Being able to wean your infant onto a cup is a relatively important milestone for a baby. In addition, weaning your infant onto a cup can help the process of transitioning from formula to other sorts of beverages. If you have been breast feeding, weaning your infant onto a cup would allow you to still pump your breast milk, yet avoid bottles. Whatever the reason, There are some things you should consider when you are thinking about starting to wean your infant onto a cup.
The first thing that you need to recognize is that every baby is different. Some infants may be interested in a cup as early as six months of age. Other infants might not show any interest in using a cup until much later. The good news in this regard is that there isn’t any harm in offering a cup to your infant. Do keep in mind the fact that your infant may need quite a bit of assistance to begin with when weaning onto a cup, so be ready to help him or her to learn the process of using the cup. As with so many other aspects of parenting, patience is a key apart of this process.
Most of the time, when parents start weaning their infant onto a cup, they will start out with a sippy cup. Sippy cups are designed especially for young hands. Sippy cups don’t spill when they are knocked over, for example. There is some concern about sippy cups from speech experts, who suggest that using a sippy cup for an extended period of time can cause problems with speech development, but more research is needed here. Another possible down side to using a sippy cup, for the mom who is breastfeeding, is that sometimes the vigorous amount of sucking that a sippy cup requires can sometimes change the way that the baby latches on to the mother’s breast.
If you are concerned about whether or not you should start weaning your infant onto a cup, or if you are concerned that your infant is not showing interest in a cup and are worried that it is related to his or her development, you should speak with your health care provider.