The Dos and Don’ts of Sippy Cups

Switching from bottle to cup is a big milestone in any child’s life. Suddenly, the baby is gone along with the bottle and instead a big kid has appeared who drinks from a cup independently! If your child was breastfed and never took a bottle, this transition can be even more dramatic.

When switching over to the sippy cup, there are a few important rules to keep in mind; these are the major dos and don’ts of life with sippy cups! Keep this checklist in mind for a safe and easy transition to the sippy cup.

DO: Choose an easy to grip cup with a lid that stays on securely. Twist-on lids are the best choice for a first cup. Look for cups that aren’t too wide around so that your child’s little hands can hold it easily. Cups that narrow in the middle or have handles are a good choice.

DO: Start with a soft spout that won’t be hard on baby’s gums. Sippy cups are generally labeled with recommended ages. If you start your baby on a sippy cup young, this is especially important. While these soft spout cups have a tendency to leak a little more easily, they will make the transition a lot smoother.

DON’T: Let your baby go to bed with a sippy cup. Sippy cups are no different from bottles in the damage they can do your baby’s teeth. Baby bottle tooth decay can occur even after your baby is off the bottle!

DON’T: Forget to measure the amount of liquid going into the cup. Some sippy cups have measurement units on the side, but others don’t. You will have to measure prior to filling the cup. After you have got the measurement right, mark the side of the cup with a fill line for future reference. Whether your baby is drinking formula, cow’s milk, or even juice from a sippy cup, be sure to keep track of how much you are serving to avoid overconsumption.

DO: Encourage your child to sit at the table while drinking from a cup. When you are ready to take off the lid and go to a big kid cup, it will be a lot easier if your child is already accustomed to sitting at the table to drink rather than running around the house. This will also prevent those lost sippy cups found under the couch a week later, looking awful and smelling worse!

DON’T: Let your child chew on the spout. Some of this might occur early on or during teething, but don’t let it become a habit. Chewing breaks down the plastic, could eventually cause the spout to come off and become a choking hazard, and also causes the openings in the spout to become larger, making the liquid inside flow faster. This can cause choking and spills.

DO: Try a few different sippy cups until you find what works best for your child. Every child is a little different and will prefer a different spout shape, flow rate, and cup shape. Buy one at a time before you stock up, to make sure you find the right one and don’t waste a lot of money on cups your child won’t use.

Follow these simple tips for an easy and safe transition to sippy cups. Before you know it your big kid will be drinking from a cup with no problem!

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