This viral video has everyone asking: What is cup feeding?

It's a cute and controversial video that's been spreading through online breastfeeding groups, and it's got mamas talking.

In a clip that now has more than 26 million views, a newborn baby takes sips of milk not from a breast or bottle, but from a little cup that looks like a shot glass.

Plenty of Facebook commenters have wondered why a parent would attempt to feed such a young baby without a nipple, and whether the method used in the undated clip (that appears to have been shot in Turkey) is even safe.

The answer—much like feeding a baby—is simple and complicated all at the same time.


Cup feeding, as this method is called, is a real thing. It's safe when done properly and is sometimes suggested by medical professionals, particularly in locations where breast pumps or even bottles are not readily available. It's not an attempt to get a newborn to skip nipples entirely, but usually just a temporary way for parents to feed very young babies who are experiencing difficulty nursing.

As Motherly's Digital Education and Certified Nurse Midwife Diana Spalding notes, both the World Health Organization and Unicef recommend cup feeding for babies who are unable to breastfeed. "It's generally recommended when parents want to avoid using a bottle, to prevent nipple confusion, if the baby is going to be breastfed eventually," Spalding explains. "Some research has found that it is safe—though there is more spilling of milk when using a cup. Other studies, though, state that the evidence still isn't strong enough to be able to routinely recommend cup feeding for babies, so it's always best to check with your pediatrician first," she says.

Advocates for cup feeding hope to see more research on the method in the coming years, and suggest that a cup already in use in some low resource countries would be better for babies than the one in the viral video.

It's called the NIFTY (Neonatal Intuitive Feeding Technology) cup, and it was designed by experts at the University of Washington, Seattle Children's hospital, the international health innovation nonprofit PATH, and Laerdal Global Health, a not-for-profit company dedicated to saving the lives of mothers and babies.

Originally intended for use in countries where bottles, pumps and formula are not options, the team behind the NIFTY cup wanted to reduce spillage and get more breast milk into the mouths of hungry infants. The result is a silicone cup wide enough for mothers to hand express into, with a little reservoir that puts baby in charge of the pace of their feeding. It's proved invaluable in countries where moms and babies need it most, and one of the researchers behind the design, Christy McKinney, thinks it could benefit mothers and babies all over the world.

"A lot of times these things we create for low resource settings boomerang back here, to have benefit for us here in the United States. This is really a cup for infants with breastfeeding difficulties regardless of what the origin is," McKinney, an associate professor at the University of Washington told King5 News.

You can't go out and buy a NIFTY cup just yet, but the team behind it hopes that one day, mamas all over the world will have access to the design so that cup-fed babies don't have to drink out of the kind of spill-prone cup featured in the viral video.

We don't know why that now famous baby was being cup fed, but it is likely their parents were advised by medical professionals (the baby is wearing a hat with hospital branding, so they were probably either still in the hospital or had recently been discharged).

The video proves that when it comes to baby feeding, there's no one solution that works for every family.

There are many ways to get an infant the nutrients they need, and whatever way you and your medical providers decide on is the right way for you. Your baby probably won't get 26 million views, but they'll be just as cute and well fed as this little viral star, whether it's from a breast, bottle or even a cup.

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It was another day in which I would wait for baby to fall asleep for nap number one so I could shower and get ready to attempt to get out of the house together to do something, anything really, so I wouldn't feel the walls of the apartment close in on me by the time the second nap rolled around. I would pack all the diapers and toys and pacifiers and pump and bottles into a ginormous stroller that was already too heavy to push without a baby in it .

Then I would spend so much time figuring out where we could go with said stroller, because I wanted to avoid places with steps or narrow doors (I couldn't lift the stroller by myself and I was too embarrassed to ask strangers for help—also hi, New Yorkers, please help new moms when you see them huffing and puffing up the subway stairs, okay?). Then I would obsess about the weather, was it too cold to bring the baby out? And by the time I thought I had our adventure planned, the baby would wake up, I would still be in my PJs and it was time to pump yet again.

Slowly, but surely, and mostly thanks to sleep deprivation and isolation, I began to detest this whole new mom life. I've always been a social butterfly. I moved to New York because I craved that non-stop energy the city has and in the years before having my baby I amassed new friends I made through my daily adventures. I would never stop. I would walk everywhere just to take in the scenery and was always on the move.

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They transition seamlessly for indoor play.

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From sunny backyard afternoons to rainy mornings stuck inside, these toys are sure to keep little ones engaged and entertained.

Meadow ring toss game

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Besides offering a fantastic opportunity to hone focus, coordination, determination and taking turns, lawn games are just plain fun. Set them up close together for the littles and spread them out when Mom and Dad get in on the action. With their low profile and rope rings, they're great for indoors as well.


Balance board

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Balance boards are a fabulous way to get the wiggles out. This one comes with a rope attachment, making it suitable for even the youngest wigglers. From practicing their balance and building core strength to working on skills that translate to skateboarding and snowboarding, it's a year-round physical activity that's easy to bring inside and use between Zoom classes, too!


Detective set

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This set has everything your little detective needs to solve whatever mystery they might encounter: an eye glasses, walkie-talkie, camera, a red lens, a periscope and a bag. Neighborhood watch? Watch out.


Wooden doll stroller

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Take their charges on a stroll around the block with this classic doll stroller. With the same versatility they're used to in their own ride, this heirloom quality carriage allows their doll or stuffy to face them or face the world.


Sand play set

Plan Toys sand set

Whether you're hitting the beach or the backyard sandbox, this adorable wooden sand set is ready for action. Each scoop has an embossed pattern that's perfect for sand stamping. They're also totally suitable for water play in the wild or the bathtub.


Water play set

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Filled with sand or water, this tabletop sized activity set keeps little ones busy, quiet and happy. (A mama's ideal trifecta 😉). It's big enough to satisfy their play needs but not so big it's going to flood your floors if you bring the fun inside on a rainy day.


Mini golf set

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Fore! This mini golf set is lawn and living room ready. Set up a backyard competition or incorporate into homeschooling brain breaks that shift focus and build concentration.


Vintage scooter balance bike

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Pedals are so 2010. Balance bikes are the way to go for learning to ride a bike while skipping the training wheels stage altogether. This impossibly cool retro scooter-style is built to cruise the neighborhood or open indoor space as they're learning.


Wooden rocking pegasus

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Your little will be ready to take flight on this fun pegasus. It gently rocks back and forth, but doesn't skimp on safety—its winged saddle, footrests and backrest ensure kids won't fall off whether they're rocking inside or outside.


Croquet set

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The cutest croquet set we've ever seen! With adorable animal face wooden balls and a canvas bag for easy clean up, it's also crafted to stick around awhile. Round after round, it's great for teaching kiddos math and problem-solving skills as well.


Wooden digital camera

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Kids get the chance to assemble the camera on their own then can adventure anywhere to capture the best moments. With two detachable magnetic lenses, four built-in filters and video recorder, your little photographer can tap into their creativity from summertime to the holidays.


Wooden bulldozer toy

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Whether they're digging up sand in the backyad or picking up toys inside, kids can get as creative as they want picking up and moving things around. Even better? Its wooden structure means it's not an eye sore to look at wherever your digger drops it.


Pull-along hippo

janod toys pull along hippo toy

There's just something so fun about a classic pull-along toy and we love that they seamlessly transition between indoor and outdoor play. Crafted from solid cherry and beechwood, it's tough enough to endure outdoor spaces your toddler takes it on.


Baby forest fox ride-on

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Toddlers will love zooming around on this fox ride-on, and it's a great transition toy into traditional balance bikes. If you take it for a driveway adventure, simply use a damp cloth to wipe down the wheels before bringing back inside.


We independently select and share the products we love—and may receive a commission if you choose to buy. You've got this.


The American Academy of Pediatrics says that newborns, especially, do not need a bath every day. While parents should make sure the diaper region of a baby is clean, until a baby learns how to crawl around and truly get messy, a daily bath is unnecessary.

So, why do we feel like kids should bathe every day?

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