11 answers

How to Get My 4 Year Old off the Sippy Cup

My daughter just turned 4 on March 1st. She has been off the bottle since she was just over a year old but drinks from a sippy cup. She will only drink chocolate milk in it and has to have it every night when going to sleep and sometimes even wakes up in the middle of the night asking for it, if I don't give it to her she cries broken hearted which wakes my 1yr old up crying b/c they sleep in the same room. Whenever we talk about giving the cup up she starts to cry and begs me not to take it away. Of course I give in when she looks at me w/ those big blue teary eyes! She's my baby! She's a very good child who gives me no problems except for not picking up after herself sometimes :) Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated, she starts preschool this year and I want her to not need the sippy cup anymore!

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My 4 year old used to take chocolate milk to bed with him, and you know what? It caused 7 cavities - that's over $2,000 worth of dental work right there! So, in my opinion, taking a sippy cup to bed in no big deal, she'll outgrow that whenever she's ready. She needs to have her chocolate milk before brushing and flossing teeth (yes, flossing!). She's old enough to understand that it might make her teeth yucky. BYW - My 2 and 4 year olds still take a sippy cup to bed with them every night, it's just filled with water now.

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My 5 yr. old grand daughter still takes a tippy cup of chocolate milk with her to bed. I guess I have questions:

1. Does she still need to suck? Is that why she wants the cup with a valve instead of a cup with a straw?

2. Is she just thirsty?

3. Have you tried giving her her chocolate milk while having the bedtime routine then brushing her teeth and going to bed?

My answers:

1. If she needs to suck she will find something to suck, be it a thumb, a finger, a pillow corner, a toy, etc....it is much easier to deal with a tippy cup then it is to take away a thumb or finger.

2. Let her have plenty of fluids in the evening as long as it doesn't effect her wetting the bed.

3. This works for us. Try talking to her and tell her she can have chocolate milk in a regular cup and then she can have water in her tippy cup.

The "up side" of this is that she will eventually give it up on her own. I don't have a problem with kids having bottles or tippy cups with anything they want in them until they are ready to give them up. I would rather deal with that instead of having a 12 year old who sucks their fingers and make their jaw deformed because they developed a bad habit from my decisions.

You know what, my sons will be 7 this yr and they still take a cup of milk to bed with them. Its a cup that doesn't leak. I know a long time ago their pediatrician said not to do it but I didn't have the heart to take it away and so far it hasnt affected them and I look at the calcium they are getting. Also they recently started a new dentist and he didnt say anything about their mouth having a problem. My sons are happy and healthy. Also by giving them the cup that didn't leak when they woke up in the middle of the night I didn't have to get up because they already had the cup and took a few sips and went back to sleep.
Just my opinion but I wouldnt take it away.

I would be less worried about the cup and see if you can change the beverage. I know some school age kids that still enjoy a sippy cup of warm milk before bed. It has just always been part of their routine. The biggest problem is that it sounds like your daughter is drinking hers in bed and not brushing her teeth afterwards. So she probably needs to either
1. drink chocolate milk in sippy and then brush teeth
2. if she needs to take sippy to bed switch to watch - perhaps flavored water?

Tell your daughter that you and her are going to the store to buy a special big girls cup just for her. Give her a selection of them and have her pick them out. Explain to her after buying that the baby sippy cups are to be rid of because she is a big girl now. Even have her name put on it if that will help. Good luck-B. P

Have you tried the cups with the plastic straws or the kind like water bottles where you pull up the top to release the liquid? My grandaughter is 7 and when she gave up sippy cups that's what my daughter-in-law gave her. There is also the type like traveling mugs with the little slit in the lid? She might gradually wean her from the sippy cup. Some children though are just more reluctant to give up the oral satisfaction they get grom the sippy cup. Of course she was on a sippy cup til age 5 or 6 because My d-i-l didn't want spillage and went to the kind with the plastic straws and the pop top bottles she uses now for the same reason most of my grandkids were on the sippy cup or straw thing til all chance of spillage was past, and there is nothing to worry about with the prolonged use of the sippy cup.

My 4 year old used to take chocolate milk to bed with him, and you know what? It caused 7 cavities - that's over $2,000 worth of dental work right there! So, in my opinion, taking a sippy cup to bed in no big deal, she'll outgrow that whenever she's ready. She needs to have her chocolate milk before brushing and flossing teeth (yes, flossing!). She's old enough to understand that it might make her teeth yucky. BYW - My 2 and 4 year olds still take a sippy cup to bed with them every night, it's just filled with water now.

My son drinks a nubby (sippy cup) of milk every night before he goes to bed and every morning when he wakes up. He drinks from regular cups perfectly, but prefers his milk warmed up in a sippy. To be honest, i'm just thankful that he drinks that much milk!! Of course, it's not chocolate milk which if it isn't interferring with her sleep, then she's still getting the milk! As for getting her off the sippy cup for preschool. I was getting ready to throw out most of our sippy cups, because except for the milk in the nubby and traveling, my son drinks out of regular cups. However, when i enrolled him in mother's day out this year, i found out they require sippy cups even for the oldest of the kids. I'm definately no expert but, i wouldn't worry about it. Be thankful that she's drinking the milk and your preschool may require sippy cups anyway. Best of luck.
Have a great day and god bless!!

My son will be 4 in May and he still goes to bed with his sippy cup of chocolate milk. We use the Nestle No Added Sugar. It cost more than all the others, but the "nutritional label" at least makes me feel a little better. We have tried going and picking out new big boy cups (I now own about 12) and talking to him about big-boy vs baby and giving our sippy cups to Santa and many other little things. None of them work. This cup is his security blanket and he loves it. So I've decided to just let it go. He drinks successfully out of a regular glass and a straw, etc. He just wants his sippy cup. I figure he won't be drinking out of it when he's 18 and going to college :)

I agree with Beth. I started giving my son a regular cup at 3 or 3 1/2. I didn't really think he was ready to give it up, but I saw that some other kids his age weren't using them anymore. So I took his away. Hope things go well whatever you decide to do.


Hi N., I'm only answering from a grandmama's (Mi-Mi) viewpoint. I do not recall this "problem" with any of my four children. Still, one son insisted on drinking chocolate milk till he was grown. I think chocolate has some protective properties, so I'd not worry about that.
Now to one of his daughters and one of my granddaughters that is five: She still drinks from a sippy-cup when she's at my home. She also loves chocolate "cocoa" milk which I either keep on hand or give her from a mix. I've noticed on the ingredients in the cheaper mixes, that there is added food coloring. I don't like that and have decided to either buy the more expensive (Nestles) or use the recipe that I concocted when this granddaughter's father was young and at home. I made my own chocolate syrup from one-half cup of cocoa, two cups sugar, one-fourth teaspoon of salt, one cup water, three tablespoons corn syrup (prevents the syrup from crystalizing. Bring the ingredients to a full boil while stirring in a two-quart saucepan. (Be careful. It can boil over.) Gently simmer one min. till sugar dissolves. Remove from heat. Add one tablespoon vanilla flavoring. Pour into heat proof, pint jar. Let cool and refrigerate. To use, add a dollop to drinking glass of milk or sippy cup in whatever small amount you think is appropriate as you stir it. Serve. My son really enjoyed this, and I liked it because it wax inexpensive and had no additives.
As to the sippy cup, I'll continue to serve our granddaughter her the chocolate or regular milk in a sippy cup although at her home, she drinks from a small glass. For a while yet, I'll use the sippy cup until she objects which I believe she'll soon do as she tells me she is a "big girl," and doesn't like being referred to as a/the baby. Most children give up these "baby" habits. Three of my four were thumb-suckers. They gave up this habit by the time they began school. I think your child, even as I expect my granddaughter to do, will give up these comforts as they associate with other children their age that don't need them.
Sorry, I had no suggestion as to getting your little daughter off the sippy cup. Sometimes, I think such situations trouble or worry us needlessly. Also, she probably needs this as some children need their blankie, tattered stuffed toy, or other security object.

Mom, don't worry about the sippy cup. She will out grow it and this is not a huge problem at 4. I don't know of any 4 year old that completely picks up her room. I have several great grandkids and none of them can do this completely without encouragement and a little help. Keep up the good work mom.

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