Choosing the perfect sippy cup for your little one
Tips on choosing a suitable sippy cup
Thinking about weaning your baby and looking around for a suitable sippy cup to introduce? There are so many different types of sippy cups in the market today that can cater to every need.
1. Leak proof so it’s less likely to make a mess
2. Select a cup that is age appropriate. Different cups cater to different phases:
- 6 – 9 months
- 9 – 12 months
- 12 – 18 months
- 18 – 24 months
3. Make sure you buy BPA-free sippy cups
4. Easy to clean
Choose a sippy cup that is easy to wash and assemble. Every brand will claim they are the easiest to clean. And trust me, not all parents bother to read the proper way of cleaning some of these valves that comes with the cups. The average Malaysian family won’t own a dishwasher with hot water cleaning functions and most parents stop sterilizing when their kids hit 1 year old.
5. Cheerful and Eye Catching
Choose an attractive design with eye-catching colors. It might pique their interest and encourage them to use the cups more.
The first sippy cup I bought was Tommee Tippee Explora First Sips Weaning Cup 150 ml
I chose it because it was this tiny little cute thing. Meant as a weaning cup for 4-7 months old and only holds 150 ml, it wasn’t too heavy to handle. The curved handles made it easy for tiny hands to grasp on to, and the spout was the soft-flex spout type. It is BPA free and I loved that the cup had a cover.
My daughter was a fully breastfed baby; direct latch on demand, so she didn’t have much experience with bottles. To introduce to her that she can get fluids from another source other than the breast, I removed the valve, put in a minimal amount of water and tipped a couple of drops into her mouth. Then I let her have free reign to explore with the cup. Sure it was messy, and she did have some problems sucking from the spout when the valve was in. The flow was slow and it does require quite a fair bit of sucking power. I did put the valve back in after a while, and as she experimented more, she managed to figure it out in the end.
Downside of this cup though, is that the handles do take up a lot of space. If you’re packing minimal things in a small diaper bag, you might find that this sippy cup will not pack compactly until you remove the handles.
Another thing to bear in mind is that this is an introduction. It is completely okay if they reject it the first time. Don’t force them to take more than a few sips at a time and if they seem to be disinterested, try again another time or on another day.
When my daughter was six months old, I switched her to Tommee Tippee : Explora Easy Drink Cup 6m+. She was already doing alright with the brand so I saw no reason to switch brands. This cup is a little bigger and holds about 260 ml.
I know I said those handles were bothersome when it comes to packing, and this one even comes with non-removable handles. But, hear me out, the bottom of the cup is slightly wider to keep it from tipping over easily and rubberized bottom prevents slipping which worked well for us especially during meal times. This was give and take.
Truly non-spill, with a cover for the spout. It was durable as well even though it still got flung off the high chair many, many times. The valve was not complicated to wash in my case, because she only took water and watered down juice with her sippy cups.
I was starting to get really annoyed with the wide set non-removable handles that I started looking around again for a slimmer option that was more bottle like instead of cup. By 8 months she no longer needed the handles and could handle holding cylindrical shapes with both hands pretty well. So I thought maybe we can try switching to bottles with straws.
I actually didn’t buy this next upgrade. Instead, I was given a used Munchkin 9oz Click Lock Flip Straw Cup which didn’t get much use by a distant family cousin. My daughter made the switch at 11 months, and my diaper bag finally packed neater without those pesky cup handle bars.
Sporty looking, leak-proof and BPA free, it did the job. The only troublesome thing about straws is having to buy these to clean them each time:
We’re using regular sports bottles from Sistema now, but for meal time drinks at home, I’ve switched her to The First Years Take & Toss Spill Proof Cups. I save using real plastic cups for when I am around to monitor her and use these as training cup, to minimize mess when my back is turned.
BPA free, super easy to clean and saves me from getting the sports bottle too dirty. Since this isn’t leak proof, it is not one you want to throw in the bag, but more for use around home.
You and your baby might not find THE one and only sippy cup, right away. Just be prepared to experiment on a few brands. After a few trial and errors, both you and your baby, will find a suitable compromise you can agree on in the end.