Oftentimes the transition that follows traditional feeding bottles can be very scary for both parents and toddlers. Many parents ask us what the best option is when it comes to the type of cup to use when trying to wean their toddler off of a traditional feeding bottle. Our answer to this is simple – a straw cup. Although many may begin the weaning process with a sippy cup, we at Talk about Therapy recommend straw cups first. Straw cups are significantly more effective for speech and feeding development. We have compiled three major areas that are positively affected by the use of a straw cup rather than a sippy cup.
1) Developing Swallowing Patterns
Sippy cups create a major hindrance for the tongue’s muscle movement. The spout in a sippy cup ultimately prohibits the tongue’s range of motion similar to a traditional feeding bottle. The muscles used for drinking from a straw develop better swallowing patterns. Because of the specific placement of the straw in the mouth, there is a stronger development of oral motor skills.
2) Preventing Speech Problems
The use of a straw cup can help prevent lisps and slurred speech. The extensive use of sippy cups can prohibit a child from uttering certain sounds and pitches. When a child makes use of a sippy cup, it causes their tongue to rest underneath the spout. When in turn, we are beginning to look for a wave-like motion from our tongue, which can be achieved with a straw cup.
This in turn affects their articulation skills immensely.
3) Preventing Tooth Decay
Sippy cups can promote high levels of tooth decay. The mechanisms of a sippy cup ultimately bathe a child’s teeth in sugary liquids and/or milk for long periods of time. Because of the convenience of sippy cups, children are more likely to become dependent on them and carry them around all day. This creates an unhealthy attachment and accelerates the process of tooth decay.