The general recommendation is that kids can transition to cups anytime around the age of 2. But as you will discover – the transition will be accompanied by lots of spills which in turn will increase your work load drastically – cleaning up, removing their dresses, making them wear new clothes – you can imagine.
The process of transition to cups can be helped along by the use of Sippy Cups. At the most basic level Sippy Cups are cups with leak-proof valves that use the air pushed in by the baby to create a pressure which prevents the cup from leaking. There are three basic types
- Transition Cups – These are designed for babies 4-12 months of age, they have softer spouts and also dual handles for grasping. I did use these and continued using it till the kids were 1.5 yrs.
Toddler Cups – These are made for toddlers between 1-3 years of age and can have soft spouts, hard spouts or even straws. The soft spout ones are similar to the transition cup spouts so you could continue with the transition cups as well.
Kid Bottles – Kid bottles are for older children, the primary requirement being volume and insulation.
We will focus only on the first two categories.
Here are the points to consider
- The sippy cups can be made of plastic, stainless steel, glass or silicone.
- Plastics should be BPA free but I would not be too sure that the BPA free varieties dont leach chemicals. Same advice that I would give regarding plastic bottles.
- Most sippy cups have leak proof valves and the American Dental Association recommends avoiding no-leak valves entirely. This may not be practical so try not to prolong their use.
- You could also go with straws after a certain point in the second year.
- I would avoid letting the kids play with cups during the first year. Parental supervision is always desired, and ideally kids should be in high chair when using these cups.
- Most Sippy cups should ideally only hold water, if you use it for milk it gets really hard to clean. There are only a few I would recommend for milk.
- The cups should be easy to use for the children or they will not take to it. The extra handles work really well in my opinion.
- They should be easy to clean.
Top recommendation for starting and also for rimless cup
- Munchkin Miracle 360 Trainer Cup, Green/Blue, 7 Ounce, 2 Count Best starter cup if they are starting below the age of 1 and Munchkin Miracle 360 Sippy Cup, Green… if they are older than 1 when they start. Best choice in my opinion if you are going from bottle to sippy cup – kids got a hang of it pretty quickly.
Top recommendation for Trainer Sippy Cups(for 6-9 months) with soft spouts
- NUK Fashion Hearts Learner Cup, 5-Ounce
- NUK Disney Winnie the Pooh 5 Ounces Learner Cup Silicone Spout, 6+ Months
Top recommendation for Toddler Sippy Cup with Hard Spout(9+ months)
Top recommendation for Toddler Sippy Cup with Straw
- OXO Tot Twist Lid Straw Cup
- Philips Avent My Twist N Sip Straw Cup, 12 Ounce, Pink/Purple/Green, Stage 3
Top recommendation for eco friendly