How To Introduce A Sippy Cup | Rachel Gordon

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By Rachel Gordon | Twinsie Tips

The sooner you introduce your child to a sippy cup the better. Ideally, your child will be done with bottles by one. We quit bottles cold turkey the day after my girls turned one, but because we started with a sippy cup early, it was not a difficult transition.

Favorite Sippy Cups:

I am a supporter of trying many different cups for two reasons.

  1. Your child may learn to use all of them and have no issues with using any type of cup or
  2. Your child may prefer 1-2 and you will be able to find your favorite. Here are my favorite cups:

Water: I like a weighted straw cup for water. These are my favorite.

Milk: Since straws are difficult to clean, I highly recommend avoiding them for milk. I like these and these for milk.

Recommendations of introducing sippy cups broken up by age range (as always, speak to your pediatrician -- my recommendations are based on healthy, full-term babies):

4-6 months

When you decide to introduce solids, you should also introduce the sippy cup. But do not stress about it. When you put your child in the high chair offer them a sippy cup with a little formula or breast milk. If they drink, awesome, but more than likely they will just pick it up and explore. They may throw it on the ground too, but that’s ok. Just keep offering and be patient. Do not stress.

 
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6 months

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends only breast milk or formula until 6 months, but at 6 months you can give a little water. If you are introducing solids at 6 months, I would probably start by putting a little breast milk or formula in the sippy cup for a few weeks because it is something they are used to so it will help them recognize that they should try to drink out of the cup. But after a few weeks, don’t waste your precious formula or breast milk on the sippy cup since they will barely be getting any anyways. Water is totally fine. Continue to offer the sippy cup with every meal.

At 6 months your baby should be receiving 4 bottles a day (breast milk or formula with somewhere between 24-32 ounces every 24 hours). They should also be getting some solid food at this point (of course, whenever food is offered, the sippy cup should be too).

See my article on introducing solids here.

8-9 months

Your child should be getting the hang of the sippy cup by now. Keep water in the sippy and offer at every meal. Your baby should be enjoying 3 meals a day at this point.

10 months

Schedule change. At 10 months I switched from 4 bottles and 3 meals to 2 bottles, 3 meals (with water), and two snacks (with sippy cups of formula). Here is what our schedule at 10 months looked like (adjust to do what works for your family):

7am: Wake up and receive a bottle of formula/breast milk 6-8 ounces

8am: Breakfast (with a sippy cup of water) then play until nap

9am: Nap

11am: Sippy cup of formula/breast milk 4-6 oz and a small snack (my girls loved string cheese or blueberries!)

12pm: Lunch with sippy cup of water

1pm: Nap

3pm: Sippy cup of formula/breast milk 4-6 oz and a small snack (my girls loved string cheese or blueberries!)

5:30pm: Dinner - we try to eat as a family, but I recognize that is not something everyone can do. But it is nice to try to eat together at least on weekends or when your schedule allows. I like this high chair because we can pull it up to the table

6:30pm: Bath - we bathe the girls together because it makes our lives so much easier

7pm: Into pajamas and last bottle of the night.  Begin nighttime routine (see related article)

7:30pm: Brush teeth, change diapers and get in bed

One-year old

Pediatricians recommend getting rid of the bottle by one. At one, we did the same exact schedule as 10-month, but we dropped the morning and nighttime bottles for sippy cups. Did you know that giving your child a bottle after one can lead to dental problems? Also, bottle time after one can lead to more ear infections. I know your baby loves the bottle, but you are going to have to get rid of it at some point. It is easier to break the habit at one then it is to do it later. If you stick to my tips above, the transition should be relatively easy.

5 Tips For Promoting Healthy Sleep Habits For Children

Rachel Gordon | twinsietips

Sleeping Beauty

1. Stick with a night-time routine

 Do what works for you, but try to keep it similar every night. This is what we do:

  • Dinner at 5:30pm with the entire family
  • Bath around 6:30pm followed by changing into pajamas
  • Sippy cup in gliders with mom/dad (previously bottles before 1 one years old)
  • Snuggle/read books/play in nursery
  • Brush Teeth
  • Change into night diapers (yes you need night diapers they are good for 12 hours) to prevent wetting the bed overnight. These are my favorite.
  • Tuck into bed. I like to use this wearable blanket because I think they associate it with sleep/bedtime routine--- note this one has a two-way zipper which is so much easier.  Also remember there should be nothing in the crib before one (no blankets, stuffed animals, etc.), so this is a safe option to keep baby warm and snuggly. For little babies (under 3 months and if they are not rolling on their own), I recommend a swaddle. I like this one because it is hard for them to break out of it.

2. Always put baby into bed tired but not sleeping

Do not rock your child to sleep. If your baby falls asleep in your arms and then you place them in the crib if they wake up in the middle of the night they will be terrified because you are not there (remember they fell asleep with you there). Additionally, it is good for children to learn how to fall asleep without needing to be rocked to sleep. *Note, always put baby down on their back-- if they can roll over themselves that is fine, but still put them down on their back.

3. Consider a white noise machine

 I like this one.  This goes back to a bedtime routine. They associate the noise with sleep. Only use the white noise setting and turn it on once your child is in their crib. Then turn off the lights.

4. Nap time is so important

A tired baby does not mean they will sleep better at night. In fact, studies have proven the opposite is actually true. Additionally, appropriate sleep promotes intelligence, attention span, emotional development, memory, and more. Including naps here are the following guidelines for sleep recommended by American Academy of Sleep Medicine (backed by American Academy of Pediatrics):

  • 4-12 month-olds need 12-16 hours of sleep total every 24 hours
  • 1-2 year-olds need 11-14 hours of sleep every 24 hours
  • 3-5 year-olds need 10-13 hours of sleep every 24 hours
  • 6-12 year-olds need 9-12 hours of sleep every 24 hours

5. No screen time for at least 30 min before bed

This is true for any age-- kids or adults. Studies have shown that screen time is bad for sleep hygiene, so its good to promote good sleep habits starting at an early age.

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Rachel Gordon

Rachel is a mama to two beautiful identical twin girls, Izzy and Maddy, and lives in Atlanta with her husband, girls, and cute little pup. Rachel graduated with honors from New York University earning a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree and the Founders' Day Scholar Award. She also received her Masters of Science in Nursing degree from New York University. Rachel has spent the majority of her career as a pediatric nurse and currently works in pediatric oncology. She also has a blog, www.twinsietips.com that focuses on tips for new parents.