The sippy cup wars rage in my home.
I have purchased SO. MANY. SIPPY. CUPS. and most of them are terrible.
Let me first outline the classic list of problems, so you know what to avoid.
1. Speech Pathologists say that sippy cups can cause speech delays because of the way the spout trains the tongue. Straw cups don’t cause speech delays but are more annoying. If you’ve given your child a sippy cup this whole time, not to worry, most kids don’t have a problem. After hearing this information however, (and I gave my first child sippy cups) I would rather deal with annoyance in the attempt to keep my child out of speech therapy (definitely a better financial decision)! Below you will see the straw cups that I have vetted to save you some frustration.
2. The problem with many cups is that they have so many parts that you lose something within the first few rounds in the dishwasher. Or is it just my dishwasher that has a palate for small sippy cup parts? Then they are unuseful and take space in your cabinet because you hope that one day that poor little straw will come rolling back to you… but it never does.
3. Many of them are so “leak-proof” that they require a thirsty little tot to suck with every ounce of strength to get a couple of drops. Not something a momma wants for her little babe. One trick for this is to make the slits in the valve larger by pushing a knife through it. Sounds so evil. But ineffective sippy cups need a little surgery.
4. Cups should be transparent so you can see how much liquid is left. The last thing I want to do is unscrew lids to remind myself what is in the cup or see how much is left.
5. Many are just not designed well. They fall apart easily.
4. The last and incredibly annoying problem is when the cup leaks under pressure. Don’t tell it any of your secrets. When you put cold liquid in a cup with one of those weighted straws, it will leak because things expand when they heat up, alas my high school physics class is coming in handy.
So which is the best sippy cup?
After trying 20+ versions of sippy and straw cups here is what I would do if I could rewind and save myself $100 at Target:
For children 6 months and up, begin with the:
Start with the Zo-li Straw Sippy Cup. To teach a child how to suck out of a straw, they need something with little resistance so they can have success with little effort. But, if they get too much liquid at once, they will choke on it. The Zoli Straw Sippy Cup has been the best for this. I actually cut the top valve part of the straw off so it would be easier to suck out of. Children as young as six-months can learn to drink out of a straw. It was a little later than six months, but mine both skipped bottles and went from breastfeeding to using straw cups.
Pros: It’s the perfect amount of liquid. The child doesn’t have to learn to bite the straw to get the liquid out like some others. The straw follows the liquid so if the child doesn’t know to keep the cup down (especially if they normally use a bottle), the weighted straw will find the liquid.
Cons: It does leak if you put cold liquid in it, but if you unscrew the lid quickly, it will depressurize. If you only put room temperature liquid (I usually just put water in this one), it won’t leak.
When older kids use this cup, they may start to bite on the straw. You can buy replacement straws, or cut the top part off if there is some left that is salvageable.
12 months and up:
Pros: These cups are so cheap (like under $3 for four cups on Amazon) and are my favorite. The best part is that they are so simple, just a cup, a lid, and a straw. What a novel concept. No crazy valves to deal with or clean. The best part? These will work for your kids for years.
Cons: These will leak if thrown on the ground, but the lid will keep it from being a full-blown disaster.
When you need something leak proof:
2nd place goes to:
If you want a more leak-proof option (like for the car or your white carpet or your sanity), I recommend the Munchkin Click Lock 9 oz straw cup. I have found it at Target, but don’t see it online for a reasonable price. Second place goes to Nuby No-Spill Cup with Flexi Straw. There are four parts to the cup, so it’s the annoying breed, but it doesn’t leak and it’s a straw cup! I wouldn’t start a child out on this straw cup, but once they understand the concept of sucking out of a straw, this is the best non-leaking option I’ve found.
The cups that didn’t make the cut:
These are OK, but they require the child to bite the straw to open the valve and get liquid out. Not so easy for a tot to learn.
Munchkin Click Lock 2 Count Flip Straw Cup, 9 ounce
These aren’t well made. the piece that opens and closes the straw broke off the first time I used it and after putting it back together and giving it to the kids, they broke it too.
The valve at the very top of the straw was too strong, so I cut it off. And my one-year-old has figured out how to push the straw down into the cup, so it’s useless.
These are just weird and didn’t work well. I fiddled with it for about five minutes and determined that it leaked and was difficult to use.
Many others have failed but by the time I list them my children will be grown and . I hope this gives you a good place to start with some successful sippers! And, if you have other straw cups that you love, PLEASE share the light and let us know about it in the comments below!