Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Teaching your baby to drink from a straw.

Somewhere between the age of six to eight months your baby should start using a sippy cup.

There are basically two steps to teaching your baby to drink from a straw:

1) Model the behavior for your child - drink from the straw as they watch.  

2) Then put the straw up to your child's lips (or a separate straw, so as to not share your germs).

I first introduced my son (at just under 7 months old) to a straw by showing him how to drink from it myself, using a regular straw. 

Be careful at first, as you need to limit the amount of times your baby sips from the straw.   They will drink too much and too quickly from an adult straw and can aspirate the water (it will get into his or her lungs).

In the video below, you can see that I pull the straw away after a couple seconds.

Learning to use a straw early on will help your baby to develop finer motor skills with his or her mouth.   

This cup, with a weighted straw, works great for the real little ones (less than one year), because no matter which way they tilt it, the straw stays under the liquid.

But I would also introduce other types of sippy cups that use spouts, as you child should learn to master both.

Another good cup to try is the Miracle 360 cup, although my son tended to prefer the straw cups early on.

Now he seems to like both spout/nozzle cups and straw cups.  

No matter which cup you get, they all have drawbacks - none are "perfect"....

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