Yet another item on my long list of Things I Really Need to Do has been: order some sippy cups so that we can get Michael using them.
For Abby, we initially had difficulty with introducing hard-spout and straw sippies, but found success with the Nuk Learner Cup, the spout of which we found could be attached to bottle cannisters that had been lying around, unused, ever since we committed to using only Dr. Brown's bottles during her infancy. So, in the beginning, in essence, Abby was still getting a bottle, just with a slightly different mouthpiece. After some months, she got the hang of using a straw, and had a short stint using straw sippy cups before deciding that she wanted to "do like the grown-ups do" and tip her cup up to drink, at which point I started giving her hard-spout sippies to use.
For Michael, I imagined we might be able to go about things in a similar way. However, when I tried him on a Nuk soft-spout, he seemed a bit overwhelmed by the flow, and had difficulty with the spout. He kept sucking on it too hard, causing it to buckle inward, and when he was done, let out the hugest belch I've ever heard from him. I worried that he had taken in far more air than was ideal, and went back to bottles for awhile after.
Since then, I've been feeling guilty about the fact that he is now over a year old, and I've done nothing to encourage a transition off of bottles. During my online shopping spree for birthday presents this past week, I finally got around to ordering some stuff for Michael, too. I decided long ago that I wanted to try the Born Free soft-spout sippy, since it has an airflow control system, in the hopes that it would prevent a repeat of Michael's experience on the Nuk. However, Amazon doesn't always have the best pricing for sippy cups, and I can't often find them in multiple packs, so the pricing wasn't ideal. I kept thinking that maybe eventually I'd get out to a baby store and buy some there, but I eventually accepted that that wasn't happening anytime soon, and bit the bullet. I may not have found the best deal there was to get, but I acquired four sippy cups, and we promptly began using them.
The first day was a little bit tough. Michael was far too interested in the novelty of the cup, and had difficulty focusing on actually drinking from it. By his second feeding, we figured out that the handles of the cup were making it far too fun to play with, so we removed them. However, it wasn't until his last "bottle" of the day that Michael finally got into the swing of things, and finished the entire serving within.
It's been smooth sailing ever since. Here's a picture of tonight's "bottle," nicely sucked dry.
The plain old unadorned cups were a tad cheaper, but I couldn't help myself. I love the little animal designs.
Abby loves them, too, and always comes over while Michael is eating to see which cup he's got (we have three of the colors/designs). She's entranced with the monkey on the blue cup, the giraffe on the purple cup, and the koala on the green cup. But she's been a very good sister, and has never tried to take the cups from Michael, much as she admires them. I've been very impressed with her restraint. I guess it helps that she recognizes that the cups are "his," and I've been careful to remind her frequently that she has her own special sippy cups to use, too (though, sadly, they aren't nearly as cool-looking as Michael's).
This is what the spout looks like from the side.
And here's the internal piece for the airflow system.
Extra pieces are always a pain, but it's a simpler design than the Dr. Brown's bottles, so it's still a step up, convenience-wise, and Michael's had no issues taking in too much air with these babies.
This is the underside of the piece shown above. Though there is a special little silicon extension to help you pull the clear inside part out of the white plastic, I still find the two parts difficult to separate at times. The spout can also be tough to push out of the top. But those would be my only complaints. Once pulled apart, each piece is much easier to wash (especially by hand, in a pinch) than the little pieces of the bottles we've been using, and they're not hard to put back together again.
And here's my happy little boy with his "big-boy cup."
For now, he's taking after his sister, and will only drink in a semi-reclined position. That was probably the hardest hurdle to overcome with Abby during her own transition: her resistance to tipping the cup up high enough to get the milk out. Michael dislikes having to do so as well, which is why he will not currently take his bottles sitting upright in the highchair.
But we're working on it, and given that Michael acquiesced to holding his own bottle at a much younger age than his stubborn sister, I am hopeful that we'll get him transitioned to this next step a little more quickly than we did with her, as well.
Of course, as it has been and always will be with all such developments, it's really up to him.