10 Signs Your Toddler is Ready for an Open-Top Cup

Posted on by admin | in babysitting

As your baby moves out of the infant stage and into the toddler stage, you may begin to have questions about your child’s readiness for a regular cup. Some mothers prefer to wean their babies straight from breast to cup, while others will move from breast to bottle to cup. Before the age of two, most babies don’t have the motor skills to properly handle a regular cup. After that age, making the switch to an open-top cup depends largely upon the child. By the time your little one is three or four years old, handling a regular cup should be easy. These are some of the signs that it’s time to help him transition.

  1. He Asks To Use a Regular Cup – When your child is old enough to acknowledge the difference between regular cups and cups with lids, he may ask about the cup with an open top. If he is old enough to ask, then chances are he is old enough to handle the regular cup without too much trouble. Keep in mind that during the process of changing to a cup with no lid there will be plenty of spills, so you will need to make the necessary arrangements to keep clean-up sessions to a minimum.
  2. She’s Handling Her Sippy Cup Well – Observing that she doesn’t drop the cup or keep tilting it absentmindedly is another sign that she may be ready for the open-top cup. Keep the liquid amount small to begin with, as this will keep the inevitable spills from being extremely messy.
  3. He Keeps Removing His Sippy Cup’s Lid – If your child insists on taking the lid off the cup, it’s probably a good time to consider switching over to a regular cup. Kids enjoy feeling “grown up” at this stage, so your child may want to emulate you by drinking from a normal cup.
  4. You Often End Up Sharing Your Drink – A child who constantly reaches for his parent’s glass may be sending a message that it’s time for a regular cup. Use a shorter, non-breakable cup to start. Your child will most likely need some practice time, so remember not to fill his new cup to the brim.
  5. Preschool is Looming on the Horizon – When it’s time to get ready for preschool, you can be sure it’s also time to learn how to drink from a regular cup. Getting an early start practicing drinking from a regular cup will help prepare your child to join the ranks of preschoolers sans sippy cups.
  6. He Refuses “Baby Cups” – When your child pitches a fit about having to drink from a “baby cup,” you know that it is time to make the change. Older toddlers often do not like to be associated with anything that might seem babyish, especially if they have older siblings to emulate. If the time has come when the sippy cup ranks down there with the baby bottle, break out the sturdy juice glasses and let the training begin!
  7. Cavities Are Starting to Appear – Sippy cups and bottles have been associated with an increased likelihood of dental caries. Far too often, sippy cups are filled with sugary drinks, and kids have a tendency to carry them around much like a bottle. Teeth are constantly exposed to the sugary content, which causes cavities to develop. Switching over to a regular cup will stop your child from cruising with the cup in her mouth. Pair that with cutting down on sugar-loaded drinks and you will save your toddler’s teeth.
  8. He’s Imitating You – If your child imitates you when he sees you drinking from a regular glass, it’s time to let him try a regular cup. The first few times he drinks without the lid he will probably spill, but don’t let the mess deter you from helping him learn. He will catch on quickly and you can enlist his help in cleaning up the spill. Start with water so you won’t have a sticky mess.
  9. She Wants to Fit In With Her Peers – If your little one notices that she’s the only one not using an open-top cup, she may ask to use a “grown-up” or” big kid” cup. If she is consistently around other kids who are drinking from regular cups, she may feel left out. Be sure to give her some practice runs, and be patient while she learns how to master the cup without spilling.
  10. You’ve Decided That It’s Time – Lidded cups are supposed to be transitional from bottle or breast to a regular cup. They are not meant to be permanent replacements. As transitional gear they are fine, but when used too much not only is there the prospect of more dental cavities, the spout can interfere with your child’s growing mouth and cause speech problems. You may need to make the decision to change in the event that your toddler is too attached.
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2 Responses to 10 Signs Your Toddler is Ready for an Open-Top Cup

  1. Mel says:

    Thanks for the post! My son is just starting to use a sippy cup but he also thinks it’s fun to drink out of our cups. So maybe he’s ready to go right to a big boy cup.

  2. Jamie says:

    I teach the 2 year old class at a daycare and when the toddlers move into my room, we start them on small no-lid cups. Almost all of them do a tremendous job! It really helps when parents work with them on this at home as well.

    A lot of the parents told me (and I thought this myself) that they never would have thought to try this so early, but they love it.

    Just give it a shot! 2 year olds do a great job with no-lid cups! :)

    For Love of Cupcakes