There are hundreds of ways to help your toddler to become less clingy and more independent. Drinking from an open cup is one of them. Not only is it good for their teeth and speech development, but it's critical to ensure they can self-hydrate and begin to take care of themselves. You'd be surprised how little kids drink compared to the amount that ends up on their top, the table or floor.
We've put together our three favourite ways to transition from a training cup, such as a sippy cup, to an open cup.
1. Role Models
A system that is tried and tested is to use a role model. Toddlers absorb everything they see and it's natural for them to copy older kids. A good tip is to ensure that your toddler is paying close attention whenever the role model drinks from an open cup. Make sure you label the action, for example by saying "good drinking!" and congratulate them afterwards. If they don't have an older sibling to copy, you can try videoing a cousin, friend or neighbour to have the footage on hand at all times.
2. Use the right cup
The right cup can make all the difference! Kids don't just get attached to blankets and soft toys, but to other inanimate objects that form part of their routine, including cups! If it helps, try using stickers on the cup or use the cup to pretend to feed their soft toys a drink.
3. The power of thirst
When kids are thirsty, they will kick, scream and shout, but also look for more to drink. Slowly reduce the amount of water or juice you serve your toddler in their sippy cup, and make their favourite open cup accessible and available for them to switch over to. It might surprise you, but if they start to toss the sippy cup onto the ground or push it away, this is a good sign!
If you fail at first, keep trying and you will get there!