Thursday, September 24, 2009

The Straw Cup

I received a few emails about my last post, so I am just going to explain what we did to help encourage Dylan to use the straw cup.

If you have minimal interest in all things pertaining to straw cups, please feel free to skip this, as it might actually be the most boring post in the entire world. Ha!

So, after trying 732 different sippy cups, open cups, and nosey cups, I decided to give the ol' Honey Bear Cup a try. You may find one here. I liked this particular straw cup because I could actually squeeze the liquid right into Dylan's mouth. Our OT suggested only squeezing the liquid into his mouth when his lips are sealed on the straw - that way, he will learn that the only way to get the liquid is by closing his lips around the straw.

We started out with milk mixed with Thick-It. I do think that having the milk thickened helped Dylan, as it was much more manageable. Rather than having a thin liquid poured into his mouth (which caused him to choke), this was more like his baby food and he could move it around a bit better before swallowing. Plus, it went into his mouth more slowly and was probably a bit less overwhelming.

After some realllly nasty spit up incidences with regular cow's milk, I decided to switch to soy milk.

I'm guessing (and I am probably way off, as I seem to have a terrible sense of time) that we used the Honey Bear cup for about 3 months or so. I admit, I was getting very frustrated! It seemed that even when I did squeeze the milk into his mouth, he would then proceed to spit it all back out. I even resorted to putting a plastic bib on him - you know the kind with a built in pocket at the bottom? I remember taking it off him after each meal and sure enough, 99% of the milk was in the pocket at the bottom...

So, after a few months of that fun stuff, one day I decided to put the straw into his mouth without squeezing it at all to see what would happen. Lo and behold, he sucked the milk up completely by himself!! If you are still reading this, then I'm sure you can relate and comprehend just how freaking exciting that was!!!! Yeah!!

After he learned how to use the Honey Bear Cup properly, I bought him a real big boy straw cup. He didn't appreciate the switch at first, but after one day, he caught on to the new straw and actually barely spills any milk at all anymore.

I guess my advice would be to just keep practicing and practicing and practicing. I remember a while back a wrote a post about how I feared I must be "insane" because I kept doing the same thing over and over and over and expecting a different result. Well, thankfully our persistence paid off! I'm not insane after all! Yay! No seriously though, I wonder if a big part of this is just plain luck? Practice, consistency and a whole lotta luck!

Well...I hope that was somewhat helpful. If you have any other questions, please do not hesitate to email me. I'm not sure I know what I'm talking about, but I can certainly try to help.

14 comments:

Cathy said...

We don't have a honey bear, but we do have a cup that you can prime to get the liquid to the top of the straw. Is that kind of what you do with the honey bear cup?

Anyway...

I really need to work on myself in the "keep with it" category. I am not consistent enough with things. I think that's why sign language probably won't happen in this household...sigh. We really can't do it all, can we?!?!?!?

Anonymous said...

Good work gets great things done.DA DA?
Did you ever try goats milk?I have heard that that is for those that can'y hold down reg.milk?

Anne and Whitney: Up, Down and All Around said...

AWESOME! Way to go Dylan (and Laurie!!!!!!!) Whitney is doing pretty well with the straw cup, although she definitely does better when we thicken the milk (I have been using french vanilla whole milk yogurt to thicken it). I bought some "big girl" straw cups, but even I noticed you have to put more effort into sipping from that kind of a straw (I guess because of the no spill valve?) than a regular straw... so we have not been able to transition to one she could eventually hold and have by herself... but we are working on it! she still takes 3 bottles a day, but practices w/ the straw cup at each meal time. hopefully she will get better very soon so we can get rid of the bottles!

so happy for you and dylan that he is doing so well with his big boy straw cup!!!

Lisa said...

It seems like it is always such a challenge to find the right pacifier, bottle, cup, and utensils for each kid. With four kids older than Bridget, we have thrown out every make and model of each of these things in trying to find one ____that works! We used the honey bear with great success with Bridget to transition to straw drinking. She hated it at first, but loves it now. I kept at it and kept offering it to her every few days until she finally agreed willingly to begin using it regularly. I also used the little cocktail straws (super skinny) with thin smoothies in the beginning to get her used to sucking and managing liquid through straws. It is such a milestone when skills like independent eating and drinking emerge (that we often take for granted with typically developing kids). Finding what works for your child (cups, spoons, etc.), and being determined to help makes a difference. But a lot of it happens when the child is ready, plain and simple. When they are of the mindset and developmental level to do it, they will!

Yeah Dylan and Laurie! You are both doing great!

Tim and Kelli said...

Yeah, Dylan!
EI ordered us a honey bear cup that she is bringing tomorrow so I am sure I will have many questions and the same frustrations ahead of us. Thanks for the advice in advance.
Way to stick with and congrats on the switch!

Sharon said...

Thank you, Laurie! May be a borking post to some - but obviously of great interest to me! I'm going to keep at it, even if it does feel a bit like the movie Groundhog Day.....doing the same thing over and over and over....

Thank you!!!

Leigh Anne said...

sydney loves her straw cup by Munchkin. I love it b.c it doesn't spill...and she can't pull the straw out, lol.

sara p said...

thanks:) im going to get that honey bear cup for max and try it:)

heidi marie said...

we pretty much went straight for the straws cups and yes it was a lot of work in the beginning. it was frustrating for both me and henry...but we stuck with non stop and he finally had no issues!

Katie said...

This is another straw cup/juice box that worked for Jack. You can also squeeze the bottom and the liquid will squirt out.

http://www.rubbermaid.com/Category/Pages/ProductDetail.aspx?Prod_ID=RP091206&CatName=Beverage

Wendy P said...

Good job y'all!! I swear it's always that way with Kira - I'll start thinking "are we ever going to? When is she? Blah, blah, blah" and then she'll just do whatever it is like she's been doing it forever. Like, what's the big deal, Mom?

It really is the magic trifecta of willingness to work it out together, consistency, and just plain old being ready. Our job is to try our best to have the tools ready when they are ready to use them, I think.

Wendy P said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Wendy P said...

Sorry, I some how ended up posting twice.

Tausha said...

Yeah, that is so great. I think you are right in that your persistance will pay off. we are doing the juice box straw and sometimes he sucks and keeps the juice in and sometimes he just spits it all back out. :-)