How do you break the sippy cup habit?

United States
August 9, 2007 6:14pm CST
Breaking the bottle habit was hard enough! But, now that our daughter is three and 1/2 years old, we are having a real battle with breaking her sippy cup habit. I'd prefer that she drink out of a regular cup throughout the day, but she insists on drinking out of her sippy cup. She knows how to drink out of a regular cup very well. But, she just doesn't want to do so. And, arguing with her over the matter doesn't help at all. She's a very strong willed person and she usually wins every argument. So, I was wondering, at what age should a parent take away the sippy cup? Is it alright for a three year old to have a sippy cup instead of drinking from a regular cup, or is that just for babies? How do you get a little kid used to drinking from a cup when they really don't want to do so? Maybe I should simply throw out her sippy cups and be done with them? Or, do you think this could cause too much emotional upset? Any mom tips or suggestions that you might have would be much appreciated. Thanks!
4 people like this
16 responses
@carlaabt (3510)
• United States
10 Aug 07
I guess my son must be super easy going about stuff like that, because he loves drinking out of a regular cup already. He never liked the just regular old sippy cups anyway. He always had to have the straw ones. He's 18 months old now, and at meal and snack times, he drinks out of a regular cup. If he's walking around with a drink (just water) it is still in a sippy cup. Or when we are in the car for a long time, he will have a sippy cup with him, but that's really about it. Of course if we are eating out somewhere, he drinks out of a straw in a regular cup with a lid. I don't know if 3.5 is too old to still be drinking out of sippy cups. I've seen older kids than that doing it...I would say it's up to you. When you are ready to get rid of them, though, I would just suggest making it fun for your daughter. Let her pick out her own big girl cups or whatever. If that doesn't work, only let her have water in her sippy cups. Tell her the only way she gets juice is in a regular cup.
1 person likes this
• United States
10 Aug 07
You hit the nail on the head on that one! My little one is a wonderful combination of logic and emotion. I will definitely try to make the transition fun.
@Rickrocks8 (1751)
• United States
10 Aug 07
Oh gosh do I ever feel your pain. My baby loved his sippy cups! OH my how he loved them. I guess I was a bad mom becaue I let him have them till he was 6. It was at home and just at night that he really wanted it. So for about a year I told him when you turn 6 the sippy cups are going bye bye. He said ok Momma but can we keep them for my kids? He loved them that much. LOL So I said sure we can pack them up for your babies if you like. When that day come he said its ok Mom we dont have to save them for my kids. So I would pick an age or a date and tell her all along what will happen. I feel like you need to give her some time to adjust to it. My son's teeth were all fine so its really just a matter of what you want to do! Best of luck to you and your little girl!
1 person likes this
@3lilangels (4641)
• United States
10 Aug 07
i just told my three babies that big kids drink from a regular cup just like mommy and daddy.then i took a couple of regular cups and painted designs on each of them,and they love them.they always look forward to drink from that special cup now.you can use a permanent marker and draw whatever interest them.for instance my daughter i drew flowers,and balloons,my one son has a airplane i drew not great looking but he loves it,and my other son has a car on his.they actually look really cute.just buy the cups from the dollar store and throw some colors on them.it will draw attention to them.hope this help alittle.
1 person likes this
@wmaharper (2316)
• United States
10 Aug 07
She's old enough for some tough love. I would suggest, throwing some sort of party, where only big girls are invited, and only allow her and the party guests to consume drinks out of big girl cups (no spouts allowed) (: Then explain to her that the cups will be put up (thrown out, donated whatever) and that she will no longer be able to use them. If she would like a drink, then she must drink from a regular cup. She may throw a fit, scream, cry, whine beg, plead, throw herself on the floor, kicking and screaming, she may surprise you and say "okay" and mean it, or she may be somewhere in the middle. THe important thing is that you stand your ground, she will eventually get thirsty and like a drink, and her thirst will win over her will to drink over a certain cup. DOn't make a big deal about it if she accidently spills it, just enlist her help, and she'll eventually get better with it. She may even (depending on how much of a stinker she is) spill it intentionally to make her point of wanting a sippy cup, just clean it up, and require her to drink in the kitchen, or on tiled surfaces for awhile, (or if you know she is for fact spilling it intentionally, restrict her to water, until she decides she's done doing that) Good luck. Patience and consistency are key!
1 person likes this
• United States
10 Aug 07
I would only let my kids have their sippy cups at night after about the age of 2 1/2. Then slowly worked it down from there. I don't think that's it's necessarily It's not that they are for babies, but the spout can wear away their little teeth. All three of mine had a curve through their top two middle teeth because of the sippy cup. You could always just try taking it away for good. I understand she's strong willed, but if it's no longer there she would eventually break down and drink out of a regular cup. Good Luck!! :o)
• United States
10 Aug 07
On the other hand she is a real sweetheart and if she knew how important it was to Mommy then she would gladly use a cup. I just haven't pressed the issue on her using a sippy cup. I just figured she would give it up on her own. That is not happening, though. Thanks for the advice.
4 Jun 09
My daughter is almost 3. Will be in August and she absolutly LOVES her sippy cup. She refuses to drink out of a cup or anything with a straw. So me are most defintaly in the same boat! I have decided to let my child have her sippy for a while more and gradually keep introducing the cup. I dont think 3 1/2 is too old for a sippy and I think I will always keep mine on hand for car rides or any other time I may need them. Good luck to the both of us, ha ha.
• United States
31 Aug 08
Well, when my daughters were 3 and 2 years old, they kept telling me that there was a monster who lived in their closet. I was tired of the sippy cups and bottles and so one day while they were napping I cleaned house. I gathered all of the sippy cups and bottles and put them in a tote for storage. When they woke up, and asked for a sippy cup I just shrugged my shoulders and said that the monster in their closet had a baby and needed all the sippy cups and bottles for it. I told them she took them, along with her baby, and moved far away. I got rid of the sippy cups, the bottles, and the monster all in one sweep. They looked at each other in amazement and asked if she would ever bring them back. I told them no, they were just all gone...and that was a good enough answer for them. My girls are 11 and 9 years old now, and so far that monster has never come back to live in their closet! My third daughter was hooked bad to the pacifier. She was almost 3 and needed it (she thought)all the time. We went to Florida and were driving through Alligator Alley with the windows down and all of the sudden I said OH Maddy's pacie just flew out the window and that GREAT BIG ALLIGATOR ATE IT! She looked at me with wide open eyes and said OH MY!...and never asked me for it again. I guess she didn't want to fight the alligator to get it back! I think it is okay to be creative to make a major transition in our child's life. I may not be right, but it took the blame away from me and put it on another object. These habits our children develop are comfort habbits. They find their comfort in the sippy cups, bottles, and pacifiers. If we take it from them for no good reason, they don't understand. However, if something takes it away from ME...then they have a reason for why it is gone. My girls have all bought my stories hook line and sinker, and I never had to deal with any fits or crying spells regarding this. It worked for me all three times. I'm sure it would work for you as well. GOOD LUCK!
@jbb316 (1759)
• United States
12 Aug 07
My son is 3 and I actually prefer him to drink out of a sippy cup. He knows how to drink out of a regular cup very well and fights to do so but I like for him to drink out of a sippy cup because sometimes he spills. But if you really want her to stop drinking out of the sippy cup then you need to take them away. She can't have it if its not there right. Explain to her that she is a big girl and that big girls drink out of big girl cups and maybe that will help. But really just throw them all out. She will have no choice. Plus, if you say drink out of a regular cup that should be all that matters. She is the child and needs to learn to listen to you.
@celovich (26)
• United States
10 Aug 07
You definitely need to take that sippy cup away! Remember that you shouldnt have to be arguing with her because youre the mother! My girls stopped drinking out of their cups when they turned 3. The best way to do it is to do exactly what you said. Get rid of them. Thats part of life! Shes going to have to do things she doesnt want to. To make it easier, try and buy cups with characters she might like (dora, cinderella, etc). they normally get excited about those things. But if shes attached to it, shes not going to stop drinking out of a sippy cup any time soon unless you break her of it. You have to look at it as a bad habit at this point! Trust me, shell drink out of a cup if she has no other option.
@deebomb (15348)
• United States
10 Aug 07
I don't understand why take the baby bottle away from a baby only to give it back in another form and that is what a sippy cup is just another form of a bottle. Whose the parent here you or your daughter? I never gave any of my kids a sippy cup.They are bad for the kids I did a reasearch on them. Tell her she is a big girl now and she can drink from a real cup or glass. Get her a couple with her favorite characters on them. Let her pick them out. Then on the day your trash men or recycle men come around have her put all the sippy cup in the ben. Then when she demands one tell her where she put them and give her one of her glasses or cups and have her sit at the table. It might be good idea if you sat there and had somethiing to drink with her to get her to set at the table and not have spills around he house.
@Nykkee (2524)
• Canada
10 Aug 07
Maybe try a few steps to get her to the regulars cup. Like dowgrade from a sippy cup to one of those tupperware juice box thigns with the straw in them (you still get some spill protection with these) and from there downgrade her to a cup and a straw (you are risking your carpets at this point remember) and then eventually try to take the straw away I guess, though I don't think prefering to drink with a straw would hurt her at all I guess she does need to evetually learn to drink from a cup wihtout spilling it on herself.
• China
10 Aug 07
yes it is very difficult to break the bottle habit my father is in the habit
@gloria777 (1678)
• India
10 Aug 07
From three years onward we much practise them to drink from regular cups.
@sanell (2116)
• United States
10 Aug 07
My daughter is 3 1/2 and I let her have a sippy cup all the time. If I do not she will spill a lot. She is good and knows how to drink out of a regular cup but I am not going to worry about that until she is in school full time. I would say that it is too early to take the sippy cup away...maybe just have her drink out of a regular cup during meals.
• Australia
10 Aug 07
i never gave my kids them, but with my son with the bottle i just said one day no more this is your last one when your finished go put it in the recycling bin your not a baby and u don't need it he had about 3 sips of it and walked over to the recycling bin and through it in said goodbye and that was that never had to mention it again he was about 18 months then, i guess i don't let my kids think about it to much, today is the day this is going to happen and it does. but it sounds like u have a different approach with your child i would set up a tea party (no sippy cups aloud) invite all the teddys etc and drink out of cups with her, this way she will think she is grown up and you are with her and i guess my advise would be not to get cross with her if she spills it otherwise she may revert to old habbits good luck
@34momma (13920)
• United States
10 Aug 07
what i did with my three kids was have big girl/boy party. i got some balloons and cupcakes and talked about the party for days. i let them know that the day of the party we were going to say good bye to the bottle or sippy cup. i then had them throw it in the trash and take it out. they cried for a nite or so but they got over it.