Tips for introducing a sippy cup to your baby. Know what age to start and how best to get your little one drinking from a sippy.
As soon as my kids showed interest in drinking, I introduced the cup. Kaitlyn showed great interest in drinking at a young age, so I would let her drink from “real” cup. At six months, I offered juice in a sippy cup, but both children rejected juice. I just put water in it.
In The Baby Whisperer Solves All Your Problems, Tracy Hogg stresses that when you introduce solid foods, you should start considering introducing the sippy cup, also (page 131).
You want to start introducing the sippy cup around 6 months of age. Don’t expect your baby to be an expert from the beginning; you have to work on it and it will take time.
Tips for Introducing a Sippy Cup
Here are some of Hogg’s tips for making introducing the sippy as easy as possible (pages 131-132):
6 Months: Start at 6 months. My added thought is that if your baby is beyond six months, don’t despair! Just start now.
Be Persistent: Hogg says you must give the sippy daily for three weeks for him to get used to it. If you don’t give it daily, it will take longer.
Find the Favorite: You might want to try different types of sippy cups. There are many different ones out there, from straws, to soft spouts, to hard spouts.
You might need to spend some time finding the right sippy cup for your baby. There are many styles and brands.
When Brayden was a baby, I bought lots of different kinds right at first. With Kaitlyn, I bought a couple of different kinds.
With McKenna, I bought one sippy cup. By now, I know what the 6 month old tends to like. I also know that I would rather try one and see what happens. If the one I think she will most likely like turns out to be a bust, I will then buy one other kind. However, she is liking the one kind I got. It is a Nuby soft spout: No-Spill Cup w/ Soft Spout & Handles,.
This is what my kids all liked in the beginning, and what I most often see young babies with. Hogg suggests that you don’t try one, switch, try another, switch… stick with each one or a month.
Ask around and see what people you know like.
For a young baby, I like one with handles for them to hold on to. I have used both Avent and Nuby. Nuby is nice because it has a soft nipple and is easy for the baby to get liquid out. Avent spills less.
The right sippy cup makes a big difference in your baby’s ability to drink from it.
Positioning: Don’t expect your baby to know how to use a sippy cup automatically. You can’t just give a baby a sippy while sitting in the high chair and expect her to go at it. I always give very little water in the sippy (so it isn’t too heavy) and try it with baby on the floor at first. They need to figure out what the sippy is for, and that takes time.
Liquid: Hogg also suggests you don’t put too much liquid in the cup. She says no more than one ounce. Hogg also suggests you avoid juice in the sippy since baby might associate sweet liquid with the sippy and refuse milk when the time comes.
My thought on this is that baby might refuse milk in the sippy when the time comes even if all she ever has is water (Kaitlyn did). Some moms put breastmilk in; others avoid it because they hate to see it go to waste. As I said, I just use water. I had tried juice with both Brayden and Kaitlyn, but they both hated it. I have since decided I much prefer them hating juice and have no desire to give it to McKenna. But do what you think is best for your baby.
Journey: View introducing the sippy as a journey–a fun experience. This is not something that needs to happen immediately. If you do this, you are more likely to have success.
Give the drink to your baby at your determined times and let her practice drinking. It might take her some time to figure out how to suck from it, but she will get it.
It is good to get your baby accustomed to drinking from a sippy so that when you wean her from breast or bottle (or both), she will already know how to drink from it.
As you are working at introducing a sippy cup to your little one, hang in there and just keep trying! It will come over time.