I couldn't wait to clear my cabinet from sippy cups. They take up a lot of room and can be a pain to wash. So why was I still hanging onto those bulky cups? Perhaps it was the convenience of worry free, no-mess cups, but then I wondered, how old is too old to be drinking from a sippy cup? So I did some homework.
The experts at Babycenter.com states you can introduce a regular cup to your child as young as 7 months old, but until your child is about 2, she won't have the motor skills to manage a regular cup consistently. The speech pathologists at the Columbus Speech and Hearing Center of Columbus, Ohio, state that prolonged use of sippy cups and bottles may interfere with proper speech development, and by the time your child turns 2, she should be able to drink from a regular cup with some spilling.
Some parents even skip the sippy cup all together. The most important reason is that kids tend to suck on juice or milk from their sippy cup all day and when baby teeth are constantly coated in sugar from the milk or juice, that can lead to a mouthful of cavities.
These seven tips on how to teach your child to drink from a regular big-kid cup have been tried and true from other moms who've been there, done that.
1. Buy plastic, kid-size cups with handles. Clear cups are best so the child can see the liquid as they drink.
2. Allow your baby to play with these cups as early as three to six months old.
3. Let your child practice during bath time and sip water from a cup while in the tub.
4. Pour a tiny amount of milk or water in a cup at every meal and help her take sips as she eats.
5. Be prepared to do a lot of mopping, as learning to drink from a cup will take lots of practice.
6. Try a clear shot glass. It's small enough for a child's hand and thick enough where it may not break if dropped.
7. Try a Dixie-size paper cup.
Consistency is key! Provide a cup at every meal and don't give in to a sippy cup once you started using a regular cup at mealtimes.
Be a positive role model and drink from a cup with your child.
My kids learned to drink from a regular cup when they were 2 years old, but it took me a long time to get rid of those bulky sippy cups. It's not as hard as one might think to teach a child to drink from a regular cup. It just takes a lot of patience and mopping during the learning process.
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