Babykins Transitions to a Cup and Grows Up in Her Own TimePosted: July 28, 2016
When Babykins was about 15-months old, I had this insane idea to teach her how to drink out of a regular cup. She hadn’t shown any interest in giving up her sippy cup but I felt she should learn sooner rather than later. After all, some toddlers her age were pros at drinking out of regular cups and cups were better for oral development. Additionally, I had started teaching one of my nanny kiddos around that age how to use a regular cup, so why shouldn’t I teach my own child?
Babykins was more than happy to try the regular cup, but every meal quickly became a milk bath for her. It was messy, frustrating, and tiring. We returned to the sippy cups. I would think about regular cups every once in awhile and feel a little guilty about not pushing them more, but the ease of the sippy cups won over the guilt.
Suddenly, about a month ago, Babykins started begging for drinks out of our glasses at dinner. Then she started to throw a fit if we tried to give her a sippy cup when we had regular cups. She essentially told us with her yells, “Look, guys, enough of this sippy cup business–I’m 21-months old and ready for the real deal!” So we brought her little plastic cups back out.
There were a few days of extreme mess, but Babykins made it clear that sippy cup at the table was no longer acceptable. Plus, her coordination was much better than it was months earlier, so more milk wound up inside her instead of on her. What would have taken enormous effort to teach her in the winter was astoundingly simple this summer. While Babykins will now occasionally take a drink from a sippy cup, we mostly offer her drinks in regular cups or her water bottle.
Watching this skill unfold has reminded me to have patience with Babykins’s development. With the arrival of a new baby in about 4 months, there is enormous internal and external pressure to make Babykins grow up. There’s a long list of things we could do now to make Babykins into a “big girl”: Ditch the pacifier, bring out the toddler bed, start potty training, get her a part-time job, and enroll her in SAT prep courses (I’m joking about the last two). After all, a new baby will make focusing on these transitions much more difficult.
But you know what? Babykins has shown me time and time again that she’ll make these transitions in her own time. From sleeping unswaddled to drinking from a real cup, she has always made it clear when she’s ready. Not that these changes will be easy if we wait, but they may be easier if I’m patient.
So for now, Babykins can keep sucking on her paci, sleep in her crib, and stay in diapers. There’s plenty of time for her to grow up.