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Bottoms Up with Toddler Cups

Whatever you name it either sport sipper, sippy cups, child cups or baby cups, we had tried all kind of toddler cups under the sun but our little friend is still finicky when it comes to drinking water. Not an absolute recent case to file but as Austin goes to school, drinking water is like a compulsive need since he gets more active and perspires more. Hence, encouraging him to drink water is a teamwork of school staff and his parents. Not that we like to 'bend' him to drink water, but living on a tropical island with perpetual summer leaves us with no choice. Austin is not a camel, he is a human (despite tiny) that are made of 60-70% water. Am I still getting my biology fact correct?

Well, if you're like us wondering how to encourage your toddlers to drink water from cups, try these tips:

  • Inform your child that you're drinking water. Show to him that you enjoy it. Share a cup or use the same type of toddler cup as what you offer water to him. You may be surprised that he wants a bit of what you have. This occasionally works for Austin.
  • Squeeze lime/lemon into water and offer to your child. Austin however dislikes it.
  • Some parents dilute the drinking water with half juice. Orange, apple or any citrus fruits sound appealing. As time goes, gradually increase the dilution and make sure he is drinking 100% water. We are not keen to avoid driving the opposite behavior of favoring juices over water. Moreover, when we give him fruits, it means the whole fruits without exception.
  • Try floating some ice cubes in water to fascinate the child. He tends to drink a little as his tongue is reaching for the ice cubes. For Austin, I think it can be repugnant or appealing, both on the extremes.
  • Slice fruits such as lemon, banana, kiwi or mango then place into the toddler cups. They usually try to access or sometimes playing or licking at the same time drinking water.
  • A mother friend told me that she feeds with a syringe to make sure her child takes water!
  • Give porridge instead of rice/bread/pasta as it supplies more water during the preparation. This is also the main reason we continue giving Austin porridge though he is okay with rice and other carbohydrates.  If you give rice and your child loves soup - that works too as a perfect combo.
  • Some moms even go for fruit smoothies and soupy desserts.

Should all these attempts fail and the child is still resisting the charms of water, consider what works for Austin at this moment. We are actually inventing a color game with toddler cups! Investing in a variety of toddler cups is not a solution. This perhaps get Austin to drink once or twice and soon after he is bored with the cup, he isn't interested with the water anymore. Trust me, there is no best sippy cups in the world, that’s merely the marketing tagline to sell more of their toddler cups :) 

Color Game: Playing With Toddler Cups

Some time ago, we bought a pack of 5 plastic drinking cups bought from IKEA. Without handles, without lids, no straw, they are the most basic toddler drinking cups we have. Of various  bright colors from orange, green, violet, red and yellow, we took out two. Recently, 'COLORS' is one of Austin's favorite subject, he is extremely sensitive when we mentioned colors that he is familiar with. For instance, he will point to our green shirt, when he overheard our conversation that contained a word 'green'. Little ears dropper at work :P.

To begin, we inform Austin there are 2 cups. We place them low at where he can reach independently. Then we pour some water barely one third, into both cups. Then, we ask Austin a few simple questions e.g. "where is orange cup?'", "where is green cup?", "what is inside the cup?". If he touched the correct cup, we congratulate him with "Well-done! or Good Job!" and clap or give him a cheer! After that, we asked Austin "Hold orange cup with both hands. Open your mouth. Drink some water." Amazingly, he places his mouth on the cup and start sipping, then continue drinking as we repeat the game. Until he is enough, he would stop.
/*If you notice that I wrote the above paragraph in present tense, because we hope this game will never turn into past tense :D*/

This color game may sound nuts but so far, it works. And I am not sure if we were to repeat too often in a day this will not fancy Austin anymore. Anyway, we have 5 colors to play with. I believe all we need is creativity and fun factor! Having said that, if you have any great drinking water games, we are desperate to hear from you :).


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