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When our boys turned 6 months, we not only introduced solids, but we also introduced a cup (or many different types of cups) to them! My disclaimer is always that I share what we do in our family and what works for us! Some families may approach the transition to sippy cup in a whole different way, but I just wanted to share what I have done with my twins and hope that it can contribute as one piece of information for those looking to start this next step!
What can babies drink?
Our main drink is just plain purified water that we get from our Coway rented water purifier. But as many Korean households do, I also gave the boys some Korean barley tea and Korean corn tea. All I do is brew the tea bag in a large pitcher and pour some into their cups.
Although some babies drink juice, I personally have not offered it yet, due to the higher sugar content.
Just last week, I started making daily fruit/veggie smoothies. I pretty much vary the smoothie in different combinations with all sorts of healthy goodies: kale, spinach, carrots, bananas, strawberries, bluberries, apples, pear, mangos, kiwis, avocado.
When should you introduce a sippy cup to your baby?
Before 6 months, offering water does not have a benefit to baby as there is no nutritional value in filling a tiny baby’s stomach with water. Instead, at this time, babies should be only drinking breastmilk or formula as it provides a full nutrition for them. Check their diapers, because wet and poopy diapers are proof that they are healthy and that they are already getting all that they need!
Due to my boys being premature twins and being born underweight, they were always in the lower percentile for their growth charts. It was always my worry that they might not be getting enough, but every time we went for a well-baby checkup, their measurements showed that they were progressing and increasing in their growth, so we knew that they were healthy and doing just fine. And they really are, because they’re reaching all their milestones at a steady rate!
When the boys turned 6 months, our doctor recommended that we start giving them water in a cup! By this age, babies are still drinking their formula and breastmilk, but they can also be introduced to solid foods in either puree or table food form. We also got the green light for drinking water throughout the day.
When drinking water, it’s time to switch it up from bottles to cups! Our doctor made a suggestion that we should try all the different types of cups so that they learn from a variety and build their skills from there. Some babies will have a preference for a certain type of cup, or will do better with one type of cup than the other. It really is a matter of trial and error, because you never know which one to use until you give it a try!
Our pediatrician also cautioned us against using any sippy cups that look more like a bottle or ones that require the child to lay down to drink. Pretty much it would be more like a fast-flowing bottle, and bottles are what we are eventually trying to transition off from.
At 12 months, our doctor told us that we no longer have to feed formula and we can say bye-bye to our bottles and give them whole milk in their sippy cup or open cup. However, I know the boys aren’t yet ready to get off of formula, so we are weaning them off of the bottle gradually. This way it isn’t so sudden or throws them off. At 12.5 months, I began introducing whole 2% organic milk from Horizon in an open cup and our favorite thinkbaby thinkster straw bottle. Immediately, both boys made a face of disgust and did not want to drink anymore after the initial sip. This is also the reason why I know we aren’t quite yet done with formula. My little hack was to mix whole milk and formula with a 1:1 ratio. Certainly, the goal is that they will be able to drink regular milk without any formula mix ins, but for now, we are progressing toward that goal!
Types of cups we tried and what we loved!
Something that people ask us is: do you buy two of everything? And the answer is yes. But sometimes it’s four of everything so that we have a set at our place and a set at my mom’s place since my mom is their other primary caregiver 3 days a week! With cups, it was no different! Since I had purchased so many types of cups, I just kept 2 sets there and 2 sets at our place.
Of the cups that we have tried, I want to breifly share which cups are our favorites and which ones weren’t so favorable.
- open cup (plastic adult size one that we already have). This is the first cup that the boys have tried. They knew that they should put their mouth on the rim of the cup and swallow, but they would always overestimate and spill everything. They definitely need adult help to drink from a completely open cup. I have also read somewhere that open cup is the recommended type of cup that a baby should drink as sippy cups can cause tooth decay.
- munchkin 360 trainer cup with handles. Love this one because the goal is to get them to drink from an open cup but without spills!
- munchkin click lock bite proof trainer cup. we all really hated this one and I regretted buying it so much. I just feel like it’s really hard to get any liquid out and it is similar to a bottle because you really have to tilt the head a lot to try to get anything out. But who knows, what didn’t work for us could work best for another family!
- munchkin weighted straw cup. the boys at first had a hard time sucking from a straw for about the first couple days, but they quickly learned to drink from a straw and now they prefer to drink from a straw rather than an open cup. it’s definitely easier for them!
- thinkbaby thinkster straw cup. this is our number 1 cup at the moment. I put either water or formula/whole milk mix. What I absolutely love about this one is that it has minimal leaks and that I can remove the handles for later use. Also, the boys really drink their sufficient portion of liquid with this cup, which I’m pretty proud of.
- oxotot transition open cup trainer. This cup is our newest addition, and it is certainly the hardest, because it’s definitely a big boy cup. I always have to supervise them as there are tiny holes at the top that can immediately cause a spill of the whole cup. It’s not exactly travel friendly because it mimics an open cup so any liquid will definitely spill. However, it is a learning tool for us, because it teaches the boys how much to drink and that they should swallow before gulping some more liquid. I know that the boys will only get better with this cup over time. A big plus for this one is that it is easiest to clean because it doesn’t have the extra parts like a straw which is harder to clean.
Though we have tried several, obviously we haven’t bought the entire market for different baby sippy cups. But for now this is what we are using and it’s what the boys love so we are good to go with them!