Should I choose a cup with a straw for my baby?

Should I choose a cup with a straw when my baby first learns drinking from a cup?

  • Drinking through a straw requires different oral motor skills from drinking from a cup with a spout. For young babies, drinking from a cup with a spout is easier.
  • At 7 to 9 months of age, you can offer your baby a training cup with a spout. Once they are able to drink from the training cup, introduce the straw.

Tips for using a cup with a straw:

  • Offer your baby a cup with a straw only when he or she is seated up. Guide him/her to hold the cup;
  • Do not take the cup to sleep or bed;
  • Babies get most of the water they need from milk and other moist or soft foods, therefore they don’t need a large amount of water. They usually take a few sips each time. You can offer water more often but never force them to drink;
  • Offer milk, water, clear soup or other drinks in a straw cup or cup to let baby learn using a cup
  • Avoid providing milk, fruit juices other than mealtimes. This helps minimise sugar intake and prevent tooth decay;
  • Do not put lumps and solids in the cup when offering fluid.
(Published 02/2015)