Ditching the Sippy Cup


I’ve said it before.. we are a nation with a real sippy-cup addiction. Seriously. You would think I’d be used to it, but it still blows my mind to see 5- and 6-year olds carrying sippy cups around the grocery store. Or seeing parents fill their preschoolers’ sippys with soda at McDonald’s. Innumberable children entering preschool or kindergarten have never held an open cup until snacktime… and they promptly dump it all over. They have no concept of “cause and effect” and what’s going to happen.

The thing is… the sippy cup should just be a transition step. And a fairly short-lived one at that! As far as our kids’ teeth are concerned, it’s really not any better than drinking from a baby bottle. Drinking from an open cup builds coordination. It requires different oral strengths than a sippy cup. And, quite simply, it’s a life skill. I truly believe that, as parents, we need to be more pro-active in getting our kids off the sippy… We’ve successfully ditched the sippy cup well before the third birthdays of both of our children. Here are my best tips for being successful.

  • Use a very small cup and very little liquid to start. There’s no reason to start out huge. Face it– you ARE going to be wiping up the contents of said cup. May as well keep the damage to a minimum.
  • Start with water. Same idea– it’s so much easier to clean up than sticky juice or milk!
  • Feel free to hold the cup yourself the first few times. This allows your child to sip at the liquid and grasp the concept without getting “flooded”.
  • Serve drinks at the table. I know that seems like a no-brainer tip, but I really think one of the main reasons for the “sippy cup epidemic” is that, somewhere along the line, we got it into our heads that our children must have access to a drink every moment of the day. I’m not sure why this is… I certainly don’t remember EVER having a drink in the car or church or the doctor’s waiting room as a child. And I wasn’t deprived or dehydrated either. By all means, make sure your children are getting enough fluids. But there’s no reason they need to run all over the house with them.
  • If you MUST serve something to drink away from the table, consider using a straw. There are lidded cups with straws available that can be washed and re-used. Or give a juice box as a treat. Straws are actually GOOD for kids because they build oral strength (especially “crazy straws”!) and help prevent aspiration since your head remains upright (rather than tipped back) when you swallow. Furthermore, straws are socially appropriate even as adults, so it’s not another thing to “wean” your child off of down the road.
  • When you feel frustrated, remember that YOU never had a sippy cup as as child. And I bet you turned out just fine. :)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
This post is linked to Works for Me Wednesday and Kitchen Tip Tuesdays

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Ditching the Sippy Cup


I’ve said it before.. we are a nation with a real sippy-cup addiction. Seriously. You would think I’d be used to it, but it still blows my mind to see 5- and 6-year olds carrying sippy cups around the grocery store. Or seeing parents fill their preschoolers’ sippys with soda at McDonald’s. Innumberable children entering preschool or kindergarten have never held an open cup until snacktime… and they promptly dump it all over. They have no concept of “cause and effect” and what’s going to happen.

The thing is… the sippy cup should just be a transition step. And a fairly short-lived one at that! As far as our kids’ teeth are concerned, it’s really not any better than drinking from a baby bottle. Drinking from an open cup builds coordination. It requires different oral strengths than a sippy cup. And, quite simply, it’s a life skill. I truly believe that, as parents, we need to be more pro-active in getting our kids off the sippy… We’ve successfully ditched the sippy cup well before the third birthdays of both of our children. Here are my best tips for being successful.

  • Use a very small cup and very little liquid to start. There’s no reason to start out huge. Face it– you ARE going to be wiping up the contents of said cup. May as well keep the damage to a minimum.
  • Start with water. Same idea– it’s so much easier to clean up than sticky juice or milk!
  • Feel free to hold the cup yourself the first few times. This allows your child to sip at the liquid and grasp the concept without getting “flooded”.
  • Serve drinks at the table. I know that seems like a no-brainer tip, but I really think one of the main reasons for the “sippy cup epidemic” is that, somewhere along the line, we got it into our heads that our children must have access to a drink every moment of the day. I’m not sure why this is… I certainly don’t remember EVER having a drink in the car or church or the doctor’s waiting room as a child. And I wasn’t deprived or dehydrated either. By all means, make sure your children are getting enough fluids. But there’s no reason they need to run all over the house with them.
  • If you MUST serve something to drink away from the table, consider using a straw. There are lidded cups with straws available that can be washed and re-used. Or give a juice box as a treat. Straws are actually GOOD for kids because they build oral strength (especially “crazy straws”!) and help prevent aspiration since your head remains upright (rather than tipped back) when you swallow. Furthermore, straws are socially appropriate even as adults, so it’s not another thing to “wean” your child off of down the road.
  • When you feel frustrated, remember that YOU never had a sippy cup as as child. And I bet you turned out just fine. :)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
This post is linked to Works for Me Wednesday and Kitchen Tip Tuesdays

Facebook Twitter Stumbleupon Email Tumblr

Ditching the Sippy Cup


I’ve said it before.. we are a nation with a real sippy-cup addiction. Seriously. You would think I’d be used to it, but it still blows my mind to see 5- and 6-year olds carrying sippy cups around the grocery store. Or seeing parents fill their preschoolers’ sippys with soda at McDonald’s. Innumberable children entering preschool or kindergarten have never held an open cup until snacktime… and they promptly dump it all over. They have no concept of “cause and effect” and what’s going to happen.

The thing is… the sippy cup should just be a transition step. And a fairly short-lived one at that! As far as our kids’ teeth are concerned, it’s really not any better than drinking from a baby bottle. Drinking from an open cup builds coordination. It requires different oral strengths than a sippy cup. And, quite simply, it’s a life skill. I truly believe that, as parents, we need to be more pro-active in getting our kids off the sippy… We’ve successfully ditched the sippy cup well before the third birthdays of both of our children. Here are my best tips for being successful.

  • Use a very small cup and very little liquid to start. There’s no reason to start out huge. Face it– you ARE going to be wiping up the contents of said cup. May as well keep the damage to a minimum.
  • Start with water. Same idea– it’s so much easier to clean up than sticky juice or milk!
  • Feel free to hold the cup yourself the first few times. This allows your child to sip at the liquid and grasp the concept without getting “flooded”.
  • Serve drinks at the table. I know that seems like a no-brainer tip, but I really think one of the main reasons for the “sippy cup epidemic” is that, somewhere along the line, we got it into our heads that our children must have access to a drink every moment of the day. I’m not sure why this is… I certainly don’t remember EVER having a drink in the car or church or the doctor’s waiting room as a child. And I wasn’t deprived or dehydrated either. By all means, make sure your children are getting enough fluids. But there’s no reason they need to run all over the house with them.
  • If you MUST serve something to drink away from the table, consider using a straw. There are lidded cups with straws available that can be washed and re-used. Or give a juice box as a treat. Straws are actually GOOD for kids because they build oral strength (especially “crazy straws”!) and help prevent aspiration since your head remains upright (rather than tipped back) when you swallow. Furthermore, straws are socially appropriate even as adults, so it’s not another thing to “wean” your child off of down the road.
  • When you feel frustrated, remember that YOU never had a sippy cup as as child. And I bet you turned out just fine. :)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
This post is linked to Works for Me Wednesday and Kitchen Tip Tuesdays

Facebook Twitter Stumbleupon Email Tumblr

No comments yet to Ditching the Sippy Cup

  • Good points! I've been still using a sippy with my 2 year old, even though she used a tiny cup (the size of a shot glass) when she was much smaller. I guess it was about the time she figured out how much fun it was to play in that tiny bit of water that I went to the sippy cup! Thanks for the nudge. :>)

  • Great post, sippy on drinks all day, especially sugary ones are also terrible on teeth. My husband can’t stand it when he sees 6 yo sipping on drinks all day. You should drink, yes, but a cups is much beetter. Thanks for doing this post.

  • I totally agree! We never have used sippy cups! Our children go strait from bottle to straw cups at around 10 months and some younger depending on the need. Our now two year old get a real cup at the table and straw cups if we go out. The baby our 11 month old is a pro at a straw cup! And won’t take a bottle now.

  • I didn’t realize how opinionated I was on this topic until I read your post! :)

    Our younegest drank from a soft tip sippy cup when I weaned him from the bottle at 10 months. He used that until shortly over a year old. He’s been drinking from a “big boy cup” since!

    Makes my skin crawl to see preschool aged children and older carrying around a sippy. They will need the skill of drinking from a cup, so why continue delaying it with a sippy?!

    Great points and post!

  • You’re all about the controversial topics, huh? LOL I love this! It needs to be said, and I agree wholeheartedly.

    Many of the bad habits our kids develop are because of our own laziness. There, I said it. ;-)

  • Hoorah!! I agree! With our last baby who is 19 mnths now we totally bypassed the sippy and used a straw cup. As to juice and soda for little ones, another pet peeve of mine! We’ve also skipped the juice for our children except for an ocassional treat opting for the healthier option, fresh fruit. Great post!!

  • I’m the odd woman out here! I do let my three year old use a sippy cup. She can use a real cup without problems, but we have had dehydration issues, especially in the summer, so I let her keep water next to her while she plays, and beside her bed at night. A regular cup will inevitably be knocked over, so a sippy cup is just easier. I have been trying to mainly give her spill proof cups with a straw instead of a sippy top, but when the straw lids are dirty, she uses the sippy, and it’s not an issue either way. Plus, when we travel, it’s much easier to hand her a sippy cup of water than it is to hand her a water bottle then stop the car to change her into dry clothes when she spills it. I do, however, believe that giving a five year old a sippy cup is the same as giving a three year old a bottle, ssoooo she’ll be completely done with the sippy way before then :-)

  • Yes, yes and yes!! I completely agree. My kids have been off the sippy cup at 2.5 and just over 2, respectively. #3 is 8 months and just starting to wean from the bottle to soft tip cup. I hope to have her completely off the bottle by 10 months (as I have done with the other 2), then to a regular cup by age 2.

    Like a few others, I also didn’t realize I was so opinionated on this matter, but it distresses me to see big kids with sippy’s (and pacifiers)!!

  • I still use a sippy cup myself, and have never found that it interferes with my social agenda. :)

    All kidding aside, I completely agree. I think hanging on to the sippy cup too long stems from simply not wanting to clean up messes, and that is NOT a good reason.

  • Amen to that!
    Reese totally wants to drink out of a GLASS and he forcefully pushes our hands away if we try to “help” him steady it. Of course he LOVES straws too. But I have to admit I wish he would still use the sippy because I’m afraid he’ll break the glasses.

  • Amy

    Many of your commentors are assuming that a child carrying a sippy only drinks from that sippy. Not necessarily true.

    Both of my kids had sippy cups of *WATER* (important point- not soda or juice) throughout the day– both with spouts or the straw kind. Regular cups were used at meal times. My DD transitioned herself to a sports water bottle around age 4. They drink more water that way, plain and simple. As long as they are also able to drink from open cups, I see no harm in allowing them the portable version when they’re little– after all, many adults carry water bottles 24/7 now.

    It does make me crazy to see small kids with soda, and juice isn’t any better sugar-wise. Like I said, it was always water for my kids.

  • I stumbled over here from WFMW and I will admit I have a three year old boy and an almost two year old daughter who have. to. have. their. sippies. all. the. time.

    This was such an eye opener. I am going to start the weaning process ASAP. You make some very valid points. And, what do you bet it helps me with potty training because they won’t be constantly slurping on their sippies?

    Love it.

    Can’t believe I never really thought about The Sippy Cup Epidemic before this.

    Great post.

  • My 18-month-old still uses a sippy cup. I can’t remember exactly when his big sister (who will be 4 in a few months) transitioned to a regular cup, but it was a year or so ago. It’ll be great once the little guy’s done with the sippies, but I’m not planning to push the issue before he turns 2.

  • Edi

    I hate sippy cups too – but I sure used them when the kids were small :) But this is the deal – it’s not very good for kids to be drinking constantly and walking around with something to drink (especially if you are trying to potty train). Better to limit drinks to the kitchen table or outside – so then cleaning up a spill isn’t such a hassle.

    I’m horrified with someone I know that even though her dd was over 3 she put her to bed with a sippy cup full of milk!!!!!!!!!! – every night! How can a child keep dry if they have that??

  • How is it not good to have access to water? I carry a water bottle around, but it unscrews. My 2yo’s sippy is not that much different. She does get a cup at the table, and straws when we’re out, but in the car and the park, sippies are still our go-to. They also make great bedside water – I used one without the valve the last time I was sick. It’s covered, no messing with caps in the middle of the night- brilliant.

  • I don’t really see the sippy cup as being that evil. I do not really have a problem with them and I don’t have a problem seeing other kids with them. It isn’t exactly like the pacifier or bottle. I have friends that wean their kids off of sippy cups very early, but it doesn’t seem like a huge deal to me. We are kind of heavy drinkers in our family (mostly water) and if they are drinking water then does it really matter?

  • First of all, I am not even remotely surprised that there are lots of differing opinions on this subject! We all tend to want to vehemently defend the choices we make with our own children, myself included.

    That being said, I have to wonder where this obsession with “At least they’re drinking!!!” is coming from. Yes, I know that staying hydrated is important. We absolutely stress getting enough water in our household. But, honestly? With the exception of when kids are extremely active in the heat or are sick, I rarely hear a lot of warnings about how children in this country are withering away from dehydration. In truth, I think we have just as much of a problem with kids filling up TOO much on drinks and then not eating sufficiently. For that reason, I’ve never felt that it was necessary to latch onto a sippy cup simply to have constant water access…

    I think the sippy cup is closer to the pacifier than people like to admit. Both, quite honestly, tend to be objects that PARENTS want to hold onto because they make our lives easier. And the longer we let our children be attached to these babyish comfort objects, the harder it is to get them off of it. I don’t see anything at all wrong with the use of pacifiers or sippy cups as long as they’re used at developmentally appropriate times.

    As with most things, there is no “magic” age when a child should ditch the sippy. But I’m sticking to my guns…

    There is no reason for a kindergarten aged child (unless there are true special needs involved) to be using a sippy cup.

  • Great post !! So glad I don’t stand alone on this issue. And while we are at it, can I say please, PLEASE, stop the binkys by two years old ! I can’t tell you how many times I see 3, 4 and even 5 yrs old sucking on them URG!!! It drives me nuts. I do have thumb sucks(and it drives me crazy, I am always on them about it) and we have put the metal bars in their mouth to make them stop !

    Well thats my 2 cents anyway.
    Have a wonderful day.
    Blessings-
    Rachelle

  • Anonymous

    Your blog keeps getting better and better! Your older articles are not as good as newer ones you have a lot more creativity and originality now. Keep it up!
    And according to this article, I totally agree with your opinion, but only this time! :)

  • Anonymous

    hello all

    I figured it would be a good idea to introduce myself to everyone!

    Can't wait to get to know you all better!

    -Marshall

    Thanks again!

  • Anonymous

    hiya

    just registered and put on my todo list

    hopefully this is just what im looking for looks like i have a lot to read.

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