Did you know that the types of drinking cups your toddlers use can impact their speech and language development? Using the right type of cup can help develop your child’s speech and language development.
When evaluating toddlers with speech and language delays, I often begin by asking parents if I can see their child’s favorite cups. I recommend that they stop using any cups that have a spout and replace them with straw or non-spill cups without a spout.
Why is this important? As babies are presented with solid foods and open cup liquids, they develop a swallow that is more mature than the one they used for breast or bottle feeding. The next time you swallow, notice that your tongue naturally goes to the spot behind your front teeth where “teeth meets gum” and rolls back over the roof of your mouth to trigger your swallow. This “starting place” for the tongue is very important both for speech and swallowing. A spout cup physically blocks the tongue from getting to where it needs to be.
In their effort to be non-spill, many sippy cups on the market end up functioning much like a bottle by forcing children to suck to get any liquid. By using these cups, we can be unknowingly encouraging an immature swallow pattern.
The best possible option for your child is an open cup. Whenever you have the opportunity to give your child an open cup, do it! That said, I’m a mom of four kids and I realize that it’s not always realistic to use an open cup. Here are my recommendations for convenient and mess-free non-spill cups:
Spout Free Cups
Please reach out to TherapyWorks if you have any questions. We’re happy to provide free phone consultations: 312.780.0820.
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