Open cup drinking 101
Did you know that open cups are widely recommended by experts, including dentists, orthodontists and healthcare professionals, for babies and toddlers? They are a great way to start your little one with healthy sipping habits for life. Our Babycup First Cups are made in Britain by a mum of three and have been designed to be perfectly-proportioned for little hands and mouths. That’s important because they are the right size for your baby or toddler to hold themselves, helping them develop their fine motor skills and become independent will eaters at mealtimes.
When your baby first starts weaning, they will need just a little water (1-2oz/day at 6 months), with breastmilk or formula milk providing the main source of fluids/food. At this early stage, it is about practicing the technique and learning the skill of sipping. Believe it or not, babies at 6 months have the basic oral motor skills to learn to drink from an open cup, and with help from you, and lots of practice, they’ll be well on their way to being confident little sippers in no time!
Let’s get sipping!
We’ve put together this simple guide to help you get started with an open cup.
- Position – start in a highchair so your baby feels well supported and relaxed ready to learn this new skill
- Try a small amount of liquid in the cup at first – if there are spills this will keep them to a minimum
- Try holding the cup with your baby or toddler guiding it to their mouth
- Hover a hand nearby whilst they start to hold and direct the cup themselves
- Don’t forget to give lots of praise and encouragement!
- Sit with them and let them watch you drink from an open cup too – they love to copy and learn from you!
- Try these extra tips:
- Practise at bathtime when they’re already surrounded by water so spills don’t matter!
- Give the cup of water after a meal so they’re not hungry and distracted
- When you start to hold the cup to their lip, rest it there for a little while so they start to close their lips around the rim
How much water should I give my baby?
We often get asked how much water to give at mealtimes as your baby grows. Here’s a great piece of advice on this from Amie Lunn, aka The Mummy Nutritionist.
“The best way to know if your little one is getting enough fluids is to keep an eye on nappy output and the colour and smell of their urine. If their nappies are looking yellow and smelling strongly, they could do with additional fluids.”
Read more from Amie in her recent blog for us on water quantities.
To buy a set of our cups or find out more about why they are a great first open cup for your baby or toddler, visit our product page