Sippy Cups…the Many Varieties

Mummy Confession: When I was a first time mum, I bought a lot of sippy cups. A lot.
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I know the choice can be overwhelming, and what on earth do you choose for your baby? Is one better than the other? Which is the BEST cup?

*Please note that unless directed otherwise by your doctor or peadeatrician, it is not recommended to give a baby water until at least six months old. Giving too much water to your baby, or giving it too early can cause water intoxication. Please consult your doctor for any other information.*

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I’ve found in my days of motherhood, that every baby is different and has different preferences for everything, including cups. Not every brand is the same, and not every cup is spill proof or easy to clean. In my opinion, the best cup is the one your child uses easier, comes apart for cleaning easily, and doesn’t spill for the early days of learning. To help you figure out which cup may be best for you, I have compiled a list of the four main types of sippies made for babies and toddlers.

In general, there are four different kinds of cups specifically made for babies and toddlers. This isn’t including the normal open cups, but rather ones with tops that in some way lessen or prevent the spilling of the contents inside. Before you get any of these, be sure to scrub them regularly by taking them apart as shown in their respective instructions. It helps to buy a brush kit to get all of the tiniest crevices. If it helps to know, some bottle companies also have their bottles which fit their sippy tops, but you would have to check those out individually. I recommend checking out Amazon for reviews of any cup before purchasing, just to see how it rates on all factors.

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1. Soft Spout Cups- These cups resemble a bottle and the flexible material used for those. But, rather than a nipple-like top, have a spout. These are easy for some babies as I’m sure the similarity to a bottle would make the transition easier. This one by Nuby was loved by my babies as they transitioned, though they preferred the bottle-like top. (These ones seem to rage at 6 months or so and up)

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2. Harder Spout Cups – My kids preferred these for some reason, and just couldn’t get on with the softer spouts. Tommee Tippee has a few harder spout types for babies and onward, and many other companies make harder spout ones for toddlers. This particular bub has his very own Penguin sippy from the Avent line. The harder spouts usually have a little silicone or other material that probably feels nicer on bubs gums when they chew it. (These ones seem to rate around 6 months and up)

3. Straw Cups– the variety of these are endless it seems. From the Take-n-Toss straw cups to Camelbak water bottles with straws, you will not be lacking in choice! My preference is always one that is easy to clean in all the crevices, and is as spill proof as possible. We owned one straw water bottle that leant itself to easy pouring, and I often found myself cleaning up puddles and emptying tea cups of water. Straw Cups tend to be recommended for slightly older babies, as getting the hang of sucking until the water comes up can take a little time. I recommend starting with one that has a shorter straw for this reason. (These generally state around 8-9 months and up)

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4. Trainer Cups– now these particular cups are super innovative! There are a few options for these Cups, but they all lend themselves to teaching children how to drink out of a real cup (supposedly) without the spills. I say supposedly, because my smart toddler figured out that one particular cup was just easily pushed with her finger, tipped, and the water came freely. This cup is now only given in monitored circumstances. Munchkin has one of these types in both handle and non-handle versions, which are two different sizes. (These generally rate at around 12 months and up.) I wrote a little about the trainer cup in my post about Munchkin products here.

A Mix of several types
Some companies go above and beyond when it comes to supplying options for sippy cups. A few of the options include interchangeable tops or spouts. The Pura Kiki has straw, bottle or spout tops. Avent and Tommee Tippee have some of their range which is interchangeable with their respective bottles.

Some honourable mentions that don’t quite classify as “cups” but are great innovations in the helpful nature of the sippy cup are:

Spout Water Bottle Adaptor this smart little invention makes any water bottle a sippy! Just put the top on, and have a less-messy drink for your toddler while out!

Boon Snug Lid this top makes any cup transition to a spout cup or straw cup! How handy! They even have tops for snack bowls!

Honestly, you don’t NEED any of these Cups, but I’m grateful for the people who have created them, because they are a necessity in my household. The cleanup is much easier, transporting them in my bag or in the car makes for a much more pleasant ride, and my kids love the designs and the independence they have from being able to drink and carry them all by themselves. If you are skipping the sippies and straws, opt for a less breakable material such as plastic, melamine, or otherwise. But, if you decide to get a cup for your baby or toddler- Happy Sipping!

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