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?