How to Choose a Sippy Cup For Your Child

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Your baby’s first year is all about transitions, such as breastfeeding to bottle, milk to solid foods, and from crawling to walking. A lot of great things are happening in that little body! One big transition is to move away from the bottle and use a small cup instead.

A quick glance at a parenting group on social media shows that people are using a different type of cup and have strong opinions about hard versus soft faucets. Between social media, online searches, and in-store searches, information can be overwhelming. Here’s everything you need to know to help your child transition smoothly, including what a sippy cup is, which one is best for your child, and when to stop using it.

What is the Sippy Cup?

You may have heard the words “sippy cup” but you may not be sure what exactly it means. It’s not a transition bottle, or a bottle with a handle, or just a cup with a straw. It’s a specific type of training cup that helps your child transition from a bottle to a cup with an open lid. They are intended to help your child get used to drinking something without a nipple and to prevent spillage during this period.

Why should I use a menstrual cup?

Pediatrician Shayna Smith, MD, Flourish Pediatrics in Atlanta, says that your baby should switch to bottle feeding at about 12 months. That’s when they eat solid foods rather than liquid foods, with the end goal of keeping your baby off formula or breast milk as their primary source of nutrition. “Children often reduce their milk intake at this age and increase their intake of solid foods,” she explains.

Newborns are on a bottle or breast milk feeding schedule, but toddlers only feed when thirsty. The middle phase is when a sippy cup comes in, to help your child transition from consuming liquid calories through the nipple to consuming liquid when thirsty with a cup.

What to put in a Sippy cup

What you put in a sippy cup is just as important as the type of cup you feed them, and nothing high in sugar, says Stacey Reynolds, DDS, Garden City Pediatric Dentistry in Garden City, NY. “We want them to switch to straws, but we don’t want to train people to love flavored drinks,” she said.

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That doesn’t mean you can just put milk in a cup and let your baby suck it all day. “We want to be careful about taking a lot of liquid calories, which can reduce their solid food intake,” she said. Dr. Smith agrees and says that giving your child alcohol constantly can increase tooth decay and their likelihood of obesity, especially if the drink is high in sugar.

Sippy cups

If you have a baby over 6 months old, you must have experienced the onslaught of information and products related to sippy cups. There are several different types of sippy cups on the market today, including hard spout cups, soft spout, spoutless, and straw sippy cups. Many models are available with and without handles, and some have removable handles. Usually, parents buy several types of sippy cups to see which one their child responds to best.

Hard faucet

The sippy cup has a hard spout with a drinking pad made of hard plastic for your baby to drink from. Hard faucets can withstand teeth. The cup must be turned over for the liquid to drain.

Soft faucet

The sippy cup has a soft spout with a drinking pad made of silicone or soft plastic, similar in texture to a bottle nipple. The child must turn the cup with the soft spout over to let the liquid out.


A straw sippy cup has a straw coming out of it just like a regular cup with a straw. Sometimes they have weights. Your child doesn’t need to hold the bottle up and can drink from a straw.


A newer type of sippy cup is the one without the spout. It looks like a regular cup with a lid and a handle. The new innovation allows the cup to be turned upside down for drinking, but once the cup is turned upside down, it will seal to prevent spillage.

Stacey Reynolds, DDS

Prefer sippy cup without valve. Otherwise the valve will inhibit ‘drinking’ and force ‘suction’, so it’s just another version of the bottle.

– Stacey Reynolds, DDS

Van Sippy Cups and No-Valve Sippy Cups

There are two types of cups: valve cups and non-valve cups. Valves often make spill-free sippy cups appealing to parents, but they can affect many different developments, including teeth. Dr Reynolds says: “It is recommended to use a beaker without a valve. Otherwise this valve will inhibit ‘drinking’ and force ‘suction’, so it’s just another version of the flask. ”

She recommends a sippy cup with two handles and a weighted bottom to prevent spills instead of a valve. “We wanted the kid to really sip,” she said.

Dr. Smith agrees that the valveless type is best. “The [sippy cups] She said.

How and When to Introduce a Sippy cốc

Sippy cups can be introduced as soon as 6 months, or when your baby is able to sit up on his own. Putting just a few ounces of liquid in it will help reduce spills. Be prepared for spills regardless. There will be times when it’s frustrating to have to clean the carpet or floor underneath the high chair, but know that it’s only temporary.

Do you have to use a menstrual cup?

You don’t have to use a drinking cup if you don’t want to, as the ultimate goal is to teach your child how to drink from an open cup. It all depends on your child’s patience — and yours, too. That can mean spills and messes, but with gentle reinforcement and repetition, your child can master it.

Not every dentist or pediatrician recommends sippy cups. Adds pediatric dentist Saadia Mohammed, DDS, of Palm Beach Pediatric Dentistry in Boca Raton, Fl., “From an oral motor development standpoint, alcohol should be avoided.” She says that’s because most sippy cups on the market have children sucking from the cup, not sipping. “When a baby is suckling from a sippy cup, they are using more sucking and swallowing patterns, more like an infant pattern.”

She explains that when you suck, your tongue goes down and when you swallow it goes up. It’s a functional pattern that you don’t want your child to have long-term, as it can cause problems later in life, such as poor speech and language.

All recommend ditching the sippy cup and switching to an open cup or straw cup if possible. “Yes, it gets messy!” Dr. Reynolds said. “But they can develop the oral musculature created by activity [of sipping]. This is important to increase oral motor tone. Straw cups are often used as a voice therapy tool for this reason.”

Open cups can be messy, but they eliminate the need for a stage in between. There are a number of open training cups on the market that are made for people with small hands, or you can have your child switch straight to adult cups. The cups are available in plastic, silicone, and glass, making them a good choice for any parent who wants to be more eco-friendly with their sippy cup selection.

When should you wean with a sippy cup?

Dr. Smith reminds parents that sippy cups are transitional and should really only be used for a short time until fine motor skills develop and they need to drink from an open cup. This is usually around the age of two. “That’s when they’re most likely to use the open cup profusely but stop as soon as you can,” she says.

Reynolds agrees, saying she understands that parents are busy and exhausted and that small cups sometimes take longer than recommended. “A small cup is just a glorified bottle,” she said. But with a little practice and patience, a sippy cup can be a useful tool to help your child take the toddler leap.

A word from Verywell Family

You don’t have to use sippy cups, but they can make the transition from bottle to cup easier for both mom and dad. Sippy cups are really only for transitions, and shouldn’t be used for long periods of time. Check with your pediatrician and pediatric dentist for more information.

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