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Babies who are breastfed have to learn to drink from a cup after the breastfeeding phase – during the so-called weaning phase. Even if the dear little ones no longer drink from baby bottles, the use of drinking vessels “for the big ones” is essential.
Until now, newborns only knew how to feed through the innate sucking reflex. Because drinking from a sippy cup or a cup by sucking is not possible, you should get your baby used to the new way of drinking in good time. A sippy cup is a very recommendable method.
What Is A Sippy Cup And Why Is It So Important?
A sippy cup is a small container that is an important companion for babies, especially after using baby bottles or after the breastfeeding phase.
In the beginning, it is naturally difficult for small children to drink from a larger opening and not to suck on baby bottles or on their mother’s breast. You are very well advised to use a sippy cup, because – depending on the model – the baby can get used to it within a short period of time.
What It Has To Do With The Sippy Cup Opening
Each drinking cup for a baby has a protruding opening, the so-called “snout”. Due to this feature, which is usually made of plastic, drinking cups in the upper segment resemble modern baby bottles.
When your child sucks on this opening, the liquid food contained in the sippy cup can be conveniently removed. To prevent the liquid from leaking out, a sippy cup has a special seal. So even during playing and romping, nothing can leak when the child holds the sippy cup in his hand.
A sippy cup for the baby offers many advantages. It can therefore be a valuable aid when you want to get your baby used to normal drinking instead of sucking. But to make sure you buy the right sippy cup, it’s important to consider the following points.
This Is How Important Sippy Cups Are For Your Baby
Whether at home or on the go – a sippy cup for the baby offers your child more freedom. In addition, sippy cups prevent you from having to wipe up drinking food literally all the time.
If your little darling were to use a normal cup “on his own” after the changeover phase from using baby bottles, the entire liquid would certainly be missed. This would not only be a nuisance for you, but it would also be a negative experience for your baby.
Instead Of Baby Bottles, Use Sippy Cups
Basically, there are two types of sippy cups:
- Models for the smallest children, which have a rather small, usually slit-like opening.
- Drinking cups for older children, where the opening is somewhat larger so that more liquid can come out.
In addition, there are drinking cups where the upper segment is interchangeable. This makes it easy to adjust the size of the opening so that your baby can use either the smaller or larger cup opening, depending on their skill level.
Only when your baby has largely mastered drinking from a sippy cup with a small opening should you switch to the sippy cup for the big ones.
Learning To Drink – This Is How It Works
Of course, feeding is an innate behavior. Babies do not have to learn to drink and eat. In this respect, however, it is the how that counts. The right technique is therefore relevant in this context.
Learning to drink independently is an extremely important step in your child’s development. You should therefore support it as much as possible. Immediately after weaning or in the course of the transition from drinking from baby bottles to normal drinking, experience has shown that sippy cups with an elastic spout are highly recommended.
This elastic drinking spout feels to your baby like the nipple of a baby bottle. It is soft and flexible, making the transition from sucking to drinking easier.
Even before the final weaning, you can offer your child some liquid from this sippy cup now and then. Even if your child is not thirsty at the time, at least he or she is already coming into contact with this new drinking technique.
Around the age of 8 months to 12 months, you can gradually get your child used to drinking from a cup without a spout. A very useful method to help him get used to drinking from a cup with a soft drinking rim. Classic cups in this product category have some kind of spill protection. This means that it doesn’t matter if the cup tips over or falls down.
It is interesting that there are suitable sippy cups for almost every age category of babies or toddlers. In this respect, these inventions are a very important aid with regard to the development of children of all ages. The basic learning phase with regard to drinking takes place in three stages:
- The transition from mother’s breast to baby bottles.
- The transition from baby bottles to the small opening sippy cup.
- The transition from sippy cups for larger babies to sippy cups with a larger opening.
Following this phase, it is time to make the first eating attempts by feeding complementary food.
Did you know that the transition to the sippy cup is one of the most difficult steps for babies when it comes to learning to drink? The crucial aspect here is not the switch from sucking to suck-drinking with the sippy cup, but rather holding the sippy cup independently.
When your baby has arrived at this stage of his life, he can decide for the first time when to hold the sippy cup because he is thirsty or feels the need to drink. Previously, either mommy or daddy handed their child the baby bottles to encourage them to drink or to find out if they were thirsty.
In most cases, the changeover to normal drinking takes place around the 3rd or 4th month of life. When buying such a drinking cup, make sure that the container has a volume of no more than 150 to 200 ml. Otherwise, it would be too heavy in the hand and make drinking too strenuous.
Moreover, the handles of modern drinking cups for babies should be equipped with two ergonomically shaped grips. This makes it easier for the little one to learn the new way to drink and to hold the sippy cup.
During the first 3 months of their lives, many babies suffer from what is known as three-month colic. Because the transition from mother’s breast or baby bottles can already be very difficult for some children, it is especially risky for babies who have suffered from frequent colic.
To make the transition to the sippy cup as easy as possible for the baby, you can use sippy cups with an anti-colic valve. The special nature of the spout prevents colic and discomfort for babies when drinking.
The baby can therefore take several sips in succession without having to stop for air. Because an additional valve is usually integrated into the teat, the active air supply can be reduced.
If sippy cups are equipped with a non-slip surface, the little ones benefit even more. Thanks to their special shape, they adapt perfectly to the gripping behavior of small children’s hands
At the same time, the risk of the drinking cup falling out of the baby’s hand is reduced. The lighter the weight of the cup, the more comfortable it is to use. Your baby can therefore hold the cup in his or her hands without much effort and easily bring it to the mouth when needed
Flexible drinking beaks made of plastic or silicone rest gently on the child’s sensitive lips. Modern drinking cups of this type adapt flexibly during the drinking process. They, therefore, do not slip or warp. This is another aspect that supports the joy of learning to drink.
Good To Know
The longer drinking cups are in use, the greater the risk of scratches or dents developing, especially in the front area. Plastic cups are particularly affected by this. For this reason, midwives recommend preferably using sippy cups made of high-quality silicone. Silicone is considered to be particularly durable and far less susceptible to damage.
Scratches and dents on drinking cups not only look good, but they are also an ideal breeding ground for bacteria, germs, and other pathogens. They like to settle in the depressions and can promote a possible risk of infection. This means that “battered” cups can be a real danger to your baby’s health in the long run.