Step Away From the Sippy Cup!

There seems to be a progression from breast/bottle to sippy cup. Often, the sippy cup is used past the age of one year. The reason for this is because using a sippy cup for a prolonged time promotes sucking methods that hinder expressive speech and swallowing abilities – the article notes, “The spout blocks the tongue tip from rising up to the alveolar ridge just above the front teeth and forces the child to continue to push his tongue forward and back as he sucks on the spout to extract the juice.”  According to the author, “I frequently hear from parents how excited they are to begin teaching their baby to use a sippy cup.  They often view it as a developmental milestone, when in fact it was invented simply to keep the floor clean and was never designed for developing oral motor skills. Sippy cups were invented for parents, not for kids.” The author suggests that the transition should be breast, bottle then an open cup which would be managed by an adult to prevent spills. In addition, the parent could use a straw for their child, but they should cu the straw down so that the child can get their lips around it.

With that said, the same goes for prolonged breast, pacifier, and thumb sucking.

Stefanie C. Fedun, MS CF-SLP




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