Starting the cup


Six months old Is your baby about 6 months old? This is a good time for her to start drinking from a cup.

Your child is learning many new things when she is 6 months old. She will start to eat some solid foods, and she can start drinking from a cup too.

Why start the cup now? It will be easier to wean a bottle-fed baby later on if she starts using a cup when she is around 6 months old. And moving to a cup will be important for her health.

Children who begin to use the cup at around 6 months of age are more likely to give up the bottle when they are 12 to 14 months old. Children who continue to drink from a bottle longer can get cavities in their teeth. They can also become anemic. And they can gain too much weight.

Breastfed babies Breastfed babies can learn to use the cup too. This doesn’t mean you should breastfeed any less. You can offer the cup between breastfeedings.

How to get baby started with the cup:

• Give your baby a small cup. Small cups with small handles are easy for baby to hold.

• Start with a small amount of liquid. Your baby will drink only a little at first and will spill it. That’s okay; she’s learning.

• If you’re leaving your breastmilk for someone else to feed her, your baby can practice drinking it from a cup.

• If you’re formula feeding, you can give your baby formula in a cup as well as water.

• Offer your baby a small amount of plain water. Babies don’t need juice. But if you want to offer a small amount of juice, be sure to mix it with water.

• Do not offer your baby regular soda, diet soda, coffee, tea, and any other drinks that have sugar in them. These drinks are bad for him.

• Help her to take small sips from the cup.

• Little by little, give your child the cup more often. You will see her getting better at drinking from it.

• Let your child drink from a cup at mealtime.

Be patient! If your child doesn’t want to use the cup, be patient and try again another time. Some children grow and develop more slowly than others. That’s okay.

One year old Your child should be using the cup most of the time when she is 1 year old.

Cow’s milk Your child can start drinking cow’s milk when she is 1 year old. Before that, cow’s milk can be hard to digest. If you’re breastfeeding, continue for as long as you and your baby would like. You can add cow’s milk later.