For a quick reference guide regarding the current trend in sippy cups and other child friendly consumer products visit Z Recommends.
Sippy Cup Showdown is a great read!
First let me say, Ella is finally weened off of the bottle and has graduated to THE CUP. I say THE CUP because as you know, if you are reading this article you too may have had a few challenges transitioning from bottle to a straw, sippy, or some other type of cup!
Well here is my story and my advice.
Let’s go back, way back. I weened my daughter Marley who is now three and half years old off of the bottle at 10 months. She was very easy going. We were at a restaurant in NYC, Ruby Foo’s, I think. The waiter brought us a small cup of water with a straw. Marley was about 9 months old. I offered the cup to her and she drank, I thought “wow maybe you are ready for cups.” It was as easy as that. I bought a Nuby straw cup, back then you did not have to compress the straw to draw fluid, it was very easy to drink from. I offered her milk in the cup, substituted a cup for every feeding for about 3 weeks, job done.
Fast forward about three years, I am sitting at the table with my lovely daughter Ella she was about 7 months old and I offer her a tiny bit of water in a baby food jar with a straw. The drama...“Ok maybe you are not quite ready yet” I thought. “I will try again next week.” Next week came and there was more drama. Ella was very vocal about not wanting to drink out of a cup, straw or no straw. “Ok I will wait until she is a little older” I told myself. Ten months arrives and I think “alright its time for us to start transitioning.” Ella did not feel the same way.
During a random visit at a Babies R Us I picked up a package of Playtex straw cups and one Nuby straw cup. This is when I discovered the Nuby straw cups did not work the same way they did when I used them with Marley. It did not matter because Ella was not interested in anything I put in front of her. She would take a sip and then cry, cry, cry and scream!
I panicked, I thought “uh-oh she is stubborn and this is going to be hard. She is not going to give up with out a fight.” I got online, I read posts on www.babycenter.com and random sites typing in searches like “baby won’t drink from cup!” Papa said not to worry, but I could help myself. All I could envision was my 2 year old with a nipple hanging out of her mouth, in a milk and drool stained wife beater. I also promised my glass bottles to my sister whose newborn was about two months already and I wanted to get the bottles to her. The future looked grim. Looking back I realize I was being a bit melodramatic, however, this is my reality.
This is what I finally decided to do. After Ella rejected each and every cup, I continued to give Ella about 2 oz of water in a baby food jar with a straw I salvaged from one of her cups. I offered her water at every meal to get her comfortable with the process.
I took her morning bottle away first. I bought a Thermos Fogoo straw cup because she seemed intrigued by the one her sister had and she drank from it easily.
We always used the signs for milk and water and she slowly became accustomed to seeing the Fogoo cup and would sign milk whenever she saw it. Still, she was not drinking 7oz in one shot, she would drink about 3 or 4oz at a time.
Then, I took the afternoon bottle away and replaced it with the cup. It was like pulling teeth, she became constipated and was not getting enough fluid, but she started drinking a lot more water and signing more and more for water.
After two weeks it was time for her first year check up she was still taking a 7-8oz bottle at night depending on how much she had during the day. Her diapers were not as wet as I would have liked. She was taking and average of 18oz of fluid a day.
I began to panic, I thought maybe I should just go back to bottles. I even started to pour what remained in her cups into her bottles, but by that time she was not really interested in her bottles either. Then the amazing happened one morning Ella drank 6oz and ate breakfast. Then she drank another 6oz at lunch. Finally, after a week of this I took the night time bottle away. She did not flinch and she is well, weened. She is still alive, she is not dehydrated, she takes 18 -24 oz of milk and 4 oz of water a day. Her diapers are normal, she is still a little constipated, but I suspect cheese is the culprit, that is another story. It took about two months to get her fully weened.
My advise is basic:
Find a good cup
Do not stress