Transition to a regular cup: How and why?
Along with the feeding journey, we have another challenge to face and that is to transition your little one from a feeding bottle to a regular cup. That’s no easy task for sure. My little one was exclusively breast-fed, I had a tough time introducing a bottle and to be honest it was equally a task to get her out of it.
A pediatrician recommends that you should move to a sippy cup/ straw cup by the 12 month mark. Once the baby completes 1 year, its time to transition to a regular cup (well the journey is not a bed of roses!).
I started my bottle journey when I moved to USA with my little one when she was 4 months old. As it was getting very difficult for us to feed her while commuting. When she turned 6 months old I introduced sippy cup and she mastered it pretty fast. I started off with the NUK learner cup which I purchased via amazon.
There are few friends I know who directly introduced straw cups (which is definitely fine, but always start with a learners sippy/straw cup). Introducing straw cup was not as easy as it was introducing a sippy cup. She was quite fidgety and could never figure out to drink from it. So eventually the straw cup I got went into the storage. To my surprise, when we had been to a restaurant and we were drinking a fruit smoothie she saw us and imitated and VOILA she got it right. As soon as I got back home I got rid of the sippy cup and offered straw cup (learner cup) from then on. The straw cup I used was tommee tippee straw cup.
Please note: Use only BPA free material for the baby. If you are comfortable shedding a few more bucks you can get the same above cups in stainless steel.
Then started a real challenge of introducing a regular cup for both milk and water (especially to stop the bottle feeding for milk). There were two tasks for me then, To stop bottle feeding and to introduce a regular cup. Initially, I thought it would be a cake walk, but only after I started, I realized the effort I need to put in. Day 1 was a failure, I gave up and she went to bed with her bottle of milk. Day 2 followed. That’s when I realized it will never work if I do not get stronger. I went cold turkey from the next day. She went to bed without having milk, for a week. I was in tears inside but I had to endure and it worked for me.
After all the research I got the Munchkin Miracle 360 cup and it was for sure a life savior for me. As my daughter always wanted to hold the cup all by herself, this was less messy for me. So now, she drinks milk from an open cup with a straw and water from her munchkin miracle cup.
Tips to remember during the transition process:
- When you have to drop bottle feed (say if your little one is having 2 feeds per day), do it one feed at a time, like, first drop the morning feed with bottle instead offer from the sippy/straw/regular cup.
- When you go cold turkey, and they miss a feed offer enough alternatives for the day for dairy like yogurt, cheese.
- They always learn from what they see, drink and show how it is done.
- If your toddlers are a little old you can pick their favorite animal/cartoon print bottles for them to try.
- Try your best to stop bottle feeding after 1 year of age as it might get difficult later in time to get rid of it as it affects oral health.
- Give them a cup with wide base which doesn’t tip-off easily and is either small enough for them to grip and has handles.
- Continue with straw cup (soft ones) during road trips/travels to be safe.
Lastly, every change you need to have ample amount of patience. Never give up when you start over. Kids will eventually learn, but only with your will power and optimism.
Please note: Always introduce sippy/straw/regular cup with adult supervision and keep an eye on the child for safety purpose. Never leave a child unattended.
Write to me in comments about what worked for you? How was your transition journey? I would love to hear your thoughts and challenges.
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