Introducing cups

Teaching your little one to drink from a cup is always going to be a messy milestone, so be prepared! So when’s the right time? We take a look at timing, types of cups and getting started.
Teaching your little one to drink from a cup is always going to be a messy milestone, so be prepared!

So when’s the right time? We take a look at timing, types of cups and getting started.

Introducing cups



With lots of support and encouragement, babies are usually ready to start drinking from a cup at around 6-8 months old, although sometimes this may be a little later.

Your little one will be used to breastfeeding or bottle feeding, so initially there may be some reluctance to try a sippy cup. Try not to make a big deal of it and introduce the idea gradually.

Try introducing the cup at lunch and dinner time rather than at breakfast when your little one is very hungry.

Keep the evening milk before bed as a breast or bottle feed until they are a little older as it's more comforting than a cup.

Types of cups

Shop around when it comes to buying cups as your baby may prefer drinking from some cups over others.

There are lots of sippy cups on the market to choose from in various styles, materials and colours.

It's a really a matter of personal preference and a learning experience for both of you.

Try starting with a slow-flowing sippy cup that limits the flow of liquid from the cup. This will make choking on fluid less likely, which is a common cause of cup rejection.

Getting started

Kids love to copy, so take a sip from a sippy cup yourself and offer your baby a sip too, or even get a sibling to show what needs to be done.

You could also try dipping the tip of the cup spout into your baby's breast milk or formula and then giving it to them to try. They’ll be used to the taste and less likely to reject it.

Some babies will only take water from a sippy cup, preferring the breast or bottle for breast milk or formula. Don't worry, this is normal, just encourage regular tries of the cup.

When your baby is 12 months and over, a sippy cup is a great way of introducing cow’s milk.

Moving to a normal cup

Make a big deal out of drinking from a regular cup, and how it’s for grown-ups.

Try taking your toddler shopping to pick out their own big kids cup and perhaps find one with their name on it or with a character they love.

To start with try only serving your toddler’s favourite drinks in an open cup, and save the sippy cup for water.

A straw is a good way to help your toddler transition from a sippy cup to normal cup. And don’t stress about the mess as accidents will happen in the beginning.

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