Sippy Cups: Is Your Child Ready?

Filed under: Toddlers Preschoolers, Gadgets, Mealtime, Gear Guides: Toddlers & Preschoolers


sippy cups

There are lots of options when it comes to sippy cups. Credit: Getty Images

Sippy cups can be a sanity-saving bridge between the bottle and a cup, and they can give your child a bit of independence at a tender age.

Sometime before their first birthday, typically when they are around 9 months old, children may be able to hold a sippy cup and drink from it, says Ying Tarantino, marketing manager for Chandler Ariz.-based Boon Inc.

"Sippy cups are a great transition from bottle to cup," Tarantino tells Parentdish. "It's a great item until they are ready to take on a cup."

When babies can hold a cup up to their lips and drink from it, they are ready to use a sippy cup. Some things to think about include whether the cup is made using bisphenol A, or BPA, a chemical used to harden plastics and prevent bacterial growth that some sippy cup makers have moved away from. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends parents look for ways to avoid the chemical with infants and young children.

Most manufacturers recommend washing the cups in the top rack of the dishwasher and discarding them at any sign of wear. Based on your child's preferences, you can choose from models with handles, no handles, thermal, stainless, soft lip, firm lip and, of course, a variety of colors and designs.

Once children are around 3 or 4 years old, they may be ready for a traditional cup and a new transition starts. But, until then, you don't have to worry about wiping up any spilled milk.

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Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.