I pumped exclusively, and our baby transitioned to formula when my supply tanked at around seven months, so the bottle has been our constant companion since birth. It’s with a heavy heart that I’m putting away the bottles and transitioning to a straw cup.
Why are we skipping sippy cups? Speech therapists believe that sippy cups (as well as prolonged bottle use) can contribute to speech delays, tooth decay, and ear infections. It turns out that sippy cups weren’t invented until the late 1980’s, so although they seem ubiquitous today, they were unheard of only a generation ago. While they are an enormous boon to parents in preventing messy spills, their benefit to children is questionable at best. Transitioning directly to straw cups now also saves us the hassle of having to first transition to a sippy and then once again to a straw cup. We only plan on giving her milk at meal times, so I don’t mind if she spills a little water out of the straw throughout the day.
To be honest, I’m sad to see the bottle go. It signifies an end to babyhood. I mean, I knew that technically babies become toddlers at age one, and her first birthday is right around the corner. It just hadn’t really sunk in until we decided to start preparing to lose the bottle. Cuddling on the couch with her laying on my lap as she drank her bottle is a ritual I’ll miss dearly. Of course, getting older means she’s also doing more and more fun things and becoming more interactive.
We’re using OXO straw cups, if you’re curious. Here’s what I love about them:
- it’s dishwasher safe and easy to clean (the straw breaks down into two parts)
- the straw is made of soft silicone
- the lid can be rotated so that the straw is pinched and it won’t leak while traveling with it (she’s too young to master this herself)
- the transparent bottle allows her to see whether she’s getting milk or water
- there are measurements in both mL and ounces
- the cup has silicone on its sides so that it can be easily gripped by young hands
- it comes in three colors (we went with gender neutral green)
- it doesn’t have handles, which makes storage easy
- you can buy replacement straws if need be
And here are some aspects of the cup I’m not so keen on:
- they’re expensive (I wouldn’t spend $7 on a cup for myself)
- I’m afraid there will come a time when she’ll chew up the straws
- it’s difficult for her to get the very last bit of liquid at the bottom
- I kind of wish the straw was slitted so it wouldn’t leak, but I’ve heard that comes with its own set of problems
- it will be a long time before she can open and close it on her own, so it leaks a little when shaken or overturned
Overall, we’re pretty happy with it. I give it four out of five stars.
She wasn’t sure how to use them at first, so we bought some baby food pouches (which we normally never do, as they are overpriced). She quickly learned how to suck food out of the pouch, and by alternating giving her the pouch and the cup, she reflexively sipped out of the straw cup after sipping food out of the pouch. She still seemed a bit reluctant to switch to the straw cup, so we focused on giving it to her first thing in the morning, when she was groggy and very hungry after her night of sleep. We’re still giving her an evening bottle just before bed, but we hope to eliminate that by the end of the month.
We actually first tried to transition her to the Munchkin Miracle 360 cups, but it was pretty much a failure from day one. We thought that using a rimless cup would be less of a learning curve than a straw (plus rimless cups don’t leak), and it’s true that she learned how to drink out of it without any help, but she had no interest in it. She would occasionally take a sip here and there, but she wouldn’t take formula out of it and barley drank water from it. Perhaps she’s too young for it. We’ll shelve them and try again in a few weeks. If nothing else, the tops can be taken off and they can be used as regular kid cups when she’s older.
This is probably more than you ever wanted to know about transitioning from a bottle to a cup, but I actually found it difficult to find information about it when we were first trying, so maybe someone out there will benefit from this post. Our next big milestone will be switching from formula to whole cow milk. Here’s hoping that transition goes smoothly!