14 answers

When to Stop Night Time Sippy Cup

my son will be three in Feb, i was wanting to know when i should really start to get him of the sippy cup? He is not allowed one during the day, only at nap time and bed time becuase he wont sleep with out it. i try not to give him more than one cup of milk at night but that doesn't always work with my husband. My son still wakes at least once for a refill i try to give him water but he just throws the cup and whines for milk or juice. I'm not sure what to do i really dont want him to have it much longer after his birthday. Any suggestions?

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Thank you all for the advice i just might take it away on his birthday and have it be a special thing for him, now i just have to get my husband to agree. thank you all

Featured Answers

Hi M.;
I never took the sippy cup away. my feeling is that if a child is thirsty, they should be able to drink. My daughter is 5 1/2 years old and she keeps one by her bed. she does not use it much, but can drink if she wants. best to only do water. milk will lead to cavities! good luck. K.

More Answers

This is his habit/routine, and he will most likley throw a fit no matter what you do. But if you don't stop putting him to bed with something to drink you are going to have a tough time potty training him. Not to mention the dental problems you are going to face from the tooth decay.
My advice would be just to stop giving him anything at bedtime. Of course you should tell him you are going to stop and pick a date and then do it. It takes about a week for things to get back to normal, but if you give in then he wins. Best of luck.

1 mom found this helpful

I was told not to offer them a drink at night or they would get used to having one all the time. Sounds like that's what happend with your son. The few times my daughter, 2 1/2 asked for a drink at night, we refused and she never asked again. I think it's time to break him of the habit, much like breaking pacifier habit. It will be hard for a few nights but eventually he'll see that you're not giving in and waking up won't be worth it. Good luck.

1 mom found this helpful

Hi there! I had the same problem with my son who is now 5. I would give him his sippy cup to go to bed with, and he would wake up for a refill. We gave him milk instead of water, and we had to pay a heavy cost for it... he had to have dental surgery at age 4. All but 2 teeth in his mouth were rotted :( What we did to start weening him and my other son off of milk was water it down, the dentist even approved of that, and then eventually gave him water. I gave them ice water to make it more appealing. Once the potty training kicked in for both of my now 5 year old and 3 year old.. it was no cups at all, they get a drink of water half an hour before bed time, and have to go potty right before they get in bed. I also have a 1 year old who goes to bed with sippy cup full of water, and he wakes up with a full cup. Anyway, my suggestion would be to water down milk or juice and eventually work your way to water. My son's dentist told me that we brushed his teeth very well, but milk has more sugar in it than juice and brushing more or less goes out the window when it sits on their teeth all night. Hope I helped and good luck..... C.

1 mom found this helpful

I am not sure why you are still catering to a three year old?
Not to sound harsh but you are the parent. SO he throws the cup, oh well. He shouldn't have any liquids at night other then water for dental reasons and if you are potty training it isn't a good idea for any liquids. Make a huge deal out of him using a big boy cup during the day, try strawed cups at first, the gradually take the sippy away. Sippy cups cause dental issues as well as bottles. You say he won't sleep without it, you are the parent, not him. Do a chart to monitor his good big boy days, reward him after a period of time for being a big boy. He is three, time to stop the dependency and you have to do it abruptly. Yes, it is upsetting to see them upset, however you are the parent and and it is important you break these bad habits now for him. When he wakes, get him to soothe himself back to sleep. He should not need ANY liquids at night.

1 mom found this helpful

You probably ought to stop it as soon as possible. He needs to learn to fall asleep and soothe himself back to sleep without the aid of a sippy. I have 5 kids and with my first, I nursed him practically all night long because I didn't know any better and he wouldn't sleep without it. When he was 1, I put him on a sippy and he would wake at night for refills. By the time I had my 3rd child, I was busy putting the other 2 to bed and my 3rd just had to learn to be patient and eventually learned to fall asleep on her own. Once they learn how to fall asleep on their own, they are able to soothe themselves back to sleep if they wake in the night. The tricky part is letting them cry it out a couple of times until they learn to fall asleep without the aid of a sippy or bottle or binky or mom, etc. Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful

Actually I was told my daughter's speech therapist that sippy cups are bad for kids, it doesn't allow the kids mouth muscle to form properly so that they have problems with speech. They said it was actually better to use straws it caused them to suck which helped strengthen the muscles.

I seem to try to figure out easy ways to get kids to kick a habit. My girls share a room, so when we bought them new bedspreads, we told them the sippy cups (and water) will have to go. Neither of them even cared. We do make sure we do a last call before bed for anything they might need before going to sleep.

M. K.

Hi M.,
my daughter is already three and i still give her a sippy cup at night but she only has water in it. We will give her a glass of milk with dinner and i tought she will throw a fit as soones we do not give her anymore sippy cups at night. She is a very strong minded child but had no problems at all with it. Good luck

Hi M.;
I never took the sippy cup away. my feeling is that if a child is thirsty, they should be able to drink. My daughter is 5 1/2 years old and she keeps one by her bed. she does not use it much, but can drink if she wants. best to only do water. milk will lead to cavities! good luck. K.

My daughter turned 3 on Jan 1 and she does the same thing. She doesn't fall asleep with it in her mouth, but needs it to go to sleep. She has been fully potty trained since she was 2 1/2. I know i should get her off the cup, but she has a hard time sleeping as it is, if i take that away, i'm afraid her and i both will never sleep.

good luck!

Tell your son that when he turns 3 he will be too old for a sippy cup. Talk about how exciting this is! Have a big celebration of his new maturity, buy him the coolest regular cup you can find and put one in the bathroom and one in the kitchen so he can fill it with water and get a drink when he wants, let him know that is a privelege for 3 year olds! Put the sippy cup away with a big ceremony (make a special box to save things for his kids some day) and then put that box up somewhere that he can't reach. In a year or so you can take down the box and look at it. There will be many things to outgrow as he matures and this is a good way to do it. Is he potty trained? Does his drinking in the evening make it hard for him to stay dry all night?

As soon as possible, I let our daughter go to bed with a sippy cup until after 3 & used 7-up water thinning it down slowly to get her off of it. And, still had to do a ceremonial "burial" of the cup as any "Big Girl" would & let her pick a replacement to "sleep" with at Toys R Us. It worked. With a few reminders, of course. But, her 2 front baby teeth were ruined & slanted from the suction of the cup. We had to wait it out until she got her permanent teeth, but still had to have the dentist pull her 2 front baby teeth. Not sure we did her a favor by having a sippy instead of a pacifier.

Has your son seen the dentist yet? If not, you can use that visit to initiate the change. When you visit the dentist, they will very likely advise you to stop giving your son milk at bedtime as it often leads to decay. When you get home, tell your son that the dentist said he cannot have milk in his sippy cup any more. He's a big boy now with strong healthy teeth and milk at night is not good for his teeth.

I am not a fan of crying it out, as some have suggested. But if you have a story to tell and you repeat the story, they often adjust quickly. He can still have his sippy cup (that's probably what he's really after anyway) but he can only have water at bedtime. Milk is for daytime snacks or meals.

Being in Colorado, I do feel it's important to allow the children access to water at night. It's so dry here. Heck, I get up in the middle of the night for a drink sometimes. They should be able to also.

Keep the sippy, lose the milk.

Good luck!

I have 3 sons, (11, 13 and 15) and they all had sippy cups at night until they were 6 or 7. It did not hurt their teeth, if we could we would get them to swish water around their teeth after the milk. (we only gave them milk or water after 6:00 at night). I would not sweat it too much, they will outgrow it on their own. Trust me, the 15 year old does not wake up and want a sippy cup.

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