Some babies transfer from bottle to cup easily, but others find the transition difficult seeking comfort in their familiar bottle and teat. However, it is essential that parents persevere and aim to achieve the swap to cup drinking by the end of their first year. Drinks flow slowly through a teat which means it takes a long time for your child to finish the drink, and many health professionals believe this can delay in the start of speech for children.
In addition to this, drinking from a bottle can cause liquids to pool around the teeth. Bacteria in your child’s mouth can change the sugars in the drink into acids that can dissolve tooth enamel, causing tooth decay.
Babies can try the transition from bottle to cup as early as 6 or 7 months old, although success will depend upon each individual and parents should bear in mind that some babies simply will take longer to get the hang of the change. It is a good idea to start with a soft spout trainer cup, as this is more similar to a teat compares to a hard spout and will feel more familiar to your baby.
Show your child how to raise the cup to his mouth and tip it up to drink from it. Once your baby is happy and drinking confidently you can start to move them on to a beaker with a hard spout and then an open lidded cup with handles.
Some cups have a spout with a non-spill valve and although it might make drinking a less messy experience you may find your toddler has to work much harder to get the drink to flow. Try taking the valve out so that the liquid flows more freely, or use a lidded cup without a valve. Some parents teach their children to use open cups from an early age and dispense with lidded cups entirely.
Try not to worry if your baby doesn’t take to this transition immediately, it will happen! Try to stay relaxed so your baby doesn’t pick up on your tension about this process, and leave the cup where they can find it easily and you’ll find they will start to drink from their new cup when they are ready.