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Ask An Expert: When Should I Introduce Cups to Baby?

By Melanie Potock

What’s the one type of cup that baby will master independently first? The straw cup!  Babies can learn to drink from a straw as early as 6 months of age, shortly after they have started solids.  

The learning curve for open cups and spoutless sippy cups (step away from spouts please!) is a bit different, with toddlers mastering an open cup without dumping or other accidents by age two at the latest. But, babies can drink from an open cup with your help as early as 6 months of age and can often drink on their own as you keep an eye out for the occasional spill in the first year of life.  Use the mini-cup that comes with the Grabease Cup System first to give a little boost to the learning curve!  (Cool fact: Health professionals use mini open cups filled with breast milk or formula with medically fragile infants to help them grow!  Mini-cups are magical.) 

Introduce solids first and once kids can suck puree or mashed foods from fingers or spoons, they are ready to learn to suck on a straw.  Download my Ten Steps to Teaching Straw Drinking on my Free Toolbox tab #linkinbio and use the short silicone straw in the brand new @Grabease Cup System combined with my method to help baby learn quick and easy!  

Introduce one cup at a time, perhaps about a week apart.  Learning to eat new foods and discovering all kinds of cup drinking is a steady process, but introducing it early helps build the foundational skill for becoming a very adventurous eater!

Melanie Potock, MA, CCC-SLPis an international speaker on the topic of feeding babies, toddlers and school age kids. She is the co-author of the award-winning Raising a Healthy Happy Eater: A Stage-by-Stage Guide to Setting Your Child on the Path to Adventurous Eating (2015) and Baby Self-Feeding: Solutions for Introducing Purees and Solids to Create Lifelong Healthy Eating Habits (2016). The tips in her cookbook for parents & kids, Adventures in Veggieland: Help Your Kids Learn to Love Vegetables with 100 Easy Activities and Recipes (2018) are based on the latest research and Melanie’s 20 years of success as a pediatric feeding therapist. Melanie’s children’s book You are Not an Otter takes preschoolers on a food adventure, exploring all the ways that various animals eat! Melanie’s advice has been shared in a variety of television and print media, including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, CNN.com and Parents Magazine.  Contact her at www.MelaniePotock.com for more articles, professional tips, and helpful videos to raise your adventurous eater and follow Mel on Instagram and Facebook too!