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How to encourage your toddler to drink more water and which cup is the best?

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When can babies start to drink water?

When you start introducing solid foods to your baby, you should introduce water at the same time. I would follow my toddler all day long to get him to drink some sips of water. I asked some best parenting hacks from other parents. After trying, I came up with my own parenting hack on how to encourage your toddler to drink more water and my review on which is the best cup.

My parenting hack: How I encouraged my toddler to drink more water & which cup is the best!

Disclosure: All the product reviews are based on my own opinion and I’m not paid for it. This post may contain affiliate links and I may earn a small commission when you click on the links with no additional costs to you. As an Amazon affiliate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Firstly, finding the right cup matters.

I changed about four different cups before finally I found “the one” for my son. Let me show you what I’ve got and which cup is the best!

OXO Tots Transition Sippy Cup Set

This is our very first cup that I bought for my son when he is about 5 months old. What I liked about this cup is that this comes with two different lids. One is a sippy cup lid and one transitions to an open cup trainer lid. The handle is well designed and can be easily held by my son. My son enjoyed holding this cup and chewing on the spout.

However, what I disliked about the cup is the patented valve design that requires a light suction in order to sip the water. At just five months old, it was difficult to teach him the concept of the light suction.

Hence most of the time we ended up using the open cup trainer lid. Although my son was drinking with the open cup trainer lid however from time to time when he decides to toss the cup on the floor, it spills.

However it’s important to note that according to the dentist and speech therapist, usage of a sippy cup is harmful to your child’s oral development.

Munchkin Miracle 360 Cup

I stumbled across an article written by a dentist that a sippy cup is actually bad for your toddler’s teeth and that it prevents proper development of your toddler’s mouth. That could possibly impact your toddler’s speech development.

I was very concerned and decided to stop using the OXO hard spout cup. He recommends a silicone cup with a round lip, so I did some research and I found this Munchkin Miracle 360 cup (10 oz) that many parents recommended.

What I liked about this cup is that it has a nice round edge that supports my baby’s natural mouth muscle development and it’s easy to clean. Even when my baby threw this on the floor, it did leak but only a small amount unlike the OXO open trainer cup.

Nevertheless the lack of a handle was not a big problem for my son, but the size of the cup was too big for my son. In order to drink from it, my son has to tilt it a lot as we can’t fill the cup too full as then it becomes too heavy to hold for my son.

That’s probably why he is not drinking a lot from this cup. Nonetheless, this won’t be a problem soon as he grows. Following this, I have decided to keep this cup for when he is older than 12 months as recommended.

Munchkin Click Lock 7 Ounce Weighted Flexi-Straw Cup

I stumbled across an article by a speech therapist stressing the importance of using the right cup for your toddler’s speech development. In this article, the speech therapist recommends the usage of a flexible straw to support child’s mouth development. I decided to get another cup from Munchkin as I personally find their quality to be quite good.

What I liked about this Munchkin Click Lock 7 Ounce Weighted Flexi-Straw Cup is that it’s the perfect size for my son and the handles fit perfectly in my son’s hand. It also comes with a flip top lid cover, which is perfect to use when we are out and about.

With the weighted straw, my son can tilt the bottle in any direction he likes and he can still drink from it. There is a click sound that indicates it is securely closed and spill proof, which makes it a little easier for us to ensure no accidents.

On the other hand, what I disliked about this cup was that there is a transparent piece inside the cover that you have to ensure it’s connected all the way. Otherwise it leaks big time. Even if they are connected all the way, as my son tosses and throws the cup around it would get disconnected and then starts to leak.

It’s more difficult to wash in contrast to the Munchkin Miracle 360 Trainer Cup. It should be noted that the flip top cover did not survive my son’s abuse. It succumbed to my son’s abuse after about a month or so and broke down.

The straw has a valve in it which your toddler does need some suction effort in order to get the water out. In the beginning, my son didn’t really know how to use the straw hence most of the time he is just chewing on the straw.

Richell Aqulea Straw Mug

Then, it came across me. The main reason that none of these cups really work is because my son has yet to master the art of suction. This Richell Aqulea Straw Mug is a total game changer in teaching my son how to sip from a cup. When you close the lid tightly and push on the lid, the water goes up the straw so your baby gets the water. In no time, your smart baby is going to learn how to suck using a straw with this cup.

Ultimately, which is the best cup?

Overall, I think I can recommend all the cups apart from OXO Tots Transition Sippy Cup Set. Depending on your own child’s skill in suction, I think all three cups are pretty good.

Ultimately, after my baby learnt how to drink from a straw thanks to the Richell Aqulea Straw Mug , we switched back to Munchkin Click Lock 7 Ounce Weighted Flexi-Straw Cup.

The reason is because when my son is holding his Richell Aqulea mug , he would accidentally press on the lid. Then, water would spurt out of the bottle. He enjoys walking around with a bottle on his hand to drink from time to time. Therefore, the Munchkin Click Lock Flexi-Straw Cup is better suited for him.

Secondly…. Monkey see, monkey do

You found the right cup. Now how do you encourage your toddler to drink more water?

I find that my son really enjoys mimicking me in whatever I do. In fact, he learnt to use the straw by watching and mimicking me and my husband drinking through a straw. For this reason, whenever I want to encourage him to drink more water I pour myself a glass of water and have a drink myself. As a result, usually he would grab his bottle as well and drink together with me. This works like a charm.

Above all… Ensure accessibility

Put the bottle where it is easily accessible. This is the key to encourage your toddler to drink water. I always put it where it’s visible and in my son’s reach. That way, whenever he feels thirsty and wants to drink some water he can get it himself. He’s at the age where he likes being independent. My son knows where I keep his water bottle, so he can help himself whenever he feels like it. To emphasize, make the water readily available for your toddler!

He would take a break from playing from time to time to go get his bottle by himself. When you see your child drinking water on his own, you should give some positive encouragement. That way, it will really motivate your child to drink more water.

I hope you enjoyed my parenting hack on how to encourage your toddler to drink more water and my review on which is the best cup. Are you using another cup that worked great as well? Let me know in the comments below!

Real parents on Reddit answering the question “How do you encourage your toddler to drink more water?”…and these are their best hacks!

Teach your toddler to do “cheers” whenever you want your toddler to take some sips of water. It works like a charm every time.

Add the secret ingredient, ICE in the water. Some kids prefer icy cold water.

The DIY toddler. Let your toddler pick his own special water bottle and give him some stickers to decorate the bottle. When your child loves the bottle, they will use it more to drink.

Prepare foods with higher liquid content. But as your toddler fully weaned off breastfeeding, the liquid intake will improve significantly.

Try open cups. You can reuse empty baby food jars as they are a great size for your toddler to begin with.

Use a Camelbak with animal print. Add a splash of juice and crushed ice in the water.

Practice taking turns to drink. Make it a habit. One sip for the kid and one sip for you. Both stay hydrated that way!

Add a squirt of Orange Mio and give it a fancy names like “Wa Wa Orange Juice”

Add lemon / lime packets without sugar. My kid thinks that it’s fun to tear the package open and flavor it themselves.

An interesting children’s book called “ Potter the Otter” . The adorable main character in the book Otter gets all his animal friends into drinking water. Some kid prefers a non parental role model to follow.

My kid loves carbonated water or water with lemon in it. Try lemon, strawberries or oranges as well.

I tell her it’s juice but it’s 100% water. But once in a while I’ll give her the real juice.

Disclaimer: These parenting hacks are shared by real parents from Reddit

Featured image photo credit by Yan on Pexels (2020)


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