Sippy Cups and Open Cups Introduction Timing and Tips

Your child is learning a ton of new skills all at once, so it can be hard to keep track of what milestones to expect from them as they get older! But don’t worry, Foublie coaches are here to help with all things feeding! 

The transition from bottles to sippy cups, and then to open cups can be easier for some children than others. Here are our best tips for making that transition as smooth as possible:  

 

Tip 1: Start practicing 

In terms of development, your kiddo can start practicing with a cup at the same time they start solids, usually around 6 months. If your child has been exclusively breastfeeding until now, you can offer them a few ounces of water or expressed breast milk in a cup. 

 

Tip 2: Offer the cups only at certain times

As they begin to eat more foods, offer beverages when your child is thirsty and with meals. Walking around with a sippy cup all day or sipping on it overnight can cause tooth decay! If your child isn’t quite ready for an open cup, we recommend a lidded “sippy” cup with a hard spout or straw, rather than a soft spout, to maintain oral health. 

 

Tip 3: At 12 months embrace the cup

Around 12 months, begin offering your child all their beverages in a cup, including breastmilk! This can be a tough transition for some kids, especially before bed or nap times. However, continued bottle use can lead to tooth decay, ear infections, anemia (low iron), and skipping meals. Here are some things to try if your child is struggling to accept a cup:

 

  • Keep bottles out of sight. We call this the “cold turkey” method. 
  • Find a new bedtime routine that doesn’t involve a beverage. Reading a story, cuddling, or singing a bedtime song are comforting options.
  • Water down any milk still being offered in the bottle, but not in cups. They may start to prefer the “good” milk that comes in the cup. 
  • Eliminate midday bottles first, then morning and evening. 
  • Address your child’s needs without using a bottle. Hungry or thirsty? Offer something in a cup or on a plate. In need of comfort? Give a hug! Are they bored? Spend some time playing. 

 

Tip 4: Stick with it

Your child might (loudly) disagree with this transition at first, but most children will adjust quickly if you stick with it! Once the bottle is out of the picture, children can switch to an open-face cup as soon as they get the hang of it, typically by 18 months. Talk to your Foublie coach or pediatrician if your child is having a tough time! 


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