Q&A with weaning expert SR Nutrition – part 1
Recently our founder, Sara Keel, chatted with Charlotte Stirling-Reed of SR Nutrition all about weaning and specifically about learning to sip with an open cup. Charlotte has used our Babycup First Cups with her daughter Ada and is an open cup advocate so talks from first-hand experience. She uses role-modelling to show her children how best to use the cups and use small amounts of water to practice – great tips to get started! If you want to catch the full video you can watch it on SR Nutrition’s Instagram page.
Let’s dive in with the questions which will appear over a series of blogs…
When is a good time to introduce an open cup?
Babycup Open Cups can be introduced when you first start weaning to start encouraging healthy habits for life. Charlotte say, starting young, my kids both developed the skills really quickly, using and drinking from an open cup easily. Compared to cousins or some of their friends who started with an open cup later, they soon learnt not to make as much mess spilling water. Ada likes to make a mess so she still has just a small amount and I’ll just fill it up multiple times otherwise she’ll just pour it all over herself and make as much mess as possible! We love Babycup and all the friends I’ve recommended them to love them as well.
Is it normal for babies to put hands in the cups and play with them?!
This is all part of learning to use the cups. Charlotte says she loves Babycup’s step by step guide to introducing cups which has lots of ideas. The cups are easy to hold as they don’t weigh very much and are easy to grip. One of the best tips is to practise in the bath and allow that experimentation. Mess is inevitable but learning the skills early will help later on.
How much water should a 15 month old baby drink a day?
Charlotte says this is a really great question. When children begin weaning start by offering small sips with meals. This is not so much about hydration as at this age they’ll still get lots of fluids from their milk and food (things like purees). We need to think about this opportunity to give water about teaching them skills and learning how to do things like self-feeding. It’s about getting them to enjoy sipping and getting them used to the taste of water which can often be seen as plain (sometimes cold). Once your child reaches one year old, the recommendations change and it’s more like 3-4 cups of water throughout the day. That’s small cups – 100-120ml. If you think 3-4 sounds quite a lot, they will still get fluid from their food and milk which counts to this amount. It’s all about gradually getting them used to taking sips before they start relying on taking bigger cups of water for hydration later on. More great advice can be found here.
Do babies choke on water when it comes out fast from an open cup? What can I do?
It’s really about introducing small amounts in a small cup. Use a cup which they can grip and control how much water goes into their mouth. If I baby were to pick up a big cup and tip it straight up, it would go straight to the back of their mouth and yes they may cough and splutter. Remember it’s not about drinking lots of water at the start. It’s about skill development. Role-Modelling is great. If your baby is not sure how to do it, let your baby watch you drink from a cup – their cup, your cup – they will watch and observe you. Don’t worry about starting with a transitional cup either, go straight for an open cup and start with small amounts of water.
Is it common for babies to go off their food after 12 month jabs?
Babies and children have up and downs in their appetite. If they’re growing, teething, or just had their jabs, even if they’re over-tired. Your baby’s appetite will naturally fluctuate which is very normal. After 1 year of age, your baby’s growth rate starts to plateau and where they may have had a big appetite it can start to ease off. But do keep an eye on it, watch their nappies and monitor what they eat over the course of a day. If you’re ever worried it’s important to speak to your health visitor.
Watch out for our next blog fully of really useful questions and answers coming soon!
And don’t forget to pick up Charlotte’s new book from Amazon – we highly recommend it for top tips and meal inspiration!