Sipping cups for toddlers is essential as your child transitions from nursing or bottle-feeding to drinking using a cup. That is why choosing the right sipping cups for toddlers is vital to ensure he or she enjoys it as much as nursing and bottle feeding.
When my baby reached six months, that was when he started eating solids, I slowly introduced him to sipping cups as well. In the beginning, it was a struggle, but with a lot of patience and determination from our part, he slowly learned and enjoyed drinking water using a sipping cup.
For sure, a lot moms like me can relate to how challenging the transition period is.
Just to be clear, the sippy cups for toddlers should be merely used for our little ones’ water intake particularly among exclusively breastfed babies. Meanwhile, formula-fed babies can also use sipping cups as an alternative to baby bottles as well.
As mentioned earlier, finding the right type of a sipping cup is the key to a successful transition. But did you know that there are certain factors to consider when choosing the right and perfect sipping cups for toddlers or for your babies? Factors like safety, eco-healthy, and efficiency of the cup.
I tell you, once you found the perfect sipping cups for toddlers or for babies, it helps minimize frustrations both from parents and the child. Having the right cup limits spills of water or milk, as well as leaks.
In addition, you are ensured that it is clean, and offers a healthy feature for your child’s body’s development, and of course, it makes drinking easy and enjoyable.
WHEN IS THE RIGHT TIME TO INTRODUCE SIPPING CUPS FOR TODDLERS?
Although personally, I started introducing sippy cup to my child in as early as six months, according to Kelly Ross, MD, an assistant professor in the Department of Newborn Medicine at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis and a pediatric hospitalist at St. Louis Children’s Hospital, the best time to transition to sippy cup is when the child hits one year of age.
Dr. Ross further said that, “When a child is around 1-year-old, he has the coordination to begin getting a cup to his mouth with some success.”
Meanwhile, know more about when a baby should start using sippy cup in this video by Howcast:
When transitioning, it is also important to keep in mind that every baby is unique. While some may start early, others may do it a little late. But that is totally normal, and nothing to worry about.
POINTS TO CONSIDER WHEN CHOOSING SIPPING CUPS FOR TODDLERS
Before we discuss about some of the best choices of sipping cups for toddlers let me first share with you some of the things that you need to take into consideration when choosing the right sipping cups.
It is important to understand that there are so many different types of sipping cups for toddlers in the market. In fact, it comes in different shapes, materials, colors, and forms.
Thus, to help you choose the best sippy cup for your little one, take the following into consideration:
Materials of the Cup
If you notice, there are various types of sipping cups for toddlers, and these too are made using different materials. Some cups are made of plastic, while others used glass material. But in most cases, sipping cups are made using a combination of materials.
When choosing the right sipping cups for toddlers, and the eco-health metric is one of the most important determinants. To give you an overview, here are the different materials used in making sipping cups for toddlers:
– Plastics – Generally, plastics-made sipping cups are lightweight, inexpensive, versatile, and user-friendly. With such characteristics, it is often used in making leak-proof cups. But as you know, there are certain health concerns when using plastics. One of them is the concern on BPA, which is a chemical believed to cause problems among children. But as you probably know by now, statements have been released that plastics are “BPA-free”. However, there are some studies that say that even if they are BPA-free, it can still potentially leach certain chemicals, which makes the use of plastic unsafe among children.
– Stainless Steel – Compared to plastics, stainless steel is definitely a lot healthier. In addition, it is also more durable and economical as it is known to have a longer shelf-life. Unlike plastics, there are no threats of leaching chemicals or other probably harmful elements. Also, it does not break or shatter as compared to glasses. Stainless steel sipping cups are a good option for leak-free cups, it helps keep contents cool, and it is very easy to clean. Definitely, a better choice for sipping cups for toddlers. The only downside of a stainless steel sipping cup is, it can be heavy especially if insulated. Nonetheless, still a better option, health-wise, compared to plastics.
– Glass – Glass is recyclable. So, if you are someone who wants opts for materials that are sustainable, glass is a great option. Glass does not contribute chemicals to its contents, which makes it ideal for babies and kids. In addition, it does not allow nutrients to cling to its surface as well. Of course, the only downside really of having a glass sipping cups for toddlers is that it has the tendency to break or shatter when not held tight or properly. Although, some glass-made sippy cups have a silicone type of sleeve, which helps prevent the glass from shattering. Glass-made cups is the most ideal of all, but it is best for stronger toddlers to avoid accidents.
– Silicone – Silicone material is usually used in the different parts of sipping cups particularly the valve, spout, and the outside sleeve. Compared to plastics, silicone-made vales and spouts are more flexible and mouth-friendly. When it comes to cleaning or handling though, silicone can easily break when heated. Thus, it is best to hand wash only all silicone-based materials or parts of the cup.
Personally, as much as possible, I want to limit messing up especially when the baby eats. I know it’s pretty normal among babies and toddlers to mess up – but as a hands-on mom, as much as possible, I want to keep that very minimal. One way to help me minimize the mess is by choosing a sipping cup that is leak-proof.
While it is not really necessary to choose a leak-proof sipping cup, having one allows you’re your kids to help themselves drink water, juice, or milk without the mess, which is usually the main concern of parents and guardians when the baby is using a regular cup. In addition, since nothing spills from the cup, it helps ensure that the baby or toddler gets to drink the necessary amount of liquid to keep them hydrated.
In addition, sipping cups for toddlers provide convenience for your kids. It allows them to experience independence without having to worry about messing up or staining the table cloth their high-chair cover, etc.
Having a leak-proof sipping cup also enables your toddlers to drink from it while traveling without having to worry about spilling fluids from the cup. I bet you will agree with me if I say that most parents appreciate having a cup that can be easily carried without having to worry about spilling or breaking.
Just so you know, there are different types of leak-proof cups. There’s the transition cup, which has soft spouts suitable for babies aged 4 to 12 months; the toddler cup, which is slightly larger than the previous one, and is suitable for toddlers ages 12 months to 3 years old; and lastly, the kid bottle, which is ideal for children 3 years and above.
Body of the Cup
Apart from leaking and spilling issues, another point to consider when choosing the perfect sipping cups for toddlers is the body of the cup. The body style should be given important consideration also as it depends on the child’s skills and needs. The cup’s weight and design must also be taken into consideration regardless if it spills fluid or not.
To help you out, below are the different kinds of cup body designs:
– Shorter and Contoured – This type of cup is very ideal for toddlers as it is very easy to hold because of the textured sides, which provides extra grip factor. The downside is that it can only carry or hold little fluid compared to taller sipping cups.
– Tall and Slim – This type of cup body allows your kid’s little hands to grasp the bottle firmly. Compared to other cup body styles, this type of cup scored high among parents.
– Squat and Wide – This type of sipping cup has a wider bottom, which allows toddlers to easily set them down. However, just like the first design type, it also can carry little fluid only. Using this type of cup lets your toddler learn only a few skills.
So there you have it. These are just three major points to consider and that you will have to look into when choosing the right sipping cup for your toddler. Make sure to study and do your research first, before going to the store and buying one.
Mommies, I feel like it is our responsibility to ensure that everything that our child use, especially the ones they put on their mouths, must be, as much as possible, free from any harm. After all, we do not want a sickly child, right?
DIFFERENT TYPES OF SIPPING CUPS FOR TODDLERS
Now that you already know what particular points you need to consider when buying or choosing a sipping cup for your toddler, now let me share with you the different types of sipping cup.
– Trainer Cups – Trainer cups are ideal for infants as young as 4 months old. This type of cup does have two handles, as well as a soft spout that mimics the nipple of a baby bottle. Usually, trainer cups are tilted back to help babies drink. The design actually makes it a lot easier for babies to drink.
– Straw Cups – Obviously, these types of cups do have a straw attached to the bottle. Unlike the trainers’ cup, this type of cup is not tilted. Thus, it requires a little time for your babies to get used to using straw cups. The thing that is a downside for me is that it can be a bit hard to clean (especially the straw). Nonetheless, you have to makes sure that you take all parts off when washing and that you wash each part thoroughly (again, especially the straw).
– Spout Cups – Spout cups are the more traditional type of sipping cups. It usually has a hard spout, which allows fluids to flow out without having to worry about leaking or spilling. Typically, the top screws or snaps on. Spout cups is the most ideal cup for older toddlers.
– Rimless or 360 Cups – If you want less mess, then rimless or 360 cups is a good option because it automatically seals shit when your child stops drinking. With this cup, your toddler can drink anywhere on the rim. All he or she has to do is tilt and drink from the valve’s edge.
THE BEST SIPPY CUPS FOR TODDLERS
Here is a list of some of the best sipping cups of toddlers. I specifically listed them according to the type of sipping cup.
Nuby No-Spill Super Spout
The Nuby No-Spill Super Spout features two handles, and a soft, no-spill spout. To ensure it doesn’t spill or leak fluids, once your toddler drinks, the one-piece TouchFlo valve opens and allows the liquid to pass through the spout only when sipped.
Personally, I like this product as it is not messy, and it’s durable. In fact, some mommies say that their kid has dropped this for a couple of times, yet it remains intact and harmless. My baby did use this product, and he had no problem drinking from it (and I had no problem with the mess, I guess by now you know that I hate mess).
The products are priced at $11.00, which is quite reasonable for their performance.
Munchkin Gentle Transition Trainer Cup
The Munchkin Gentle Transition Trainer Cup features a soft, silicone spout that is extra gentle on your child’s gums. It is also very flexible and moves along with your kid. The product comes with an easy-to-grip handle that is removable, which means the cup can be used as your child grows. The Munchkin Gentle Transition Trainer Cup is compatible with Munchkin Latch bottle nipples, which makes it even easier for your child to transition from bottle to sipping cup.
I think what makes this product stand out is the fact that it makes the transition easier from using a baby bottle to a sipping cup. Since the cup is compatible to Munchkin Latch bottle nipple, your kid will not have that shock factor of feeling he difference between using a bottle and a sipping cup.
The products are sold for $13.00, which is a bit higher compared to the previous one. However, with what it promises, I think it is fairly priced.
Philips Avent My Bendy Straw Cup
The Philips Avent My Bendy Straw Cup boasts the fact that this cup allows healthy oral development for your kid because of its short straw design. By using this product, your kid’s natural tongue movement and swallowing will not be compromised. This sipping cup does have an anti-slip grip on the side, which helps prevent the product from slipping from your child’s hands. When it comes to cleaning, the sipping cup disassembles to make it easier to clean. It’s also dishwasher safe, by the way.
I have always admired Avent for their products, and this one is not an exemption. I love the fact that the brand always thinks of ways to make things easy for babies and kids. Needless to say, it’s not that pricey compared to other baby brands.
You can buy the Philips Avent My Bendy Straw Cup at $9.00 only.
Nuk Learner Sippy Cup
The Nuk Learner Sippy Cup is spill-proof and comes with a soft spout, which was designed to be gentle on your baby’s gums. The product helps teach your baby to drink from a spout without having to feel discomfort (which is usually caused by using hard or plastic spouts). One thing to like about this sipping cups for toddlers is that its lid has a vent to help reduce swallowing air. It also has easy-grip handles, which can be removed. It’s BPA-free and dishwasher safe. It also comes in a variety of colors and designs (which I think is what Nuk is known for).
For this product, I like that it is colorful and comes in different designs. But of course, I also like how it serves its purpose to our kids’ development.
This product is priced at $8.00, which is a pretty good deal.
Brown’s Cheers 360 Spoutless Training Cup
Dr. Brown’s Cheers 360 Spoutless Training Cup features a sip-and-see clear silicone valve that lets your toddler see what’s inside the cup without spilling the liquid or fluid. The cup was shaped like a real cup so your baby gets to feel like they are one of the grownups when using the cup. It’s pretty cute and colorful, and when it comes to cleaning, you have nothing to worry as it is top-rack dishwasher safe.
I like the fact that this cup mimics the real cup, which gives you kid that feeling of belongingness especially when he is with grown-ups.
Anyway, this cup is sold at only $9.00, which is definitely very reasonable and worth it.
FINAL THOUGHTS ON SIPPING CUPS FOR TODDLERS
Honestly, regardless of what type you are going for or what specific material you’re opting, at the end of the day, when buying a sipping cup for toddlers, the only thing that matters is which one is comfortable and suitable for your kid.
While there are so many products to choose from, it all boils down to knowing what your toddler likes, at the same time making sure you are able to meet his needs.
Before I end, let me just say that when transitioning your kid form using bottles to sipping cups, make sure that he or she is ready. Otherwise, even if you buy the best sipping cup in the world, it will just be useless until your kid is ready for the change.
Remember not to push your baby just because other kids of the same age are already using cups. Every child’s development is different, even if your kid makes take time, he or she will eventually get there.