Teaching baby to drink from a cup is a gradual process, can be quite messy and will require a good deal of perseverance. But with a bit of luck you should have your baby off the bottle by their first birthday.
One of the first things you will need to do is choose a cup. There are a number of things to remember when choosing your baby’s first cup.
- A cup with handles is easier for your baby to grasp.
- A see-through cup will help you see if your baby is drinking well.
- A hard spout is recommended by health professionals because it doesn’t encourage your baby to suck, but if your baby finds the transition from bottle to hard spout too much too fast, a soft spout would be an easier intermediary alternative to a hard spout cup.
- Health professionals advise mums to use a free-flowing cup (a cup without a valve) to help children learn how to sip instead of suck. The free-flowing Explora First Sips Cup, with its big handles, bright colours and smooth, rounded spout makes an ideal choice.
- If you are concerned about your child spilling their drink and making a mess, a non-spill cup may be the best solution for you, but remember it will require your baby to suck.
Although your baby might be happy with their first cup, remember that there are different stages to weaning, each requiring a different cup.
Stage 1 – As already mentioned, a cup with a free-flowing hard spout and no valve is recommended by Health Professionals. This free-flowing spout means that baby will not need to suck to get the drink, ensuring healthy development of his teeth and jaw. The alternative to a free-flowing spout is a valved, non-spill spout. A non-spill spout will prevent spillages and mess, but it will require your baby to suck.
Stage 2 – Once baby is happy drinking independently, it is time to try and move him on to drinking from an open top cup. Using a sipper lid will encourage your baby to learn to drink from the rim of a cup.
Stage 3 – Remove the sipper lid so that your baby can start to drink from an open cup.
If you have not yet bought a cup, view our range of sippy cups. You may also be interested in our other weaning articles.