Sip, Sip and Away

A smattering of sippy cups that work great for kids from 6 months to toddler age.

There are a dizzying number of options available when it comes to sippy cups. It’s hard to know which ones are better for what age. Here’s a list of my favorites for different ages.

Training Cups:

Training cups are great for babies around 6 months old, who are just learning to use a cup. Dylan was never really a “bottle baby.” So, I wasn’t quite sure what to use to start him out. I soon learned about training cups. They are built a bit differently, to assist in easing baby in the transition to a cup.

Dr. Brown’s Soft-Spout Training Cup

Anatomy: 6 ounce cup, removable handles that spin, valve disc, silicone valve, spout cap, lid.

This was the first training cup Dylan tried. It holds 6 ounces, is BPA-free and spill-proof. The unique soft-spout makes it easier for baby to figure out how to drink. He had some trouble getting enough liquid from it at first, but soon developed his own technique. The handles on this cup spin, which can be a challenge when baby is trying to find the spout. The parts on this cup are interchangeable, and can be used with other Dr. Brown’s sippy cups. This is a great training cup. $5.49

Dr. Brown’s Designed to Nourish Training Cup

Anatomy: 6 ounce cup, removable handles, valve disc, silicone valve, spout cap, lid.

This 6 ounce training cup is BPA-free and features a spill-proof top with a “sip-activated valve.” This cup is the updated version of the Soft-Spout Training Cup and is part of Dr. Brown’s new feeding system called Designed to Nourish. The handles on this cup do not spin, so Dylan could easily pick this cup up and manipulate it. The other major difference between these training cups is that this one features a hard-spout cap that goes over the soft-spout (more like a sippy cup for an older child). Again, the parts are interchangeable with other Dr. Brown’s sippy cups. I have to say, these updates make for an even better training cup – I highly recommend it. $5.49

8-9 months:

After Dylan was becoming a pro at using the training cups, I decided to graduate to something that would allow him to get more liquid. I recommend these cups for the 9 month age-range.

ThinkBaby Sippy Cup

Anatomy:  9 ounce cup, easy-grip removable handles, spout sleeve, extra-soft cross-cut silicone spout, travel cap.

ThinkBaby’s 9 ounce sippy cup is BPA-, PVC-, phthalate-, lead-, melamine- and nitrosamine-free. One of the unique features of this cup is the cross-cut spout. The spout is basically a nipple that is spill-proof. The shape and contour of the cup and handles make it easy for baby to pick up and use. My son was very adept at using this cup right away, and got a lot of liquid out of it very efficiently. He didn’t need a training period. I love this cup and found it very helpful when I first introduced cow’s milk. $8.49 [Follow ThinkBaby on Facebook to receive a discount for ThinkSport Sunscreen.]

12 – 18 months:

Around 11 months, I started to notice that Dylan needed a sippy cup that released more liquid at a time. I was also beginning to introduce cow’s milk and wanted him to get as much as possible. The following sippy cups work great for water, milk, juice or whatever your active toddler is drinking.

Kid Basix Safe Sippy 2

Anatomy: thermo plastic rubber sleeve, stainless steel body, removable handles, straw-shaped spout, straw and straw adapter, travel plug, dust cap.

The Safe Sippy 2 has an 11 ounce capacity and is BPA- and phthalate -free. The idea and design of this cup is innovative and eco-friendly. The clean, non-leaching steel body and rubber sleeve keeps drinks cold, and reminds me of the water bottles that my husband and I use. Dylan took to this cup right away. He loves the ease of the handles and shape of the drinking spout. I love that you can use the travel plug, if you want to throw it into a bag. I like the straw adapter. It’s great for when your toddler is riding in his stroller or toddling around. As they don’t need to tip the cup back to get the liquid out. I had my friend’s three year old daughter try this cup also and she loved it. The 11 ounce capacity is the perfect amount of liquid for toddlers and preschool age kids. We found that the cup was easier for preschool age kids to use without the handles attached. I did notice that when thrown, this cup will dent. I highly recommend this cup for toddlers one year of age and up. Safe Sippy 2: $13.37

18 months and beyond:

The First Years Take & Toss 10 oz Straw Cups 

Anatomy: 10 ounce cup, snap-on lid,straw.

Once they get the hang of the whole cup thing, you may want something that they can get more liquid out of quicker. The First Years Take & Toss cups are BPA-free, dishwasher-safe and perfect for moms and toddlers on-the-go. The straw cups are my 19 month olds favorite. He can get milk out of them very efficiently and they aren’t expensive, so if we accidentally leave one at the park (or one gets accidentally thrown in the garbage) – it’s no big deal! These cups are simple and recyclable. The cups do leak quite a bit, so invest in a couple of the travel tops. $2.99

Thermos Foogo Vacuum Insulated Leak-Proof Straw Bottle 

Anatomy: 10 ounce stainless steel cup, twist-on push-button lid, soft straw with straw stem.

Tired of throwing away sour milk? The answer to keeping milk fresh longer is the Thermos Foogo. The double-wall vacuum insulation keeps beverages colder for longer. The design is sweat-proof, so it won’t leave rings on your furniture. This cup works great for car trips and keeps milk fresh. The cup works best if you refrigerate it for about 10 minutes before you fill it. This cup does leak if turned upside-down, so remember to click the lid shut between sips! $14.88

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