Teach babies to drink out of a Dixie cup

SourPatch's cup-learning hack:

I’ve been teaching my 14 month-old to drink with a cup all by himself (crazy me, didn’t think to introduce him to a cup until he was past one year old). He’s adept at drinking without spilling if someone else is holding the cup, but I wanted to help him learn to drink independently. I have been filling a Dixie cup just enough to coat the bottom of the cup and set it next to him at the dinner table. He can get his hand around the cup easily enough and is able to bring it to his lips without spilling anything. I usually change the cup after every third drink (I put a small stack at the dinner table just for that reason) or when he squeezes the cup out of shape. I just keep refilling his cup as needed. He has become adept at drinking this way and we’re working on increasing the amount of liquid in his cup. I like this because he can’t break the cup by throwing it and he doesn’t spill any on himself (if he does, it's like a drop or two). He loves drinking with a cup just like the adults and has learned to pick up and lay down the cup gently. Best of all, there’s no cleanup afterwards.


Sake cup or shotglass for beginner cup-drinkers
Practicing cup drinking in the bathtub


  1. Kate says

    I’m confused…how is this a better hack than just using a kid’s plastic 4 oz cup (which produces no waste)??

  2. Abi says

    Seriously! Stop the waste – it’s a good idea, but do you need to use wasteful, one-time use paper cups?

  3. Dara says

    Actually, if it’s the small size you’re looking for, I’ve found that my daughters toy cups work very well. In fact her whole toy dish set is more sturdy then her regular dishes — go figure — and the plastic forks and spoons are perfect for little hands. Of course, I make it clear that if “real” food has touched the dishes, she cannot wash it in the Dora kitchen.

  4. none says

    Funny that this is a hack in 2007. Fifty years ago it was the only option for parents.

  5. Cheryl says

    I actually use shot glasses.
    (The lovely souvenir ones.)

    They are glass but they are pretty sturdy. They can withstand a few good throws to the floor.

  6. Laura says

    We have been using little shot glasses for our daughter since she was 6 months old. Small candle votive holders also make great infant cups. Both are easy to find and cheap at goodwill. If you are afraid of glass try tiny enamel wear (those blue and white “camping” dishes) or sake cups.

  7. gd says

    As others have said, I find that very wasteful. I bought 2 little plastic cups at Goodwill for $.40 & that’s what we use. Mind you he likes using mine anyway!