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When it's time to transition your little one from a bottle (or the boob) to a regular cup, it's safe to say that well, things can get a little messy. After all, drinking from a cup is a skill to be learned. Like most skills, it takes the right tools to master. Your best bet? A sippy cup.
Most experts suggest introducing a sippy cup from the time they're old enough to sit in their high chair at about four months. But if you've started shopping around you know this category has a lot to offer. There's straw sippy cups, hard spout tops, soft spout tops, and most recently, even spoutless designs that more closely resemble a regular cup. How will you know what's right for your little one? Well, just like bottles and pacifiers, it might take some trial and error to find the right fit.
Most importantly, remember that a sippy cup is meant as a stepping stone to the real thing, not a comfort object. So just as they wouldn't walk around with an open cup, it's probably best to avoid letting them use a sippy cup outside of mealtime and quick thirst quenches. Otherwise, you may end up battling with them to eat (because who's hungry with a belly full of liquid?) or worse, dealing with cavities down the line.
So what should you look for when your little one is ready? Aside from your child's preferences, the two most important factors are ease of cleaning and a leak or spill proof design. Nobody's got time for moldy cups or a lake at the bottom of the diaper bag. And, as a seasoned mom, I'll tell you right now–only the ones filled with milk get lost under the couch. It's the Murphy's Law of Sippy Cups, I believe.
We've rounded up a variety of the best styles of sippy cups for little ones that fit the bill. Happy learning!