Transitioning your baby from bottle to big-kid cup
The toddler years bring big transitions: babies go from crawling to walking, from diapers to underwear and from cribs to beds; in short, these are the years when babies become children. And somewhere along the way, they have to stop drinking from a bottle. This is one transition, however, that can cause a lot of stress and a lot of mess. Many toddlers are attached to their bottles as a form of comfort, not just a means of drinking, and most also lack the fine motor control to drink from a regular cup without spilling.
Enter the sippy cup. Just as many parents use training pants to transition their toddlers from diapers to underwear, they also use sippy cups to ease the transition between bottle and regular cup.
Most babies are a ready for a sippy cup by their first birthday, if not a little before; however, that doesn't mean they'll take to it immediately. For best results, try starting with a soft, pliable spout that looks and feels more like a bottle. Then, when your toddler has taken to that, move onto the more traditional sippy cup with a hard plastic spout.
Sippy Cup Brands
Nuby sippy cups are designed to take your baby through several stages of weaning, from breastfeeding to bottle to regular cup. The SoftFlex Sipper Spout and SoftFlex Straw Sipper are soft and pliable, so they feel more like a bottle in your baby's mouth, and the company's unique No-Spill technology means the cups won't leak like a bottle will. Once your baby is used to the sippy cup, you can switch to the Natural Sipper lid, which requires your baby to tip the cup in order to drink, allowing him or her to practice the motor control required for a regular drinking glass without the danger of spills and leaks. Finally, detachable handles allow your baby to eventually get used to holding a regular cup.
Playtex is one of the best-known names in baby bottles and related products. Playtex sippy cups range from the First Sipster, with easy-to-grip handles for young toddlers, to the Coolster Tumbler, with no spout and a shape like a travel coffee mug, for older kids. They even have a Create-My-Own sippy cup that allows kids to showcase their creativity by decorating the outside of the cup with drawings, stickers or photos. No more mixing up your child's sippy cup with a playmate's!
Avent sippy cups feature a patented valve that opens while your child is drinking and closes when the drinking stops, adding an extra level of protection against spills and leaks. These "Magic" cups come in a variety of models, from those with handles and soft spouts for babies just learning to use a sippy cup to the Magic Sportster bottle, designed with a sportier look for older, more adept toddlers.