Picking the Best Toddler Cup

With Bugaboo past the six month mark, it’s time to teach her to drink.  I’d like her to drink out of a cup, but I don’t have the dining room set up for that caliber of mess yet.  So we’re introducing sippy cup alternatives.  I don’t use sippy cups because they can cause problems with speech and tooth alignment.  My plan was to skip the sippy and start Bugaboo off with a straw cup.  I started off with the straw cups we used with the twins, and I also tried three new cups.  Here is what I found:

Note: Please make sure to talk to your pediatrician before starting your baby on water, milk, or juice.

Munchkin Click Lock Cups

The Munchkin Click Lock cups were what we used with the twins.  They are being sold on Amazon right now for $6.09 for a pack of two.

We loved using these cups with two year old twins.  The click top made it easy to know that the lid was secure.  There were a lot of parts to clean – the hard straw, the soft straw, the flip top.  Also, it was kind of confusing to put the cup back together after we were done washing all the parts.

However, we didn’t have spills.  Princess would even tip her cup up to drink, and it would not spill.  The twins learned to drink using a straw, and it made a clear positive impact on their speech.

When I pulled one out to let Bugaboo use, I had a drink.  It is hard to get water up through those straws!  It was like drinking a very bland milkshake.  So I would recommend this product any day for a toddler, but it wasn’t a good cup to teach an infant to drink through a straw.  Update:  With Bugaboo a full on toddler now, these continue to be our go-to cups for her!  I love to fill them with water to take on the go or to let her drink when she is playing in her room.  We usually have about five of them half filled with water lying around the house.

Munchkin Weighted Straw

I had learned from Princess that when a baby is new to straw cups, the tendency is to tip them to drink, rather then hold the cup upright and suck.  I assumed Bugaboo would also have the tendency to tip the cup, because she would lie on her back and hold the cup up and chew on it.  Munchkin Click Lock Trainers with the weighted straw attempt to solve that problem.  Unlike traditional straws where one end sits on the bottom of the cup, the weight on the end of the straw allows it to bend over, and so if the child tips the cup, the straw can still pull the drink.

This is a great idea, but the execution is not as well as I had hoped.  The straw is also very tight to drink through.  Bugaboo can now drink from this straw, but it was not a good straw for her first introduction to straws.  But the real flaw is the top – it is almost impossible to screw on and click to seal.  Then, when baby tips the cup to drink out of it, water leaks.  That sort of defeats the purpose of a sippy cup you can tip, doesn’t it?

I keep this on hand and use it in Bugaboo’s cup rotation, but I wouldn’t purchase any more.  It is a great idea that just wasn’t executed well.

If you want to try one out, they are being sold on Amazon for $5.87, or you can purchase at any major retailer.

Nuby Wash or Toss Straw Cups

I found the Nuby wash or toss straw cups at Aldi of all places, but you can buy a set of four on Amazon for $2.43.  They are likely in most major retailers as well.  As the name implies, these cups are fairly cheap, so you don’t have to worry about losing them.  These were the perfect starter straws for my baby, too!  The water flows very easily through the cup, so it just took one or two attempts to show Bugaboo how to work a straw.  After using these cups, she was able to drink out of the Munchkin click connect cups.

The problem with these cups is that they are not secure.  The cup has an attachable lid, and the straw comes down through a hole in the lid, much like a fast food drink.  So if you tip the cup all the way over, liquid is likely to come out.  These are my cups of choice for mealtimes – I hold the cup up to Bugaboo, and she takes a sip.  Great price, easy to use.

Munchkin Miracle 360 Cup

This space-agey Munchkin Miracle 360 Cup will blow your mind.  It has no straw or spout, so the baby drinks out of this cup as she would a normal cup.  The silicone covering on top prevents most spills.  Of other parents who have used these cups, the most common complaint is, “I can’t figure this out, how would my baby?”  Well, as far as figuring it out, just go with your instincts.  Put the cup up to your mouth as you would a normal cup, tip, and then close your mouth and suck.  The liquid comes out easily.

As far as the baby figuring it out, I’m no occupational therapist, but it seems that the babies are using a similar sucking motion on the cup as they would on a bottle.  In other words, it’s a sort of reflex that comes naturally.  At least, that was how it was with Bugaboo.  She laid on the floor, tipped the cup up to chew, and pretty soon I could hear her making sucking noises on it.

Of the cups I’ve tried, it is my favorite, and I plan to purchase at least one more so that she always has a clean one.  The rim mirrors a normal cup and therefore doesn’t have the potential negative effects on speech and dental development that a sippy cup spout has.  It also has the least amount of parts to clean, and I can just throw them in the dishwasher.

The downside to this cup is that it can spill.  It’s not as leaky as the Nuby straws or the weighted straw, but don’t count on 100% dryness if you are toting this around.  The other downside is the price.  You can get a two-pack on Amazon for $12.99.  I feel the extra investment is worth it if it keeps Bugaboo out of braces or speech therapy later in life.

The Takeaway

Eating and drinking should be fun now that your baby is getting older!  You shouldn’t have to worry about trying out dozens of different sippy cups to find the right one.  Pick from one of these, or let me know in the comments what your favorite sippy cup or alternative is.

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2 Comments

  • Jessie @ One Lost Coin June 25, 2018 at 12:02 pm Reply

    This is awesome, thank you! Do you have recommendations for toddlers? I have a 3 year old that I can’t get off the sippy cup, and a big part of that is I don’t know the best ones to give him instead!

    • admin June 25, 2018 at 12:44 pm Reply

      For older toddlers, I love the Munchkin Click Lock cups. They pretty much never leak, and he will have the strength to suck through the straw (update: my 10 month old is already able to get water from these cups). He may also do well with the Munchkin 360.

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