Introducing straw cup and open cup at 6 months

Sippy Cup

The 6 month mark is truly a milestone. So many changes around then – S was starting solids, he was sitting upright for progressively longer periods, he was crawling around while making more and more new cute baby sounds and in the midst of all this, maternity leave was also coming to an end and the looming reality of having to start work hit. Since S was exclusively breastfed, I didn’t have to worry about pumping or feeding stored milk. But now, I was exploring options to see how to start getting S used to it. I wanted to try other options before introducing the bottle and since open cup and straw cup can be introduced at the 6 month mark, I decided to give these a try.

I first tried the 360 Spoutless Trainer cup from Dr. Brown. (Buy At Amazon Blue Colour, Buy at Amazon Pink Colour) The cup is designed in a really nice way. There is a silicon valve that fits near the mouth of the cup which dispenses liquid only if pressed. So, when the baby presses their mouth at the rim, liquid pours out from that part alone. It’s great to avoid spills while getting the baby accustomed to an open cup.

360 Spoutless Trainer cup from Dr. Brown worked for water for us, however it didn’t really work for feeding breastmilk. S got rather impatient and wouldn’t want to wait or drink at the pace this cup provided.

There is another 360 cup by Munchkin (Buy at Amazon Blue colour, Pink colour) that is also highly rated which works on a similar principal. You can check that as well. I personally decided to try the Dr.Brown cup first since the silicon valve was see-through which I thought would be helpful for S to understand what he’s drinking and how much of it was there.

Next, we tried the Munchkin weighted straw cup. (Buy at Amazon Blue colour, Pink Colour, Orange Colour, Green Colour) This was a hit!! I was initially skeptical as to how the baby would know to suck through a straw and how we can teach as well. When I researched online, I got to know that 6-12 months was actually the perfect time to introduce straw cups.

At 6 months babies still have a sucking reflex and would automatically try to suck on objects which helps them understand how to use it on their own. For S what worked was introducing the straw cup and smearing a little bit of the food he was eating right at the tip of the straw. Along with that I modeled in front of him making exaggerated sucking motions with my mouth in an “O” shape. When he tried sucking off the tip, he was surprised by the gush of water that came along with it! It was such a cute sight! After that, repeating the same thing over a couple of days more helped him understand how to get the liquid out.

When I then tried feeding him expressed milk in it, he finished the entire amount in one go! Yes, it was little messy since some of the milk split on his t-shirt when he drew in more milk than he could handle, and we also had to get him to sit upright first without leaning forward too much for better positioning but over the next couple of days we were able to figure it out.

Sippy cup – I know this is another alternate option out there which probably has an easier learning curve than the above two. However, it’s currently not recommended since it supposedly causes oral motor delays if used for long. From what I’ve gathered this is mainly due to the tongue positioning while using sippy cups that is not ideal. You can read up more on this and decide for yourself based off what’s convenient for you and your usage. If you are going in for a Sippy cup, a soft spout is better compared to a hard one.

Hope this was useful for you! I’ve linked the products mentioned below for easy reference. They are also available in our storefront for you to shop later. Do let me know what brands worked for your baby. I would love to try out new products as well.

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