Why parents & experts choose an open cup when weaning
with thanks to Babycup
Sippy cup, not sucky cup. Babycup First Cups are widely recommended by experts such as dentists, orthodontists and healthcare professionals, AND now also by the Oral Health Foundation for supporting good oral health in infants and encouraging healthy sipping. Not only that, but Babycup’s mini open cups are now biodegradable too! So why are they regarded so highly and why should you be choosing a sippy open cup and not a sucky spouted cup…?
First and foremost, these perfectly proportioned cups, ideal for little hands and mouths, are designed with the aim of starting healthy sipping habits for life. Just as we’re encouraged to stop the prolonged use of a dummy or bottle, the use of an open cup for weaning from six months is recommended by dentists and orthodontists as a mealtime essential, designed to discourage habits such as constant sipping which risks dental decay from prolonged exposure to sugary drinks. Also to help prevent poor jaw development caused by prolonged sucking.
As Dr Jemma Hook (The Mummy Dentist) also explains, “Learning a ‘sipping’ action is good for promoting oro-facial muscle and jaw development as babies practice new skills including ‘babbling’ and early speech patterns at a young age. It also prevents liquids from pooling around the upper front teeth helping to reduce the risk of decay. An open cup rim is preferred to a spouted or sealed cup as the spout may impede natural tongue movements or a seal can cause a suck not a sip.”
The benefit of an open cup in weaning, and of Babycup First Cups in particular, is further highlighted by Dr Nigel Carter, Oral Health Foundation CEO and dentist for over 40 years. He says, “Babycup First Cup is the first free drinking cup for tiny hands to be approved by the panel. Developing proper drinking habits at an early age is vital for oral development. Milk teeth are crucial to jaw development, speech development and adult teeth placement. Not taking care of primary teeth can lead to adult teeth growing in crooked, chewing difficulties, facial asymmetries and, most importantly, tooth decay.”
Not all open cups are equal. In fact, Babycup First Cups, as well as being designed in the UK by a mum of three and also made in the UK, are now biodegradable and recyclable. When you’ve finished using your Babycup First Cups, you can pass them on to someone else, repurpose them or, depending on your local facility, dispose of them in an environmentally friendly way – by putting them in your home recycling bin or if they go into your refuse they can biodegrade in landfill. When we’re all trying to be more environmentally aware at the moment, this is great news for parents.
How to get started with an open cup – Let’s get sipping!
Follow this simple guide to help you get started with an open cup.
- Start in a highchair so your baby feels well supported and relaxed
- Try a small amount of liquid in the cup at first – this keeps spills to a minimum
- Hold the cup with your baby or toddler, guide it towards their mouth
- Hover a hand nearby whilst they start to hold and direct the cup themselves
- Remember to give lots of praise and encouragement!
- Let them copy you drinking from your own cup – they love to learn from you
- Try these extra tips:
- Practise in the bath when your baby is already surrounded by water so spills don’t matter!
- Give the cup of water after a meal so they’re not hungry and distracted
- When you start to hold the cup to their lip, rest it there for a little while so they start to close their lips around the rim
Find out more about Babycup First Cups here
Sip sip hooray!
Disclaimer: The views and advice given in this article are those of the guest writer and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Weaning World or any other organisations represented on this platform