Transitioning Through the ezpz Cup Collection
Have you wondered how or when to transition your child to the next cup for their development? The ezpz Developmental Cup Set makes it easy for parents to select a cup based on their child’s specific age and stage. It also provides parents with tips for teaching their child how to drink successfully from an open cup and safely use a straw. Here is some additional information to guide you through each of the cups in the set so your baby can obtain their drinking and swallowing milestones.
Tiny Cup: The Developmental Cup Set starts with the Tiny Cup for infants 4+ months. This 2oz open cup is designed for a baby’s tiny mouth and tummy. Open-cup drinking is important, as it supports healthy oral and speech development, aids with teething, helps your baby build a strong swallow, and can decrease tooth decay. Here are some benefits of using this first cup:
- Age Range: Between 4-6 months start open cup drinking (breastmilk / formula) by holding the cup for your baby. Around 9 months baby will want to practice holding the cup themselves. By 12 months baby should independently drink from an open cup (with some spillage).
- Sensory: The cup is weighted to provide sensory input to help the baby hold the cup and decrease spills.
- Shape: The Tiny Cup is cone shaped on the inside, which keeps the baby's head in a safe ‘chin tuck' position. Sippy cups are designed with a ‘head back’ position, which opens the airway and increases the risk of aspiration/choking.
- Swallowing: When your baby drinks from an open cup they are learning how to perform a mature swallow pattern (just like the way you and I swallow). This skill doesn’t develop when drinking from a bottle or Sippy cup.
- Milestone: The Tiny Cup helps to support the infant swallowing milestone, which is: baby can drink from an open cup (held by an adult) at 4-6 months of age.
Mini Cup + Straw Training System: The second cup in the Developmental Cup Set is the 4oz Mini Cup + Straw Training System. This consists of a straw (with both a training side and an advanced side), a lid and an open cup. Safe straw drinking is a critical skill for a child to learn to foster drinking independence.
- Training Side of the Straw: Introduce straw drinking to your baby around 9 months of age by starting with the training side of the straw (curved + sensory bumps out). The sensory bumps encourage correct lip and tongue placement for safe swallowing.
- Advanced Side of the Straw: Once your child is no longer relying on the bumps for correct placement, flip the straw over to reveal the advanced side of the straw (straight + no sensory bumps).
- Lid: Once you have filled up the cup, place the lid and push on the ezpz logo to release extra air inside the cup. This will help tighten the seal and create a vacuum to pull some of the liquid into the straw.
- Open Cup: This cup is 4 ounces, which is twice the size of the Tiny Cup. It’s the perfect size for toddlers' oral cavity and tummy.
- Milestone: The Mini Straw Cup helps to support the toddler swallowing milestone, which is: a toddler can drink from a straw cup independently around 15 months of age.
Happy Cup + Straw System: The final cup in the Developmental Cup Set is the 8oz Happy Cup + Straw for children 2+ years. The larger cup is critical as older toddlers / preschoolers are consuming more liquids during snack + mealtime. The straw is also longer and more advanced for your preschooler's enhanced swallowing skills.
- Training Side + Advanced Side of the Straw: The Happy Straw also has a training side and an advanced side. This is important as a child may need to revisit correct lip and tongue placement when sucking liquid from a longer straw.
- Open Cup: Remove the lid to reveal a larger sized open cup and have your child continue practicing open-cup drinking.
- Milestone: The drinking milestone for this older age group is that: by 24 months a toddler should drink independently from an open cup with no spillage. The Happy Cup has a weighted base to minimize spills and help your child achieve drinking independence successfully.
This set helps baby start their cup journey with first sips and ends with drinking independence! The ezpz Developmental Cup Set was designed to support each of these drinking phases so that little ones can safely meet key developmental milestones. Share your developmental cup drinking successes with us by using the hashtag #ezpzfun.
Dawn Winkelmann (M.S, CCC-SLP) is ezpz’s Pediatric Speech-Language Pathologist and Feeding Specialist. She has 28 years of experience teaching parents and medical professionals how to start babies on solids safely and encourage toddlers to overcome picky eating tendencies. In addition, “Ms. Dawn” is the designer of our award-winning feeding products.