Transitioning from a bottle to a sippy cup is a big milestone and a key stage of your baby’s development. The recommended age to start introducing your baby to sippy cups is from around six months old, at the same time you introduce solid foods. This is because, at this age, babies are typically able to sit up and hold their heads steady, as well as have a firmer grasp to hold things.
While introducing your child to a sippy cup as early as possible will make the transition easier, every baby develops at their own pace. So don’t worry if they’re not quite there yet at six months old.
If your baby is already used to being fed from a bottle rather than the breast, then you’ll probably have a slightly easier time transitioning them to a sippy cup. But, even if they’re still breastfed, we’ll be exploring the best sippy cups to use at every age to help make the transition as smooth as possible right here, so stay tuned!
Reasons to Transition from Bottle to Sippy Cup
We get it, your baby is happy, comfortable and gets all the liquid they need through their bottle, so why bother changing it? Well, not only is changing from a bottle to a sippy cup good for their motor skills, hand-eye coordination and the muscles in and around their mouth, but it can also prevent the risk of some health issues such as:
- Tooth decay
- Speech development delays
- Ear infections
- Overbite development
- Misaligned teeth
- Fussy eating
While prolonged bottle use, including the use of a sippy cup after a certain age, can potentially lead to these issues, making the transition between bottle to sippy cup to open cup at the recommended ages will help ensure your baby is happy, healthy and developing as they need to be.
Top Bottle Weaning Tips
Weaning a baby off a bottle is no easy task - we hate to be the bearer of bad news, but there may be tantrums ahead! Some of our top tips to help transition from a bottle to a cup are:
- Start as early as you can, as this will help them develop skills and habits sooner and get used to how the cup should work.
- Show them how it’s done by drinking in front of them and letting them copy you with their own sippy cup.
- Introduce drinks in the sippy cup other than water to make it a more fun experience for them.
- Let them choose their own sippy cup, as then they’ll likely want to use it more.
- Remove or hide all old bottles so there’s no risk of them reverting back to the bottle.
For more helpful tips and information, check out our blog post on how to transition from bottle to cup.
Trainer Cups for 3 Month Olds
If you want to get a head start on weaning your child off the bottle and moving to a sippy cup, our 3+ month trainer cups are ideal. These cups are designed to be ultra comfortable for your child to hold, even if for just a few seconds. With interchangeable no spill silicone spouts and nipples that are delicate on gums and emergine teeth, these trainer cups make it easy to ease your child off the nipple and onto a sippy spout. While at this age they won’t be able to get all the water they need from the cup, it’s still a great way to begin the learning process.
Sippy Cups for 6 Month Olds
At six months old, your baby should be able to grip things easier and take drinks from a sippy cup. This is the age experts suggest introducing them to a sippy cup. Our 6+ month old sippy cups and training cups will help them to leave the bottle behind and start drinking like a big kid! For an all silicone option, the Baby’s First Silicone Cup is a great choice as it features and easy grip design, is suitable for both cold and warm drinks and has a free flow spout to make it natural, easy and safe to drink.
At this age, you may also be able to start introducing them to open cups, depending on how ready you think they are, with the Baby’s First Mini Sipper Training Cup. This cup is designed for little hands and will help strengthen their oral motor skills to get them ahead of the game!
Sippy Cups for 12 Month Olds
When your child is a year old, they should be working towards beingweaned off the bottle and trying out an open cup as well as the sippy cup. Drinking from an open cup can be another difficult transition, but our 12+ month cups are created to make drinking easier. For example, our No Spill 360 Wonder Cup can be sipped from all sides, has a leak-resistant design for fewer spills, is made from durable, break-resistant Tritan plastic and securely seals when your child stops drinking.
If your child is still attached to their sippy cup, try an alternative cup such as a water bottle or a sippy cup with a straw which are great for when you’re on the go and want to encourage their natural drinking development.
Cups for Toddlers
At 18 months old, your toddler will have the motor skills needed to comfortably drink from an open cup at every meal, dribble-free! Ideally, they should no longer be using sippy cups or nighttime bottles. The only exception to this is when they’re out and about.
If you have a very active child or need an age-suitable water bottle to take with you to the park or on family picnics, our 18+ months cups, including our popular Thirsty Kids range, are the perfect solution. Available in a variety of colours and patterns, these water bottles offer a leak-proof design and a silicone straw or spout to make drinking effortless.
At this stage, you should also give yourself a well deserved pat on the back for successfully making it through the transition!
Browse through our full range of cups to help choose the best cup for your child at every stage!