When Do Babies Learn To Use A Straw?
Straws are not just something we use when drinking, they can also be used by babies to practice the skill of sipping and drinking from a cup. Parents often wonder when it is appropriate to introduce a straw to a baby. Read on to learn when your baby can start using a straw.
Most infants should reach a milestone called the reach moment, somewhere between the age of 12 and 24 months. At this point, their hand-eye coordination, motor control, and fine motor skills are developed enough to be able to use a straw. Before they reach the reach milestone, their coordination is still developing, making it difficult to use a straw.
Before introducing a straw to your baby, it is important to give them a spill-proof cup with an easy-to-hold handle. This allows them to practice holding the cup, tipping it to drink from it, and even controlling the flow of the liquid. Encouraging your baby to sip from the cup and help them understand how to drink from it will help them feel confident and comfortable when using the straw.
Introducing a Straw
Once your baby has mastered the spill-proof cup, it’s time to start introducing a straw. Start by slowly adding a straw to the cup and showing your baby how to use it. Explain that straws help them drink without spilling and encourage them to try it. Offer lots of positive reinforcement and praise as they get the hang of it.
Tips for Straw Success:
- Make sure the straw is the right length – a straw that is too long or too short can make it difficult to use.
- Choose flexible straws that can bend to make it easier for your baby to get a drink.
- If your baby gets frustrated, try a sippy cup with a built-in straw.
- Encourage your baby and show them how it’s done.
Using a straw is a skill that babies can learn with the right guidance and encouragement. Introducing a straw when your baby has reached the reach milestone and is comfortable using a spill-proof cup will help them develop the coordination they need to use a straw with success.