Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Tips to Encourage Your Toddler to Hold a Juice Box


Can your infant or toddler hold his or her own juice box? This seemingly simple task is not always easy. It requires strength, coordination, and the use of various muscles in the hands. And, it requires motivation.

My preemie baby, now toddler, Emily, is 19 months old (16 months adjusted) and just started holding her own juice box and drink from a straw. This is a huge milestone for us --and an achievement that warrants celebration!

Below are four tips that helped us achieve this goal and may be helpful to you:

1.  Purchase a Plastic Juice Box Holder

We bought a plastic juice box holder called the "dwink."  The plastic container can hold a small juice box. It also features two handles, which may help your infant or toddler hold his or her juice box without squirting its contents all over the carpet.

2.  Provide Juice Only When Your Baby Will Hold The Juice Box

When it comes to getting a toddler to do something, I've learned that motivation is key. Juice is a special treat for Emily. She enjoys it, but it provides little nutritional value since she gets most of her calories from formula. So, I offer her juice and let her have it IF she is willing and motivated to hold the juice box on its own or by using the juice box holder.

3. Be Prepared for Spillage

Although a plastic juice box container may help reduce spills, messes will still occur. Emily sometimes reaches into the plastic juice box holder to wrap her hands around the juice box and squeeze. She also has a tendency to knock the juice box holder over, so be sure to have towels readily available.

4. Provide Praise

I try to reward Emily by exclaiming, "Yay" and providing her with a round of applause when she holds her juice box and drinks from it on her own. Sometimes my praise causes Emily to clap and keep drinking, which is great progress!

Please join me in juice box jubilation! I am doing a happy dance in honor of this special achievement, and am eager for Emily to meet more fine motor and nutrition-related milestones, such as holding her on bottle and drinking from an open cup with minor spillage. Please check back next week to learn about our recent achievements with solid foods!

I'd love to hear from you and learn about your milestones.  Do you have any news to share?

8 comments:

  1. This is a GRAND accomplishment! I can just feel the excitement in your post. :) Thanks for sharing this developmental feat with us... I also celebrate every one of Little Bee's accomplishments. :)

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    1. Thanks for the strong support, Vanessa. I really appreciate your readership. :)

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  2. This is just so exciting! Yay Emily!! She'll just keep checking each one off the list :)

    Katie @ Cup of Tea

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    1. Katie - Thank you for your continued support! I really appreciate the praise and your follow!

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  3. Is there a benefit to using drink boxes with the dwink versus filling a normal sippy cup with juice?

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    1. Hi, Jennifer! I'm a new mom -- and am not sure of the answer to your question. If pressed for an answer, I'd probably say -- it depends on the child. Emily's primary source of calories is formula. We've had a difficult time feeding her from day one (she was tube fed in the NICU and has since had reflux and other GI issues). She used to flail about when feeding her and it was a struggle to get her to take the bottle. So she's never held her own bottle (although we're trying to get her to do so). We learned that she really likes drinking juice (we tried formula and it was a no-go) from a juice box straw (possibly because it is completely different experience from drinking from a bottle and it's not formula). The juice box fits nicely in the dwink container. We have found that Emily enjoys picking up the dwink and bringing it close to her mouth to sip from the straw. The product works for us. Unfortunately, we haven't had any success with a sippy cup yet. We've tried many different brands with many different openings and many different handles. One of the challenges I've noticed is that Emily doesn't know how to tip the sip cup back to actually get liquid to come out. So, we're working on that! I hope this information is helpful. -Michelle

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  4. That's exciting! My daughter's new milestone is that she's finally up on all fours getting ready to crawl!

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    1. Jackie -- That's awesome news. What a wonderful achievement. Before you know it, you're daughter will be couch-surfing. Please keep me updated on her developmental milestones. -Michelle

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