One of the most exciting things for first-time parents is watching their newborn’s firsts. And there are so many to be looking forward to. The first smile, the first word they say, the first step they make, the first time they call you mommy or daddy, and the first time they show the capability of holding their own bottle. As your baby grows and develops they become more and more independent and they slowly become accustomed to the world as we know it as grownups.
A natural progression from the bottle is a sippy cup, used as a gradual transition towards normal cups. Weaning a baby from a bottle to a sippy cup is not an easy task and is extremely unique and independent for a toddler. Remember that your baby is like no other and there should be no pressure on them when it comes to making the next step.
Some babies have no difficulty adapting to the sippy cup, while others may take their time before they get comfortable. This isn’t something that should worry you as a parent. Allow your baby to calmly adjust and don’t forget that this isn’t a contest and there is no deadline for the transition to be made. It will all depend on how quickly your little one is willing to make the change.
When is it normal to introduce the sippy cup
We already mentioned that switching to a sippy cup from a bottle occurs at a different time for each baby. However, in most cases, the timing is pretty close to the one when your paediatrician suggests that it is now okay to introduce small quantities of water. This gives you the opportunity to try out both and see how your baby responds.
This will usually take place when your baby is around six months old. It is essential to understand and remember that it is completely natural for your little one to reject anything that you try to give them to drink from the sippy cup. And that’s okay as this is not your ultimate goal. In fact, the main objective of the practice is to make your baby familiar with the concept of the sippy cup and show an alternative to the bottle that they can keep in their mind subconsciously until ready to try. Most paediatricians will suggest that by the age of one, the baby should have made a full transition to a sippy cup. Of course, this is not an official rule and if you notice that your little one is about to turn one and is still not ready – there is no need to stress.
Keep an eye on how your baby’s coordination is developing. By the age of one, it is natural that their coordination is good enough for using a sippy cup.
You may be asking yourself if there is anything that you can do to help make the transition smoother and less stressful for your baby. The good news is that there are a few things that will make the process easier.
How to make weaning your baby from bottle to sippy cup easier
As a parent, there are a number of things that you can do to help your baby adapt quickly and easily to drinking from a sippy cup. Although they might not fully comprehend it, trust us, your little one will appreciate that you’ve made this difficult time a lot easier.
Introduce the sippy cup earlier on
The sooner your little one sees the sippy cup, the better. It is certainly advisable to avoid introducing the new “tool” at the same time when you actually intend to have your baby use it. Seeing new items from the external world can be a stressful experience for newborns. Especially if they are forced to use them without knowing how and why they are being pushed to act.
To avoid stress, let your baby play around with the sippy cup, allow them to be the ones who show interest in the product without you putting too much focus on it. Let your baby hold the sippy cup to become aware of its texture, weight, and shape.
Find the right sippy cup
Not all sippy cups are the same and this is something worth remembering. If you’ve already been through the process of finding the perfect pacifier for your baby, you’re probably aware of how difficult it is to make the right choice. Babies may not be able to verbally express their opinion but they certainly have their own and unique preferences. It is up to you as a parent to read the signs your little one is trying to give and determine whether you have made the right choice.
In most cases, prepare to try a few sippy cups before discovering the ideal one. There are a wide variety of options available on the market. For instance, some babies enjoy sippy cups with straws, while others will want one without a straw.
When choosing a suitable sippy cup for your little one, it is important to check the quality of the product. Check if it is dishwasher-safe, whether it is BPA-free, and how it can be sterilized.
Select a simple sippy cup design
As we noted, there are a lot of sippy cup products available for purchase both online and in stores. Silicone spouts are commonly preferred by parents thanks to their ease of use and the fact that they are free from plastic. In addition, there is a certain similarity between a bottle silicone and a bottle nipple, which can be of extra help when transitioning your baby from the bottle.
Our silicone sippy cup lids are a great way to turn any glass or cup into a sippy cup, thanks to the high-quality silicone lids.
In your search for the right sippy cup, you may discover that color also plays a vital role. Keep an eye on how your baby responds to different colors and if possible, make an assumption about their more preferred and least favored colors. The more comfortable they feel around the sippy cup, the higher the chance of them leaving the bottle sooner.
Make the sippy cup a priority
The switch from the bottle won’t happen in an instant. It is a gradual process but you can help speed it up by offering your baby the sippy cup before showing them that the bottle is another alternative. Due to habit formation, it is almost certain that your little one will instinctively reach out for the bottle as it is an object that is more familiar to them.
Once your baby has tried the sippy cup a few times, start offering it more often and try to keep the bottle out of sight. Be prepared for a few rejections at the start but be patient and consistent. Offer your baby milk from a sippy cup rather than a bottle and watch them slowly forming a new habit. Consistency is of vital importance and is the key to a successful switch.
You are the most important figure for your baby as a parent and they trust you will help them in this difficult time. Offer the sippy cup during meal time regularly and substitute the bottle gradually. If possible, make it your personal goal to help your little one use and love the sippy cup by the time they turn one.
What types of sippy cups can you choose from?
By now you’re familiar with the fact that there are a number of different sippy cup options out there. Let’s look at three of the most commonly seen ones:
1. Silicone Spout
This product aims to help your little one form the habit of drinking from a normal cup in a quicker and less stressful way when compared to other sippy cups. We already touched upon the point that silicone resembles a bottle nipple and will feel like something familiar even if the object is new for your baby.
2. Weighted Straw Sippy Cup
Drinking from a straw is a great way to strengthen the tongue, cheek, and lip. Even your baby tips back the cup, this option will guarantee safety as your little one will still be able to drink.
3. 360 Trainer Cup
This is another great option if you have decided to make a faster transition. The 360-degree edge allows your baby to drink from any side and is great at eliminating spills.
Weaning your baby from a bottle to a sippy cup can be a challenge and a joyful experience at the same time. It is another opportunity to get you to know your little one in more detail, witness new responses, and share unforgettable moments with your baby. We hope that the suggestions we’ve shared will help you make the transition easier and more pleasant for both you and your little one.