Transitioning a Toddler to a Cup

Toddler (12+ months)
By Gerber

Toddler to cup from Sippy

Watching your toddler figure out how to do things on their own is a lot of fun. Here’s what you can expect to observe while your little one masters their cup.

  • They actually understand where to place both hands on the cup. Cups with handles help them figure it out.
  • Their hand-eye coordination is improving—making it easier to get the cup to their mouth.
  • Expect some spilling. Or a lot. It’s a challenge for them to keep liquid steady as they bring the cup to their mouth, drink and then put down the cup. Phew, it sounds complicated when you think of it like that!
  • When finished drinking, they’ll often release the cup or let it fall. Which is a great reason to start with water and at a table!

Cup do's and don’ts

There are a few things you can do, and avoid doing, to help everything go a little easier.


  • Do fill their cup full, but make sure to use small, toddler-sized cups. This makes it easier for your little one to practice without having to tip the cup as much to drink.
  • Do choose plastic, easy-grip cups.
  • Do use cups that hold 4 - 6 ounces or about 1/2 cup. This helps teach your toddler beverage portions that are appropriate for their age and size.
  • Don’t let your little one carry the cup everywhere they go.
  • Don’t put your little one to bed with the cup or allow unlimited access throughout the day, to avoid them drinking too much milk or juice, or getting cavities.