Tooth decay can occur in babies as little as one, and one of the most important reasons is the excessive use of baby bottles. Frequent and prolonged use of bottles and exposure to sweet liquids such as milk, fruit juice and formula gradually deteriorates the delicate developing roots of baby teeth.
Because decay can happen subtly and over time, it is important to wean babies away from milk bottles as soon as possible, even by the age of one.
ADVANTAGES OF TRAINING CUPS
- Training cups train the child to become independent
- They prevents tooth decay
- They help avoid the child using the bottle as a soother
- They are convenient to carry around
- They are easier to use than the bottle
While there are several positive reasons for transitioning to the training cup as early as possible, it is important to select the right training cup at the start.
The best training cup is one without a valve. Stores often sell ‘Sippy cups’ or ‘Tippy Cups’ and these are essentially those that have no spill. While this is convenient for us parents, it is not good for the child. Sippy cups are just like the regular baby bottles, and built like them and have a valve beneath the spout that prevents spillage. However, cups with valves will necessitate babies to suck from them rather than drink – which is what is ultimately required. This defeats the entire purpose of using a training cup instead of a milk bottle.
TRAINING CUP TO BUY
A really useful training cup is one with a screw-on or snap-on lid with a spout. Avoid using a no-spill valve. One with handles, a heavier base is also good keeping spills to a minimum.
Training cups must be used temporarily. Once the child learns how to sip, begin giving a general cup for drinking at all times.