Sooooo many cups. When should they use a cup for the very first time, when to move to the next stage and which types of cups are suitable for each age and stage? Here’s a guide to moving on from breast or bottle feeding.
Getting started choosing baby cups
To get them used to the transition to a sippy cup, start by offering the cup at mealtimes with water in it, so that they associate it with food. Sit with them and have a drink yourself, so that they can see that this is an important part of mealtimes.
Tilt the cup a little to begin with, so they can get the idea and start to sip the water (they may find it easier to pick up and hold a cup with two handles to begin with). Take your time and be prepared for them spitting a little water out.
Cleaning baby cups
Make sure you clean all parts of your baby’s cup thoroughly. Use a small brush to get into any awkwardly shaped spouts or valves as they can become a breeding ground for bacteria. Some cups come with spare straws/brush kits.
Take your time with the transition from bottle to drinking cup
To start with, as your baby will still be getting most of their liquids from breast or formula milk they may become frustrated and wants to stop trying to drink water after a sip or two. This is normal.
If you go at your baby’s pace the transition to a cup is likely to be easier and smoother. Offer your baby a small drink of water from a cup as part of each meal. Once this routine has become established your baby will be more ready to accept drinks of water between meals, until gradually it becomes second nature.
Here are a few recommendations on cups to look at for each age and stage.
Cups For 0 - 6 Month Old Babies
Babycup First Cup, 50ml
You may think that you wouldn’t use a cup at this early stage, as you’re either breastfeeding or bottle feeding. But allow us to tell you about Babycup First Cup.
It’s a beautifully simple open cup, with measurements on the side and with a 50ml capacity. Designed specifically for little hands and to encourage open sipping from the very outset, it can also be used to help establish breastfeeding. Cup feeding is an alternative to bottle feeding if a baby can’t latch to the breast and needs to be given some milk.
It can also be used for supplementing a baby who is not getting enough milk or for a baby who is separated from his or her mother for a while. It is thought to be a good alternative to using a bottle teat as it avoids a baby getting confused by the different sucking action required on an artificial bottle nipple (nipple confusion).
Babycup, also continues through to the weaning and toddler stages as they show off their open cup sipping at an early age.
Cups for 6 - 12 Month Old Babies
Weaning time! This exciting and sometimes frustrating stage brings its own challenges as you find out whether you have a ‘dream to feed’ child or a ‘fussy eater’ like our youngest daughter. If you're looking for advice, you can find handy tips on baby weaning here.
Drinking should be the least of your worries at this time and there are plenty of different drinking cup options to help your little one to keep their fluids up.
Here are a few of the very first starter cups that we've designed here at TUM TUM, ideal for this age and/or stage.
TUM TUM Tippy Up Cup, 200ml
We struggled to get our daughter to move to a cup initially and we tried many different types. She loved straws however, so that became a main focus for the cup design.
By adding a weight onto the end of the straw, we enabled the cups to be able to be tipped upside down to drink, so she could drink either way.
We added a lid to our tippy up cup which would flip open and closed to pinch the straw and store it hygienically away, whilst making the cup totally leakproof and two simple handles for easy grasping. Finally, we dialed up the cute-ometer!. Or we like to think so! Our tippy up cup is available in 4 designs.
Tommee Tippy First Cup, 190ml
If budgets are tight, a very reasonably priced cup is the simple Tommee Tippee First Cup, with a flip top spout. Easy to clean and pops in the dishwasher. Handy for taking out and about, simple to operate and recyclable.
Munchkin Miracle Cup, 200ml
A little more expensive, but just as practical are the Munchkin 230 Degrees Cups, which allow for 360 Degree drinking. The lids automatically seal when not in use. A miracle! They come in a lot of different colours and there’s stainless steel version too.
Cups For Babies 12 Months+
As their drinking abilities improve, they will start to be able to drink more without gagging, so they can move onto more advanced levels of cup.
TUM TUM Super Stable Cup, 180ml
Fed up of mopping up after spillages, we designed this transitional cup to have a wide base to make it not easily knockoverable (if there is such a word…?). It’s getting more grown up (than the Tippy Up Cup) with a single handle (like Mummy & Daddy’s cup), but with a lid and free flowing straw to make things easier at first.
As the little one become more capable, the lid and straw on the TUM TUM Super Stable Cup can be removed, leaving a small, stable ‘tankard’ style cup for open sipping. Available in 4 designs and comes with a spare straw.
TUM TUM Super Stable Grippy Open Cup, 250ml
Our super stable grippy cup is not only very stable on the table it also has a non-slip grippy exterior and a ‘glass like’ but indestructible Tritan interior.
The TUM TUM super stable grippy open cup is perfect for hot drinks as well as cold, it’s ideal for a cosy hot chocolate and it’s fun to see the little character swimming in the porthole.
Like the Munchkin Miracle Cup, the Litecup has a 360 degree rim and it also lights up in the dark! This is great for little ones who wake up in the night and like to have a drink, as they can easily locate their drink in the dark.
TUM TUM Flip Top Water Bottle, 400ml
Perfect for drinks on the move, the larger size is perfect for pre-school and primary school. Made from indestructible Tritan, it comes in 5 designs and is super useful for popping into a lunchbag or backpack for school or for taking on picnics, days out and so on.
The TUM TUM flip top water bottle is very simple to open and close, the flip top lid stores the straw away hygienically when not in use and makes it completely leakproof.
Take a look at the full range of TUM TUM baby and toddler cups.