The questions almost every mother is starting to ask herself around 6 months mark: is my child ready for a sippy cup? How do I help my baby make a switch from a bottle/nursing? What is better – a sippy cup or a straw cup?
While there are many signs that your child might be ready for a training cup (sit without support, can hold a bottle herself, etc.) I personally think that there is only one sign – your baby. Your baby is smarter than you think and she WILL let you know when she is ready to try drinking from a cup, be it a sip from mommy’s glass or a training cup of her own.
Baby Pumpkin was around 5 months when she started going absolutely crazy around any kind of cup or glass that was near her. She kept reaching for it, grabbing it and even took a few sips (read: spilled some water on herself) here and there. Mommy took it as a sign and went shopping for a sippy cup.
I decided to go with the one that looked the most sturdy and was reasonably priced (please note that the prices mentioned in this post are current at the time of writing and may differ):
This set of two cups looked great! It seemed to be leak-proof when mommy shook it vigorously and it was semi-easy to get liquid out (as easy as it gets with the valve). Here is the nice equation I came up with after using a few different sippy cups:
VALVE = HARDER TO DRINK + HARDER TO SPILL
NO VALVE = EASIER TO DRINK + EASIER TO SPILL
You have to take a side here and decide which one is a winner for you. I prefer to minimize my messes so I’m going with the valve for now.
So, time to Baby Test the Playtex First Sipster cup. Uhmmmm, wait… When filled with water, the cup was so heavy that my 5 months old could not pick it up and hold herself, thus ending the Baby Test portion of this review. I did not expect that (the cup didn’t seem all that heavy to me, duh) but several attempts later the cup was donated to a friend with an older kid. This might be a better fit for a toddler but for the little one who is just starting their cup journey the verdict is TOO HEAVY.
Determined to get my baby drinking out of a cup, I made a run to neighborhood Target looking for the smallest sippy cup in the baby isle. Bingo!
Tommee Tippee Closer To Nature First Sips Weaning Cup ($6.79 at Target, $6.99 at Babies R Us)
At only 5 oz, this sippy cup is TINY and super lightweight – exactly what I was looking for. It has removable handles (perfect for little hands) and, I believe, you can use the larger Tommee Tippee Closer To Nature bottles with the lid/handles if you need to (couldn’t test as I don’t own any Tommee Tippee bottles). The cup is advertised as spill-free, and it passed the “mommy shake” test successfully.
On to the Baby Test! Baby Pumpkin had no problem picking up and holding the cup and seemed pretty happy about that. After a few days of picking up / shaking / dropping the cup, Baby Pumpkin finally put it in her mouth and got some water out which made mommy very happy. This became our everyday “water cup” for the next month or so, and Baby Pumpkin slowly worked her way up from two sips to about an ounce of water that she was able to get out “all by herself like a big girl” (just look at this proud face):
But therein lied another problem… The reason Baby Pumpkin was only able to get one ounce out of the cup was that she couldn’t figure out the way to tip the cup to get more than the very top layer of water. No amount of demonstration seemed to help. While she had no problems drinking when the cup was over-the-top full, anything after the initial ounce didn’t want to come out unless held at an angle, and Baby Pumpkin just wasn’t getting it.
“I wish they made a cup she wouldn’t have to tip up,” crossed my mind on several occasions, until it suddenly hit me. They did! It’s called a STRAW cup!
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