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Drinking From a Cup Independently

“CHEERS!”

  • Make sure your child is in an upright, comfortable position.
  • Give your child a cup that is an appropriate size.
  • A cup with a handle is easier for him to grasp.
  • Fill the cup to the top or make a cutout on one side of the cup so that your child’s head does not have to tip back to drink.
  • Give your child a paper cup with nothing in it.  Have your child practice holding the cup and bringing it to your child’s mouth.
  • Start with a thicker liquid like yogurt or a milk shake (it is easier to control).  Gradually make the liquid thinner.
  • Increase the amount of liquid in the cup as your child gets better at drinking from it.
  • Fill the cup with your child’s favorite drink.
  • Provide your child with a cup whenever he is asking for a drink.
  • Play tea party with your child and stuffed animals.
  • Give your child a drink in fun, colorful cups.
  • Model drinking from a cup.
  • Give your child verbal directions such as, “Pick up the cup with two hands, bring it to your mouth, tip your head back,” etc.
  • Use hand over hand assistance to guide your child’s hands to lift the cup up, bring it to his mouth, drink from the cup and put it back down.  Then reduce the physical prompts as your child becomes more confident and successful to independently drink from a cup.

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