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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. 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. When Brayden was a baby, I bought lots of different kinds right at first. With Kaitlyn, I bought a couple 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.
- Positioning: Don’t expect your baby to know how to use a sippy cup automatically. You can’t just give 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. Like 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.
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