Should Your Kid Be Using a Sippy Cup by Now?
By about age one you can begin introducing your child to training or sippy cups, gradually weaning them off a bottle so they can begin transitioning to eventually using a cup. The use of a sippy cup makes this transition process much easier for a young child to cope with rather than to try introducing them to a regular cup.
Choosing the Best Type of Sippy Cup for Your Kid
The American Dental Association recommends using a cup with a snap-on or screw-on lid with a spout to make it easy to sip. It’s a great idea to pick a cup with two handles so your kid will find it easier to hold. Even though a ‘no-spill’ sippy cup seems like a really good idea, its use is not recommended by pediatric dentists. This is because a no-spill cup has a valve to prevent liquid from flowing out, but this encourages a child to suck to release the liquid in the cup. Encouraging the same type of sucking action required when a child uses a bottle defeats the purpose of using a sippy cup. While no parent or caregiver wants to have to deal with any more messy spills than strictly necessary, looking for a sippy cup that isn’t no-spill but which has a weighted bottom so it is self-balancing can be a good compromise.
Making the Transition from Bottle to Sippy Cup Smooth for Everyone
To begin with, you’ll need to help your baby with their new sippy cup and will have to hold it up for them while they drink. It may take a while for them to master the technique needed to hold the cup and it can be a good idea to stick to offering them water during this transition period just to avoid more spills than necessary. You may need to try several different models of cup before your baby finds one they feel comfortable using and some may refuse to use a sippy cup altogether. It can help to offer them different liquids or to dip the spout of the sippy cup into a liquid they are already familiar with drinking so they get the idea.
Which Liquids Should Your Child Be Drinking from Their Sippy Cup?
Pediatric dentists recommend babies don’t drink sugary liquids from bottles over prolonged periods of time in order to prevent baby bottle tooth decay and the same advice applies for sippy cups. Exposing your kid’s brand new milk teeth to sugary liquids over extended periods of time will increase their risk of early childhood tooth decay (dental caries). Ideally keep milk or formula and other sugary liquids such as fruit juice for mealtimes and offer your child water in between. The reason for keeping these drinks to mealtimes is that they will be consumed alongside foods and although the acidity in the mouth will automatically increase at this time, so will the production of saliva as eating stimulates its production. Saliva helps to wash away sugars and food particles, decreasing the risk to your child’s teeth.
Keep in Touch with Kids Dentistry Center Specialists
Kids Best Dentist Brooklyn NYC
Dr. Marina Krepkh
7708 4th Avenue 1st floor
Brooklyn, NY 11209 (Bay Ridge)