For every baby, moving from the feeding bottle to the cup is an important step towards acquiring new independence. Here are a few tips for helping your little one make the transition to drinking from a cup.
As they grow up, little ones develop skills relating to nutrition, gradually moving from the sucking action that is typical of breastfeeding to the ability to drink and swallow. Allow us to offer some advice on how to guide little ones in using the trainer cup, helping them to develop new, important independent skills.
When to start drinking from a cup
The universal rule also applies to the transition from bottle to cup: each child is different, and will learn in their own time! It is essential to avoid imposing constraints or obligations and making comparisons - your child will let you know when they are ready to abandon the feeding bottle and start drinking like bigger boys and girls. Generally speaking, the first changes occur around 6 months as a result of various anatomical developments - at this age, the larynx descends and the first teeth begin to appear, and neurological changes associated with the head, jaw, lips and tongue movements also occur.
The right movements for drinking from a cup
To learn how to drink from a cup, each child must learn new movements. During the
first attempts, it is important to start with small amounts of liquid, which can then be gradually increased.
To check whether your child has learned to use a cup correctly, watch out for the following movements during drinking:
- the lower lip rises and moves outward, leaning against the cup or glass in order to stabilise the contact;
- the tongue remains inside the mouth, and does not come out (as is the case when sucking);
- the cup is tilted and the head is pushed forward, without over-extension, in order to prevent the water from ending up in the airways;
- the liquid is sipped and swallowed.
Naturally, when little ones can perform these movements, we can be sure they have achieved another small yet significant goal on the path towards total independence.
A cup for every age
It is important to choose trainer cups that are specially designed to guide children easily and naturally throughout every stage of development, encouraging them to drink from the cup independently. Similarly, it is crucial to select cups with interchangeable spouts and removable anti-drip valves so that they can be adapted to every stage of growth, without having to resort to the trusted feeding bottle.
Indeed, the various interchangeable spouts are designed to help little ones to position their lips correctly, and adapt to each stage of growth. The removable valve permits you to customise the cup in accordance with your baby's ability: it enables you to prevent unwanted water spills but also, if removed, allows the liquid to flow freely whilst limiting the flow.
Moreover, the shape of the ergonomic handles, the weight of the cup and the materials used must be suited to the child's motor skills at each stage of development. This will help your little one to make the transition from the feeding bottle to the cup calmly and enthusiastically, acquiring new independence.