Quick Guide: Transitioning to an Open Cup
Is it time for your little one to give up the sippy and drink from an open cup? It can seem like a daunting task to make the transition but using these tips and tricks you will have your child sipping from a big cup in no time!
Use the smallest cup you can find to start with. This will allow your child to have more control over the cup and make it easier for them to handle. Parents often times think that they should use a regular kid cup but just put a tiny amount of liquid in it to prevent massive spills. This actually causes more spills. If you just put a little liquid in the cup your child will tip it all the way back and get a face full of water. If you actually fill a tiny cup up all the way, they only have to tip it back slightly and they will fill the liquid on their lips and stop tipping the cup because the water is there.
Starting out with a thicker liquid is easier because it comes out slower. My son is a smoothie lover so that is what we used when making the transition. Just throw their favorite fruit, milk, and veggies into the blender and pulse until you get the right consistency. Making your own smoothie allows you to change the consistency based on your child’s needs. Use a thicker smoothie to start out with and thin it as they gain more control.
Practice Makes Perfect
Your little one will need to practice this skill many times before perfection will occur. To prevent messes practice cup drinking in places that it doesn’t matter if spills occur. Give your child sips of water outside from an open cup where they can help water the grass with spills. During bath time fill a cup with fresh water and have them attempt in the tub as there is no clean up needed there either!
Don’t Cry Over Spilled Milk
Do not have a big reaction when your child spills or dumps the cup. This will happen! If you keep your reaction small and redirect them to drink, they won’t be as tempted to do it again. Accidents happen so try to be patient.
Now that you have some strategies it is time to fill up that cup and give it a try. This is one more step in the right direction to your child becoming more independent!
Kayla is currently a stay at home mom taking some time off from teaching to learn, enjoy, and raise her son. She is a former Birth to Three Early Interventionist who worked with children with developmental delays as well as coached parents and caregivers on strategies to encourage development. She has now taken that passion and put it into her writing on Parenting Expert To Mom where she shares strategies to encourage learning in daily routines.