As your child heads into toddlerhood, he needs to transition into using a sippy cup or straw cup, whether he's been breastfed or bottle-fed. The primary reason for introducing sippy cups is to prevent tooth decay.
The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends straw or sippy cup training by your child's first birthday, but this doesn't mean you have to stop giving your toddler breastmilk! Transition the breastmilk from bottle, if you have been using one, to a cup.
So, sippy cup introduction sounds pretty simple, right? But what about when it's time to make the full switch? We're not going to lie - this transition can be tricky. But with the right steps in place, your baby will be off the bottle and scattering sippy cups around your house in no time.
1. Start as early as possible. While most people don't think about it, you can introduce a straw cup or sippy cup as early as six months of age (or even earlier if you and baby will be apart for a feeding and baby is not interested in the bottle). However, most parents introduce a sippy cup or straw around 12 months of age. Don't stress if baby doesn't take to the cup immediately – it may take a while before they accept this foreign object into their routine.
2. Let them play with it. You might want to restrict sippy cup training to when they're in their high chair or feeding booster seat but keep introducing the sippy cup during mealtimes so they can get familiar with it.
3. Try different liquids. You can give them expressed breastmilk and water if older than 6 months (or juice and whole milk if they're over 12 months). If you choose to offer juice, water it down to manage the amount of sugar you are giving baby.
LEARN MORE: Sippy Cups And Your Child's Oral Health
4. Change up the bedtime bottle routine. Some babies use bottles as security objects during their bedtime routine (like drinking their bottle as you read to them in the glider in their room). Modify the routine by giving them their straw cup, but make sure to add brushing their teeth to the routine too. Drinks like milk contain sugar, which can cause tooth decay. You can brush their teeth to prevent that. Bring your baby's toothbrush and toothpaste (fluoride-free, since fluoride is harmful to swallow) in the room with you, and brush their teeth gently before you put them in the crib.
5. Don't give your child a bottle to keep in his crib during the night. If your child wakes up and wants a drink, give him a drink in a sippy cup instead. Then wipe his teeth to keep them clean before putting him back in the crib.
6. Start with an empty cup. Though you'll want to wait until about 6 months (or whenever you choose to start solids with your baby) to give your baby a sippy cup with liquid in it, there's no reason you can't let your baby start handling an empty one sooner. In his eyes it's another toy to play with, and it will be a familiar object later on when it shows up at mealtime.
7. Offer it to your baby with no expectations. Offering your baby a sippy cup for the first time does not mean they will begin drinking perfectly from the cup right away. It will likely get thrown on the floor, gnawed on, and a few drops of liquid may actually end up in her mouth. You can certainly show your baby how to use the cup, but there's no need to fret if they're not yet using it quite right.
8. Choose an age-appropriate sippy cup. There's really no right or wrong answer when it comes to choosing a sippy cup for your baby. However, there are certainly ones that are easier to handle than others for the youngest crowd.
HE OR SHE considered tooth order closely when developing the Dental-Care Sippy Cup, designing a unique straw, with a “small wing” to help baby uniformly distribute the applied force while they are sucking. This novel approach helps to reduce the pressure on each tooth and the jaw, so that baby's teeth can grow in a healthy way.
And the 360°weighted straw follows the liquid, allowing the baby to latch and feed in any comfortable position. The unique weighted straw allows for doctor recommended upright feeding, helping to reduce reflux. 3D-fixed position handle is easy to grip.
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