Sunday, March 13, 2011

Straws Save the Day!

I know I've been slacking. Sorry! I think my mind is occupied with thoughts of 1st birthday parties, our wet basement and Bethenny Every After.
But, we've had some great developments around here! Chicken can drink through a straw! Hooray! As Chicken gets closer to one year old, it's important that she be able to drink from a cup. I bought a number of sippy cups and they just didn't work. She couldn't tip them back far enough, especially in her high chair. When I gave them to her out of her high chair, she could tip them back, but had trouble getting anything out if the cup had a valve. If the cup didn't have a valve, she could get sips, but the water would go everywhere. I decided to teach her how to drink from a regular cup (no lid) first. I don't mind mopping up a bit of water and it helped her to learn how to control how much water would get to her mouth. We tried sippy cups again and it didn't work well for us, because I think the need to mash down on the spout of the cup translated to some problematic nursing sessions. Then we moved on to straw cups. Kids need to learn to drink from straws anyway, so I figured we'd just skip the sippy mastery. I bought a few different kinds of straw cups, but Chicken just chewed on the straws. We started giving her sips from our water classes when out at restaurants, but plugging the top of the straw with a finger and releasing the water once the straw was in her mouth. We did this a bunch of times and continued offering the straw cups at home. We used these three kinds of cups:

This pink one, Playtex Lil Gripper Straw Trainer, was recommended on some mommy forums because you can squeeze the cup to get liquid through the straw to help your child get the idea of the straw. We use it now, but it didn't do the trick. The First Years Take 'n Toss were on sale so I got them, figuring they'd come in handy. They're flexible, so you can squeeze them too. We like them a lot now also. I haven't tossed any yet. We'll just reuse them until the lose their luster. The last one, by Zo-li, is awesome because the straw is weighted and flexible the whole way down. So, if there's any water in the cup, Chicken get suck it up. With most straw cups, she'd tilt them and then suck in a bunch of air because of the angle of the straw.
Chicken's dad and I have no idea what clicked with Chicken. One day she was chewing on the straw and the next day she was drinking water. She now "demands" water with every meal. I try to limit it to a few sips with food, because I don't want her to fill up on water rather than food or breast milk.
I'm thrilled about this development because it helps Chicken to be more independent and, although I'm getting sad about the prospect of weaning her to cow's milk, at least now I know she'll be ready to use a cup when she needs to.

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