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Babies are recommended to start solids at around 6 months. When your baby start solid, you can also have her/him learn how to use a cup. The goal is to have a baby drink out of a cup instead of a bottle at 1 year. So the baby can go through a cup training. When she starts using the cup, she will most likely drop it a lot which will cause a spill. So sippy cup is used to minimize spill or leakage from the cup.
There are three types of sippy cups: a sippy cup with a spout, a sippy cup with a straw or a rimless cup. American Dental association suggests that a sippy cup with a spout should be used briefly, not for a long time. Long time use of a sippy cup can cause lisps in speech as well as a tooth decay. You can use a sippy cup as a transitional cup for temporary time and move onto a straw cup. You can also skip the sippy cup with a spout and start right from a straw cup if your baby is capable. However, some babies may find comfortable using a straw cup at 8-9 months.
Sippy cups are also made of different materials: plastic, glass and stainless steel. Plastic cups are light so it’s perfect for a 6 month old baby. However, there is some concern with plastic materials leaching some chemicals over time. Although almost all plastic cups available in the market nowadays, say their cups are BPA free, plastic is a plastic. Glass or stainless steel on the other hand is a safe material. However, glass is heavier than plastic and it can break if dropped. If that happens, it could get dangerous for your baby so the glass cups are not listed here. Stainless steel is also heavier than the plastic and it could get dented if dropped hard on the floor. Glass and stainless steel cups are also usually more expensive than the plastic ones. However, they will give you a peace of mind that material is non-toxic and safe.
Start out with a light, easy to hold cup that is also easy on your baby’s gum. You may have to try a few different cups before you find the one that your baby like the best. You may have bought a stainless steel sippy cup for your baby but if your baby doesn’t like it at all for some reason, you may have to go with a different cup. If you do get plastic cups, check the number on the plastic cups for its plastic code. If you look at the plastic cup, you would find a number range from 1 to 7, indicating a type of the plastic. Your want to avoid number 3, 6 and 7. Number 3 is vinyl or polyvinyl chloride (PVC), 6 is polystyrene and 7 can be various plastics. Some plastics with the codes of 3 and 7 may contain Bisphenol-A (BPA). Vinyl, PVC and polystyrene are all known to be toxic to health.
Only small size sippy cups are listed below for a 6 month old baby to start. (5-7 ounce cups) As your baby grows bigger, you can get bigger cups available in the market.
Stainless Steel Sippy Cups
Pros: Stainless steel is healthiest material for a sippy cup.
Thermos Foogo Vacuum Insulated Stainless Steel 7 oz Soft Spout Sippy Cup with Handles
Thermos Foogo Stainless Steel sippy cup is made from BPA-free, Nitrosamine-free, Latex-free, PVC-free, Phthalate-free materials. Soft spout is made of silicone. Ergonomically designed handles are removable. This sippy cup is level 1 for a 6 month old and older babies. Thermos Foogo straw cups are for 12 months and older. This cup is recommended to use with cold beverages only, not hot beverages. THERMOS vacuum insulation keeps beverages cold and fresh for 6 hours.
Pros: This cup is made of stainless steel and it is insulated. It also has a cool design. The materials of the cup are BPA-free, Nitrosamine-free, Latex-free, PVC-free, Phthalate-free.
Cons: They say their lids are interchangeable with their other phase cups. However, the parts are hard to find and most likely you would have to buy another cup. Lid is made of plastic.
Pura Stainless Bottle With Silicone Nipple & Sleeve 5OzGo New Mommy’s Choice
In my opinion, Pura Stainless Bottle with Silicone Nipple & Sleeve is the winner of the best sippy cup. It is made of stainless steel and silicone, it is 100% plastic free. The size of the cup is 5 oz and it is a perfect size for a baby to hold. Also, you can keep the nipple and spout from 5 oz bottle and use them with 9 oz bottle later. With a 9 oz bottle, you can simply swap a straw with a spout, a nipple or a lid, they all fit to the cup.
Pura Stainless Bottle is made from a food grade stainless steel, medical grade silicone components and no plastic parts. Their infant size cup (9 oz) is too big for an infant who is starting training drinking from a cup so this 5 oz bottle will be a good training cup. The cup comes with a nipple, therefore, you should purchase the spout separately to make this as a training cup. They sell a straw component separately as well. However, straw is not for this 5 oz bottle but their 9 oz cup. This cup is recommended to use with cold beverages only, not hot ones.
Pros: The cup is made of food grad stainless steel and medical grade silicone components with no plastic parts.
Cons: This cup comes with a bottle nipple so a spout needs to be purchased separately to use it as a sippy cup. Pura sells a straw part separately but it won’t fit this 5 oz cup. It only fits their 9 oz cup if you want to use it as a straw cup. If your baby is a little older, you can just purchase the 9 oz straw cup.
Plastic Sippy Cups
Plastic sippy cups are very widely used. They are often BPA free and light for a baby to hold.
Pros: Plastic cups are light, have cheaper prices and more choices in style.
Cons: Plastic cups are BPA free but less safe than stainless steel. They can break if thrown really hard.
Sippy Cups With a Straw
Many parents skip a sippy cup with a spout and start with a straw cup. A spout cup may be easier for a baby to suck the liquid out but the baby has to learn to tilt the head to drink out of the cup. For a straw cup, the baby doesn’t have to tilt the head but she has to learn to use the straw. The straw part is little hard to clean but you can purchase the cleaning brush for the straw separately.
Zoli Bot Straw Sippy Cup 6 Oz
Zoli Bot straw sippy cup is BPA Free, Latex Free, Lead Free and Phthalate Free. Straw is made of silicone. Its straw has weighted ball so the straw always moves to the liquid. The cup is also valve-free.
Pros: Zoli Bot straw sippy cup is light and easy for a baby to hold. Its weighted ball also makes it easy for baby to drink.
Cons: Although the cup is made of safest plastic, it is still made of plastic. The straw of the cup is very thin so it is harder to clean than sippy cups with a thicker straw. You need to clean the straw with their cleaning brush.
Munchikin Click Lock Weighted Flexi-Straw Sippy Cup 7Oz
Munchikin Click Lock Weighted Flexi-Straw cup also has a weighted straw which allows your baby to hold the cup at any angle. The cup also has a flip-top lid that covers the straw when you are on the go. It is also BPA free. Munchikin has no-leak promise with a 100% replacement guarantee.
Pros: This sippy cup has weighted straw so baby can drink easily. Price is very affordable.
Cons: This cup is made of plastic.
Check out Munchikin Cleaning Brush Set. (for straw, spout and valve)
Oxo Tot Transitions Straw Sippy Cup 6 Oz
Oxo Tot Transitions straw cup has a spill proof straw. Its straw valve opens as soon as tot’s lips touch spout for easy drinking, and the hinged cap closes to create a leak-proof seal. The cup also has removable handles. The cups and lids are interchangeable between The OXO Tot transition series.
Pros: Valve prevents a spill.
Cons: Valve is not easy to wash and baby has to ‘suck’ instead of ‘sip’ for liquid to come out. The cup is made of plastic.
Also, check out Oxo Tot Straw and Sippy Cup Cleaning Set.
Sippy Cups with a Spout
Sippy cups with a spout is easy for a baby to suck the liquid out of cup. However, you have to teach your baby to tilt her head to drink out of the cup. Sippy cup with a spout is not recommended to use for a long period of time since it can cause a tooth decay or speech problem. If you start with this type of cup, use it for a temporary time and move onto a straw cup or a 360 rimless cup.
Philips Avent My Natural Trainer Sippy Cup, Clear, 5 Oz, Stage 1
Philips Avent My Natural Trainer Cup is a trainer cup for babies 4 months +. The spout part is compatible with the Philips Avent Natural bottle range, My Natural Trainer, My Penguin Sippy Cups, My Easy Sippy Cups, My Sip n Click Cups and My Twist n Sip Straw Cups. You can mix and match Philips Avent bottle and cup parts. The cup is small so it is especially good for a baby who is just starting at 4 -6 months because at this stage, they can’t really hold a big cup. The cup is BPA free and comes with a lid to keep spout clean and to use it on the go.
Pros: The size of this cup is very small so it is easy for a baby to hold the cup. It is a perfect size cup to start training with. You can also change the spout to the bottle nipple when you need it.
Cons: This cup is made of plastic.
Philips Avent My Little Sippy Cup, 7 Oz, 2 pieces
Philips Avent My Little sippy cups are spill proof with built in one piece valve. There are two cups in the set. The cups are BPA free. You can mix and match Philips Avent bottle and cup parts. They are compatible with all Philips Avent bottles (excluding glass) and cups (excluding My First Big Kid Cup).
Pros: Valve prevents a spill.
Cons: These cups are made of plastic. Some parents don’t like the valve since it is another part to wash.
NUK Disney Learner Sippy Cup with Silicone Spout, Mickey Mouse, 5 Oz
NUK Disney Learner cup is spill-proof and BPA free. The handles are easy for baby to hold and removable as baby ages. The cup’s air vent helps reduce swallowing air.
Pros: The handles are removable. The size of the cup is perfect for a baby to hold when she starts training for the cup.
Cons: This cup is made of plastic.
360/ Rimless Sippy Cups
360 sippy cups don’t have a spout so it is good for your baby’s teeth. In addition, it looks like a regular cup so it gives a baby an experience before he/she uses a real cup. Rimless sippy cups are also spill free like other style of sippy cups. You can start these cups at 6 months.
Munchikin Miracle 360 Trainer Sippy Cup 6 Oz
Munchikin Mirachle 360 Trainer cups are awesome. 360-degree drinking edge eliminates spills completely and cup automatically seals when child stops drinking. They are easy to clean with no extra valves or parts. They are also BPA free.
Pros: These cups look similar to real cups. (baby can practice using a real cup.) Drinking edge seals very good so no spill.
Cons: These cups are made of plastic.
MunchiKin Miracle 360 Trainer Sippy Cup 7 Oz
These Munchikin Miracle 360 Trainer cups are same as cups listed above. However, these ones are 7 Oz cups.