anyone been successful at skipping sippy cups?

Oh, we're done with all that vegetable-steaming and mess, our children are cutlery-wielding, spaghetti-chomping angels... at least some of the time.

anyone been successful at skipping sippy cups?

Postby trixieSF » 13 Sep 2012, 21:29

We've been so happy with the results of BLW for Little Man, who will turn one this weekend and is this moment lunching happily on heirloom tomatoes, pasta, and baby greens with vinaigrette.

I have this idea that I'd rather avoid sippy cups altogether, and just teach him to sip water from a little cup. Judging from the preponderance of 4 year old sippy cup addicts I see around me, I'm not liking the idea of a sippy cup for Little Man. But I'm not sure if I'm going down a rough path here. And I haven't found a forum for "baby led drinking". :wink:

I'm not sure if this is the right approach. Twice at friends' houses, Little Man slammed a 12 oz sippy cup of water in no time flat, which made me think he's not getting enough water. (He still drinks about 32 oz of formula daily, in addition to three full meals.) He only has 4 to 6 oz of water a day via drinking from a cup, and most of that goes down his front.

Are any of you wise moms experienced at skipping the sippies and just teaching your littles to drink water from a small cup?
If so, how long did it take until your littles could drink from a cup?
How often did you practice?
Any advice to keep it from getting dumped everywhere?
And how can I make sure he's getting enough water without following him around with a cup?
If going without sippy cups is a thing, what resources can I read about it?

We have some darling little heirloom sterling silver and pewter baby cups engraved with the names of various older relatives. They are light and easy to hold, so they seem like a good tool for the job. I usually start with an inch of water in the cup. Mostly little man treats his cups like a finger bowl, then flings the water across the room. When I hold it up to his face, he drinks eagerly but it primarily runs down his front.
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Re: anyone been successful at skipping sippy cups?

Postby blackberrycrimble » 13 Sep 2012, 21:33

Hello trixie, could you just spell out what you mean by a sippy cup? Do you mean any sort of cup including those with straws, or just cups with valves? Do you mean ones like the little tommy tippee free flow cups with spouts? And also, just to be able to help better, is your objection dental? Or something else?
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Re: anyone been successful at skipping sippy cups?

Postby BLTMama » 13 Sep 2012, 21:42

It's actually pretty common here for folks to skip the sippy cup (and I'm sure several will come along :D ), but as a former sippy hater grown into a sippy defender I will say that, although my nearly 3-year-old is perfectly adept at drinking out of an open cup and has had one at meals since she was 10 months or so, I still use sippies quite a bit away from the table. I have tried to use sports bottles, etc. but sippies have the benefit of being much easier to clean (assuming you get the valveless kind).

I hear you about cringing when you see older kids using them when an open cup would be totally appropriate, but I've come to believe that they have their uses and don't need to be avoided entirely.

I'd say the fact that he drank a lot when given a sippy doesn't mean he's dehydrated -- the "suck" motion is just so ingrained in LOs that they can easily drink more than they need to. Unless you see other signs of unwellness, I'd carry on with open cups if that's what you want to do. And as far as not dumping it everywhere, the only advice I have is to keep on practicing. :D The bath is a great place. :wink:

Just as an aside, I might not use the pewter cups if they're old -- they *might* leach lead (it's not very likely, but easy to avoid).
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Re: anyone been successful at skipping sippy cups?

Postby trixieSF » 13 Sep 2012, 21:52

Hi! I'm just thinking of any cup with a spout or lid. It seems like most babies (here anyway, in the states) transition from a bottle to a cup with sealable lid and a spout. I haven't ever used one, so I'm not sure about the different types. I haven't heard of tommy tippee.

I'm hoping there is a way to teach my baby that when he's thirsty, he can stop and sit down and have a cup of water, and then go back about his business. Most parents here just give the babies a sippy cup to tote around and suck on at all times while they are playing. Its the drinking equivalent of snacking all day rather than eating at meal times (many americans do this too -- just eat all day and not have sit-down meals). I'm just seeing a lot of three to five year old children who don't use a cup well. So mostly I'm interested in starting with the end in mind, and wondering if these spout-cups can be avoided.

Also, I am kind of a plastic-phobe. We don't use any plastics for food prep/serving. I haven't found a glass sippee cup. I hear there are steel ones, but I also hear they don't work well.
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Re: anyone been successful at skipping sippy cups?

Postby trixieSF » 13 Sep 2012, 21:54

Good point, badgersmom about the lead. Fortunately the older cups are silver, but I will check the timing with the pewter ones.
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Re: anyone been successful at skipping sippy cups?

Postby elaruu » 13 Sep 2012, 22:06

J never really used a sippy cup. I gave him (a valveless) one early on when he was in his highchair at meal times but I got sick of him tipping it everywhere and he wasn't really drinking from it so I just started giving him a little bit in the bottom of an open cup from about 7 months. He got the idea of drinking from it really quickly but I always held onto the bottom while he drank until maybe around 10 months (?). Then I let go but watched and took it off him when he'd had a drink. I still don't leave it on his highchair tray much (18 months) but he's pretty good at asking for it when he wants it. We use a straw cup for when out. I have no idea how much he drinks a day but he's actually quite obsessed with drinking so I don't have to worry about that. (He'll have a drink, and then if he sees another cup or any kind of drinking vessel he'll ask for another drink even though I'm sure he's not really thirsty.
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And an Aussie version - M 16/12/13 :).
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Re: anyone been successful at skipping sippy cups?

Postby BLTMama » 13 Sep 2012, 22:10

There's certainly nothing developmental that would stop a child from learning to drink from an open cup at an early age -- it will take longer than a sippy will, but you're certainly not endangering him by sticking to open cups. And if you're committed to avoiding plastics, then I think it's your only practical option -- I've looked at a lot of stainless/glass containers for toddlers and not really been pleased with any of them, esp. considering how much they cost.

It will take a LONG time for him to develop the impulse control/attention span to really make sitting at a table every time he wants to drink a natural action for him. Not to say it's impossible, but most parents usually respond to the endless "I want water/I'm thirsty"s by stuffing some kind of spill-lite container in their child's hand at some point. :wink: And there will be times when it's really not feasible (long trips, long days outdoors, etc.). But something like a stainless sports bottle might be a good option there.

At any rate, I'm using a lot of words to say that if you don't want to use sippies, you certainly don't have to. But it will take time and patience to get to the point where an open cup isn't some variety or other of disaster. :D
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Re: anyone been successful at skipping sippy cups?

Postby meerkatsmum » 14 Sep 2012, 00:16

We skipped sippy and went straight to straw. We tried open cup for a while and she could drink from it but she spilled a lot and I didn't like that I had to hold it for her and offer it to her. Do I got her some straw cups which she drinks like a pro. I guess you have to decide what's important to you and if skipping sippy's is important to you then it can be done. I just didn't have the patience and was concerned that she wasn't getting enough water.
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Re: anyone been successful at skipping sippy cups?

Postby emzit » 14 Sep 2012, 01:08

We tried to go with just open cups but it just got too messy. Muncher is excellent at drinking (he uses a Doidy cup) but can't put them down nicely, they spill everywhere. So we have Doidy cups at dinner and are very patiently working on that, and sippy/straw cups elsewhere. I decided that getting the water into him was more important, and he's really good now at sippy cups. Took him a while though, and he can't put those down nicely either!
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Re: anyone been successful at skipping sippy cups?

Postby Brigitte » 14 Sep 2012, 01:13

We use an open cup (a plain old shot glass!) at meals and a "sippy cup" (it has a rubber straw with a valve, not a spout) in between meals. Our daughter is 16 months old, and I just can't be bothered with the potential mess of an open cup on the go, especially since she's in a phase where she finds it particularly amusing to pour it all in her lap.

She learned to drink from an open cup very early, around 5 months, and by 6 months she was able to pick it up and drink out of it completely unassisted. (Setting it down properly took another month or two.) We actually had to hide the water from her lest she fill up on it, as she certainly wasn't filling up on solids yet at that point!
I love my kiddos! Two April girls (2011 and 2013) and a May boy (2016). I guess we have spring babies in this family.
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Re: anyone been successful at skipping sippy cups?

Postby Brigitte » 14 Sep 2012, 01:14

Oh, I should add that for a long time, we put one of those rubber bands from broccoli bunches around the shot glass to give it a little extra grip. We don't have to anymore at this age.
I love my kiddos! Two April girls (2011 and 2013) and a May boy (2016). I guess we have spring babies in this family.
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Re: anyone been successful at skipping sippy cups?

Postby julian » 14 Sep 2012, 09:23

Similar to a couple of responses above, we went straight to a normal cup at table (with multiple spills along the way), and off-table we got a straw cup that can be closed. Having open cups around the house just isn't practical, and also a straw cup can be packed in a bag when we're out and about.

For the second, who's seven months now, we've started with a Doidy cup (http://doidycups.com/ - plastic I'm afraid), which is much better than a normal cup (though the handles are not very good). He's picked up the idea very fast, though practical skills lag behind.

I found that valve ones didn't work well at all. Too much sucking/manipulation involved. Maybe it works OK for older children, but at that point a straw works fine, or a normal cup, so what's the point.
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Re: anyone been successful at skipping sippy cups?

Postby Twinkly » 14 Sep 2012, 11:24

Tinky has used a doidy cup since she started BLW. It took a while to get the hang of it, but i always keep an eye on her.
To start with I held the rim and she sipped from it, then she started grabbing the handles. She properly used it by herself from about 11 months. I always keep it on the table and not on the high chair, and she'll reach for it when she wants a drink, and I'll keep offering when she doesn't. I only fill it half way otherwise we get some slops over the side!
She's also really good now with a small beaker. I'm glad we didn't go down sippy cup road, especially when I see my nephew (8) still drinking from a lidded cup and then leaving it on its side on the sofa or carpet :o
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Re: anyone been successful at skipping sippy cups?

Postby Efficient_Edna » 14 Sep 2012, 11:37

BadgersMommy wrote:It will take a LONG time for him to develop the impulse control/attention span to really make sitting at a table every time he wants to drink a natural action for him. Not to say it's impossible, but most parents usually respond to the endless "I want water/I'm thirsty"s by stuffing some kind of spill-lite container in their child's hand at some point. :wink:


WSS!

I started along the path of going straight to a small cup with A when we started BLW, because that was what the Gill Rapley book recommended. But I soon got bored of having to choose between admistering all drink myself OR cleaning up the spillages. In the end we got her a sippy cup, and the relief at just being able to sit back and relax while she helped herself without drenching everything (and herself) was immense.
Brilliant A born Jan '10.
Bouncing L born Sep '11.
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Re: anyone been successful at skipping sippy cups?

Postby LucyL » 14 Sep 2012, 11:57

Another vote here for ordinary small glasses at meal times and things with lids away from the table. If Bookworm wants a glass of milk or something in the sitting room, I still give it to him in a cup with a lid just to prevent having a milky carpet or sofa, and of course it's rather tricky to carry water around with you when you're on the go if it's not in something sealable!

We sort of did things backwards though, and did straws before spouts, as when I tried to introduce a sippy cup to Bookworm he just didn't get the whole tipping up thing, no matter how I helped him, but could suck through a straw. Tiger seems to have been equally happy with both from 6 months or so. So, for outings, Bookworm has a sports bottle-type and Tiger has a straw bottle, we have various sippies (without valves though, except for the bottle of water for Bookworm to drink in bed) for use away from the table at home, but they both use an ordinary cup at the table.
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