So it’s time for your child move on from the bottle, but he’s still learning the fine art of getting cup to mouth without spilling. In this scenario, the sippy cup is stroke of genius in protecting carpets and cutting back on paper towel usage around the world, but it comes at a cost.
Since children tend to suck on sippy cups like they did with bottles, it can change the position of the tongue and teeth, potentially causing speech problems. Also, when the sippy cups are filled with milk or juice, the sugars stay in the mouth longer and increase the risk of cavities.
So the sippy cups are meant as a brief transition, and when it’s time to move on, follow these tips from your Avondale Kiddie Dentist to help wean your child away from the sippy cup:
Make him want to drink from a regular cup.Toddlers want to do what their parents are doing, so if you point out that you’re drinking from an open cup, your child will soon follow suit. “This is how big boys drink!”
Take him shopping to pick out his own big kid cup. If he has control over which cup he chooses, he’ll be more excited about wanting to use it. Find new cups with your toddler’s favorite characters and he may be so excited by them that he’ll want to give up his old sippy cups.
Have them toss out the “baby cups” themselves. This gesture will help him understand that he’s a big boy now who deserves big boy cups.
Allow for some leeway. If your child’s preschool requires sippy cups, explain that there are “school” cups and “home” cups, and at home he drinks from the big-kid cups.
Serve your child’s favorite drink in an open cup only. If he’s reluctant to give up the sippy cup, go ahead and let him use it for water, but tell him he has to drink his favorite drink from an open cup. When he really, really wants that drink, he’ll start using it.
Don’t stress about the mess. Part of learning to drink from an open cup is learning how to clean up the spills. Plus, toddlers actually enjoy cleaning up (believe it or not, brooms and mops are among the favorite toddler toys). So hand your little housekeeper a dish towel and let him at it!