Nanny Tested: Sippy Cups.
November 5, 2009
As someone who works with toddlers, I’ve used my fair share of Sippy Cups. The argument can be made that they’re not too much better than a bottle with a different kind of “nipple” and to learn how to properly use a cup at the table it’s better to simply have adult assistance with a regular cup, but for trips in the stroller, they’re indispensable. That is, if you have the right one. Behold, sippy cups I have known!
Munchkin style cups
These cups are perfect if you want a sippy cup for table use. They’re simple to use, simple to clean, and cheap. I wouldn’t recommend putting them in the dishwasher as this is not the sturdiest plastic, but they wash very easily in the sink with just a regular sponge. They’re not good for stroller usage as there’s no way to keep them from leaking or potentially spilling in a diaper bag.
Avent sippy cup
Avent bottles are extremely popular and user-friendly. Their sippy cup, however, is a nightmare. Too many parts to keep track of – that handle is totally unnecessary, but without it the top doesn’t screw on quite right. That top is nearly impossible to clean in the sink, but it’s not always the best idea to put the sippy cups through the dishwasher since they’re completely made of plastic. This is theoretically “leak proof,” but it’s very difficult for the child to actually get any liquid out of the cup without tipping it totally upside down (like a bottle) which doesn’t actually aid the child in learning how to transition from a bottle to a regular cup. No one I know who has used this cup would recommend it.
Gerber graduates cup
The Cadillac of sippy cups. These are by far my favorite. The plastic on these is extremely sturdy and dishwasher safe. The top is constructed that liquid only comes out when the child is sucking, much like a sports bottle. And yet, it is not so finicky that the cup must be totally upside down like the Avent top. Totally spill proof in a diaper bag. A ++. Love this cup.
Rubbermaid juice box
The non-sippy cup cup. The family I worked with in Boston loved these and swore by them for diaper bag usage. I hated them. The plastic doesn’t go through the dishwasher well, so all of the tiny little parts must be washed by hand. Tiny. Little. Parts. If you’re willing to scrub with a toothbrush, you can get the top *fairly* clean, but it’s near impossible to clean inside of the mouth bit, especially once the child has bitten it down a few times. I would recommend a pipe cleaner (as demonstrated by OhDeeDoh) to clean the straw. Time consuming to clean, to say the least. Also: in my experience, they smell funny if you leave water in them for >2hrs. Do not want.