water in a sippy cup. But you don’t want your baby to sip the milk or formula throughout from the cup unless it’s during meal times. 

However, the case is different when it comes to water, especially during the hot or warm seasons. Your baby would probably drink more water, so it’s okay to drink the water from the sippy cup frequently. 

Once your baby hits 12 months and above, you can introduce fresh juice and cow milk using the sippy cup, but you also want to limit the number of times they use the sippy cup. At this point, it’s good to start teaching your baby to use open cups. 

What To Do When Baby Won’t Use Sippy Cup

I know you want your baby to start using a sippy cup, even though it seems complicated for both of you. Here are some clever ways to get your baby to use a sippy cup:

1. Switch The Drinks

If you’ve only tried using the sippy cup to give the baby formula or breast milk, you might want to try putting it in water. If you started with water, you might want to switch to breastmilk. 

2. Switch Between Bottle And Sippy Cup While Feeding

When feeding your baby, fill the cup and the bottle with liquid. When the baby drinks from the bottle for some time, switch it to the cup. Hold both the bottle and sippy cup as you feed your baby. 

3. Take Off The Valve

Try to check the flow of liquid, and if you see that the control valve is not working in favor of the baby, then take it off. Some sippy cups are designed with valves that can frustrate the baby. 

4. Use An Open Cup

You’ve tried all the tricks, and your baby doesnt want to use the sippy cup? An open cup can be a brilliant idea. Sippy cups are like a bridge linking a bottle to an open cup, and if your baby doesnt want to use a sippy cup might be an indicator it’s time for an open cup. 

My second child didn’t go with the flow of sippy cups, and I was amazed by how coordinated she was when I handed her an open cup. This might be the same case with your baby. 

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Can I Put Formula In Sippy Cup?

Yes. You can put a formula in the sippy cup, but you have to limit the number of times your baby uses the cup to avoid tooth decay. 

2. Are Sippy Cups Good For a 6-Month-Old?

Yes. Sippy cups are good for a 6-month-old baby because this is the ideal time to stop bottle feeding and transition to cups. 

Gloriah Mnyaki
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