Saturday, January 17, 2015

Introducing the Weaning Cup


Nora is finally to that fun age where we are introducing food. We are taking a very different approach than we did with Henry. This time, we are jumping into Montessori-style weaning. 

As I've mentioned before, in Montessori even the smallest babies are treated as capable beings. Therefore, babies are not isolated to high chairs but eat at a weaning table. Additionally, babies aren't given sippy cups, or kiddie plates. Instead, they use smaller versions of real cups, plates and silverware. 


For Nora, we've chosen to follow these principles. Right now, food is just about exploration for her, so we don't really care if she eats much of it, just that she is exposed to flavors, smells and the ritual of eating as a family. 

Introducing the weaning cup has been a process, one that we are still working on. At first, it was all about exploration. Showing Nora the cup {we're using this one}, letting her feel it and explore it. I kept the low pressure and didn't include water.


video

Once we had let her see the cup a few times, I moved on to modeling the cup. To do this I sat across from her and said "Mama's turn" before slowly lifting the cup (with water) to my mouth. Use two hand and move very slowly. I made sure that I wasn't talking or doing anything else at this time so she could really focus on how to use the cup. Then, once I placed the cup back to the table, I said "Nora's turn" and let her try. I was very impressed with her desire to copy my movements. And she was very motivated by the water. 

I would be lying if I said the process wasn't messy. Or if I said there wasn't a lot of dumping. But, I'm very ok with that for now. I know that she is likely to break cups. But, I also know she is learning, growing and fully capable! 


If you're considering introducing a weaning cup, keep in mind: 
  • This process takes time 
  • Let your baby space to use the cup without reacting -- just know that spills and breaks can happen
  • Model the behavior often! Your baby is always watching you, so include them in family meals and allow them to watch you eat and drink. 
This post was brought to you as part of the series 12 Months to Montessori! Each month, I will join a bunch of awesome bloggers in bringing you posts on a Montessori topic! This month is all about practical life, make sure to stop by these wonderful bloggers for lots of great Montessori ideas, activities and lessons! 

Amazing blogs involved in the 12 Months of Montessori Learning

5 comments:

  1. I love it! The video is absolutely adorable. She's so tiny. I wish I would have known about Montessori when my kiddos were babies. It would have made such a difference. Thank you for sharing experiences you're having with your beautiful baby girl!

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  2. I love this! We introduced a cup to both my girls around this age and loved how easily they learned to drink from a regular cup. I didn't realize how unusual it was until my older daughter started having two and three year old friends who couldn't drink from a cup without spilling. Meanwhile, my fifteen month old walks through the room holding her open cup and drinks confidently. How refreshing!

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  3. Doesn't breaking a dish cut the child? How do you avoid this?

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