Friday, August 6, 2010

Advice on introducing sippy cups

Question from a CMOTC mom:

I'm struggling a little with the sippy cup. What is actually the point of the sippy cup? If my 13 months old children don't hold their bottle on their own when sitting, meaning they don't seem to get the concept of tipping their head back and pushing up the bottle, does that mean they aren't ready for a sippy cup? How do I know when they are ready? Do I just use it like a bottle and lay them down to use it? My pediatrician told me to take the valve out of the sippy cup, but then my kids just flip it over and play with the water that comes out rather than drink it. I've also read and had friends tell me that i should really start with a strawed cup first and then go to a sippy. Help please!

Advice/experience from CMOTC moms:

I would suggest trying the Take n Toss by The First Years. They are about $4 for 4 or 6, disposable & reusable, leak "free" (let's be real here nothing is really leak free), & no valves or plugs to deal with! My 2.5 year old uses these. Since he is my 3rd kid I went through a ton of trial & error.


I think it just takes time for them to get used to it. I agree with the other moms that the take n toss may be a good start. When I first started with mine, they didn't get it for quite a while but after playing with it for a few weeks they eventually got it. It wouldn't hurt if you wanted to try a straw style cup and go from there, but even with a regular sippy, they will eventually get it.


Mine didn't do so very well with the sippy cups either. I bought a few different ones and nothing worked they were not interested in the tipping your head back part. I have 20 month old boys. I bought the 10 oz. Munchkin cups with the flip straw. My sister had success with this cup for her daughter so I tried it and they have worked out wonderfully for them. Unfortunately every kid is different though. Good Luck


I see your boys just turned a year, so don't worry too much. I gave my twins a sippy cup with handles and a soft nipple (or whatever the thing is called where they drink out of!) when they were 10 months old. They just threw it or chewed on the nipple. They had no interest in it at all. At 13 months I tried again with the same cups and only gave them it at snack times. It took a few days but they got the idea. Each day I took away a bottle so by 14 months they were completely off of them even at bed time. BTW their feeding schedule was 7, 11, 3, 6, 9. I saved the bedtime bottle for last. My mom told me to do this as they seem to find comfort in the bedtime bottle, but honestly I don't think my kids cared much. Once they got to be 18 months I only gave them hard spout cups with no handles(Playtex is the best IMOH).

If I can remember right I bought the munkins brand cups at Walmart that had the handles and soft drink lid. They were cheap and they still felt like a bottle to them. Just be warned not to put the lids in the dishwasher! They tend to melt!

We now use the Dr. Browns or Playtex brand cups. The Playtex ones have valves that really prevent leaks. Even when they throw them. I am still amazed because my son can chuck it.


I'm new here and haven't even had my twins, but I have been through this three times before, so I thought I'd share a few things that I've learned along the way. First, let me just say that every child is different...out of my three kids, all three had completely different preferences and timing as far as training cups go. Here are a few things, anyway, that might help you along the way...
  • Taking the valve out, if there is one, does usually help, but if you're worried about the mess and cleanup (and who isn't?) only try this when they are in their highchair, or outside, where cleanup is not as much of a concern.
  • Just a note: It might be wise to confine cup usage to the kitchen or highchair/table/seated position, so when they do get older, and start using a regular cup, they don't think its ok to take (and inevitably spill) liquid all over the mine still do, from time to time. Not to mention that one of my daughters favorite pastimes when she was about 18 months old, was to hide her sippies...not the most pleasant thing to have to follow your nose to find the rotting milk. Yuck!
  • It may take lots of trial and error to find the right cup for your child. I think we might have gone through 5 or 6 different cups with my middle son. Hard vs soft spouts, handles vs no handles, valve or no valve, straw vs traditional sippy, there are a lot of choices, and the process of elimination might take more time than you would think, or hope.
  • My third basically went straight from breast to a regular cup. Sippies just frustrated him, and he ended up refusing everything we tried. It is a bit more messy at first, but don't rule out this possibility. He would drink from a straw occasionally, though, so I did have a few of those thermos funtainer cups with straws (which are completely awesome in the summer. They keep drinks COLD for hours even If they're left in the car on hot day) for when we went to the zoo or park. Or a regular plastic water bottle worked well for him, from about 11 months old or so.
  • It may also help to put something they like, and are familiar with in the sippy...try formula, or expressed breast milk, or something slightly sweetened like a small amount of juice with water.
  • Temperature may also be an issue. If your baby is used to only breast milk, or warmed formula, then it may be more difficult to get them to drink something that is very cold.

As far as holding the cup on their own, a reclined position in a highchair might help. Also, each time you offer the cup, try placing their hands on it, and helping them put it up to their mouth. It will probably take some practice, and time, but they'll get it eventually.

If all else fails, or you find yourself or your child getting too frustrated, take a break and try again in a few days or so.


Anyone have more advice to add to this? Please comment below or email us.


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