By Lizz Torgovnick, entrepreneur and mama behind Don’t Call It a Mom Blog.
For a typical Type A, I feel like I’d handled most of early parenthood’s decisions and transitions decently well, but sippy cups were the straw (pun intended) that broke this mama’s back. When the time came to transition my first kid from a bottle to a sippy cup, I lost my FREAKING mind.
My first daughter was pickier then expected about the transition from the bottle she loved to a cup. I decided to go cold turkey on the bottle a few weeks after weaning (I personally dislike the in-between part of transitions). She kept pushing it away or just throwing it while giving me a “WTF, MOM?!” glare.
At the end of the day, what I’ve learned since is that some kids transition to things right away and some just need more time. Apparently my oldest needed three weeks (and sixteen cup options) at around a year old and was back to mainlining her milk, whereas my youngest didn’t miss a single beat at 10 months with the only cup we offered her. Try to give it some time before you give up!
However, there are still pros and cons to each cup we tried so here’s the rundown from my over-run sippy cup cabinet. #SpoilerAlert there is no perfect cup situation.
Munchkin Click Lock Weighted Straw Cup
The first cup we tried was the Munchkin Click Lock Weighted Straw Cup. Since her angle control wasn’t really a thing yet, this weighted straw made it somewhat fool-proof to drink in any position. My little didn’t totally get straw mechanics yet so it was a challenge at first just to get a single sip (more below).
However, the biggest issue was that the cup was not very well made. The weight separated from the straw and always got lost, and whole straw & valve part was pretty flimsy and hard to clean. Because of how the handles were built into the lid, it was almost impossible to screw the lid on properly (at least for me). I always had to attempt it multiple times and when I didn’t realize it was off there was major spillage. I don’t understand why no one has done this weighted straw cup better?! It is a very smart idea!
Side note: I found with a lot of the straw cups it was really hard for her to drink at first because of the spill-proof valves in the top of the straws (yes, I tested them all too!). Many of them only opened if you bit the straw in one direction, which is dumb. If needed, I used the edge of a sharp scissor to slice the valve at a 90 degree angle so it would let liquid through no matter what direction she was drinking. Easy fix!
Nuk Learner Sippy and Boon Snug Silicone Sippy Lids
Then, after both our Pediatrician and a Pediatric PT suggested focusing on straw cups since it would be better for her teeth in the long run, I moved permanently away from the “sippy” lic style to straws only.
First Years Take & Toss Spill Proof Straw Cup
Since my daughter still wasn’t totally getting the straw situation, a friend suggested the basic First Years Take & Toss Spill Proof Straw Cup. DO NOT TOSS! They are decent quality and very reusable! The straw has no valve, but the way the cup is pressurized it prevents total spillage. Just make sure to put the top on first and then insert the straw ;). I enticed my daughter to try the cup by showing her some lemonade I was drinking (a little lemon & water with a dash of maple syrup) as I poured it into the cup, put on the lid, inserted the straw and handed it to her. She took it and got it right away! So that lasted a little while until she realized she could pull the straw out but not replace it herself. Also she would chew the straws’ end closed and they’d be unusable from there. So we had all the cups but no straws after awhile. Annoying!
Nuby No Spill Easy Grip
I also tried a Nuby No Spill Easy Grip with the sippy lid at some point but I’d accidentally ordered these super tall ones and it was just too big for her to hold (“easy grip” is clearly a misnomer!). When I realized you could buy a replacement top with a straw setup we tried it again, but she’d always give up before the liquid actually got to the top. The taller the straw the more work, apparently 🤷🏻♀️
Also, the lids leaked quite a bit. I read that if you align the little round notch on the soft part with the notch on the plastic ring it wouldn’t leak but it always did for us anyway. Thank you, NEXT…
Munchkin Miracle 360 Trainer Cup
However, all of these had a major issue for us in that we didn’t want to heat the milk inside the cup. Yes, they all use BPA free plastic, etc. but since she was my first baby I was overly cautious of all that jazz. So we’d heat her milk (and yes we tried a stint of not heating but she had a clear preference and weighing our time to heat vs. her hydration and nutrition it was a battle I didn’t feel the need to pursue as I tried every cup in the universe) in a glass measuring cup and then poured it into whatever vessel.
Green Sprouts Glass Sip ‘n Straw Cups
That’s when I found what has become “our cup”. I was super lucky to see some used Green Sprouts Glass Sip ‘n Straw Cups on my neighborhood Preloved Facebook Group. Didn’t know that a cup like that existed with a glass interior and plastic exterior. So we could heat the milk in the glass, put it inside a plastic sleeve & base and voila! When we bought this full pack new, I learned that it actually comes with all the pieces you’d need: both the sippy and straw parts, spill-proof disc insert & top and optional handles. This pack is well thought through for both the environmental impact and the advancement of your kid’s needs.
However, this is not the lowest maintenance cup. There are a lot of parts, and you really do need to let everything air dry before you put it away. We had to toss a base or 2 that had some black stuff growing and when I contacted the company they suggested that putting it away damp was the culprit likely the culprit. They did replace the parts, which I appreciated. Now that we have 2 daughters enjoying milk (one non fat, and one still on whole) our oldest gets the green cup without a handle and our younger gets an aqua cup with a handle so they can tell them apart easily.
Camel Bak Eddy Kids Water Bottle
Now that she goes to school, we have added the Camel Bak Eddy Kids Water Bottle for easy water access throughout the day. School would not allow anything glass, and I wouldn’t make her busy teachers deal with all the parts of the Green Sprouts cup 🙂 It comes in a ton of colors and patterns which is so fun. We gave this to my youngest at a year old too, and she was able to use it right away. The only negative is that she chews the mouth pieces to shreds and then enjoys sticking her fingers in it so it rips every so often (kids are weird). Luckily you can order replacement mouth pieces too 😉
BONUS ROUND: Smoothies!
Unfortunately, none of these worked for smoothies. Before our little late had teeth for raw greens that was really the only way they’d get those in her diet amongst other things like coconut milk, chai, wheat germ, etc. I tried the Thermos FOOGO Vacuum Insulated Straw Bottle which worked really well, kept smoothies cool, and had a fun flippy lid she loved to play with (I swear this is how she learned to press buttons).
One of my all time mom favorite things works for smoothies, water, even things like yogurt, apple sauce and properly cooled soups is the Squeasy Snacker Spill Proof Reusable Food Pouch. It’s basically a reusable squeeze pouch with a guard in the lid to prevent them from actually squeezing it too hard. But it also remains so easy to drink whatever is in there, which seemed very natural for my kids coming from the boob. This is actually what we gave my youngest at first for water, before trying the straw cup.
We still use these ALL THE TIME for snacking and smoothies on the go. PRO TIP: attach a pacy lanyard to the top (it has a ring for it!) and clip it to them for stroller, carrier or car rides. Hell, sometimes I even take my own smoothie to go in one of these!
DOUBLE BONUS ROUND: Open cups!
Since I’m also a HUGE BLW (aka “Baby Led Weaning” a fancy term for just giving them the food you’re eating in learning-friendly sizing) fan we also introduced an open cup during mealtimes at the table only. For that, I tried the Doidy Cup, which was very well-designed with handles and an angle. She was able to use this mostly on her own for water after awhile. It was not practical for on the go though. Now that she’s a little older, she likes anything that makes her feel like a big girl, so she uses this Mini Mason Jar Shot Glass with Handles, which is a mini versions of the cups we use at home. Perfect size for her to handle.
By Lizz Torgovnick, entrepreneur and mama behind Don’t Call It a Mom Blog. Lizz is the Co-founder and Chief Creative Officer at Sequence, an award-winning events agency specializing in strategic planning, production & design for corporate & non profit clients. She’s worked with clients like Spotify, TEDx. Women’s Bond Club, and so many others.