06 Feb Guest Blog: The benefits of using an open cup for babies by Sinead Tynan
As a Nutritionist specialising in children’s health, I’ve long been a fan of open cups. Both my children used a Doidy cup (the slanted one) which we loved so much I included a recommendation for it in my book Baby Led Weaning Step by Step. Another cup I recommend is Babycup, the perfectly sized cup for little people. In this blog, Sinead shares her passion for Babycup.
Babycup First Cups “Little cups for little people”
As a midwife, I have had the wonderful privilege of attending the births of many little babies. Having seen them come into this world, my hope and wish for each is that they will be loved and cared for by people who want to do their very best for their new born babies, to help them grow into healthy, happy individuals.
A large part of my job as a midwife is to encourage parents and support them at every given opportunity. I love to see small babies and toddlers develop, grow and learn new skills. Being able to help encourage and support parents with the benefit of best practice knowledge, makes my job a very rewarding one. Working at Babycup where the knowledge of best practice has gone into developing Babycup First Cups “Little cups for little people” is so rewarding as they are really committed to promoting good oral health and development for all little ones.
I have had the pleasure of working with Babycup for some time now. I really love their Babycup First Cups. They are perfectly sized for small hands, made in the UK in colourful engaging colours and most importantly they encourage open cup drinking from a truly open cup. All of the practical details that parents and carers look for in a baby cup have also been addressed. They are easily cleaned as there is nowhere for nasty bugs to hide, they are dishwasher and sterilizer safe and made from BPA free plastic which will not shatter.
We know that introducing little ones to an open cup and allowing them to learn how to sip rather than suck is best practice for many reasons. Firstly, sipping from an open cup rather than sucking from a bottle or sippy cup means that liquid will not have a chance to pool around children’s teeth and hence reduce the risk of dental decay. Given that dental decay is now the main reason for children under 5 being hospitalised in the UK, I think we all have a duty to do what we can to prevent this happening. Encouraging babies and toddlers to learn how to sip from an open cup rather than suck seems like a good place to start. Learning to sip rather than suck also promotes good orthodontic development, by encouraging correct jaw movement from an early age.
When small children use an open cup to sip from, they are stimulating their fine motor skills development. Babycup First Cups have a small circumference so little hands can fit around them perfectly and this means that children can steadily gain confidence in guiding the cup to their mouths. Sara Keel, the director of Babycup likes to use the analogy of a little one drinking from a regular sized cup as being similar to an adult drinking from a bucket! This might sound funny but when you think about it, it makes perfect sense. It is difficult to believe that such simple little cups could have so many amazing health benefits, but that is what makes Babycup First Cups so wonderful.
Another thing which is so special about Babycup First Cups is that it is perfect for cup feed infants expressed breast milk from if a mother is experiencing difficulty establishing a correct latch. They are also very helpful to use in situations where a baby may have tongue tie or cleft problems.
And so, given that my hope is that all little babies will be loved and cared for by people who want the best for them and that part of my job is to help encourage and support new parents, I think that by encouraging parents to teach their young children how to sip rather than suck, we will all gain from the many health benefits it has to offer.
Babycup can be purchased from Amazon.