One of the many important things that small children learn is how to drink.
This is done in many ways, such as with a straw. How can you as a parent best guide your child in this?
In this article I will explain this in several ways.
When can your child start? How can you help your child with this? What are the benefits of this?
And what are useful products that you can use with it?
Read on to learn more about it
What we discuss in this comprehensive post:
- 1 Age of the child for drinking through a straw
- 2 How do you introduce your child to drinking through a straw?
- 3 Tips for practicing drinking through a straw
- 4 Why would you let your child drink through a straw?
- 5 What can you use to practice drinking through a straw?
Age of the child for drinking through a straw
First, of course, you need to know if your child is old enough to drink through a straw.
In principle, this shouldn't be a big problem. It turns out that small children can learn this from a few months old.
Usually, around the age of two, children can figure out for themselves how to drink through a straw.
However, you can help them with this even sooner.
Normally, as a parent, you can start your child around 9 months.
Every child is of course different, sometimes they can do this earlier and sometimes later.
But in principle you can see how they react to this from a few months old.
Perhaps one baby can do it soon. Or maybe another baby needs a little longer.
This is only an indication. In any case, children can be introduced to drinking through a straw at a fairly young age.
How do you introduce your child to drinking through a straw?
As a parent, how can guide your child as best as possible in the process of learning to drink through a straw?
The most important tip I can give you is to be patient.
Patience is essential in this process. Your child will eventually learn and it will be fine anyway.
So there is no point in bullying them as a parent. Be patient and have fun!
Make it fun and creative!
Playing games here is a fun idea, and it makes it all more fun for your child (and yourself).
Your child will also learn it faster in a creative way.
When he or she does it, as a parent (or together with other family members) you can cheer and clap.
Your child will love this!
It will also help your child a lot.
As a parent you can, for example, present it yourself first. Or someone else can do it together, for example an uncle or grandparent.
Your child then sees how it should be done and of course wants to try to imitate you.
This way they can see clearly what the intention is and learn quickly.
Drinking through a straw has few risks, but it must be done properly.
Your child can drink too quickly through a straw, which can cause him or her to choke.
If your child continues to choke, take a break from it and then try again a little later.
Drink while sitting
Always have your child drink while sitting and make it a habit.
If taught from the beginning, your child will understand that this is safer.
Make it fun and creative!
Your child will learn it faster in a creative way.
Playing games here is a good idea, and it makes it all more fun for your child (and yourself).
Tips for practicing drinking through a straw
Practice drinking through a straw in a playful way.
Here we have some tips for you:
- Half a straw - Use half a straw by cutting it in half. In the beginning it will be easier for your child to drink from a shorter straw.
- Finger on the straw - Put the straw in the liquid and place a finger on the end. Then hold the straw over your child's mouth and remove the finger so that the drink comes out of the straw and ends up in the mouth. This way they see where the drinking will come from.
- Vacuum bottle - Practice first with a special bottle that is vacuum. If you squeeze it gently, the water will come up through the straw on its own. Let your child drink and then try it for yourself.
Why would you let your child drink through a straw?
Letting your child drink through a straw has many advantages.
A small adjustment can have a big effect on your child, which probably not all parents realize.
Exercise muscles in the mouth
Drinking through a straw, children exercise certain muscles that will eventually help them eat and speak.
The muscles needed for it are the same muscles that are needed for eating and speaking.
So it is incredibly useful in the sensory field.
Drinking through a straw is soothing
Drinking through a straw can also be very calming for a child.
It is a nice way to take a break while playing, while a child is recovering.
It can also be nice to drink something through a straw before going to sleep.
Being able to drink independently
Finally, learning this skill also gives your child a strong foundation that they can help with all kinds of other skills in the future.
They will also be able to do it on their own at a later age, but it is a useful way to teach your child this earlier and better.
In general it makes them a lot more independent. And of course you always want that as a parent.
You can now just give them an anti-drip cup with a straw, without having to worry about them knocking it over.
They can then have a sip whenever they want.
The more independent your child is, the more rest you can get yourself.
By drinking through a straw, children will also be less likely to get hiccups. Read all about baby hiccups here.
What can you use to practice drinking through a straw?
There are a number of resources that can help your child in this process.
I have listed the best products for you.
With this you and your child are completely ready for the next step!
Philips Avents Drinking cup
This is a nice drinking cup with a straw, which most little babies can start with.
This cup is made in such a way that your child can develop his or her mouth in a healthy way.
It is suitable for children from 9 months.
Nûby Practice Cup Flip-it Anti-drip cup
This practice cup from Nûby is a bit bigger and for children from 12 months old.
It is a special practice cup and it is also anti-puncture.
Nûby replacement straw with cleaning brush
With the handy set from Nûby you can replace the straws of the cups.
It contains several straws and it even has a cleaning brush!
Now that you have enough information to teach your child to drink through a straw, I wish you the best of luck!
I am sure it will be a fun, useful and educational process.
Another important milestone for a child is learning to cut. Read: When can a child cut? Milestones at 3 and 4 years.