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Using a straw

We decided to have dinner out at the last minute at the weekend. When we asked the waitress for some water to refill Nicholas’ travel cup, she brought us a takeaway coffee cup with a straw, something they do for all of their little clients.

I had one of those mummy moments where you think ‘I’ve never thought of doing that. Am I the only mummy who hasn’t thought of that? Why has that never occurred to me?!’ This was quickly followed by ‘We haven’t taught him how to use a straw. He’s never seen a straw. Will he be able to use it?!’

Now that I think about it, I have seen baby sippy cups with straws, but for some reason they never made an impact on my brain. We went breast, then bottle with teat, followed by bottle with spout and cup simultaneously. Nicholas still sometimes drinks camomile tea from a bottle with a spout, but has water and milk from a variety of cups.

Up until a month or two ago, we struggled getting Nicholas to drink. He loves his doidy cup and gives an excited giggle when he sees it, but usually after a couple of sips he wants to put his hands inside and splash the liquid. I don’t have a problem with him making a mess, but once he starts doing this he doesn’t want to keep drinking.

A friend bought us a wonderful non-spill cup that I call his travel cup. It’s difficult to describe, and I haven’t yet managed to find the exact same one online, but you can suck from the edge all the way around. This has really encouraged Nicholas to drink more. In fact, we no longer need to remind him to drink! Except when it comes to milk…

He refused to drink milk through a spouted bottle, and his hands seem to go inside the cup faster when it’s milk rather than water. All I’ve been getting him to have is a few sips of milk each time.

So since the weekend I’ve used the novelty of a straw to encourage him to drink some more milk. And so far it’s working a treat. I know the general advice is to get your baby drinking out of a cup as soon as possible, but being able to suck through a straw is another good skill to have, right?

I’m not using my ‘trick’ every day to keep the novelty factor going, and we still drink from the cup normally.

Oh, and how did he manage drinking with a straw for the first time? After two or three seconds of blowing, he started sucking. No problem!

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