Successfully you have trained your child to use Sippy or also known as Beaker cups, you have got rid of the bottles and feel good about the meal plans you have in place. However, your toddler is now also showing keen interest to be more independent wanting to do more for themselves.
As mealtimes come around, they want to pour their own drinks, they want to feed themselves completely and are only interested in your food on your plate before their own. With this keen interest and with them showing finer pincer skills using their fingers and hands balancing what they carry around now, it is a great time to transition from those sucking LITTLE CUPs to BIG BOY/GIRL CUPS the importance of this is to continue their skills in holding and drinking from more mature cups where they can practice holding on to handles and swallow their fluid rather then sucking as they have done for a long time, as well as developing the balance in placing down their cups without spilling loads all the time. Here is how we can help our little ones to do this smoothly.
From Little to Big:
- To keep your child focused make sure your child is always sitting down holding their little cup. It keeps all eyes on the prize as children have not yet developed the skill-set to keep their hands in one position as their eyes move to another, this is all to do with the left and right brain coordinating together.
- Buy a pack of Mini Red Cups. You know the disposable ones used at parties. Then fill with 1 ounce of water. This will allow the little cup to be held with 2 hands without the cup being too full. It also helps to manage your toddler gauging the flow of them using a steady pace of brining the cup upright into their mouth.
- Practice makes perfect so when 1 ounce is finished fill it with another ounce.
- As your child masters the technique of using both hands with a little cup, move them onto a bigger cup with no handles and fill that cup with 3 ounces and repeat the above.
- Once they have done so for 5 days move them onto a mini plastic cup with a handle or two.
- A handle cup requires your toddler to have more pincer control with their thumb and index finger holding firmly onto the handle. At first you will find your toddler will tip forward the cup ever so slightly. Raise the palm of your hand to the bottom of their cup to show them how to level it straight. As they show more control and master the technique with a little cup with one handles or two handles you can progress them onto a more mature cup in time.
NOTE: I find this skill-set very important as most parents spend a lot of time using sports cups that continue to promote the sucking reflex. So this is a good life-skill for our children to be taught, especially knowing that it is not taught too often because parents are more worried about their children spilling the drink onto the floor. If we can see it as our job to help them with their developmental milestones it will help us to focus less on the mess.
Copywritten by Jo Frost