At Rex’s pediatrician appointment recently, his doctor reminded me that now that he’s six months, he can start having small amounts of water at mealtimes. I had sort of forgotten how we introduced water to Georgie, and also figured things may have changed a bit over the past three years, so I started to look into the best sippy cups and stumbled on a very helpful article: The Ultimate Guide To Cup Drinking. (Side note: do any other moms get very, very excited to research a new product for their baby / toddler? The thought of delving into which sippy cups to buy made me more excited that I should admit…)
Through mainly videos, an occupational therapist who specializes in feeding therapy walks you through the steps to cup introduction, starting with an open top cup, then a specially designed straw cup, and finally a regular straw cup or 360 cup. The reason for this method – and the avoidance of traditional sippy cups with a more bottle-like top – is that it’s ideal for oral development and speech development.
We started with these open top cups at mealtimes, and Rex loved getting big gulps of water, then voraciously chewing on the sides (thanks, teething!). After a few days we moved onto this honey bear cup, and he has mastered the straw on it pretty quickly. The trick with this cup is that the material is very soft, so when you place the straw in your baby’s mouth and gently press on the bear’s tummy, water comes spouting out which teaches your baby to close their lips on the straw and drink. It’s genius!
P.S. Georgie’s favorite sippy cup when she first started to drink water.