Bye bye bottles, hello cups: Introducing cups to your little one

Whilst fine bone china certainly doesn't have a place in the life of your lively little baby, it is important to start to transition them to a cup from 6 month onwards.  But why is it so important to get your baby using a cup?  A few benefits of using a cup are:

Your baby is likely to drink less milk from a cup, therefore encouraging more of an appetite for food which ultimately needs to become their primary source of nutrients.

  • Using a simple cup can help improve your baby's hand-eye coordination
  • Babies and toddlers who continue to sip milk out of a bottle over the age of 12 months are much more likely to get tooth decay
  • You will soon realise that cups are a great time saver, they are generally quicker and easier to clean than bottles

Like with all things baby related, transitioning to a cup requires a bit of perseverance however there are a few tactics which can help make the change as stress free as possible:

  • Start by offering a small sip of water from a cup at mealtimes from the age of 6 month onwards, gradually starting to offer water from a cup throughout the day.
  • Like baby food, there are different styles of cups to suit your baby's developmental stage.  When starting out, you can buy cups with special valves to sip from so it is not a huge transition from your baby's bottle.  Heinz Baby Basics have some good options, including a trainer cup that comes with interchangeable options to help your little one progress through the different stages of learning.
  • If you like, you can offer your baby expressed breast milk or formula from a cup instead of a bottle.  Just start by offering one cup of breast milk or formula a day then gradually build this up to more as your baby gets the swing of things.
  • Perseverance pays off, just keep offering cups throughout each day  as your baby will eventually get used to it A good goal is to aim to have your little one off their bottle and on to a cup by the first birthday.