Updated: Sep 15, 2021
I thought transitioning from a bottle to a cup was going to be a special kind of hell. Not the kind with pitchforks and blazing flames, but the kind where your child screams for hours and refuses to eat until you finally cave and hand him a bottle after countless attempts to get him to use whatever magical cup you read great reviews about on Amazon. I’m happy to report that my vision of this transition was completely wrong! I dreamt up the worst case scenario in my head because let’s face it, my kid had a hard time taking the bottle in the beginning so it seemed like the logical next step.
We went with the Munchkin Click Lock Weighted Flexi-Straw Cup. I read up on the straws versus sippy cup debate, but the truth is, he had already been sipping out of my straws for some time so he was used to it already. He also uses sippy cups, but I think since he was still breastfed (at the time of the switch) he just didn't have an attachment to the cups like some toddlers might. Can it be? My son actually didn’t give us a hard time with something, praise Jesus. I will get back to you when we start eliminating the breast (this was not as easy, and I have a post about it), that’s when we will need all of the prayers we can get!
I read up on some techniques prior to ditching the bottle and decided that cold turkey was the way to go for our sweet little Josiah. Out of sight, out of mind. If he would see the bottle, then he would want the bottle. There were a handful of times where my husband would have to cave in in the morning and give him the bottle because he didn’t want to send off a crabby baby to daycare, but all in all it was a pretty flawless transition. That’s right, he still got the bottle on occasion for the first couple weeks. You mean, you can do that? Heck yes, you are the parent. Josiah had been very congested one day and was refusing his new cup, so my husband gave him the bottle. He didn’t want to send a hangry baby off to daycare. They don’t usually appreciate that.
I would say it took us longer to find a cup option our daycare lady was fond off. For this, we ended up going with a sippy cup. It’s another Munchkin option. It’s a click lock, so it doesn’t spill too much but some water droplets escape. Or, you get a note home from daycare that goes something like this, “I was finishing something up in the other room and heard all of the kids laughing so I said, you all better be eating your lunch in there. When I got in the kitchen everything was in its place, but Josiah was soaked.” The cup Houdini folks. I got several baggies of clothes home that week because of whatever he figured out how to do with his cup.
He doesn’t walk around with them at home or hang on to them like the world is going to end, honestly, he seems more infatuated with whatever I’m drinking out of (and still is). We did give him a regular cup on occasion, but he didn't seem to grasp the “don’t dump all of the liquid into your face” concept yet, but practice makes perfect! The best thing we can do for our children is to give them options. Every time he asks to use a cup or drink out of mine I let him. If he doesn’t want my help, then I clean the water off the floor, or the couch, or the carpet, and more often than not change my clothes. The point is, parents, let them play and let them make a mess when they are learning, it may make you want to pull out your hair sometimes, but they are learning autonomy and it’s a beautiful mess.
Other Tips for Bottle to Cup Transition
Start by warming up the milk prior to transferring it to the new cup. If you go from warm to cold milk right away it may not work out in your favor, especially if you have a picky toddler.Try as many cup options as you want! There are some great reviews out there depending on how much money you want to spend on a cup your toddler will throw at the dog on a daily basis. You can gradually ditch the bottle by introducing less bottles throughout the day and offer a cup of milk instead.
My full review of the Munchkin Click-Lock Weighted Flexi-Straw Cup
It’s a great spill-proof option, but after a few washes the parts don’t seem to stay together very well which leads to opportunities for leakage.It’s not super easy to clean, but it’s doable. Like I mentioned above, lots of parts.The weighted straw is great because he can hold the cup completely upside down and all sorts of wacky ways and still get the liquid out. Dr. Brown's makes a great option though!