Healthy Eating for 6 to 24 month old Children (2) Moving On (6 – 12 months)
How to help your baby learn to drink from a cup
At 7 to 9 months of age, offer your baby a cup and help him to drink from it.
When learning to use a cup, babies may throw or knock over the cup.They might even choke while they drink too.
Stages of learning to drink from a cup
At around 7 months old, your baby is ready to learn to drinking from a cup. You can:
- Give your baby a training cup or small regular cup;
- Fill the cup with a small amount of water;
- Hold the cup close to his lower lip and tilt it, so that he drinks slowly.
From 8 to 12 months o1d, your baby gradually learns to hold the cup and drink from it. You can:
- Let him hold the cup handles. As he drinks, stay close and offer help;
- You can put water, milk or diluted juice into the cup.
During 12 to 18 months of age, most babies can hold and drink from a cup. By 18 months of age, assist your baby to stop drinking from feeding bottle to protect his teeth.
Babies are more willing to try using a cup when:
- Parents are drinking water. This is because they love copying adults;
- They are thirsty, e.g. after eating bread or biscuits.
It may be easier for babies to start with a training cup. When he uses it well, you can give him a small regular cup with two handles.
Choosing a cup
What is a suitable training cup?
- Cups without no-spill design. Water flows from the
spout freely when the cup is tilted. Turn the no-spill cup to free-flow cup simply by removing the valve from the lid.
- Small size. It is easy to hold.
- Handles on both sides.Your baby can hold onto
the cup more easily.
- A spout. This helps your baby drink from the cup more easily.
- Transparent container. You can see the water
flow when your baby drinks.
- Durable. It is less likely to break.
Why is it better to use a free-flow training cup?
Water flows freely when babies drink from the cup. This helps babies gradually adapt to drinking from a regular cup.
My baby doesn't like the spout of the training cup!
Give him a small regular cup. Help him and allow him to explore. Be patient. He will drink from it with time.
- At about one year old, babies can drink or sip using a straw;
- After your baby can use a cup with a straw, he should stop using the feeding bottle.
- Stay with your baby and supervise him whenever he eats;
- Do not give drinks with solid bits or let him sip these drinks with a straw.