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July 31, 2017

Montessori Weaning Cup -- Montessori Baby Week 34

One way that Montessori is different from mainstream parenting is that we insist on giving children -- even the youngest children -- real experiences. We believe that they are capable of experiencing so much more in the world than they are often given credit for. 

This is especially true with learning to eat. Montessori babies are given the opportunity to learn how to use real materials from the start. This includes using real utensils, plates and cups. These all provide an opportunity for independence while showing a baby respect and trust.  

A look at the Montessori weaning cup. Giving babies a small cup instead of a closed container helps to promote independence from the start.

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However, just like with the weaning spoon, it's important to pick a tool that will help your baby become successful. Handing a baby any old glass won't have the same result as giving them a glass that is a good size and shape. We want to provide opportunities for independence, but also set them up to be as successful as possible. 

The solution for our family is this tiny glass from IKEA! We have used this Pokal shot glass with both Augustus and Nora. It's meant to be a shot glass, but it's crafted perfectly for a weaning glass. Not only is it a great size {holding 2 ounces}, it's heavy and shaped just like it's adult counter parts. I find the shape of the glass, in particular, easy for babies to grasp and bring to their mouths. 

Another great bonus has been that it doesn't seem to completely shatter when dropped. Ours have broken, but not easily. They can withstand some banging and other appropriate exploration. We've had ours for years and they really have lasted. I also love that there is just a slightly larger cup that can be used as babies grow into toddlers. The final glass is just an example of a regular juice glass, and the glass we love for our older kids. It can also be found at IKEA. 

Now that Augustus is eating, he is offered water with his meals in these cups. We use much the same way, we did with Nora. At 8 months, he hasn't quite mastered the cup yet, but is getting closer. He's recognizing that he needs to hold the cup with two hands and bring it to his mouth. But, water may or may not make it there too. 

And, exploration is totally alright with me. It will take him time to master this new skill. But, I know he will get there and is perfectly capable of using an open cup. It's not a perfect process, but it's an important one! 

Now, I know that for some using a glass-glass is intimidating. If you feel like it's not the right choice for your family, there are some other options you could consider including a stainless steal mugs, or stainless shot glasses

A look at the Montessori weaning cup. Giving babies a small cup instead of a closed container helps to promote independence from the start.

Have you used a weaning glass? Which glass do you love? 

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Christina @
We have the exact same glasses and love them! They have been dropped many times and one hasn't broken yet. Drinking from his glass has always been one of our son's favorite parts of meal time. I didn't know there was a slightly larger size, I'm going to look for those next time we make it to Ikea, thanks!
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Using all these things, we can make our baby able to learn new things specially when he is in the learning phase. Thanks for sharing the perfect idea.
Allison said…
We had great success with the 9cl Picardie Duralex glasses. They've never broken despite being pitched on the floor regularly (We went through a long dumping/dropping phase and Duralex glasses and dishes seem indestructible).
drmlo07 said…
This is so helpful! Thank you! The reminder of taking things slow... baby steps... is even more helpful. The “mess” is a bit daunting, but I want my little one to be free to experiment and learn on her own. — I noticed that you have a miniature farm animal next to your weaning cup to give an idea for size. This is off topic for this post, but I’m wondering where you got your miniature animals. I noticed that my young toddler is showing interest in animals. Would love to get your recommendations on where to find some. Thank you for all that you do! I love your blog!