I was in a 1-year well-child check this last week, where I was counseling the mother on the need to wean her baby off a bottle and onto a sippy cup. The cute mom aptly pointed out that many of the sippy cups are nearly impossible to use. We got a good laugh when we realized that we both had discovered the same thing: you practically have to be Houdini to get any liquid out of many of the sippy brands.

At first, I didn’t want to admit that I had tried them myself; I wanted to see how easy or difficult it was for my baby to use. I discovered that many of the “no spill” cups require a simultaneous pressure and suction of the spout (i.e., you have to bite and suck at the same time). When I got home that night, I opened up my sippy cup drawer. (No joke, I have purchased over 20 sippy cups, constituting 13 different brands. Clearly, it’s time for me to pitch the ones that are hard to use.) I figured if I could save you the small fortune I’ve spent on sippy cups and tell you of the ones we like, that it might be helpful. The included pic is a sampling from our own collection. My two favorites are pictured on either end.

The first is the Munchkin Miracle 360 trainer (7 oz.). I like it because a child just learning to use a sippy (6-9 months) can easily grab the handles and suck from anywhere on the cup. It doesn’t require the child to have it the right side up. When my daughter pitches it off the high chair, water splashes a little, so it isn’t perfectly spill proof, but it is certainly less messy than some. The cup is kind of expensive as far as cups go (but more affordable if you don’t waste money on other ones), but well worth it.

My second favorite is a cheap disposable that I found at my local grocery store. It’s “The First Years Take & Toss” (but I don’t toss them, I reuse them and run them through my dishwasher). I love them because they are easy to pour, but limit the stream to where my child has her mouth. It’s more of a true cup trainer. There isn’t a plug on them, so they spill easy on her tray, but it’s a nice bridge to a cup.

So if you’re struggling to get your little one to take a sippy, try using it yourself (just try it when no one is looking). You may find that the problem is not your child, but the difficult sippy cup.

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About The Author

Dr. Monica Wonnacott

I'm a pediatrician and a mom. I've been doing this doctor thing for 10 years, and love it. I'm known for giving parents the straight scoop without always sugar-coating it. And I believe in educating parents. The more you know, the better care you give your kids.

Dr. Monica Wonnacott, Pediatric Answers ™

I'm a pediatrician and a mom. Pediatric AnswersTM is where parents can get the straight scoop on their child's health, largely based on my experience in the office and at home. I don't diagnose on the site, so please don't ask. These are just my opinions. Use this site as a resource. And trust your parent gut.

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