How To Teach Your Baby To Drink From A Straw?

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To teach your baby to drink from a straw, start by choosing a soft, flexible straw and demonstrate how to suck liquid through it yourself. Offer a straw cup with a little bit of water or milk, and gently squeeze the cup to send a small amount of liquid up the straw. Encourage your baby by praising their attempts and being patient; it might take several tries over days or weeks for them to learn.

Learning to drink from a straw is a significant milestone for babies, not only for convenience but also for developing oral motor skills. This transition from bottle or breast to using a straw can be smooth with the right approach and patience. Here’s a comprehensive guide on how to teach your baby to drink from a straw.

Teach Your Baby To Drink From A Straw

How To Teach Your Baby To Drink From A Straw?

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Know the Right Time

The ideal time to introduce a straw is around 6 to 9 months old. However, this varies with each child’s development. Signs that your baby might be ready include being able to sit up with minimal support, showing curiosity about your drinks, and having mastered drinking from a sippy cup or directly from a glass with assistance.

Choosing the Right Tools

Select a soft, flexible straw and a straw cup designed for infants. These cups are usually spill-proof, which can reduce messes as your baby learns. Some cups come with straws that are integrated into a valve that helps control the flow of liquid, making it easier for beginners.

Demonstration is Key

Babies learn a lot through imitation. Drink from a straw yourself, showing how you suck the liquid up and enjoy it. Your enthusiasm will catch their interest. If possible, use a transparent cup so they can see the liquid moving through the straw.

Initial Steps

  1. Liquid Selection: Start with water or your baby’s usual milk. Avoid thick or pulpy juices initially, as they can make sucking through a straw harder.
  2. Introducing the Straw: Without using the cup, you can dip the straw into the liquid, cover the top end with your finger to trap some liquid inside, and then release it into your baby’s mouth. This action introduces the idea that liquids can come through the straw.
  3. Using the Straw Cup: Fill the straw cup with a small amount of liquid. Show your baby how to hold the cup and guide the straw to their mouth. You might need to gently squeeze the cup at first to push a little liquid up the straw, giving them a taste and encouraging them to suck on their own.

Encouragement and Patience

Celebrate every little success and show excitement when your baby manages to suck from the straw. It’s okay if they don’t get it right away. Keep offering the straw cup alongside other drinking methods they’re already comfortable with.

Practice Makes Perfect

Consistency is crucial. Offer the straw cup at various times throughout the day, especially when your baby is thirsty after a nap or playtime. The more opportunities they have to practice, the quicker they will learn.

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Safety First

Always supervise your baby while they’re drinking from a straw. Ensure the straw is not too long, as it could pose a choking hazard. Moreover, never let your baby walk around or play with the straw cup to avoid accidents.


If your baby struggles to suck from the straw, revert to showing them how by using the cup yourself. Sometimes, cutting down the straw to make it shorter can help, as it reduces the effort needed to suck the liquid up.

Progressing to Thicker Liquids

Once your baby has mastered drinking water or milk from the straw, you can introduce thicker liquids like smoothies. These are not only nutritious but also require more effort to drink, further developing their oral muscles.

The Transition from Bottle or Breast

For some babies, learning to drink from a straw can facilitate weaning off the bottle or breast, especially if they find it more satisfying or fun. However, every baby is different, so follow your child’s lead and consult with a pediatrician if you have concerns about their feeding milestones.

Embrace the Mess

Learning to drink from a straw can be a messy process. Be prepared for spills and dribbles, and remember that it’s all part of the learning experience. Use bibs and have a cloth handy during practice sessions.

Baby To Drink From A Straw

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How To Teach Your Baby To Drink From A Straw?

Start by demonstrating how to suck liquid through a straw yourself. Use a soft, flexible straw and a straw cup with a little bit of water or milk. Gently squeeze the cup to push the liquid up the straw, encouraging your baby to mimic the action. Celebrate attempts and be patient.

At what age do babies learn to drink from a straw?

Babies can start learning to drink from a straw around 6 to 9 months old. This age range varies as it depends on individual developmental milestones, such as the ability to sit up with minimal support and showing interest in your drinking habits.

How do I transition my baby to a straw cup?

To transition your baby to a straw cup, begin with short practice sessions using water or milk. Demonstrate how to use it, and encourage hands-on exploration. Gradually increase the use of straw cups while reducing reliance on bottles or sippy cups.

How do you teach straw drinking speech therapy?

In speech therapy, straw drinking is taught by using thickened liquids for easier control and practicing lip rounding and retraction exercises. Techniques include blowing exercises to strengthen oral muscles, using shorter straws to reduce effort, and progressive thickening of liquids to challenge oral motor skills.

Is it good for a baby to use a straw?

Using a straw is beneficial for a baby’s development. It enhances oral motor skills, encourages proper mouth muscle use, and can improve speech development. Straw drinking also supports the transition from sucking to more mature swallowing patterns, beneficial for overall feeding development.


Teaching your baby to drink from a straw is an exciting journey that fosters independence and supports their development. While it requires patience and perseverance, the joy of seeing your little one master this skill is immensely rewarding. Celebrate each step forward and enjoy the process of learning together.


Dusty is the owner and editor of As Mom Sees It, a product review and family matters blog. She is the mother of two in Ohio and has partnered with companies like Nike, Verizon, Kingston Technology. You can find her on Twitter at @AsMomSeesIt.