Planning on introducing your baby to the sippy cup? Here’s what you need to know.
WORDS TAN WEE KENG
Weaning babies off milk bottles is a big milestone and the transition to cups can also encourage the development of motor skills such as hand-eye coordination. While there are certainly no hard and fast rules to doing this, here are some easy and practical tips on how you can make this an easy and successful transition for your little one.
Take One Step at a Time
Babies get so accustomed to the comfort of breastfeeding and/or feeding bottles and change can be daunting.
Don’t be in a hurry and wait until your baby can sit up and hold
an object with both hands, which is usually between six to 10 months.
Replace one regular bottle-feeding in a day with a sippy cup and follow the routine for three days to a week (depending on the baby’s response) when introducing him/her for the first time to a whole new feeding experience. Making this a routine is key before increasing the frequency so that babies get used to the change.
Choose the Right Sippy Cup
There are a variety of cups including training cups, sippy cups with straws, cups with drinking spouts etc., available in the market to help babies make the transition from feeding bottles which are designed with the developmental factors of the growing child in mind. In finding one that works perfectly for the baby always:
Be Ready for Messy Spills
As your baby transitions from bottle to cup, do expect plenty of thrills and spills.
Try not to overfill the cup – it’s a good idea to start off by filling only
to about one-quarter full until your baby’s drinking
skills get more developed.
Beware of Choking Hazard
Make it a point to replace sippy cup spouts regularly as babies tend to chew on their bottle spouts during teething, as damaged spouts can become a choking hazard if bits come off and if drink flows too quickly.
As with bottle-feeding, do not let babies go to bed with a sippy cup, to prevent tooth decay.
Keeping it Mould-Free
The deep and hidden corners of sippy/training cups should be cleaned thoroughly using mild and gentle baby accessories cleansers and brushes to avoid any growth of mould or bacteria.
With patience and plenty of encouraging words, you will be able to coax your little ones during this natural transition phase.
Tan Wee Keng is the CEO of TOLLYJOY BABY PRODUCTS