My 2 Year Old Throws His Sippy Cup.

Updated on March 31, 2010
B.K. asks from Columbia Falls, MT
16 answers

How do I handle a 2 year old who throws his sippy cup at everything? He throws it at my computer and on the furniture and on the floor. It's truely driving me crazy. I've taken it away and I've punished him for it. I can't stand that when he throws it, it squirts milk or juice out and then I have to clean that up. I need advice. What will get his attention to that he will stop throwing it?

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answers from Denver on

If he spills the sippy cup by throwing it, HE cleans it up, not you. Every time. No exceptions. Make a big deal about taking him to the sink, wetting the paper towel (or whatever), walking over to the spill, cleaning it up, throwing away the towel, etc. Honestly, this should clear up the problem pretty quickly. Not only does it distract him from the "fun" of throwing his cup, it teaches him consequences for his actions. Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Pittsburgh on

You could stop giving him a sippy cup and try a small, plastic regular cup. Give it to him at the table only. I always hated it when my son would walk around sucking on a sippy cup all day.....

1 mom found this helpful

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answers from Redding on

If he throws his sippie cup, take it away. Put it in the sink. All done.
If the only way he drinks is from his sippie, then the only place he can have it should be sitting at the table. If he throws it, emptied out into the sink in front of him. All gone. Don't cave.
Don't worry he'll die of dehydration if you don't let him have his cup to throw around.
He will learn pretty quickly. It's the same thing as if he threw a toy at the computer. The toy gets taken away. All gone.

Throw your sippie, make a mess....all gone.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Atlanta on

When something is thrown, it is taken away. I would use the words, "That's not how we use our cup. Cups are for drinking, not for throwing." Limit use to the kitchen. Maybe use the words, "We drink in the kitchen." Once it is thrown, it is gone. If he were truly thirsty, he wouldn't be throwing it.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Portland on

Hello Brandy,

I believe in redirecting behavior. When he throws the cup, say, "I see you want to throw things, but we throw balls outside, not cups inside. Your cup will live on the kitchen counter today. If you can hold it, you can have in in the livingroom later."

If possible, take him outside to throw his ball right away. The goal is two parts, first remove the sippy cup and set limits regarding the cup, if he throws it, he can only have it in the kitchen. Second connect throwing with balls outside.

Be consistent with this behavior, every time he throws something, take him outside to throw the ball OR use the words above.

Toddlers have a hard time understanding grown-up rules, like why it's ok to throw a ball outside, but not a cup inside. It's not logical to toddlers.

I hope this helps

R. Magby

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Grand Junction on

Hi Brandy,
I'd bet if you give him a little pop on the hand with a small switch and a firm "no" he'll decide you have made his game painful instead of "fun". Anything you can do that makes his efforts counterproductive will benefit you in the long run. Your son might try to press you a couple of times but if you are consistent with your switch on the hand a firm no you will win the sippy cup battle. Blessings, L.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Kansas City on

give him a warning when you give it to him. "you may not throw your drink. if you throw it, i will take it away and you won't have it anymore." when he throws it, take it away. every time. do not give it back. bet he'll stop pretty quickly. if he screams and throws a fit, tough. he's throwing his drink for attention/reaction. (if he makes a mess, hand him a towel.) quit changing tactics, quit getting upset with him. it's his choice to throw it, and deal with the consequences. it's very simple.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Denver on

This is a difficult problem but maybe the first thing you do is only let him drink in his high chair, or sitting down in a chair in the kitchen where you are sitting next to him. If he throws it you tell him that he will not get it back. They understand. But they don;t always understand the consequenses until they have to experience it a few times over and over. Don;t give him the freedom to walk around with the cup. Try that for a week or so and see what happens.
Then tell him he can have a drink only if he sits in his chair. If he goes to sit in it, that will be progress.



answers from Colorado Springs on

But what a good game! Not only is it good throwing exercise (getting ready for baseball, I presume), but look at the attention it gets him! What a rise out of Mama! What a feeling of power!

You'll have to make this game less fun by not being part of it. Next time he throws his cup, don't play by his rules. Just take it away, put it in the fridge (or the dishwasher or anywhere out of sight), and make NO response, verbal or emotional. He may very well beg to have it back, and then you'll say - in a cheerful, firm voice - "No - game's over when you throw."

He won't go hungry (or thirsty)! I don't know what the general thinking is on this, but I'd consider giving him a baby bottle for his drinks the rest of the day - something a step down from his mature, two-year-old status. You may have a better idea about this.

And he'll probably test you several times. If you decide to give him another chance with the sippy cup tomorrow, and he throws it again, do the same thing. If he decides to throw something else instead, do the same thing as with the cup. No emotion, no lecturing, just a few brief, firm, friendly words when necessary. That needs to be YOUR game. (Since you're the Mama you get to play your own.) After a while he'll decide it isn't that interesting after all... and find something else to try on you. Gotta love toddlers!

(If he needs something to throw, get him a ball for outside. No Major League player ever made a team by throwing sippy cups.)



answers from Salt Lake City on

I think you have some great answer's in regards to ignoring the behavior, I also think you should consider just giving him Milk at meal times (when he's in a high chair or sitting at a table) and then water the rest of the day. This way while you are trying to break this habit/game of his it's just water coming out and it's much less damaging to your stuff. Good Luck



answers from Denver on

1. Only give him the sippy while in the kitchen. No food or drink anywhere else.
2. Only give milk at mealtimes. In the kitchen, again.
3. Make him help you clean up when he causes a mess
4. Immediately take away object that has been thrown (whether it be a sippy or other item)
5. 2 min. timeout

My daughter is two, and she can understand these rules. Now, my 1-yr-old on the other hand...



answers from Denver on

Make him sit to the table to drink it till he learns to not throw it.



answers from Pueblo on

If it is truly driving you crazy, then he is getting exactly what he wants! He has trained you! If he wants your energy (when you are on the computer) he throws his cup. So simple, so intelligent! And you fell for it. No punishment is going to work, because that is energy, too! You are making a big fuss - yeah!!! The only way you can get him to stop doing it, is by totally ignoring it. So, next time he throws his cup, don't pick it up, don't say anything, just totally ignore it, and then see what he does. He'll probably point and show you that the cup is on the floor. Just let it sit there for a while, because you don't care if his cup is on the floor. When he starts to get upset, take him down from his high chair and tell him to go pick up his cup. He threw it, so if he wants it back, he can go and get it himself. And, if the milk is spilt, give him a rag so he can wipe up the milk, too. And after throwing the cup 2-3 more times, he won't do it again, because it isn't fun anymore.
About throwing it on the computer, that is not good. You might have to put him in his high chair, away from his computer, every time he drinks, so when he throws it, it won't do too much damage. And, then tell him, that if he doesn't like it, you'll let him drink anywhere he wants to, as soon as he stops throwing the cup. Then, throwing the cup no longer gives him what he wants...



answers from Denver on

How about only letting him have it when he is sitting at the table for snack or meal time rather than letting him run around the house with it. You won't be able to get a two year old to stop throwing a sippy cup but you can control when and where he has it.



answers from Savannah on

Stay consistant with taking the cup away and putting him in time out for 2 mins. Use simple sentences like we drink with cups, not throw them. Like another mom suggested, limit the cup to only be allowed in the kitchen. He leaves the kitchen with it, one warning, second warning and then time out for not listening (doing what you asked).

You may feel like he spends more time in time out than anything else and that's to be expected. He is two, he is pushing the limits to see what he can get away with and he will be consistent to break the rules just to see if you'll follow yours!! When the cup throwing game is no longer fun to him, he'll move on to something else.

Good luck



answers from Colorado Springs on

Just an addendum to your wonderful responses: I have found that if I use a timeline when I take something away, it makes the learning process go faster, such as "Oops, cups are for drinking, maybe you'll be thirsty again at (insert next meal), then you can "reintroduce it" then- otherwise you may have a new battle "I'm thirsty- I need my sippy cup" (new answer "Yes, at dinner": repeat like a broken record as many times as needed until he gives up. :) Best wishes!

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