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When Can Babies Use a Sippy Cup? Transition Tips + More! = What to Expect

(calm music)

- Bottoms up, baby, it's time to raise a cup

and drink up, or at least take a first sip

from a brand-new beverage container.

No, the breast

and bottle aren't going anywhere anytime soon.

Still, getting cracking on cup curriculum now

will give your baby options when he's thirsty,

and more importantly, learning to drink from a cup

will help him get ready for bottle weaning,

which is widely recommended at 12 months.

Never gave a bottle or tried

and baby wouldn't take the bait?

Here's your chance to graduate

to the cup and skip the bottle altogether.

Teaching your baby to drink from a cup won't be neat.

You can expect more to drip down the chin

than trickle into the mouth at first.

Your little sucker will likely be perplexed, too,

by the process of sipping and swallowing, but with patience

and practice, your baby will be a cup pro in no time.

How can you pass the cup to your new generation?

First, choose a cup for beginners.

Since your baby is in training, it makes sense to start

with a trainer cup, one that has easy-to-grip handles

that won't slip through baby's hands.

Spill-free clearly scores extra points.

You can debut with a straw sippy,

but it'll take more practice.

If your little one is always grabbing your cup,

try a spill-proof 360-style,

a rim that she can sip from on any side.

It will release the liquids

once baby's lips are pressed on it.

Again, it'll take some skills to master.

Next, choose your liquid.

Your baby might be more likely to take to the cup

like an old friend if it's filled

with an old friend, breast milk or formula.

On the other hand, water might be a winner.

Don't let baby get juiced yet.

Wait until at least the first birthday

to introduce even watered-down juice.

It's always smart for baby to sit when he sips,

but especially when he's just getting started.

The high chair is the perfect place for practice.

Let your little one take his sweet time getting to know

the cup; touch it, inspect it, even play with it.

Then, show baby what the cup is for, holding it near

your own mouth and pretending to take a sip.

That tastes good.

Finally, if baby's game,

don't push if not, hold the cup to his mouth.

Hopefully, he'll put it in his mouth himself,

like he does everything else.

If not, remove the spill-proof valve,

so that a few drops trickle in.

Pause for a swallow before offering more,

so your newbie sipper doesn't gag.

If baby reaches for the cup,

let her grab hold while you help guide it.

She wants to hold it herself?

Let her even if she can't quite figure out

what she's supposed to do with it.

Baby's signed on to sipping and now, can't get enough?

Be sippy savvy.

Round-the-clock nipping on a sippy into the toddler years

can lead to slow speech development,

and unless your little one's sipping water only,

to tooth decay, so limit sippy sipping to meal times

and snack time,

and like eating, make sure it's always done sitting down.

Don't let your baby crawl around with the sippy cup

and try not to rely on it to soothe her

in the car or stroller.

Consider, too, switching up the cup

once baby gets the hang of sipping.

Sucking from a straw requires

more complex movements of the mouth

and jaw, giving them the workout they need,

not just for drinking, but for talking.

Plus, straws send the liquid on a fast track

to being swallowed instead of letting it

pool in the mouth, meaning less risk of tooth decay.

And though spilled milk can make you cry,

give your little one plenty of chances to practice drinking

from a cup that's not spill-proof

and to sip supervised from glasses and cups of all kinds.

Here's to drinking up.

Cheers.

(upbeat music)