What Cups Can I Offer My Baby?

Let’s talk CUPS for babies (and toddlers)!

All you need to remember are these two cups types:

  1. Open cups.
  2. Straw cups.

These are the best types of cups to promote your child’s development.

Straw cups have come a LONG way, friends. There are so many reusable straw cups on the market that seal well when closed, keep water cold and can handle being dropped again (and again and again).

Offer both cup types as your child ages so they continue to work on their independent drinking skills. Open cups are most ideal for meals and snacks when your kiddo is sitting down - you may have to assist them if they’re more interested in dumping the cup 😂

Growing up, many of us used hard spout cups or “sippy cups.” However, as an OT and feeding therapist, I have recommended skipping the sippy cup for many years now because hard sippies prevent proper tongue tip elevation and may over time impact speech.

Instead, I recommend offering a small amount of water in an open cup when you start offering baby foods, around 6 months. This helps your baby learn to close their lips and manage a small amount of water in their mouths, coordinating a swallow. Once they figure out how to swallow from an open cup with assistance, time to try a straw!

We have a blog post just for you all about how to teach babies to use an open cup {“1, 2 take it away, ahhhh”} and straw cup, which cups to try, cup troubleshooting, smoothie cups, how much water a baby can have, and much much more!

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