Weaning Week 2022 - Everything you need to know about open cups
This Weaning Week we want to tell you everything you need to know about open cups. Learning to drink is an important part of the weaning process and requires skill from your baby, but don't worry, with information to hand and some top tips from us it can go sippingly :)
Why choose an open cup?
As Dr Nigel Carter, Oral Health Foundation CEO and dentist for over 40 years, says, “Developing proper drinking habits at an early age is vital for oral development. Primary [milk] teeth are crucial to jaw development, speech development and adult teeth placement.”
This is a strong message to parents to choose an open cup when introducing fluids during weaning as opposed to a ‘sucky’ cup – open cups encourage natural sipping instead of prolonged sucking which can lead to problems as milk teeth develop.
But don't worry if you're thinking of an open cup and your little one is a bit older. Our little cups have a big age range and are ideal for those first starting out, including cup-feeding infants to support breast-feeding, those with feeding challenges such as tongue tie, as well as toddlers.
Getting started with an open cup
It worth saying from the start that spills are part of the learning process so start with small amounts! Little sips of water are recommended at the start to get your baby used to sipping. For tips on introducing water and water quantities, take a look at this great blog from The Mummy Nutritionist.
Babycup Sippeco Open Cups have recently won in the Made for Mums Awards 2022 - hurray! Their testers and experts put our cups through their paces and had some great comments on getting started with open cup drinking.
"These cute, colourful cups are nicely designed for teaching babies to drink by sipping rather than sucking, which is better for their teeth and the development of mouth muscles. If you want your child to go straight onto an open cup, this is the product for you. Our expert judge Lucy Upton described these as “a fantastic first open cup for babies, and great to support the complex skill of open cup drinking for young children.” There will inevitably be more spillage but, as the cups are deliberately small in size, there is never too much to mop up."
Top tips to encourage open cup drinking
- Be on your baby's eye level, use their name to encourage them and praise their attempts
- Have a drink yourself and let baby mimic your actions - you can always try using a Babycup too!
- Use your hand to guide the cup to their mouth on their first few attempts, and to lower it back down again
- Help them tip the cup only slightly to let them get used to the cup on their bottom lip
- Resist the urge to take over and let them by watching you and following your lead - you're the best teacher
For more great tips and advice, explore other expert articles in our blog including ‘3 easy ways to get your child drinking more water’.
Sip sip hooray! Have fun sipping.