Introducing the Cup
It can be tricky to help your child move on from the breast or bottle to a cup. Here’s our Parent Panel mum of 5 Amy with how she handled it. At the end of the post check out the great tips which have been submitted by three of our BornFree Mums.
I introduced drinking cups at around 6months old with my children so they could learn to drink from them and get used to them as they got older. But I never put milk in them as they would not drink milk from a cup it was always their bottles.
My oldest girls didn’t give up their bottles until they were 3. I didn’t really feel that having a bottle at night was a big deal and if it brought them comfort and helped them settle to sleep then it wasn’t something I was going to take away from them.
Eventually after trying to make the holes in the teats bigger to try and put them off I decided that it was time to have a bedtime cup instead of a bottle.
We took the girls out to pick a special cup that they liked and made a big fuss about having a big girl cup. That night we put milk in their cups and waited to see what happened. They were fine for a few nights but on night three they realized that the bottle wasn’t coming back anytime soon. After more reassurance they finally accepted the cup and we never looked back.
Eventually the milk went and was replaced by water or sugar free squash. It’s always been a part of their bedtime routine to have a bedtime drink just like when they were babies and they would have their milk.
Keeping your routine the same is essential when you come to doing a big change like that, if anything I made a bigger fuss than they did!! I was all teary eyed that they had given up their bottles and I’m sure I’ll be the same when my 2 year old does the same. They just aren’t babies for long at all.
We recently asked BornFree mums to share their tips for moving babies and toddlers on to a cup and here’s some of the great advice that was sent in
I helped my kids transfer from bottle to cup by always giving them water in a cup they never had anything but milk in a bottle
To transfer from milk in a bottle to in a cup I would give them a drink of milk in the day in their cup with their meals, and only gave a bottle at night, eventually they preffered the cup to the bottle I always found something with a soft but different shaped spout a good starting point and then transfer to something with a solid spout.
I found the best thing to do was to introduce the cup with water in it early in the process of introducing solids, while they’re still getting all their nutrition from milk then it’s a low pressure approach.
Once they’re happy to drink water from a cup then start trying them with milk, 1 feed at a time… My approach has always been slowly slowly low pressure… If you try too quickly you end up getting stressed, the baby gets stressed and then everything just gets harder…
Go for a soft spout first then transition on to harder spout. Going straight to a harder spout will be too big a change for the baby in one go
Never introduce a cup if your baby is teething or unwell as it will most likely be rejected by the baby as they will want their milk in the usual way.
I always introduced juice or water in a cup before milk as my baby was very passionate about getting his milk from a bottle. Once he was used to using the cup I introduced the milk.
Once you are ready to introduce milk in the cup do it in stages. My son adapted well to his afternoon milk in a cup for a few days. Then his morning milk for a few days and then bedtime milk for a few days until he was having all 3 milk feeds from the cup.
A tip for moving on to a straw cup from beaker is to hold the bottle down for your baby each time they drink until they get used to not having to tilt the bottle each time.
Let the baby experiment and play with the new cup with a little water in it to minimise spillages. It will make it easier if the baby has seen and chewed on the cup already before introducing juice or milk in it. Just giving it to them straight away will be daunting as babies don’t like change much.
Don’t go out buying all different types of cups to find one your baby likes. I did that and it cost me a fortune. Pick a good brand, one you like. Which was BornFree for us. And stick with it. Your baby will adjust in the end, it just took me a bit of time and patience. My son came around in the end and he was super fussy.
For some great professional advice you could have a look at this information from the NHS guidelines on Drinks and Cups: http://www.nhs.uk/Planners/birthtofive/Pages/Drinksandcups.aspx