Winning at Weaning!
Sara Keel at Babycup
Winning at weaning! Helping your baby or toddler drink from an open cup
When it comes to weaning kit, ‘sippy not sucky’ is a winning mantra for best for baby cup choice.
For a long while, gadgets and gizmos were big news in the weaning cup world and messages were focussed on time and convenience. With an increasing awareness on the value of healthy habits, it’s been good to see a shift from ‘best for the carpet’ to ‘best for baby’. That’s not to say we don’t all appreciate helpful tips to stop carpets getting flooded, but it’s good that the focus has moved to the users and what’s actually best for them.
Like the instinct to feed, learning to drink is one of the most natural of skills, helping us be healthy so we can not only survive but also thrive – and enjoy thriving too.
As with so many of the best approaches when it comes to health, simplicity wins the day, so it’s no surprise that an open cup is the recommended best way to drink. Dentists and orthodontists recommend open cups as they encourage sipping, which is best for oral health and development. And the benefits don’t stop there, with open cups helping a whole range of fabulous factors such as fine motor skills and independent feeding.
With liquids and no lid, there will invariably be some stages of learning – and also spills – so here are my favourite tips for open cup sipping success at weaning time:
The user is mini so it makes sense that the open cup should be mini too. This helps make the cup manageable for little hands and also means the cup will fit and funnel more neatly into a little mouth, helping reduce the chances of liquid spilling down the cheeks. Very important for improving chances of success and reducing chances of frustration!
Visual input is an important factor in eye-hand coordination and the development of fine motor skills, so it makes sense for little ones to be able to see their drink. There are lots of gorgeous cups in colours that have been carefully toned to mean the cup is still see-through, so little ones don’t just see the drink by looking into the top of the cup but can see their drink through the transparent sides too.
Guide and start small
Little ones might try and take the cup to their mouth themselves. Whether they do or don’t, helping them by you holding the cup with them can help get the cup on target. Hold the cup edge to their bottom lip to get them used to its feel, tip it gently for them too and start with just the smallest drop of baby’s milk or water. Make it all about discovery and practise at first.
Babycup mini open weaning cups
Feeding products need to be specially tested to ensure they comply with stringent safety regulations, including ensuring non-toxic materials that have been tested to make sure chemicals don’t leech into the drink and to make sure edges are smooth and safe for delicate baby skin and lips.
You are naturally one of your baby’s biggest influences so mealtime is a great opportunity to sit and sip and model the behaviour you are teaching your little one. Parents, siblings, friends, carers are all great for helping instil this lifelong habit of sipping.
Use bathtime for open cup practice. It’s a fun and perfect moment for open cup drinking practise. Just like a little ones being able to sit without layers of clothes in a highchair outside in warm weather. But the beauty of bathtime is it can be year round.
Some little ones take a little encouragement and it might take practise to get sipping totally sorted, but as a healthy habit that lasts a lifetime it’s a great move to make. And the sooner it’s done, the smaller the cup - and the smaller the spills!
Sip sip hooray!
Written by Sara Keel.
Babycup Sippeco First Cup
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