As speech pathologists, we often work with families during mealtime. One aspect of mealtime we target is drinking liquids. We highly recommend transitioning from a bottle to a straw cup or open cup instead of a sippy cup. As mothers we of course understand how sippy cups can avoid a huge mess, but sippy cups actually promote an anterior posterior movement of the tongue, characteristic of a suckle-like pattern that infants use for breast and bottle-feeding. Therefore, children cannot develop a more mature swallow pattern especially with continued use after the first year. The spout of a sippy cup also blocks the tongue tip from rising above the front teeth, which can affect dentition and articulation. We also suggest avoiding use of pacifiers as much as possible since it causes a vaulted ceiling and can also affect dentition as well as articulation. Here is a clip from our pop-up event with Making Melodies NYC (a Kindermusik program) at Sprout San Francisco on the Upper East Side of Manhattan.

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