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Saturday, June 12, 2010

Sippy Cup

I have always had a love-hate relationship with sippy cups. As a nanny/babysitter throughout college and much of grad school, I have dealt with these cups with many, many children. So when deciding whether or not Eddie would use one I had a lot of experience to draw from.

Initially I decided that he'd not use one at all, ever. So for the past 4-ish months we've had him continue to take his milk from a bottle while at the sitter's or drink water from a regular cup or glass when he's eating solid foods with us. It can be messy but he loves drinking from a cup and when you say or sign "drink?" to him he immediately looks at his cup. The sitter does give him bottles of water when he seems super thirsty.

Dave and I talked a lot about why I don't like sippy cups and why I wouldn't want Eddie to use one. I finally realized that I don't like them because:
  • most of the families or daycares I've worked for usually fill them diluted apple juice (don't even get my started on how unhealthy it is for people to carelessly drink pulp-free, sugary beverages all day...)
  • most of the families or daycares I've worked for let the kids have constant access to them so the kids end up leaving them all over the house (having dishes scattered around the house drives me nuts and condones "grazing" instead of proper meals/snack times/locations like the dining room table)
  • they are NOT spill-proof when the child shakes it so you end up with stickiness all over the house
Realizing that my issues with sippy cup use stems primarily from children having constant access to empty calories and undefined "eating" times, Dave and I decided we could just utilize sippy cups differently than most people. I know this sounds obvious, but sometimes we just get stuck in one way of thinking about a problem and we have to force ourselves toward some other solution. As a breastfeeding, cloth diapering, single-mom-during-the-week, I know first hand that although parenting technique often seems to come in a one-size-fits-all package you ARE allowed to readjust to suit your needs/desires/budget/capabilities.

I'm thinking ahead (with excitement) to when Eddie can drink cow's milk...only 2 short months away. Think of all the time I'll save at school when I won't have to pump my milk for him!

He'll either have to drink cow's milk out of a bottle, out of a cup, or out of a sippy cup (or a cup with a straw). We know he can drink from a bottle just fine. Cassie is fine with assisting him to drink out of a cup, but she admits that sometimes she doesn't have enough time during meals with all the other kids to hold the cup for him long enough to satisfy his thirst, hence she sometimes gives him a bottle of water. He doesn't quite know how to drink out of a sippy cup...and I generally don't like them.

But...we've decided that sippy cups were invented for a reason: because they are a good stepping-stone for a child to move away from a baby bottle towards independent use of a cup. So we'll continue using regular cups for milk and water at meals/snack times at home but get him used to drinking out of a sippy cup when he needs a drink of water at other times. Then he can drink his milk at Cassie's however is best for her and him.

My mom gave us some old sippy cups she bought from Tupperware years ago that are not spill proof at all. Eddie seems to understand that the spout is where the water comes from since it drips right into his mouth. Kaitlin gave me some spill proof Playtex cups and he's only just starting to understand that if he sucks (instead of bites) the spout something will come out.


mu rye uh said...

OH dear yes sippy cups we use them but I have a rule done once you are done I take it. I can't tell you how many sippys I have found under beds stuffed in couches etc. Nasty. So one a day and prefer cups (buggy does it) but ANdrew no longer gets a sippy unless it is water and even then I give him a cup instead. I am too lazy to do cups all day but I have learned to keep sippy's minimal good for you for figuring it out sooner!

Team Roy said...

Glad you are giving it a try. I had to force Charlie into the sippy cup early bc he stopped taking a bottle at 4 months (I went about 2 months without giving him one - oops). But we practice a lot with water bottles and cups too. Go Eddie, he'll be a pro using all normal cups by 2.

Kait said...

Good luck! We put cow's milk in the sippy when they turn one. I don't like when toddlers (which i consider any baby once they turn 1) still use bottles. I'll admit though...I do put diluted apple juice in them sometimes, too. It's fun to see hwo everyone's parenting is different...I love to take bits and pieces frome veryone to find what works best for us.

P.S. I've never had those playtex ones leak...i hope they work for your needs/desires!

erin said...

yeah, definitely think youre right w/ being able to adjust the supposed "one size fits all" rule. i also think its nice to see how other parents parent and then take bits and pieces. i know seeing my sisters, sisters-in-law, friends, etc. i see things i like and dont like and aim (key word: aim) to do. (i know im gonna eat a lot of my words once this baby comes and i get a taste of reality). those playtex ones though, i got them for my house for when my nieces come over and they really havent leaked anywhere.

The Bowers! said...

I love the Playtex sippy cups! They ONLY leak when a kid holds them upside down and shakes them (and trust me, most kids do this).