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Teaching a 6 month old to use a sippy cup

(11 Posts)
mrsmugoo Mon 01-Sep-14 09:46:56

My DS is just short of 6 months, EBF and has never taken a bottle. I've given up trying bottles now and since 4 months have been trying to get him to use a sippy cup (soft spout with value and tt free flow) and a doidy cup.

I've given them to him to play with and with both water and EBM. With the sippy cup he just gnaws on the spout and spits the water out. The doidy has had marginally better success in that I've heard some swallows, but mostly it goes down his front.

Getting a little anxious now because I need to go back to work soon - I'm director of my own business so I can be flexible to an extent but the original agreement with my business partners was October but I can't leave him if he won't take water or milk from a cup. We're already into September and no sign of him being any less reliant on the boob...

How can I teach him he needs to suck and swallow? Or is it something that just comes with time? Any experiences or tips welcome.

HallowedVera Mon 01-Sep-14 10:10:39

Not massively helpful but I tried DD on a zippy cup around the same time and found the same thing as you - she didn't really take to it.

So I left it a couple of weeks and one day just randomly tried her on it again, and she was fine!

No rhyme or reason to it, she was just ready. She'll drink water fine now but still prefers BF to taking formula.

HallowedVera Mon 01-Sep-14 10:10:50


museumum Mon 01-Sep-14 14:03:27

We gave one to bottle-refusing ds at about the same age alongside weaning and it took about four weeks. I went back to p/t work (s-e) at the same time so we gave him a very dairy rich diet (porridge with milk, yoghurt, cheese) and he was totally fine.
He never got on with a soft or valve spout though so that was just a waste if time and distraction. Free flow spout was best, sports bottle for water and open cup.

museumum Mon 01-Sep-14 14:04:22

Have you started weaning? I think that helps them understand about swallowing etc.

Theas18 Mon 01-Sep-14 14:07:54

My friends 7 mo old wouldn't take anything except breast miilk from the breast directly when he started nursery ( he was BLW too) and nursery had him taking EBM from bottles quite easily and quickly.

He's 11 mo now and happy to breast feed with mum or bottle feed EBM from others.

don't over think things. It'll likely work out fine. He'll also be able to have spoon semi liquids too by then if you want him too.

mrsmugoo Mon 01-Sep-14 14:24:38

He's not going to be at nursery to start with, he'll be with my mum and MIL, both of which have looked after him for short bursts and tried (and failed) to give bottles. Even if he will just take water from a cup and have solids while I'm at work that would be workable but he won't even do that at the moment. I can understand him only wanting to breastfeed directly.

I have started weaning, he's had some purées which some days he's interested in, some days not. With finger foods he'll have a play around but hasn't swallowed much so far.

A lot needs to change for me to get back to work from where we are now!

museumum Mon 01-Sep-14 14:39:44

In my experience a lot did change between 6 and 7 months. Just by himself ds really got the hang of food and cups.
Don't despair.

Theyaremysunshine Mon 01-Sep-14 20:52:26

I've done this. I've had 2 bottle refusers. With DS I went back to work when he was 6m and DD 8m. Switched them both to TT free flow sippy cups.

What worked best for us was:
Stick to one type of cup.
Offer expressed milk/formula before every feed. To do this I had to change from feeding on demand to a vague bit of a schedule so they were hungry enough to give the cup a try.
Try for about 10 mins, holding the cup for them.
See success as anything going in.
Abandon if they're upset
Persist, persist, persist. Expect it to take a month or more.

One day they just get it. In the meantime emergency milk can be got in either off a teaspoon (20x5ml spoonfuls is over 3OZ of course so it goes in faster than you think) or using a medicine syringe. Emergency liquids as frozen lollies.

When DS started at nursery, he'd only take an ounce at a time from the TT cup and having a big bf at night. Within a week he was managing 3-4oz at a time. By 8m he was independently handling the cup and downing a full one within minutes.

They can manage well with very little liquid after a good morning bf and a good night feed.

I know how worrying it is but they do manage and surprisingly quickly.

Sootgremlin Wed 03-Sep-14 11:45:29

I didn't have to do this with milk, but from 6 months I'd sit dd up at the high chair with a bit of toast or fruit a couple of times a day and always provided a silly cup. Sometimes some went in, sometimes a lot down her front, but now at 8 months she can pick it up herself and drink quite happily, I think that just familiarity and lots of practise helped.

mrsmugoo Sat 06-Sep-14 16:43:49

And as if by magic, today he decided he will suck milk out of a free flow sippy cup. I could cry with happiness, I can't tell you what a weight off my mind it is.

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