Going from bottle to cup

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What to give and what not to give, and a few other tips for success when getting your baby off that bottie.
What to give and what not to give, and a few other tips for success when getting your baby off that bottie.

Sippy cups come in all shapes, sizes and designs, so choosing one is really much of a personal thing – and largely depends on your baby’s preference. There is a choice between soft and hard spouts, non-drip, non-leak, weighted bottoms, two handles, one handle, removable handles – the list is endless. A non-drip cup with easy grip handles is a good option to start with, but in terms of shape, size and feel of the spout, you’ll most likely be at the mercy of your little one.

Introducing a cup

Babies can be weaned onto a sippy cup from five months, but some mothers only feel comfortable introducing the cup when the baby is able to sit and hold it on their own, which would be from about eight months. Remember that this is a totally new experience for your baby and she will be exploring new textures, so it will take a little time and patience. 

Put just a little liquid in the cup to start with – until your baby gets used to the new texture of the
cup and the new method of drinking. To encourage your baby to drink from the cup, try giving her a taste she is already familiar with so you’re not introducing her to too many new experiences at once.

What to give

  • Diluted apple or grape juice 
  • Baby's milk feed
  • Water
  • Cow's milk (only after one year of age)

What not to give

  • Fizzy drinks, such as Coke
  • Diet drinks such as Coke Light, Diet Sprite, Coke Zero, Tab or anything similar
  • Flavoured water 
  • Undiluted juice
  • Energade or other energy drinks
  • Drinks with high sugar content or highly-coloured drinks.

Offer your baby water before you offer anything else. It is important that your baby acquires a taste for it.

Tips for success:

1. Remember that this is a completely new experience for your baby and she'll need time to get used to drinking from a cup instead of a bottle. Don't force the issue. If your baby isn't ready, drop it and try again in a week or two later.

2. Start outdoors as it makes it easy to clean up any spills when your baby first starts drinking from a cup. It's also a good idea to first introduce the cup in summer so that there are any spills your baby doesn't get cold. 

3. Allow your baby small sips at first and wait until she has swallowed before giving another sip. 

4. Make sure your baby is always sitting or standing upright when drinking to avoid choking. 

5. Make it fun by inventing a game or a song about drinking from a cup and sing it with your baby. 

How did you get your little one to go from bottle to cup? Send us your tips and tricks to chatback@parent24.com and we may publish them on the site.

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