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It's so important for babies and toddlers to drink - we all know that, but what should they drink from? An open cup, tilted cup, non-drip spout, bottle? Does it really matter? Surely in order to protect carpets and clothes, using a non-drip cup is absolutely fine.
There are so many cups and spouts to choose from that it's a bit bewildering and there seem to be growing concern from dentists regarding the spouts that our children are using. Experts say that drinking from a cup should be encouraged from 6 months and bottles should not be used after a year.
Experts advise that non-spill cups should be avoided and that open cups should be sipped, or that cups with free flow spouts are better. Teaching toddlers to drink from a cup can be messy, and time consuming, but it is best for them and their teeth. Even breast fed babies can drink from an open cup held to their mouths. This is a good idea if you wish to avoid nipple confusion.
Advantages of using a sippy cup:
- Independence: the child feels independent and can hold with handles and drink alone
- Hand-eye co-ordination: this improves with using the cup
- Limits mess: spillages are less dramatic
- Toddlers become dependent on using a spout and won't drink form anything else
- Can impair growth of teeth
- Can increase tooth decay if used with squashes or sugary drinks
- There are many designs and choice can be confusing!
- They can need lots of 'sucking' to get out any drink so can be hard work!