My DS is 17 months now and cannot use a straw at all, although we have tried. I am wondering if that is normal. We are also waiting on a speech evaluation, because he is saying maybe two words (mama and dada, and not very consistently), so I wonder if there is an issue with the muscles or something that is affecting speech.
If he just doesn't seem to get it, I might suggest you try a really tiny thin straw first and then work towards those big fat ones they use for kids' cups. I have tried a few and they take a lot of suck power . If he has only tried those he just might not understand yet what he is supposed to do.
DD started using straw cups at 10 months. She didn't 'get' traditional sippy cups until months later.
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Have you tried this? Put the straw in the water, put your finger firmly on the top, and pull the straw out so the water stays in the straw, and then let him drink from the bottom. That's what we did with DS the first time or two & he got it right away.
As for your son's speech, two words at 17 months is still well within normal range. Keep in mind that as a first-time parent you may be missing a lot of words (I know I did).
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So the straw thing wouldn't bother me. As far as words go, two is not a lot, but don't think you should stress too much yet. Does he use any signs or have sounds that mean things, even if they aren't words? I hope the speech eval brings you some comfort.
Is it because he doesn't seem to like it or he doesn't have the muscle strength? It might just be a preference issue.
I don't think straw use is related to speech, though. My daughter was the most verbal toddler I've ever met (talking as well as some of the 4 year olds in her kindergarten class at two), but couldn't figure out straws until sometime after 2. I can't remember exactly when, but sometime between 2 and 2.5.
My son is 14 months old. He's fairly verbal, but no where near as verbal as my daughter was at the same age. He's been able to use a straw since he was about 12.5 months, which was pretty much the first time he was offered one to try.
SAH Mama of two intact kiddos: Kaitlyn (31 Oct '05) and Julian (7 July '09).
Mom to one happy Senorcito (06/09) ... allergic to wheat, nuts, dairy, eggs, sesame, peas and soy.
I think it's important to consider whether he is trying to communicate in other ways as well - signing, pointing, grunting, etc.
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