Babies: Learning to use a cup

I have a soon-to-be one year old that I would like to get to drink from a cup. She nurses and I let her try water or juice in a cup. Most of this liquid goes in her mouth and then back out again. The sippy cups seem to frustrate her. I'm worried that she is not getting enough liquid, though she does have plenty of wet diapers. How can I help her learn to use a cup?

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Sue Gilbert

Sue Gilbert works as a consulting nutritionist. For many years she worked with Earth's Best Organic Baby Food, integrating nutrition and... Read more

Practice, practice, practice! Learning to drink from a cup is like learning to crawl, or sit up or walk. There are going to be lots of failures before it is perfected.

Keep offering your little one the cup. Help her to tip it to her mouth without it all 'gushing' out at once. Make sure the liquid is a temperature she is used to so that she isn't surprised, causing her to spit it back out. It may even help to have the liquid be one she is already familiar with, such as your expressed milk, so that the novelty of the whole situation is not too overwhelming.

While she is practicing and perfecting this technique, you can be sure she is getting enough liquid by not counting on it as part of her fluid intake, but rather continuing to nurse. Remember also, she is getting a lot of fluid from the foods that she eats. Fruits and vegetables naturally contain lots of water.

Keep some washcloths near by to clean up those spills and good luck!

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