Drinking from an open cup - Mothering Forums
Life with a Toddler > Drinking from an open cup
crystal_buffaloe's Avatar crystal_buffaloe 10:13 AM 07-20-2012
Okay. I know that my 25 month old should be drinking from an open cup a lot more than she is. She physically is able to drink from one -- but THE MESS. If she has a cup with a lid, there is much more actual drinking and so much less mess. She'll do okay for a couple of sips, and then start dunking her food in the cup, which she may or may not eat, and inevitably she pours her cup on the plate, and then she may or may not eat the soggy food.

My instinct is to just end mealtime/snacktime right there, but about half the time, she does eat the soggy food, and we've struggled with her being underweight, so it is very hard for me to cut short her opportunity to eat (and, she really won't care -- she would probably be happy to get down from the table). I guess that's part of my struggle, too -- it seems like there's more actual eating and drinking when the open cup distraction is not there.

Does anyone have any tips or advice? She's also started asking for a lid (No! Lid!) sometimes if I bring her an open cup, which for some reason makes me think she really needs to be weaned from the sippy. So - I don't know if I should just let it go and deal with the mess/waste (maybe it'll cool down and we can start eating outside again) or calm down on trying to get her to do it -- nobody drinks from a sippy forever, right?

Adaline'sMama's Avatar Adaline'sMama 10:59 AM 07-20-2012
We drink water out of an open cup anywhere in the house. We drink milk or juice water out of a sippy cup with a lid. When DD was first demanding a lid on her cups, Id let her drink from a waterbottle and show her how to twist/untwist the cap (making sure the water bottle was only about 1/3 of the way full.)
ThreeTwoFive's Avatar ThreeTwoFive 11:21 AM 07-20-2012

How about a straw cup?

We have the dunk the food in the liquid problem.  DS likes to mix things.  I usually give water or milk at the end of the meal to minimize mixing.  

dejagerw's Avatar dejagerw 01:20 PM 07-20-2012

When I start training my kids on cups with no lids I start out in the high chair during a meal where I won't be stressed out. (like dinner, b/c DH is home too). I put a teeny tiny amount in there. Seriously, like maybe a couple sips. When and if he drinks it and wants more, then I'll give him a couple more sips. If he starts dumping it, I soak it up if I can, and then I don't give him anymore. (Or maybe he'll get a warning or something before I cut him off.) I have to get up often to refill the cup, but to me it's better than having a full cup dumped all over. 


As he gets better and better, he'll get a fuller and fuller cup. I really don't care if he puts his food in it. I figure he's just experimenting, and it doesn't bother me. It's funny, he'll put his sandwich in the cup, then drink it. It's so gross, but he looks so proud of himself.

crystal_buffaloe's Avatar crystal_buffaloe 01:37 PM 07-20-2012
Thanks for the advice so far, mamas smile.gif

I'd been filling the cup less than 1/2 full (so that's only 2 ounces), but putting just a few sips in makes sense. Waiting until the end of the meal makes sense, too.

DD also will put her food in and then drink around it -- too funny.
skycheattraffic's Avatar skycheattraffic 03:16 PM 07-20-2012
If you need containment but want to ditch the spouts, have you tried a flat top cup with a pressure valve? We have this one
and it works really well. The pressure of DD's lips tip the disc in the middle and she can drink very similarly to an open cup. The second her lips are off the rim, it seals up again and she could chuck it across the room without making a mess. The few drops that were in the valve can spill out but it's nothing compared to an open cup. DD picked it up very quickly after I showed her a few times. She is under 16 months old so older toddlers will learn it even faster. We use open cups most of the time since DD ALWAYS wants my glass but this is one substitute she will happily take. I think I've even seen these at walmart so they shouldn't be hard to find. Good luck!
SunRise's Avatar SunRise 10:37 AM 07-23-2012

I think if you are comfortable knowing your todder can USE a cup, then why not use a sippy to keep things contained.


My 29mth old has been drinking out of an open cup for more then half her life, BUT we reverted to sippy cup recently as she started to find delight in dunking food, pouring and mixing and sloshing her little fist around in the beverage.


I figure she knows HOW to drink out of a cup, (and we use one when we are at the dining room table), BUT I have no problem giving her a sippy for snack time or walking around.


We use these plastic re-useable cups w/ a spout & little farm animal lids. Bought three which will last her toddler days.

JudiAU's Avatar JudiAU 05:10 PM 07-23-2012

The more she drinks from an open cup the better her manners will become with it. Right now it is more of a novelty. All means in our hourse after 18m or so are open cup. Outside the house we use a sigg in their carseats and an an open water bottle otherwise. We also keep a few sippies with the valves removed to have in bedrooms. Limits accidents but increases flow. In my experience, using a sippy is a good way to limit water intake. The kids drink a lot more in an open cup.


Kids drink water and very occasionally a bit of milk so it spills aren't messy.

~adorkable~'s Avatar ~adorkable~ 12:24 AM 07-26-2012
Originally Posted by skycheattraffic View Post

If you need containment but want to ditch the spouts, have you tried a flat top cup with a pressure valve? We have this one
and it works really well. 

hahahha i saw those and thought they would be so great, because my 18 m twins like to turn there zippy cups upside down and jiggle all the water out to play with. it took one of them about 3.25 minutes to figure out how to invert it and use his finger to let it all gush out. ugh.

skycheattraffic's Avatar skycheattraffic 01:29 AM 07-26-2012
LOL Adorkable. I don't think there is a cup out there that a crafty baby/toddler won't bust open. I learned very quickly that this isn't a carseat cup lol. It is better than an open cup once the novelty wears off though. At least they have to work at it :-).
GoBecGo's Avatar GoBecGo 01:39 AM 07-26-2012

My 2yo also sticks her hand, then wrist in her water at the table, puts her food into it etc.  If i can deal with it i just let her, if i can't then i remove it.  In between meals she still uses a sippy to contain the mess.  It's only anecdotal but my 6yo messed about with cups and was poor at drinking from one until she was about 4!  EVENTUALLY she learned to drink without the mess/messing about.  Now she's 6 and no one can tell she still had a sippy at times until she was 4.  Try not to worry about it, they all get it in the end.