Close Close
Mother and Baby

How To Get Your Baby Drinking From A Cup

Helping your tot give up drinking from a bottle and teaching him to drink from a cup is an important — yet sometimes tricky not to mention messy — milestone. Here's how to make it a little easier…

When should I move my baby to a cup?

Moving your little one from a bottle to a cup can be quite a fiddly time and something that little ones can take to right away, or may need lots of support and encouragement. ‘Babies are usually ready for a cup from around six to eight months, but some babies are not interested until they are over 12 months,’ says Fi Star-Stone, a baby expert and author of The Baby Bedtime Book (G2 Entertainment, £9.99). Go by your baby – every child is different.

‘It’s important to move to a cup, because if your little one spends all day slurping on a bottle of milk or juice, it could lead to serious tooth decay,’ says Fi. It also means there's less room for baby foods, which hold more nutrients.

How can I make the transition from bottle to cup easy?

Many parents worry about moving their little ones from bottle to cup because of they’re worried the change will mean they’ll reject the cup completely. ‘Often the comfort of breastfeeding or bottle feeding can cause reluctance to accept a sippy cup, so it's important not to make it a big deal, and just introduce the idea gently,’ says Fi. She suggests these tips for making the move easier.

Pick the right time
Try introducing the cup at lunch and tea-time rather than breakfast when your little one is very hungry, and keep the evening milk before bed as a breast or bottle feed until they are a little older as it's more comforting than a cup.

Invest in some sippy cups
It's a good idea to shop around when it comes to buying cups as your baby may prefer some cups over others. It's a learning experience for you both. Start with a slow-flowing sippy cup that limits the flow of liquid from the cup. This will make choking on fluid less likely, which is a common cause of cup rejection.

Try dipping
Dip the tip of the cup spout into your baby's breast milk or formula and then give it to your baby to try.

Show your little one the way
Children love to copy, so take a sip from a sippy cup yourself and offer your baby one for himself. Siblings also come in handy when introducing cups - let him help by showing his younger sibling how to drink ‘like a big boy’.

Try different liquids
Some babies will only take water from a sippy cup, preferring the breast or bottle for breast milk or formula. Don't worry, this is normal, just encourage regular tries of the cup. When your baby is 12 months and over, a sippy cup is a great way of introducing cows milk. You can warm it a little first – this often makes toddlers accept sippy cups more easily.

Moving from a sippy cup to a normal cup

Make a big deal out of drinking from a regular cup, and how it’s for grown-ups. Try taking your toddler shopping to pick out his own big kid cup and have a symbolic ‘throwing away of the sippy cup’, in much the same way you might do when getting rid of a dummy.

Try only serving your toddler’s favourite drink in an open cup, and saving the sippy cup for water. If this happens to be juice, make sure it’s diluted. A straw is a good way to help your toddler transition from a sippy cup to normal cup. And don’t stress about the mess as accidents will happen, just encourage your toddler to help you clean up.

Related content:


No comments have been made yet.

Chinese Gender predictor
Chinese Gender Predictor

Are you expecting a boy or a girl? Tell us the month you conceived and how old you are, and this clever little tool will predict the rest! 

Nappy rash is painful for parents as well as for your baby
Nappy rash is painful for parents as well as for your baby

Read Dr Pixie's guide to learn how to deal with nappy rash

The Magic Sleepsuit
The secret to a quiet night’s sleep – The Magic Sleepsuit

If you’re little one is struggling to settle now they’ve outgrown the swaddling stage, this could be the answer to your sleep-deprived prayers!

Celebrating parenting's small wins
Celebrating parenting's small wins

As mums, we're constantly told to enjoy every moment; in reality, parenting can sometimes be challenging. That's where small wins come in...

Subscribe button May
Subscribe to Mother&Baby

Be the best mum you can be and let Mother & Baby guide you along the way. Each issue is jam packed with REAL advice from mums just like you. Subscribe today & get a free welcome gift!

Ovulation Calculator
Ovulation calculator
Trying for a baby? Work out when you're most fertile to increase your chances of getting pregnant with our easy-to-use ovulation calculator.
Pregnant woman
Due Date Calculator

When is your baby due? If you’re having trouble remembering dates and counting up the days on your fingers and toes, don’t worry – use our due date calculator.

Get M&B in your inbox!

Sign up to Mother&Baby today and get news and advice about your body and your baby straight to your inbox every week. 

Lemonade Money
It’s time to make sure your loved ones are protected

Every parent knows the importance of planning ahead; from the new school shoes, to your little one’s education, you want to fill their future with hopes and dreams. Yet are you one of the 80% of adults here in the UK that has no life cover?