7 - 8 Months

Week 35: Your baby can actually learn to drink from a cup now

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Giving a baby an open drinking cup might seem like a strange idea, but there are many reasons why open cups are a better choice than sippy cups.

Speech pathologists and dentists prefer babies to use open cups whenever possible because open cups help babies build the muscles in their mouths that are used to form sounds (and lessen drooling).

Practice with an open Drinking Cup helps your baby learn what to do with a small amount of liquid that reaches their mouth when they’re not sucking on a breast or bottle. Babies don’t yet need water for hydration, though a little water can help with constipation and gives your baby a chance to learn to enjoy the taste.

HERE’S HOW TO INTRODUCE A CUP TO YOUR BABY:

  • Consider introducing an open cup during seated mealtimes, once your baby is eating finger foods.
  • Start with a small amount of water—no more than an inch—and model drinking from the cup for your baby.
  • At first, your baby may just pour the water out, bang the cup on the table, or drop the cup on the floor. They’re learning about pouring, real-life cause and effect, containment, and gravity. Good thing it’s just water 😉
  • Over the next few months, your baby will start to understand how to tilt the cup and drink the water that ends up in their mouth.
  • Your baby should have no more than one to two ounces of water per day—breastmilk/formula should be their primary source of hydration.

Straw cups use different muscles than an open cup and are preferred over sippy cups. A good balance would be to use a straw cup when on the go or concerned about spilling, and an open cup during seated mealtimes.

Watch this Montessori mom Kylie’s 6-month-old son Otis learn to drink from a cup.

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Posted in: 7 - 8 Months, Fine Motor, Communication, Speech Development, Eating and Drinking, Child Development

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