Tips for How to Introduce a Straw Cup or Sippy Cup
- Try different cups to find the best fit: Start with one that has a soft, flexible spout so it will feel more familiar to your baby. If they don’t seem to take to the spout, offer them a straw as some will find it easier to use. It is important to look for a sippy cup that is spill-proof, weighted on the bottom (so it won’t spill over), and has handles making it easier for toddlers to grasp.
- Fill it with breast milk or formula: Your baby may be more inclined to drink from the sippy/straw cup if it contains a familiar fluid.
- Modify their feeding routine: Try switching halfway through a feeding, starting with the first half coming from a bottle and the second half from a sippy/straw cup. Be sure to continue holding your little one as you would when bottle feeding. Additionally, try replacing the mid-day meal with a beverage from a sippy/straw cup since during this time, babies consume the least and are not as emotionally dependent on it.
- Show your baby how it works: Fill the cup and drink from the spout or straw holding the handles. Sometimes making a simple sucking noise is all it takes to entice a baby to suck from the cup. Be sure to give your baby a clean sippy/straw cup as sharing a cup may increase the amount of tooth-decaying bacteria in their saliva.
- Give it time: All your baby has ever known is mom’s nipple or sucking from a bottle. So be patient and give your baby time to get used to drinking from a sippy/straw cup. Let them touch it, inspect it, play with it. Initially, fill the cup with only a very small amount of liquid to avoid big spills and messes. Raise the cup to their mouth and tip it up allowing the top of the spout to touch the roof of the mouth to stimulate the sucking reflex. Let a few drops to trickle in and give them time to swallow before offering more.
Perry Mackin’s silicone straw cup is not only spill-proof and lightweight but was specifically designed to help babies learn the new skill of pulling their tongue to the back of their mouth. Because sippy cups don’t offer much change in comparison to bottles, some pediatricians and language pathologists recommend straw cups over sippy cups. So when it comes time to wean your little ones off the bottle, keep our soft silicone straws in mind to help facilitate the transition.