Thursday, September 1, 2011

The Sippy Cup

Bottle Weaning and Sippy Cups.  The age to start you baby on a sippy cup is dependent on the child.  It is recommended to wait until at least 6 months.  There are many types of sippy cups.  Some are free-flow style and some have a valve so that the child has to suck or bite on it.  Others may have spill resistant design.  Which style you chose is up to you and ultimately up to your child liking it or not.  We went with a spill resistant style at first.  Then a style that had slits which required minimal sucking.  We also introduced the sippy cup to our twins very soon after 6 months of age.  I figured it was best to introduce it early on so they didn't get attached to their bottles for drinking and also they were showing interest in drinking out of our cups as well.
Munchkin 2 Pack Mighty Grip Spill-Proof Cup, 10 Ounce, Colors Vary Vary
 We started with something like this
The First Years Take & Toss With Removable Handles, Pack, Colors May Vary, 7 Ounce
...then moved on to something like this.  However our twins don't seem to have a preference so we still switch it up quite a bit so they don't get settled into one or the other. 

I have also read and heard from family that it's best to keep formula in bottles and juice, water and other liquids in the sippy cup.  That way the child associate the bottle with other liquids besides formula and doesn't expect formula when given a sippy.  Also, when the time comes to drop the formula you simply drop the bottle all together and go to the sippy cup (probably a free-flow style at this point but it probably doesn't matter).  I've also read that if you want to give the child formula in the sippy that it is best to introduce the sippy with formula first and then other liquids.  It's really all trial and error I'm sure.

Tips to introducing a sippy cup:
-Wait until a time when your child is rested and in a good mood.  Introducing a sippy cup to a child who is tired, hungry or thirsty may lead to frustration and tears (for both parties).
-Be prepared to try different types of cups.  Don't give up if your child doesn't like the first style you offer them.
-If you are using the valve type and your child has difficulty try removing the valve.  Be aware that this makes the liquid flow fairly quick and your child might need help.
-Demonstrate (without actually drinking from) how the sippy cup is used and making appreciate sounds or slurping sounds to clue your child into the purpose of the cup if they don't seem to understand what is inside.

Water down juice to reduce the sweetness factor and also offer water frequently in the cup so there isn't an expectation for juice.  Don't offer or send a child to bed with a sippy or bottle as formula and juice can cause tooth decay.

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