The best sippy cups are those without valves. These provide a slotted opening which limits liquid flow and requires your child to sip instead of suck. Consider choosing one with two handles to make grasping it easier. And don't be afraid to let your baby test drive a few different sippy cups to find the right one.
Sipping With Success
Most babies don't go from nursing or bottle feeding to drinking from a cup overnight. Sippy cups are intended to be used temporarily while your child learns how to sip. During this transition, there are a few things you can do to protect your little one's pearly whites from potential sippy cup side effects:
Use sippy cups only at meal or snack time. Saliva production increases during a meal. This helps neutralize acid production and rinses food particles from your child's mouth.
Restrict use to the highchair or table. At-will, frequent sips of sugary liquids fosters tooth decay. Plus, toddlers are unsteady and may fall while holding a cup, which could cause an injury to the mouth.
Clean the cup after every use. Liquid can easily become trapped in the nooks and crannies of a sippy cup, leading to the growth of bacteria and mold.
Offer water instead of sugary fluids. If your child is thirsty in-between meals, offer a cup with water instead of a sugary fluid.
Skip sippy cups altogether. Some parents transition their babies straight from a bottle to a cup with no lid. It just requires more patience and clean up!
Don't forget to schedule your child's first dental visit when the first tooth appears or by the first birthday. Your dentist is a great resource for helping you decide when to introduce sippy cups and which type is right for your child. If you don't have a dentist, we can help you find one!