Parents’ Guide to Sippy Cup Alternatives



Should your little one be using a sippy cup? Many professional says no for two reasons:

1. Sugar from milk and juice stays on baby’s teeth longer, which could cause cavities or tooth decay.
2. Sippy cups also restrict tongue and mouth movement. This can limit a child’s ability to develop a more mature swallow.

Using a straw is a great alternative. Baby can learn to drink from a straw by 9 months old. There are great no-spill straw cups or you can make a DIY version at home. By 12 months, baby can learn to drink from an open cup.

Get your kids excited about using “big kid” cups with these tips:
• Limit the number of times kids use sippy cups each day
• Put a thicker liquid in a smaller cup for practice (like a smoothie)
• Talk up how exciting it is to use a regular cup
• Have your child donate their sippy cup themselves (with your help of course!)

Saying goodbye to sippy cups can take some patience, but it’s worth it in the long run! Try no-spill cups with straws first, and then transition to open cups. Farewell sippies, hello straws and open cups!

Visit Pathways.org for more information about children’s development. All materials including videos are provided at no cost; no fees or charges may be associated with any of the Pathways.org materials without prior written approval.

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