Tuesday, October 20, 2009

A Sippy Cup Saga

Ah, sippy cup.  How I loathe thee.  You are a glorified bottle that my babies do not prefer but must use so that they do not become illiterate, junkie, buck-toothed juvenile delinquents.  Or at least that's what I am led to believe.

So, to keep my kids out of jail, we will be starting the transition from bottles to sippy cups tomorrow, on their 11 month birthday, with the goal of being finished by their first birthday.  They can use the sippy cup well enough and I think once it has something more enticing in it (milk/formula) they will get even better at it.  I discussed some approaches with B., our EI worker.  She suggested that since we LOVE routines (guilty!), we should implement a sippy cup routine - different, maybe, from the bottle routine but something structured nonetheless.  She mentioned having them sit on the couch for their sippies and when they get off the couch to play, sippy time is over.  I like that idea but not sure I really want to manage two fearless 11 month olds on a couch.  We'll figure something out.  It will most likely involve The Backyardigans or some other kid's TV show.

As for getting them to drink milk (as opposed to formula) I think I will start that around 11.5 months.  I have no worries about them liking the milk - when we transitioned from breast milk to formula, they could not have cared less.  But their tummies may need some time to adjust and I think two weeks should be more than enough.

I'll be sure to post again about our progress - we'll be taking out one bottle a week to be done by November 21st.  We'll start with the mid-morning bottle, then the afternoon bottle, then the bedtime bottle, and lastly (shudder) the morning bottle. 

In the meantime, I'd love any tips from you wise mommies who have been through this already.  Thanks as always!!


  1. No help on this one. It took my little guy forever to transition to a sippy cup. I look forward to checking back for help with the twins.

  2. We went with the cold turkey method. We had been offering sippies at every meal from 10 months on, as day care did. Then a week after they turned one, we took away all the bottles except nighttime bottle and they never looked back. Alex took a few days to really start drinking from it but Nate chugged it.

    We took the bedtime bottle away a couple of weeks later. At first, we would cuddle them with a sippy at bedtime but that only lasted a couple of weeks since they didn't drink much. Instead before going upstairs to bed, we would do one last snack with sippy, which we still do today (except with regular cup).

    Good luck!

  3. Partly because of weight gain issues and partly because I don't believe all the hype about long term bottle usage, so long as some basic rules are followed to protect their teeth, we gave their girls their very last bottle at 2 years, 6 months exactly. Our pedi fully supported us. If things don't progess as fast as you'd like, don't worry about it. They'll get there eventually

  4. Porgie had trouble switching to the sippy cup, so we used a spill proofed straw cup instead. The transition was pretty easy. She didn't really seem to care one way or another, but she was older than your kids. I took her bottles away when she was 15 months. Izzy was so used to seeing his sister drink from a cup, that he never even questioned it. We went straight from breastfeeding to the sippy cup at about 1 year of age.

  5. There are very tiny take n tosses - (4 oz) that is easier for them to tip. And Ned is really good at straws - we did nothing to help that he just is (Penny can't). Plus take n toss are cheap! I stopped using all the fancy cups I bought.

    We always have them on their highchair trays. Penny still doesn't take more than 1 sip but Ned just rocks the straws. Good luck - and don't worry about it. As I said in my bottle post my kids will give those up some time before college. A year is just a guideline, not a manifesto.

  6. Straws are good for speech development too!

    Instead of doing a "sippy routine" that is similar to a bottle routine, I'd think about making sippies more part of meals---not to replace bottles. Does that make sense? Who needs to extra work of adding tasks to your routine---just add this into your mealtimes. So, you could offer in the am when they wake up, and then at each meal and snack. Just a warning---they will probably drink much less for a couple of weeks, then pick up again.

    We also transitioned away from nursing to sleep by doing nursing, then story, then bed for the last 4-6 weeks. Obviously different from bottle, but I just wanted to break the association of breast & bed. Once we dropped that feeding, no more sippy after dinner. In our case, it was dinner/bath/bed, so that's not really more than 30-45 minutes all in.

    Good luck! It was easy for us. Now, potty training, on the other other hand....

  7. I have heard a lot of people say not to get into the habit of giving the sippy with milk during "bottle" times but I'm afraid they'll be hungry between meals.

    I mean, they go from having these 4 bottles a day to nothing? That just seems like a big switch. I figure they will drink less when it's sippy cups. Then, we can start to phase them out and just have the sippies with milk at meals.

  8. Hi, my twins are almost a year and I've gotten them down to three bottles a day. However, I'm not going to force them to give up their bottles just yet.

    I personally think the giving up the bottle at one is kind of cruel. Breastfeeding moms are encouraged to bf as long as they want, but bottle feeding moms aren't supposed to continue the cuddly, snuggly bottle time with their kids. I have never let them hold their own bottles and they only have them when I'm holding and cuddling them, so it's not like they are drinking milk from them throughout the day that will rot their teeth.

    I asked my pediatrician about this and she agrees with me - as long as we don't let them hold their own bottles and drink at will from them throughout the day, it's not a problem.

    I do give them sippy cups of milk during meals and sippy cups of water throughout the day. They love drinking out of sippy cups and even regular cups (can you say messy?).

  9. @Anonymous - I would never say that people have to take bottles away from their kids at a year. That's up to them. But I'm choosing to because I think they are ready. I don't think it's cruel either. But our situation is different - I don't hold my kids when they have their bottles - they do it themselves and have for many months now. So, I won't be taking away any snuggle time from them with this transition.

    As for BFing moms, I think its a matter of getting the milk - the mom isn't going to start pumping just so that her kid won't nurse any more. But bottle-fed babies can still have formula in a sippy if that's what their mom decides.

  10. Hi Nicole, I didn't at all mean that it's cruel to the babies - just to the moms who want to keep bottle feeding (I realized it might come across this way after I posted). I think I'm just sensitive because I wasn't able to BF my twins and sometimes think the BFing moms get a lot more support and leeway. But, that's another story!


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