Comments

  1. This is a great post! I have a few questions though- what if your child has no interest in drinking from a straw? My 24 month old is very stubborn and has a really difficult time with anything new. He was 10 weeks premature, which may be some of the reason why. We struggled to get him to drink from a sippy cup at all. At 12 months (adjusted) we took the bottle away and got him to drink from a Gerber water bottle – we had at least 10 different sippy cups we tried from age 6 months on. He refused all of them. It took until 18 months before we got him to drink from a sippy cup – and it was one that was shaped like a glass (he would drink out of a glass). Now we’ve been trying to get him to be interested in a straw, and he refuses it. Also, he refuses all liquid drinks except water. Help?

  2. Oh toddlers can be so stubborn! You aren’t alone, I have worked with other kiddos that are very particular. Sometimes the unknown is pretty overwhelming. First I would try both methods I described in the post. He may get a kick out of having you drop water into his mouth. If he doesn’t go for that than try the take and toss cups. He may not try to take a sip right away, but start sitting it out while he is playing. Maybe his other sippy cup won’t be around and while he’s busy playing he won’t think of it too much and go for a sip You could also try giving some of his stuffed animals a drink from his new cup to peak some interest.

    Try having a peer drink from the same cup at a playdate and make a big deal about it. This may take many attempts, don’t get discouraged (I know easier said than done) and keep trying.

    As for the water, I wouldn’t be too concerned unless he isn’t drinking milk? Is that the case?

    • Hello, This is a great post. My son is 13 months and I am trying to teach him how to drink from a sippy since he was 7 months old. Now, I am trying to take his bottle away but he refuse to drink any other liquids. He gets the idea of the cup, but he spits out everything that gets in his mouth. Do you suggest to quit the bottle cold turkey, and if yes, how long I have to keep him without liquids. He is very stubborn and I am afraid that he will dehydrate.

  3. Agreed this is a great post! My 18 month old can get liquid from the straw, but she cannot get the concept that she doesn’t need to tip the cup up (like her non straw sippy cups). Of course when she does this, the water tips away from the end of the straw, making it impossible to drink. She gets frustrated and annoyed and I end up caving and going back to the other kind. Any suggestions?

    • Yes, I should have mentioned this in the post because it is a common problem. The only way to get around this is to keep practicing and helping her to keep it down. Also, make sure the straw cup is really full so if she is tipping it a little she will be likely to get some. Once she starts to get the hang of it, I would start to think about doing away with spout shaped sippy cups all together. Hope that helps!

      • Thank you Alisha for this reply to Heather! My 20m son has the same issue! When he was younger, it was all we could do to finally get him to drink from a bottle by himself by encouraging him to hold the bottle “up!” After quite some time (weeks??) he finally figured it out and has been fine ever since…until now that I’m trying to train him to drink from a straw properly by holding the cup down by his chest. This is only day #2 of training him to hold it down by his chest, so I suppose it will take several days for him to learn (and hopefully not weeks!) This is encouraging to know I’m not the only one ‘struggling’ with this issue. Kids are all so different and learn at such different paces! Never a dull moment! 🙂

  4. I wanted to share this suggestion from the blogger and speech therapist at Little Stories:

    “My favorite cup, and I think for all my mommy friends too, is the Thermos Foogo with the straw (Level 3) or also sometimes called the Funtainer. It really doesn’t leak, lasts and lasts, and keeps drinks cold. I know for sure you can find them in the lunchbox/water bottle section at Target, Babies R Us, or amazon.”

    I will be giving it a try!

    • Yes, you do have to be careful of this. It is best to take them completely apart and put them in the dishwasher. Somebody also recently recommended Foogo straw cups, they are stainless steel and suppose to be antibacterial (see the comment above.) I know they can be a pain to deal with but I think the benefits are worth it.

  5. I’m also a pediatric OT/mom, and my little guy was never able to take a bottle (he only wanted to chew on the nipple) and would choke while breastfeeding all the way through about 8 months of age (no pneumonia though, thank goodness). Around that time, we discovered all the great varieties of organic baby food pouches that are now super popular in grocery stores. They have a straw-like tip and you can squeeze the pouch to assist with getting the stage 1/stage 2 puree out, much like you mentioned with the vacuum cups. After only a few weeks of giving him pouches (where he sucked directly out of the pouch and we decreased the amount of assistance we provided with squeezing the pouch), he was completely able to drink from a regular grown-up straw! By 9 months old he was drinking from a straw and we were totally ecstatic (especially my husband, who was the one that had to try and feed him while I was at work 3 days a week). Sooo, that’s our story about teaching our baby to drink from a straw. 🙂 Have you had any experience with these pouches in feeding therapy?
    -Christie (MamaOT.com)

  6. I am a mom and an SLP. I love straw cups for the same reasons as mentioned above, but found them a nightmare to clean. My favorite cups are from Tupperware. They are similar to the munchkin cups but are spill proof. The tumblers come with lids that have a silicone circle with an x cut in it. Once the lid is on, it doesn’t spill. whenyou are ready to drink just put a regular straw in the hole! Voila! 🙂 the cups are a little prices, but highly durable!

  7. Your blog is amazing! I swear I just diagnosed my 11 month old who will not eat anything that is not a cracker/cheerio/puff as have sensory issues because he will eat anything via babyfood mushed up and level three, but will not touch anything that is wet or squishy so table foods have been a nightmare–no issues at all with our first child. However, I am wondering about the straw cup/sippy cup. Do I put just water in it? Formula, or cow’s milk? He is still taking a bottle after each meal so should I transistion him to cup rather than bottle since he is nearing the year? This second baby of ours is making me feel like a very clueless first time mommy! Thanks for any help you can offer.

    • Thanks Julie! Water is great to start with. Your doctor probably wants you to wait to 12 months for cow’s milk, but you could surely put formula in it and eventually milk. Start with one meal by trying to give him some formula in the cup if you want. He may associate it with the bottle though, so don’t be discouraged if he doesn’t go for it. It is amazing how much you forget by the time the next baby comes around! Keep me posted!

  8. I loved this post. Before I read this, it never occurred to me to offer my daughter a straw. She is 15 months and has been very resistant to switching from the bottle to a sippy cup. I picked up one of the Munchkin straw cups and she LOVES it. Thanks for all the great tips!

  9. Love this post! Just wanted to add that we love our Playtex brand flip-cap straw cups! We started using a straw one day around 6 months when I accidentally left the only sippy cup I had at my mom’s house. I used the method you describe above and my daughter caught on that day! We’ve never used a sippy cup since then. I love the Playtex cups because they aren’t complicated to assemble/disassemble. You just insert the straw through the lid til it sort of clicks, then screw the lid on (it has a click/notch in it so you know it’s closed). They don’t leak, except for the few drops that may still be in the straw when dropped on the ground. We’ve been using them for going on 6 months (I only own 2 of them, but aren’t doing milk yet, so I’ll get more soon) and haven’t had any problems keeping them clean. I run them in the dishwasher each night before we go to bed, and should any food from backwash (ew! my least favorite part of straw cups!) gets inside the straw, I just use my little brush cleaner that came with my Dr. Brown’s bottles to clean it out.

    Ditto on the use of the pouches–we started those around the same time as the straw and they offer great practice (though, I still can’t hand it to my daughter and let her just suck, cause she squirts all of the contents out when she grabs the bag part LOL) 🙂

    Just discovered your blog this evening, and am loving the content! I’ll definitely be back for more! Thanks!

    • Mrs. Butler- yes I prefer those playtex ones as well. We have a large variety and those are the easiest to put together. Thanks for the nice comment, glad you found Your Kid’s Table!

  10. Love this post! I am a mom of 2 young boys as well as a pediatric SLP. I too often urge families to switch from sippys to straws for the same benefits that you outlined. I also love “swirly” straws which I often find in bulk in party sections at Target/Wal-Mart. Pottery Barn Kids also has a swirly straw included cup that my son loves. These straws can be more challenging as the kids need to suck longer. Kids typically work hard though for these because they love to watch the liquid’s path. Its a good sometimes straw for sure. I am pretty diligent about cleaning these as soon as my son uses them and typically only serve water in them for cleaning ease…although to increase the straws’ benefits, using a more challenging texture (milkshake consistency) can be great.

  11. My 18 month cannot drink from a sippy cup or a straw cup….he refuses it all the time .. Is it a good idea to introduce a water bottle with a narrow mouth so that he can drink from it n no sucking? Pl reply

    • Yes, that is totally fine. Watch out for choking or coughing and only give it to him when he is in a seated position. Also, give him as much help as he needs pulling back as he masters it. You can also use a small regular cup with just a little bit of liquid in it. However, keep trying the straw cup– especially the method I described above with a regular straw! Hope that helps! Let me know if you need more help!

  12. Thanks, this post has really encouraged me go for the straw cup option! I have a 7.5 month-old and I breastfeed her for the most part and supplement her with formula in a bottle. Recently, I’ve been trying to wean her off of the bottle. Today, I tried your method with the straw and also tried using the Playtex straw cups (the one where I can squeeze the bottle to shoot up a bit of liquid). It went pretty well, I think, since she started to suck on the straw occasionally. The only issue right now is that she almost always spits the formula back out if she drinks this way, as opposed to from a bottle. She doesn’t seem to choke, but just doesn’t want to swallow anything. Would you have any insight to this? Is it a phase that will eventually go away if I continue to let her drink from a straw? Thanks!!!

    • It sounds like it went really well! It is a slow process, especially when they are that young. She may be spitting out the formula because she is used to it in a bottle. Try some water as well, just so she get the hang of it. On the other hand, babies love to spit and she might just be exploring. Give lots of praise if she keeps some in her mouth. It is a phase- she is really young- keep trying and modeling for her!!! You are on the right track!!!

  13. My daughter (11 months old) had open heart surgery @ 11 weeks old, and was intubated 3 times. During recovery she developed a feeding aversion, and came home with an NG tube. She has been NG free for 4 months, but her volumes are about 1/2 what a normal baby would eat (we are using a calorie supplement). We have been seeing speech and things are improving. However, our SLP strongly recommends against the straw cups and wants us to use sippy cups without the valve. My LO loves to drink out of glasses/cups as long as it isn’t formula. We are willing to try anything, but I’ve been wondering why we shouldn’t use the straw cups.

    Found Your Kid’s Table today and love it. Thank you so much for the resource!

    • Fara- it sounds like your daughter is making nice progress. That’s great, you have all really been through a lot! I’m assuming she wants you to avoid straws for the time being because it requires a more coordinated swallow pattern and if she doesn’t have that under her belt right now it could lead to choking and/or liquid getting into her lungs. She is really young so there is plenty of time for straws, but I would ask her. So glad you found Your Kid’s Table:)

  14. My 9.5 month old son drinks from a straw cup but places the straw in the corner of his mouth and sucks in from the side rather than placing it in the middle of his mouth, making it more difficult for him to swallow the liquid he has sucked. I have tried holding the straw in the middle of his mouth but he always reverts back to this position. Would this suggest he does not have the musculature to use the straw in a typical fashion? What might you suggest?

    • Well, if he were over one, yes I would say to work on some mouth exercises, but he is so young. Great that you are already getting him on the straw, but it is probably a little difficult for him to keep in the center of his mouth. Keep trying to move it over and demonstrate yourself drinking or sing a song to distract him while you hold it in place. This will help build up those muscles.

  15. I moved my son from bottles to a soft spouted sippy cup before I learned about the benefits of using a straw. My son is 14.5 months old and takes a sippy cup with water throughout the day. I tried a valve straw cup and he wouldn’t even try to suck, he just chewed on the straw. Then I got the take and toss and put some diluted juice in it (he’s never had juice so it was enticing) and he went to town sucking it up. The problem was that he didn’t seem to know how to swallow while the straw was in his mouth. He would let go of the straw after each sip and a lot of the liquid would dribble out of his mouth. I don’t know how much he got down his throat, but his bib and shirt were soaked. But he emptied 3/4 of the cup in just a few minutes. Will his swallowing get better with practice? My son don’t have any diagnosed delay, but he does seem to be a little behind his same age playmates in gross motor and coordination. I want him to be able to use a straw, but don’t know if there is something else I can do to facilitate this transition.

    • Hi Jessica, has he tried the valved straw cup again, since learning with the take and toss? If not- try again, he may have the hang of it now, if you have keep trying periodically. To help him get the hang of this, I would suggest trying something thicker in straw cup. First try whole milk, if that still goes everywhere, then make a thinner smoothie with yogurt and juice. Play around with the consistency, until he can suck it up without spitting it out. Let me know it is going!

    • We tried the valve cup again today and he did much better. I think if we keep practicing, he will be able to drink without issues of it spilling back out. Thanks for the suggestion!

  16. my daughter is 11 months old.. i try platex straw cup for water and juice. she knows how to suck but The problem was that she didn’t seem to know how to swallow while the straw was in her mouth. She would let go of the straw after each sip and a lot of the liquid would dribble out of her mouth. I don’t know how much she got down her throat, but her bib and shirt were soaked.I dont know what to do.she is exclusively breastfeed and i am planning to wean off in a month. I want her to be able to use a straw, but don’t know if there is something else I can do to facilitate this transition.

    • Try something thicker at first, like a yogurt smoothie. You can water down with juice a little if you need to. This will give her some more time to process the swallow and help keep the liquid from falling back out. Keep trying, she is young. She probably just needs some practice! Let me know how it goes!

  17. Hi, lovely post. Thanks! My son is 28 months and drinks from straw bottles, but my problem is that he drinks milk and other thick liquids with no problem. But when it comes to water, he just sucks it in n spills it right back out of his mouth. Am trying everything like different straw bottles, different places in the house, me imitating and nothing is working. Any suggestion as to how to get him to drink water from straw bottles? Thank you so much!

    • Well, it’s hard to say if he is doing this out of habit or because the liquid is thinner and he doesn’t know have the control to swallow it. If it is the first, I would say just keep trying. If it is the latter I would say to try and work on building the muscles he uses in his mouth. You can do this by making silly faces like kiss lips and fish lips. Also, get a bunch of different whistles (usually at a party supply store for very cheap) and have him practice this. Both of these things will help build muscles strength.

  18. Hi Alisha, thanks for the great post. My little girl was the same as your son & picked up on the straw remarkably well at 6 mos from watching me drink water from a straw cup daily. She would pretend to drink out of it & one day we realized she really was and decided to get her one of her own (think baby thinkster). She’s 11 mos old now & does pretty well, other than the occasional choking from taking too much in (usually when she first starts drinking). However, she still prefers her bottle and seems to want to just play with the straw cup. We offer it to her with water during meals (only an ounce or 2) and she does great, but then when I put milk in it, she just plays with it and takes sips occasionally. If I walk around while holding her and hold the straw to her mouth for her, I can usually get her to finish most of it, but it takes about 20-30 minutes. Much of the time I get frustrated & end up putting the rest in a bottle, which she sucks down in just a couple of minutes. There have been occasions when she DOES finish her straw cup after 5-10 minutes, so I know she can do it. Would you recommend not using the bottle at all anymore & just going with the straw only, or just continuing to try and encourage it more frequently? My hope was to get her off the bottle by 12 mos, but at this rate, I’m not so sure. Thanks!!

    • Yes, the bottle can be tricky habit to break, and you are right to be trying to wean her from it. However, this is just a habit she has. I would wait to she is on cow’s milk- I’m assuming that you would start that after her first birthday. Of course, you will mix formula and milk to start, but maybe start the transition in her straw cup. Also, if she is eating enough, she doesn’t need to consume lots of milk anymore, it’s okay. Just put it back in the fridge after a few minutes. Let me know if you need more help:)

    • Great, thank you!! Yes, we plan on transitioning to cow’s milk next month when she turns one. I was planning on talking to her pedi about how to do that soon. She also seems to have an extremely sensitive gag reflex & doesn’t handle some textures too well. She eats a decent amount of food (about 20-22 oz/day) but she’s still having a difficult time with finger food & thick purees, and has even vomited after gagging several times the last couple of months. She does fine with some finger foods (puffs, pancake pieces dipped in fruit), but not so well with others. I was hoping maybe if I encourage the straw more, that perhaps it would build her muscles up better & help her to become a better eater. Hopefully she’ll grow out of this! It’s stressful for me, but it’s reassuring to me that she’s in the 75th percentile for her weight/height & is otherwise developmentally on track. Thanks again!

    • The straw will definitely help, but that is only a piece of the puzzle. Ask the dr about early intervention services in your area- or me, I can help with that. It sounds like she is doing really well, but it might be helpful to have a support like an OT move you through this transition of eating. Keep trying and read my posts on how to transition to table foods. Also, if you are interested, I offer consults, which would give you a lot more specific info. Let me know how it goes!

  19. Just introduced my daughter to the munchin straw cup. My issue is she will ONLY drink Milk from a bottle if its in a regular sippy cup (which she has been drinking water from since 6mos) she takes a couple of sips and throws it. She did the same with straw cup. Should I just get rid of the bottles cold turkey? She gets the concept of the straw (tips it up at times like a sippy) but wants her BaBa.

  20. Thank you so much for this post! When I gave my 9.5 month old daughter a straw cup with water to drink, it took her less than 5 mins to figure it out!! My husband and I were surprised and thrilled. She loves her straw cup but after reading your post, I am a bit concerned.

    Whenever she first sips from the straw each day, she does tend to overdo it and cough and choke a bit. She does recover and then drink fine from that point on. Should I stop giving her the straw cup based on your comments above or keep giving it to her so she gets the hang of it better.

    Thank you so much!

  21. Thanks for the post, this worked really great for our son and he was able to pick up drinking from the straw in just minutes!

  22. Thanks for this post. I have a 13 month old son and he can drink easily from pouches but whenever i tried introducing a straw he keeps biting it and and playing with it. Any suggestions of how i can make him drink from ‘softer’ straws? Thanks

    • Forgot to add that he sometimes drinks from
      The non-spill sippy cups with straws but mostlu he plays with it in his mouth. Today i tried closing one end and he did drink from the other side but then when i put the straw in the glass it was back to playing with it between his teeth.

    • Unfortunately this often comes with territory. I would use the no spill cups, he is probably less likely to bite. Give him reminders to take drinks from it. If he is excessively chewing and not biting just take it away each time he bites. After a few minutes give him a drink saying “take a drink”. Also, try to give it to him when you suspect he is thirsty. This phase will pass:)

  23. On the point of moving onto a no-spill straw cup, there is also something we found which has been great for our ‘sanity’ (as you mentioned!). Its called a Drink Buddy and it saved us having to buy any special cups as we were just able to use our normal plastic ones. Easier to clean too 🙂

  24. I’m pretty excited my baby did the same as yours. She is so excited to eat and drink that she started eating baby food from a spoon at 3 1/2 months and drinking from a straw at 5 1/2 months.

  25. My baby girl loves drinking out of a straw. I gave her the playtex straw cup at 4.5 months and she was able to learn within one day. Playtex is definitely the way to go if you want to teach your child to drink out of a straw. It has a squeeze feature that delivers liquid to the top of the straw which makes it a lot easier for babies to learn.

  26. Thank you so much for this post…I am going to try working on the straw today. I have a 26 weeker preemie that is now 17 months actual (14 months adjusted). He refuses to drink from a sippy cup and I have tried them all. He will take two or three sips and then will throw them down. He still takes formula from a bottle several times a day for calorie boosts. I hope he likes the straw…so maybe we can get him drinking cow’s milk and milkshakes from a cup!!

    • I also have a 26 weeker preemie that is now 21 months (19 months adjusted). His Early Intervention teacher bought us a Honey Bear Straw cup to use for him. The cup is made of plastic but its flexible therefore you can help your little one by squeezing liquid into his mouth. This helped our son a lot. My little one likes to drink out of a cup but he does know what to do with the cup at all!! She encouraged us early on to start him utilizing a straw cup versus a sippy cup for speech development.

  27. Mine really had no interest in using the regular sippy cups. She was born with hydrocephalus due to a stroke in utero. The stroke also caused a bit of motor control issues in her right side. The biggest major hurdle for the first few months was a weak suck. It was something no one thought about apparently and things like reflux and intolerance were what they were trying to nudge us toward. She lost a half pound, threw up everything, and my milk supply dried up. I just couldn’t keep up with pumping and trying to bottle feed her around the clock since she simply would not feed at the breast. It occurred to me one day that maybe, just maybe, she wasn’t able to suck very hard because of the poor muscle tone and control. Switched her to a medium flow nipple, and, lo and behold, she ate and ate. And slept. And I slept! As I was talking about before, we were having trouble trying to get her to use a sippy and she would just put her mouth on the straw and look at us like “There. Ya happy now?”. We had the best luck with a juice box, of all things. Daddy put it to her lips and squeezed a little juice in her mouth. Once she figured out stuff was going to come out of there, she was all for it. In less than 3 days, we had phased out the bottle of the straw cup entirely. She uses the Munchkin straw cups, and I was very surprised when I tried to take a sip at just how hard you have to suck! Apparently she doesn’t have as much trouble with a weak suck anymore! She is pretty delayed with her speech. She is going on 22 months and barely 2 words and not much jabbering. Could drinking from a straw help with this in the long run?

    • Thank you so much for sharing your success story! You are one insightful momma! Straw drinking could definitely help with speech because many of the the muscles she is working are also needed for talking.

  28. Hi! I am just wondering a out the straw cup that seems like the water is at the tip of the straw and just needs a little bite. My son seems to he sucking but I’m not sure if it is the right way.

    • Hi! Do you mean one that he doesn’t need to suck as far? Try with a regular straw first to make sure he has the concept. You can cut the straw and use a small cup so he doesn’t have to suck a lot. Did that answer your question?

  29. Please help. My daughter is about to be 6 months old. We have struggled with getting her to take a bottle her whole short life! She is breastfed and no other food yet. We have tried so many bottles and nipples–finally getting her to take the the lansinoh momma bottle but that only lasted about a month (her 4th month?) and then got an ear infection and it went downhill. When starting she screamed if a bottle even came near her, then she finally got the hang of it but never drank as much at daycare as she would eat when breastfeeding….and they had to work hard to get her to take it. We had friends try with me out of the house, she went on a 6 hr hunger strike even. She just chews on the nipple now. I bought some hard and soft spout sippy cups because she always reaches for our cups when drinking but nothing. I was advised to take the valve out. Oh and she is a champion at breastfeeding. PLEASE HELP. I don’t care what type of glass/bottle/sippy/cup etc it is if I can get her to take something when I am gone. What do I do? How to I go about it?? I keep praying for God to give me strength!!!

    • I know this is a really tricky situation. My older son NEVER took a bottle, but nursed easily. It was stressful for me at times, but I was able to make it work. I would experiment with a few kinds of sippy cups, obviously I prefer a straw, but I don’t think she’ll drink enough from it at her age. She may not from the sippy cup either. Keep the valve out initially once she gets the hang of it, put the valve back in. I’ve never tried it, but some lactation consultants recommend feeding from a spoon until the phase has passed. You could also try a different bottle, one she doesn’t associate with the ear pain. Try a different spot/ position, change up as much as possible. I had success with Tommee Tipee, but there is the breast shaped bottle. I just pinned it to my board: For the Babies on Pinterest. Here is the link: pinterest.com/yourkidstable I hope this helps, I feel your pain!

  30. Hi Thank you your post is brilliant. I have a six month baby boy refuses the bottle and sippy cup. He been exclusively breastfed. However I am now back to work and my mum spends long time feeding him, We actually end up spoon feeding him. I am trying to wean him off the breastfeeding. I have tried the straw and he was very keen on it he managed to suck the liquid out occasionally today however he did not do it continuously. He was forming his mouth like a fish . Is there anything I can do to encourage him to suck the straw since he showed a lot of interest. I be eternally grateful if the straw works as I am very desperate. thanks

    • I know this is a tricky spot to be in. Please keep in mind this is quite an advance skill for a 6 month old, not impossible. It requires a lot of muscle strength and he may tire out. I would keep tying and squeeze his cheeks a little to get his mouth into the right position.

  31. This was great advice! My 12 month old picked up straw drinking right away when I showed him the way you described. I hadn’t even thought to try it with him at this age, but it will make things much easier! Now if only I could get him off the bottle for milk (he’ll only take water out of sippys and straws so far)

  32. That’s great. The bottle will come, he just the age to start working on it- if you need extra help see the article index in the menu bar, I have an article on Bottle Weaning! Good luck!

  33. Wow! This is an amazing post. I was wondering why my 18 month old son resisted a straw cup. I followed the instructions. It has worked perfectly, immediately. I am super excited!! Thanks a lot for this post.

  34. I am an ABA therapist. I work with a 5 year old boy with autism. He can drink from a regular cup or a camelbak water bottle (he bites the spout and pours the liquid into his mouth- no sucking). When I tried your suggestions, he started off biting the straw. Now, he will close his lips, but his teeth are shut. So the straw is stuck btwn his lips and teeth. I have tried modeling opening my mouth and he is able to do that. However, when I start move the straw towards his mouth, he bites down before I can get the straw in. Any ideas on how to help him? I love your site. Thanks in advance for the help!

    • I want to make sure I’m understanding correctly, is he opening his lips but not his teeth? Or, is he biting on the straw when he puts it into his mouth? In either case I may experiment with different kinds of straw, it may be a texture thing. Also, does he have any speech? It is possible this could be in part due to an oral motor delay.

    • You are correct. The first time we tried, he opened his lips and teeth but would not close his lips around the straw. Now, he opens his lips but not teeth. He is non verbal and definitely has an oral motor delay.

    • It is probably going to take a lot of repetition and demonstration for him. If he tolerates vibrations (chances are he loves it- strong sensory input), use a vibrating teether or toy on his cheeks and in his mouth right before doing. Keep trying with the take and toss cup that you can squirt right into his mouth.

  35. I love your blog! Thanks for doing what you do! We’ve been trying to teach our 18mo DD how to use a straw. She’s in ST and want to strengthen her mouth muscles. However she’s also SPD and freaks out whenever I come near her with a straw. She has a couple insulated straw cups (Munchkin) that she likes and will chew on the straws. They have water in them. Maybe she’ll just discover it on her own? We live pretty far from stores so can’t just run out and buy the Take and Toss kind for her. I’ve been trying to make it fun (blowing bubbles w/straw, etc) and practicing with desirable liquids, but it’s a sensory thing with the straw. What else can I do?

    • Those take and toss straws will make all the difference, get them as soon as your able. I would also try , if she would allow to give her some deep pressure around her jaw, cup your hand firmly around her little jaw as you try. You could also put a food she likes on the end of the straw to get her to put it into her mouth. Think applesauce or pudding- she can even suck that up, which is a wonderful oral motor activity!

  36. I am so happy to have come across your blog and especially this post. I have been working with my now 18 mo old for about 8 mo now on drinking from a cup. She had started drinking water from a sippy but stopped a few weeks ago when she got sick, she was also still taking 3 bottles a day for milk (she refused milk from a sippy). We got a new dr last week who told me to stop the bottle cold turkey immediately. Since then she only drinks about 6-8 oz of milk/day and few sips of water (not enough).we bought the take and toss cups a few months ago bc she loves “using” straws. However, she just places her mouth on the straw for a few sec, then says “Ahhhh” like she just took a refreshing drink but she won’t suck. We’ve been trying your process for a few days, no luck yet. She bites the straw to get the liquid out when I put it in her mouth. Anyway, this is the most helpful info we’ve gotten yet! If you have any suggestions, we’d love to hear them 🙂

    • Not all kids respond well to cold turkey, see the article index in the menu bar for a post I wrote on weaning. I agree it should be an immediate goal to get her off the bottle though. I would consider reintroducing the sippy as well, since she had some success with that in the past even though it isn’t my first choice.

  37. My daughter is 13mos and has been drinking out of a straw sippy since she was 9 months. She doesn’t know how to tip back a regular sippy or cup to make the water go to her mouth because of the straw. Also I’m concerned that she will eventually get. ”smoker lips” (please don’t take offense) do you think this is a possibility?

  38. What is your favorite straw cup? Also, what is your opinion on the straws that require biting to allow liquid through the end of the straw?

    • I like the Playtex ones- I shared a link at the end of the post. The biting ones are okay for occasional use but I wouldn’t use them all the time. It is better for them to work out their lips and cheeks- biting makes it easier.

  39. Great post.
    I have a 7 month old daughter who is bottle fed from first month but suddenly from 5th month she rejecting the bottle and i have no option but to feed her when she is half asleep. My Ped told she had nipple allergy so decided to move to a cup. i bought a straw cup and after iread your post i tried with regular straw in the feeding bottle. Initially she chewed it but as i squeezed the bottle she can hold thestrawbut could not suck from it and now started crying if i give her a straw. Still i kept my fingers crossed. I feed her solids and water with a bowl and spoon. As the summer is gearing up here iam worried about her. Can u give any other idea to give a practise.

    • Although it is possible for a 7 month old to drink from a straw it isn’t common. I don’t think it hurts to keep trying though, but keep it positive. This method should work in the next month or two. Demonstrate a lot for her as well. Do you live in the states? If so you can get some help from early intervention- see the article index in the menu bar.

  40. Any tips on how to get an 11mo to actually drink the liquid he gets from a straw as opposed to spitting it all out? We’ve mastered the sucking involved in using a straw, but he never keeps any of the liquid in his mouth! I almost think it’s a game- he spits it out all over himself and laughs sometimes, or spits it really far and makes a mess. He cut back his formula intake to only about 12oz/day so I’d really like him to drink some water to help with hydration and constipation, but no luck! Thanks in advance!

    • I agree, he really needs to drink water. It sounds like he is going through a phase- don’t give it too much attention. If you need to I would use a sippy cup for a short bit so that he is getting some liquid and just keep offering the straw, tell him, “water stays in our mouth.” Or, “swallow”.

  41. My daughter ONLY uses a straw cup. When I tried to introduce the sippy she hated it. I even tried the soft spout and she wanted to chew it rather than drink from it. One day when we were at grandmas and I forgot the sippy, out of pure necessity I gave her some water with a straw and Eureka! She just turned 8 months and has been exclusively using straw cups for 2 months now. My question is a mom friend of mine insists that it is still necessary for her to learn how to use a sippy cup for later development. Is this true? I don’t see why?

    • That is totally false! The mechanics needed to drink from a sippy cup are the same as a bottle. It is awesome that she is drinking from a straw. Don’t worry about the sippy cup for another second.

  42. my toddler went straight to glass at 15 m old never took bottles or dummies and at 2.5 year old cannot use a straw for drinking. learnt how to use a straw for making bubbles in thewater glass and has been knowing for a couple of days how to drink from a sport bottle (non suck) but thats it. i prefer straight out of glass drinking any way. started with a shot glass.

    • Drinking from an open cup is an important and valuable skills too! And, a shot glass is a great idea.

  43. hi. My daughter is going to be ten months soon. She started drinking from a shot glass at 4 months and by the age of 6 months she started taking open cups. She refused bottles at 2 months and does not take sippy cups at all. I tried giving her straws but instead of sucking she chews and bites on the straws. I desperately want her to drink from the straw so that i can have a closed container for drinks, for travels, lesser spills. She wants to drink herself but is unable to hold the open cup properly and drink from it .

    • First, I would just keep trying every day. Give praise for anything she does in the right direction. Second, there are a variety of “open” no spill cups now that a rim and an inset lid that will prevent spills. In the mean time use that. I would also try the steps listed in this post about using siphening from a straw.

  44. hi, your post is quite motivating for me .As my baby never touched bottle at all , she 11 months now.So started with sippy cup she out rightly refused it then tried the bottle with straw.

    She takes sips from the bottle but very few .she will start chewing it and then take one sip .She takes 10ml from straw
    .So is that fine ? In one go she doesn’t drink it all .

    Please advise as am getting very worried n frustrated about it .

    • It is important to keep trying, daily with the straw… actually at every meal. She just needs a lot of getting used to it. In the mean time it is great that she is taking some of it, albeit a small amount.

  45. My 13-month-old daughter has a rare genetic disorder, so we get early intervention services already, currently PT and OT, but she will be evaluated for feeding/speech this week. She was mostly breastfed until I returned to work, when she was 5 months. She refused bottles until my very patient nanny got her to take the Munchkin Latch, which worked until she was collapsing the nipple, so we switched to Dr. Brown’s. She’s great with that, still takes around 20 oz of milk from those throughout the day. She never got the hang of sippy cups (she just chews on it and laughs), and at this age, I think we just need to move off bottles and skip sippy cups. I’m trying to get her to use a straw cup, started with the Zoli, but again, she just chewed on the straw. OT recommended the honey bear straw cup, but upon research, I found some other (less expensive) options that allow you to squeeze the liquid up, including the Toss and Go. We started with the Rubbermaid Litterless Juice Box this past weekend. Baby started by biting on the spout, but it’s a hard plastic, not soft like the Zoli straw, and eventually she closed her mouth around it and started sucking, which is great, exceptshe either lets the water run out of her mouth, or she actively spits it out (like she thinks it’s funny). Sometimes she’s blowing into the spout, so she’s blowing bubbles. Do we just keep trying, or do I now have a new challenge on my hands? Would it help to put milk in there for her, or just keep trying water for a while? Thanks for your advice!

    • That’s great Jen! I would try milk, it wouldn’t hurt and might be more motivating. Also, yes I would keep trying it will take a lot of practice. Give her lost of praise for anything she does that is in the right direction. Wishing you the best!

      • Thank you! Will try milk this week. She’s going to be getting feeding/speech therapy through early intervention, but that won’t get approved or started for a handful of weeks, I’m sure. So in the meantime, I’ll use any ideas or advice I come across in my own research. Thanks for your help.

  46. Good article but I found the article by looking up what to do if your baby only drinks threw straws. My lo is 11 months and I introduced every sippy imaginable when he was 6 months and he wouldn’t take them. Then at 9 months he would take drinks from ppls straws and loves the adult straw cups with lids. I gave him a non spill straw cup and he refuses to use it. He also drinks from water bottles and cups but won’t do the nonspill cups either. Any sugestions on this one?

    • It sounds like he hasn’t made the connection for what he needs to do, as those cups can be hard to drink out of. Playtex has a straw cup trainer that is no spill, but you can squeeze and have the water shoot up. He may need this to get the idea. If he won’t even accept them, try it in a fun no pressure way, especially in a different environment or out of his routine.

  47. Good article but I found the article by looking up what to do if your baby only drinks threw straws. My lo is 11 months and I introduced every sippy imaginable when he was 6 months and he wouldn’t take them. Then at 9 months he would take drinks from ppls straws and loves the adult straw cups with lids. I gave him a non spill straw cup and he refuses to use it. He also drinks from water bottles and cups but won’t do the nonspill cups either. Any sugestions on this one?

  48. Good article but I found the article by looking up what to do if your baby only drinks threw straws. My lo is 11 months and I introduced every sippy imaginable when he was 6 months and he wouldn’t take them. Then at 9 months he would take drinks from ppls straws and loves the adult straw cups with lids. I gave him a non spill straw cup and he refuses to use it. He also drinks from water bottles and cups but won’t do the nonspill cups either. Any sugestions on this one?

  49. Good article but I found the article by looking up what to do if your baby only drinks threw straws. My lo is 11 months and I introduced every sippy imaginable when he was 6 months and he wouldn’t take them. Then at 9 months he would take drinks from ppls straws and loves the adult straw cups with lids. I gave him a non spill straw cup and he refuses to use it. He also drinks from water bottles and cups but won’t do the nonspill cups either. Any sugestions on this one?

  50. I love this article! Trying to teach my 10 month old. Thank you for the help! I’m interested in getting the cups you mentioned, but would like to clarify, as there are 2 different products. Did you use The First Years take & toss cups, or the munchkin straw cups? I’m looking online & want to get the right ones that I can squeeze water out of…

  51. Thank you for this article. My four month old daughter refuses a bottle and I am stressed because I am going back to work soon. My oldest NEVER took a bottle and would cry every time we brought one out. I was lucky with her though and didn’t have to go back to work until she was eating mostly solids. I’m trying to figure out the best way to handle my four month old in this situation. I was thinking about trying a sport water bottle or a shot glass so she can eat something while I’m working. Do you have any suggestions? It seems too early to introduce a straw. I have three weeks until I return to work. Thanks!

  52. My pediatrician told me at her 6 month spot to start giving her juice in a sippy cup. I tried and she wasn’t interested but the next day she was interested and just took right to it like a champ! She figured it out so fast !

  53. My pediatrician told me to use a sippy cup when my baby was 6 months. He didn’t like it and i bought different cups. When he was 7m i started giving drinks with straw as you mention here I started using my finger and straw to give liquid to my baby. Now. Is 10 months and he now drinks from a straw cup. Thanks for the advise now he is leaving the bottle to use straw cups…. ☺☺☺☺☺????

  54. I had my 6 month old out shopping and his aunt bought a fruit smoothie with a straw. My baby cried for it so we let him have a go at it and he was sucking out of it in no time! I just wanted to see if it was healthy for him to be using a straw cup and this article was perfect! Thanks 🙂

  55. Hi
    Thanks for your article. My year old twins ( eleven month adjusted) have been using straw drinking cups since they started drinking water and now they are drinking whole milk. They seem to know how to drink out of the straw cup but they have started drinking the milk and then spitting it out. Any tips?

    • Ah, yes, that is quite common. Are they just doing it with milk because they aren’t used to it in the cup or is it with the water too?

        • Young toddlers love doing this because it is funny or they are experimenting. I know it is incerdibly annoying, but I would take it off of them for a few minutes and say, “milk stays in your mouth.” Then give it back and give them praise for any swallows they do. It will take a lot of consistency, but is probably a phase that will pass. I’m assuming they are able to drink well from the straw at times so they actually have the skill, if they haven’t they may not have coordinated the whole sequence. In that case I would try some thicker liquids like a milkshake.

          • Thanks for this comment! This is exactly what I was looking for. My 10 month old is great at drinking from straws but then just lets the fluid dribble out. I’ll try warming it up first. I hadn’t even thought about it but it’s the first fluid that’s not warm formula, so that might be why. Thanks!

  56. Great post! I read all the entries and some moms also describe a similar situation but not quite… I have a 17 month old daughter (15 corrected) and every time I introduce a straw she will bite down with her front teeth. Her keeping her teeth firmly clamped down prevents me from doing the two methods you suggested (letting fluid fall out the straw or squeeze the liquid out of the cup into the straw). As soon as she clamps down I stop and try another time, but the problem persists and it’s been months now. Should I look for a very rigid straw she can’t block? Any ideas? TIA!!

    • Ahh, yes, I have seen kiddos do that before. Yes, look for a rigid straw, take and toss brand has some that will work perfectly!

  57. This post is amazing! Thankyou! I was reading the one about weaning off the bottle for my 13 month old and continued reading this one. I had not even thought about teaching him to use a straw cup. Occasionally I would offer him my water cup that had a straw but he didn’t get how to use it and I had no idea how to teach him.i have a take and toss straw cup here for when my niece visits so When I fed him breakfast this morning I tried it using your tricks and he learned in 5 minutes! I can’t wait to go to Wal-Mart and pick up some new straw cups for him and throw out the soppy cups that leak all over my house. Thank you again!!

  58. Hi Alisha – This is a fantastic post and I will be trying this with our 17 month old, Liam. Since about 9 months old we struggled with feeding and now it is a complete oral aversion. In fact, if anything other than a bottle with Pediasure in it is presented, he locks his mouth shut and shakes his head no. We have therapy – OT and ST as well as we just had an endoscopy yesterday to see if there are any GI reasons. So far, the preliminary results say that all is clear and this is sensory. I hope that trying to get him to drink from a straw cup would help him advance onto other foods appropriate for his age. He gags if anything is put near his mouth or anything thicker than Pediasure is there too.

    • I think this is a good thing to try. Also consider a sippy cup, in these case it might not be as obtrusive and you may be able to step down to a straw. This can be really challenging I know! You’ll want to try a sippy cup without the valve if he will take it to his mouth at all- experiment with both. From a sensory standpoint they both have their pros and cons.

      • Thanks! Yea, he won’t take anything other than a bottle. If we put a cup there he will push it away and close his mouth. If we put handles on the bottle (we have the ThinkBaby ones) he won’t take it. If we give him a cup he throws it. We can’t win haha!

        • I get it, trust me! I’ve worked with kiddos that do the same thing before. Glad you have services, and I would just keep trying. No pressure or anything, just put it there, every day. Have no expectation.

  59. Thank you. It is tough to stick to it as I know you know! They can be so stubborn and so can we. We are waiting on the results of his biopsies now and then we can definitely focus on more sensory related therapy.

  60. I have 2 kids and I am having trouble getting them to drink from a sippy cup/straw cup. My older one, just turned 3, can suck the liquid up using a straw but she would only do it for fun. She refuses to drink an entire serving using a straw. She has always refused to use a sippy cup so she is still drinking out of a bottle (sigh). My youngest, 22 months, not only refuse to use a sippy cup but also shows no interest in a straw at all. At this point, should i skip through the sippy cup step and move directly to straw cups for both kids? How can i get my kids to change their behaviors?

    • I got you covered! I have a post called “how to wean from the bottle”. Click on articles in the menu bar and scroll down, once you’ve read that, let me know if you have more questions, but it should answer all your questions!

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