Sippy Cup Comparison
The First Years
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Sippy Cup Buying Guide
What is a Sippy Cup?
Once your child is finally ready to transition from using a bottle, it’s without a doubt time for the beloved Sippy cup. We all know these charming little cups well, and perhaps even remember our own. In fact, no childhood is complete without a good Sippy cup to help us bring our favorite beverage on the go. However, Sippy cups aren’t as simple as they used to be. In fact, the market is so flooded with various designs and styles today that a new parent might go a little crazy trying to figure out which is best.
We’ve explored some of the most popular Sippy cups on the market, but now it’s time to arm yourself with knowledge so that you can better determine which Sippy cup is right for your child. Once you know more about these cups, what benefits they provide, and what features they have to offer, you’ll be better able to choose the cup that is just right for your lifestyle.
There are numerous benefits that parents can enjoy from a Sippy cup. They are totally spill proof, portable, and indestructible. Also, Sippy cups add ease and cleanliness to mealtimes. The spouted lid is designed to help your child switch from sucking to sipping in no time, and this helps to ease the transition from breast or bottle to a regular cup. They’re a great tool to limit the mess in your kitchen or car when your child inevitably throws the cup into the air.
As with anything, there are some negative aspects and pitfalls that one should consider before using something like this. Keep in mind that babies drink more slowly through a Sippy cup spout. This means that liquid can hang around longer in their mouths and this can cause cavities. Also, babies can become attached to their Sippy cups, and this poses yet another weaning challenge.
What Makes the Best Cup?
In the end, what constitutes the very best Sippy cup is subjective, and will depend upon which design your child takes to. However, there are a few design elements that make some Sippy cups stand out from the rest:
Sippy cups can come with one, two, or no handles at all. When making the transition from bottle to Sippy cup, be sure to experiment with different styles to discover which design works best for your baby. For many toddlers, handles makes it much easier for them to get a firm grip.
Bisphenol A, or BPA, is a chemical that is found in many plastic products and can lead to harmful development effects in infants. To learn whether or not your Sippy cup has BPA, take a look at the number on the bottom. If there is a recycling number 7 and the letters “PC”, then you can be sure that it is made from the bad stuff. You want to make sure that each Sippy you purchase is certified and labeled BPA-free, or go with opaque plastic cups rather than clear. The opaque cups never contain BPA.
It’s great to have a layer of insulation on the cup for road trips and playground visits so that your child’s beverage can stay cool for a while.
The very best Sippy cups are the ones that are the hardest to tip. This means you’re less likely to be cleaning up a dribble mess all the time.
You’ll find that cleanup is a lot simpler when you purchase a model with a detachable lid and sipping mechanism. This allows you to take the cup apart and get it thoroughly clean.
- Q: What is a Sippy Cup?
- A: Lovingly referred to as a Sippy cup, it’s really a training cup that is usually made of plastic with a screw or snap-on lid with spout. The design is meant to allow your child to drink out of the cup without spilling. There are models that come with handles, and those that don’t, as well as numerous kinds of spouts to choose from.
- Q: What are the Key Benefits of a Sippy Cup?
- A: Sippy cups are designed to help your baby transition from nursing or bottle-feeding to using a cup. Use of the cup can also improve your child’s hand to mouth coordination over time. Toddlers often have the motor skills to use a cup but lack the skills to keep the cup from spilling. That’s where the Sippy cup comes into play. This allows your child some independence while preventing big messes.
- Q: When is a Good Time to Introduce a Sippy Cup?
- A: Sometimes you just have to have a sense when your child is ready for a Sippy cup. Some babies can begin to use one as early as 6 months, while others still will have trouble with it when they reach their first birthday. Generally, children seem ready at 7 to 9 moths.
- Q:What’s the Easiest Way to Transition to a Sippy Cup?
- A: Some children will have no trouble transitioning immediately to the cup, while others will have to get used to it over time. Here are a few tips for making the transition easier:
- Begin with a soft, nipple-like spout which feels familiar to your baby. Hard plastic spouts are harder to adjust to.
- Physically show your baby how to raise the cup to their mouth and tip it to drink.
- Be patient. It will take some time, so while your child is learning, only put water in the cup to avoid unnecessary messes. Don’t worry if they only use it as a toy at first.
- Experiment with different models until you find a design that your child likes. Keep in mind that some models are so thoroughly designed to not spill that it then makes it difficult for your child to drink.
- Q: What if My Child Refuses the Sippy Cup?
- A: There are many reasons why your child might reject the Sippy cup. And of course, there’s no parenting law that dictates that your child has to use one. Some children can even go straight from breast to bottle to regular cup without a problem. However, if you’re hell bent on having your child learn to use a Sippy cup, then here are some tactics you can employ to help the process:
- Place a little breast milk or formula on the spout of the Sippy cup. This will help your child to get the hint. Also, it should be noted that children less then 6 months should only receive breast milk or formula in the Sippy cup.
- Sometimes you need to show your child that the spout is like a nipple. Touch the tip of the spout to the roof of your child’s mouth to stimulate the sucking reflex.
- If your child is still using a bottle, try putting half their formula in the bottle, and then when it’s empty, switch to the Sippy cup for the second half of their feeding. Hold your child as you would when they are bottle feeding. Another method is to put the bottle nipple in their mouth and once they start sucking, replace it with the Sippy cup.
- Some parents have found success with teaching their baby to drink from the Sippy cup without the lid. Put a teaspoon or two of liquid in at a time and raise the cup to their mouth. Once your child learns that there is liquid inside the cup, put the lid back on without the valve. Finally, add the valve. The last step is to add the straw, which many babies find easier to use than the spout.
- Some parents claim that it is easier to use the Sippy cup once their child is no longer having breast milk or formula, but has transitioned to whole milk. This usually happens at about 1 year. You can even show your child yourself by getting a clean Sippy and allow your child to watch while you drink from it. You can also have a sibling drink from a Sippy cup in front of the baby to show them how. It should be noted that you should not share a Sippy cup with your child.
- It’s best to experiment with various designs that have different spouts until you find the one that your child is comfortable with. Since Sippy cups aren’t too expensive, it’s worth letting your child test drive a few different models to find the one that works.
Some Things to Avoid
Using a Sippy cup seems like a piece of cake, but there are some things that you want to avoid.
- Don’t let your child take a Sippy cup of milk or juice to bed. The sugars from these drinks can pool in your child’s mouth and cause tooth decay. This also goes for allowing your child to walk around for hours on end with these beverages. Between meals it’s best to stick to water.
- Make sure that you completely clean the cup between uses. Liquid can settle in the nooks and crannies of the cup, and this encourages the growth of bacteria or mold. Even if you can’t wash it thoroughly, be sure to give it a good rinsing. You also want to periodically check the valves and lids for mold.
- Be sure to avoid putting cows milk in the Sippy cup until your child is one year old. Babies who are older than 6 months can have juice.
- Keep in mind that a Sippy cup is not the magic answer for weaning. For some children the Sippy replaces the bottle but then provides yet another challenge for weaning. That being said, a Sippy cup is less damaging to your baby’s teeth than a bottle potentially is.
Beverages and Amounts
You might be asking yourself how much juice, milk, and water you should be putting in your baby’s Sippy each day. If it is before the time when your child can have juice or whole milk, then simply put a portion of their formula in the cup. If your child is still being breastfed or bottle fed then feeding them juice or cows milk will be unnecessary. After 6 months, your child may get thirsty between feedings, and giving them water in the Sippy is appropriate. Once your child is drinking juice, give them no more than half a cup a day, in addition to the formula they are consuming.
Once your child reaches the point where they’re drinking whole milk, experts recommend that they consume no more than 32 ounces plus a half cup of juice per day. More than this can threaten the integrity of their teeth. Also, exceeding this limit means that your toddler may be too full at mealtime.
Pick Your Style
One of the really fun things about purchasing Sippy cups is that they come in so many cute styles and colors. Because they’re not expensive, it’s possible to purchase a number of different designs to see which one your child takes to. Once you know which ones are safe, then feel free to go to town and purchase the cups in a rainbow of colors and variety of styles. Does your child love the color green? Blue? Are they fond of animals? Butterflies? You can be sure that there are enough styles out there that you can probably find your child’s favorite colors and characters.
When your baby is drawn to the design, they’re going to be more likely to want to hold the cup and use it on a frequent basis. So go online or to your local baby store to find the most fun and stylish cups that you can. You can even opt for cups that fit into the baby room decor, match their stroller, or coordinate with their favorite outfit.
Not only are Sippy cups fun and spare you the cleanup time, but they’re also a great way to transition your child from bottle to regular cup. They’re comfortable, safe, and healthy for your child, and they come in a wide range of colors and styles to choose from. In fact, there are so many kinds of Sippy cups out there that you may feel overwhelmed by which ones to buy. When choosing the perfect cup, it’s going to come down to a lot of experimentation. No cup is the same, and none are expensive, so feel free to explore until you find that cup that gels with your child.
We explored some of the most popular Sippy cups, and these are perhaps the ideal place to start. Reviews are a fantastic way to tell which cups actually perform as they claim, and which leave you with a big mess that you never saw coming. Even if you have to put a bit of work into getting your child to use the cup, you’re going to find that once they do it will add convenience to your life. It’s nice to be able to take the cup on the go, and not have to worry about spills in the car or around the house.
There’s a real protocol to successfully using a Sippy cup, so be sure to pay attention to the hints and requirements that are mentioned above. But also try to do some more homework of your own so that you can learn all about the proper way of using a Sippy, to ensure that you get the most out of the experience.
- Munchkin: http://www.munchkin.com/
- NUK: http://www.nuk-usa.com/
- The First Years: http://thefirstyears.com/