When Do Babies Drink From an Open Cup?

4 min read

Written by Sindhuja Prabhu

Sindhuja Prabhu

When Do Babies Drink From an Open Cup?

A baby knows nothing and needs to be taught everything. When you teach them the right skill at the right time, they tend to pick it up easily. A little early can also make it very stressful for both you and the baby. For example, drinking from an open cup is a skill babies need to master. So, when do babies drink from an open cup and when is the right time to train them?

Initially, you will need to get your baby used to drinking from the breast or a feeding bottle. And then comes the cup. This article will explain the various aspects and tips on how and when you can start your baby on drinking from a cup.

In This Article

When Should You Introduce an Open Cup?

You can introduce an open cup to your baby once you notice the following developments.

  • Your baby is able to hold things without dropping them frequently.
  • Hand-eye coordination is good enough to bring things to their mouth.
  • Tongue thrust is less and your baby is able to drink from a cup.

You can introduce an open cup to your baby at around 6 months of age. However, you need to help them take small sips at this age. When your baby is around 1 year old, they can lift the cup and take small sips on their own – of course with a lot of accidents and spilling.

How to Help Your Baby Drink From an Open Cup?

Help Your Baby Drink From an Open Cup

It can be quite hard for a baby to master the skill of drinking from an open cup. With a little help and guidance, your baby can learn this in no time. As a parent, here is what you can do to help them

  • Pick a small cup that is comfortable to hold, lift and tilt, for those tiny hands.
  • Help your baby bring the cup to their mouth and tilt it slowly for them to drink the water without it pouring into their nostrils.
  • Check if they are closing their lips around the rim of the cup. If not, teach them to close the mouth by demonstrating how to close the lips.
  • Keep practicing with them.

Top 5 Tips to Help a Baby Use an Open Cup

Tips to Help a Baby Use an Open Cup

Here are a few tips to help your baby transition to drinking from an open cup.

1. Start Early

Introduce a cup right from the time they start drinking water (around 6 months of age). Babies are eager to learn new skills. Also, it is always easier to teach a new skill rather than making them unlearn a skill or transition to another skill.

[Read : When Can I Give Water To Baby?]

2. Start Slow

Give them small sips to avoid accidents and spilling. Let them have enough water for just one or two sips. Your baby can learn to tilt their head and drink from the cup.

3. Demonstrate

Show your baby how it is done. Babies love to mimic what adults do. Show them how to hold it, how to place your mouth, and how to tip the cup to drink till the end.

4. Allow Accidents

It is natural to fret about spills. Your baby cannot learn without spilling. If they spill, just be calm, and understanding, and clean up the mess rather than trying to prevent such accidents.

5. Keep Offering

Most babies may not like drinking from a cup right away. Especially if you are transitioning from a sippy cup or a feeding bottle. If your baby refuses a cup, keep offering it to them every time. Give them water in their sippy cup or bottle but place an open cup with water too. When there is no pressure, babies are more willing to try new things.

What to Do if Your Baby Does Not Use an Open Cup?

Some babies need more time to improve their hand-eye coordination. You can try to give them a cup with a straw or try the pipette method. It will help your baby understand how liquid can flow in from a straw and that they have to close their lips around it.

Don’t try to rush it as a stressful environment is not a conducive environment for learning new skills.

Drinking from an open cup requires your baby to develop a few skills. So, instead of worrying as to when do babies drink from an open cup, you need to give them the time and patiently encourage them to use a cup.


1. Which is Better – a Straw Cup or a Sippy Cup?

A straw cup is always better than a sippy cup as it allows the tongue to move freely instead of pushing it down.

2. Can I Give My Baby a Straw Cup and an Open Cup at the Same Time?

Let them learn one before you introduce the other. If your baby is already comfortable with a straw cup, you can give them an open cup and let them use both alternatively.

3. Will My Baby Forget to Suck From a Straw Once They Start Using an Open Cup?

They might need just a small reminder if you have given them a long break from straws. Once you put their mouth on the straw, they will remember to suck from it but may choke at first.

Read Also: When Should I Introduce Spoons and Forks to My Baby?

Sindhuja Prabhu,M.Sc (Psychology),PGDBM

Sindhuja, a mother of two, is an obsessive mom with a keen interest in psychology, especially child psychology. Her quest for knowledge and way with words led her to become a passionate content writer. She transformed her love for writing into a full-fledged career which incidentally also turned up being the perfect stress buster for the last 5 years.Read more.

Responses (0)

Please check a captcha

Want curated content sharply tailored for your exact stage of parenting?

Discover great local businesses around you for your kids.

Get regular updates, great recommendations and other right stuff at the right time.


Our site uses cookies to make your experience on this site even better. We hope you think that is sweet.