Our Top Pick First Sippy Cup for 2018: NUK Fashion Hearts Learner First Sippy Cup
Read our full review.
Learning to drink from a cup is a milestone in baby development that marks the beginning of your baby’s journey to independent eating. It allows babies to successfully drink on their own and gives parents a taste of their baby’s independence yet to come. A sippy cup is the first step away from a bottle or the breast. Learning to drink from a cup comes with a lot of clean up. Spills at every meal can quickly wear down even the most patient parent. The invention of the sippy cup is truly a parent’s lifesaver. It not only helps prevent spills at mealtime but allows parents to give their children a drink in the car or stroller without worry of an unmanageable spill. Not all sippy cups are made alike. Some are better at preventing spills or are easier to use for your baby, so a little research will help you find the right cup for your child.
Let’s Have A Quick Look At Our Top 4 First Sippy Cup Picks:
#1. NUK Fashion Hearts Learner Sippy Cup
The NUK Fashion Hearts Learner Sippy Cup (NUK) is a great transitional cup for babies. It is designed with the unique needs of a baby in mind. The design also successfully meets the needs of parents that want a spill-proof cup.
Hard plastic can bruise or scratch the gums especially when new teeth are erupting. The 100% silicone spout of the NUK is designed with a baby’s tender gums in mind. The shape is similar to the nipple found on a bottle so that it will be familiar to a baby. Soft, squishy silicone makes it easy on new teeth, gums and palate.
A built-in air vent helps the baby to suck in liquid instead of air. Babies with strong suction may suck harder than the air vent can accommodate, causing the spout to cave in. However, this problem can be overcome if you help your baby to periodically release the spout. The spout has adequate flow through the holes, but again, babies with high suction may not be completely satisfied by the amount of liquid they receive.
Little baby hands often have a hard time gripping a cup and frequently drop it once they reach their mouths. The NUK comes with easy-grip, anti-slip textured handles to let your baby keep a good grip even while holding the cup to their mouth. The handles can be removed allowing a baby that prefers the feel of a bottle to hold the cup itself, giving you versatility in the grip. Once the handles are removed it can also fit into most cup holders, making it convenient to store in a stroller or in the cup holder on a child’s car seat.
Babies make a lot of messes. Between cleaning toys, diapers, and the food they’ve either dropped or thrown during their meal, most parents don’t want baby equipment that requires extra steps to wash them. Made of BPA-free plastic so that it is safe to use in the dishwasher, this sippy cup is safe for you baby to use. A wide mouth on the cup also allows you to quickly and easily wash it by hand using a bottle brush if you prefer that method. It comes in five parts that are easy to take apart, clean, and put back together again.
Spills can be absolutely maddening as a parent. With the NUK’s spill-proof design you won’t have to worry about your baby spilling will sipping in the back seat, stroller, or in their high chair. A spout cap can be put on while you are traveling to prevent the cup from spilling while not in use. This cap also prevents any fuzz, lint, or crumbs from getting the spout dirty while it is kept in your diaper bag. If the cup is dropped, the spout cap can prevent dirt from entering the liquid. It is made of high-quality materials that won’t shatter or break when it gets thrown or dropped on a hard surface.
Making sure your baby is getting the proper nutrition can be difficult once you move to a cup because it can be hard to tell how much your child is drinking. But with the NUK’s ounce marks you’ll be able to track how much liquid your baby has taken.
The NUK comes in two colors scheme, one in blues and greens and one in pinks and purples. The design is cute, fun, and can provide visual stimulation for your baby. It is recommended for ages 6 months and older.
#2. Munchkin Flexi Transition Cup
The Munchkin Flexi Transition Sippy Cup (Munchkin) provides another good option for a first sippy cup. It has many features in common with the NUK that make it a good choice for many babies.
Babies become accustomed to the nipple of a bottle or the breast. If the spout of their first cup is not similar enough to this they often reject it. The Munchkin has a soft, flexible spout that is gentle on the soft tissue of a baby’s gums and any new teeth that have just erupted. Many babies like the feel of this spout in their mouths and will choose to play with it even when not drinking. Flexibility in the spout allows it to move with your baby’s tongue and sucking motion. The durability of this spout is a bit lacking. After a few months of use, many of the spouts can begin to break down.
Keeping a good grip on a cup can be difficult for babies that may only be learning to control their hands. Toys, blankets, bottles, and cups can and will be dropped and thrown to the floor or concrete on a regular basis. To help babies with the challenging task of holding their cup to their mouths, the Munchkin is equipped with easy-grip handles that are the right size for little hands to hold.
Bottle-fed babies may prefer something closer to the bottles that they are used to. To meet the needs of these babies, the handles can be removed so that your baby can directly hold the cup. This also allows the cup to fit into a cup holder in a stroller or car seat for easy transport.
Cleaning spills is an everyday occurrence in the life of a parent with a baby. With so many messes to clean already, transitioning to a cup can seem like an overwhelming task. The thought of it only makes parents think how many more spills they are going to have to clean. The Munchkin is designed to restrict the flow of liquid unless pressure is applied to the spout. Small leaking has been reported with the Munchkin when tipped over, but it is far less than would spill with a regular cup. A lid is provided to prevent spills while being transported in a diaper bag. This lid also protects the spout from any outside germs.
Cleaning your baby equipment every day can become a daunting task, but not with the Munchkin. It is BPA free, making it safe for the top rack of the dishwasher. You don’t have to scrub it by hand every day if you don’t want to. It can easily be taken apart for rinsing and fast loading into a dishwasher. Users did report that once taken apart, there were a lot of parts to keep track of in the dishwasher.
Tracking your baby’s nutrition becomes more difficult once you move to cups because you can’t measure how much your baby is drinking. With ounce marks on the side, the Munch kind allows you to monitor your baby’s intake. You can be sure they are getting the nutrition they need without extra hassle for you.
#3. Philips Avent My Natural Trainer Cup
The Philips Avent My Natural Trainer Sippy Cup (Avent) has an innovative design to prevent some of the common problems found in the transition from bottle to sippy cup.
The Avent comes with both a soft silicone nipple, like that found on a bottle and a soft spout that can replace the included nipple. Therefore, the transition to the spout can come gradually. Because the spout will feel the same in the baby’s mouth, it will help them get used to it more quickly. They can also find comfort in the spout because it is so similar to the nipple. Flexible silicone will protect new, tender gums and teeth from damage that may come from biting or chewing on the spout.
A petal design within the nipple prevents it from collapsing during suction. A double valve within the cup reduces the amount of air swallowed by your baby. Air in the stomach can cause a distended stomach, resulting in an unhappy baby. With these design features, this cup helps to prevent these problems.
Independent drinking is a milestone in self-feeding, an important step in your baby’s growing independence. Keeping a good grip is difficult for babies especially when they are transitioning from the bottle or breast. The Avent has rubberized handles to help your baby keep their grip. Unlike the previous two sippy cups, the handle on the Avent point downward. While some babies will show no preference with the direction of the handles, others that may have a problem with handles that point up may be more successful with the Avent. However, they cannot be removed to use the cup without them as both the NUK or Munchkin can.
Keeping your baby clean and free of germs is another challenge that faces parents on a daily basis. To keep the spout clean, the Avent comes with a hygienic snap-on cap to keep germs out and protect the spout when not in use.
Materials used in baby equipment must be free of harmful chemicals. They also have to be easy to clean to make them practical for parents and caregivers. The Avent is made of durable polypropylene which is BPA free. All parts can be disassembled and washed in a dishwasher. All of the parts are compatible with other select Avent products including cups and bottles of a larger size. As your baby grows you can continue to use the spout and handles they prefer.
It is transparent which allows you to see the amount of liquid in the cup. Once a baby moves to a cup, tracking their liquid can become more difficult. There are ounce measure markers for you to monitor the amount of liquid your baby takes. You can rest assured that you will be able to make sure your baby is receiving the proper nutrition.
The cup comes in three colors – clear, pink, and blue. It is intended for babies four months old and older.
#4. Munchkin LATCH Transition Cup
The Munchkin LATCH Sippy Cup (LATCH) provides many of the features of much more expensive cups. Its design is meant to help your baby with their transition from bottle and breast to cup.
With a soft, silicone spout, the LATCH protects your baby’s sensitive gums and teeth. Flexibility allows the spout to follow the natural movement of your baby’s tongue and suction pattern. It also mimics the comfort of the bottle and breast with its texture.
To promote independent feeding, the LATCH has ergonomically designed handles that are detachable for easy cleaning and use. Bottle fed babies often prefer to hold the cup without handles like the bottles to which they are used to using.
Removing the handles also allows the cup to fit into cup holders. Outings with your baby can be made more manageable when they have a drink that they can handle themselves, but as a parent, you need something that easy to carry with you. Having a cup that can fit in a cup holder will save you some sanity.
Swallowing air can cause discomfort, which can lead to a fussy baby. When babies transition to a cup many times they end up gulping air. The LATCH uses an anti-colic air valve to prevent bubbles and reduce the amount of air swallowed.
The lid is made with a snug fit to prevent leaks. Protection from leaks means fewer spills to clean up. Protecting your baby from germs also becomes a hazard of using a sippy cup. The LATCH comes with a cap to keep the spout clean and germ-free. The cap also works well during transport in a diaper bag where crumbs, dirt, and lint can collect.
The materials used to make your baby equipment are just as important as the equipment itself. The LATCH transition cup is BPA free which means you can wash in the top rack of the dishwasher, making one less item you have to wash by hand.
There are ounce marks on the cup to allow you to track how much liquid your baby drinks, an important factor in monitoring your baby’s nutrition.
Sippy Cup Spout
The spout of the sippy cup is one of its most important features. When transitioning from the bottle or breast, the spout should be as similar to these in feel and texture as possible. In this way, the baby is less likely to reject it. The spout should be made of flexible materials such as silicone that will allow it to move with your baby’s natural sucking movements. High-quality materials should be used to withstand the rigors of chewing, biting, and pulling.
Sippy Cup Grip
Young baby fingers have a hard time gripping. Babies lack the coordination and strength to hold a normal cup without spilling. A good sippy cup should keep in mind a baby’s special needs. Handles made of an easy grip material can help in the transition. The handles should be placed in a comfortable position for your baby.
Depending on the child, some children prefer one handle design over the other such upward facing or downward facing. If your baby seems to reject the handles you may try another design to see if this solves the problem.
Some babies, particularly bottle-fed babies, reject handles entirely. They prefer the feel of a cup as it closely resembles the bottle with which they are familiar. You may want to look for a cup that has removable handles in this case. Many times, once the handles are removed, the cup will fit in cup holders that are found on strollers, car seats, and in cars giving you added convenience.
Chemicals surround and infiltrate our daily lives. When it comes to your baby, you want all materials used in the construction of the sippy cup to be high quality and free of harmful chemicals. Look for cups that are BPA free to prevent any toxins from entering liquids. This should also mean that the cup can be safely washed in a dishwasher, saving you valuable time.
Life with a baby is not easy, even for a cup. Babies will throw, hit, and drop the cup on a regular basis. The construction should be good enough to withstand these normal baby behaviors. Materials like rubberized handles can help with the impact of being dropped.
Look for cups that come with caps or lids to cover the spout when not in use. This will lengthen the overall life of the spout because it won’t be rubbed, bent or pressed when not in use. A lid is also a sanitary measure to protect your baby from germs and illness.
Ease of cleaning is an important consideration. To be sure that you are getting all parts of the sippy cup clean, it should be able to be taken apart easily. For the simplest cleaning, look for a cup wherein all parts can be washed in the dishwasher. Labeling on the package should indicate whether or not the cup is dishwasher safe. If not, err on the side of caution and wash the cup by hand. For cups that will be regularly washed by hand look for a wide-mouthed cup that will allow a bottle brush to fit inside for easy cleaning.
Conclusion (Wrapping it up)
Watching your baby grown and learn is one of the most rewarding parts of being a parent. The transition to self-feeding with a cup is a big milestone on the road to independent eating. It marks the end of dependence on the breast and eventually the need for a bottle. It may take some trial and error, but you should be able to find a transitional sippy cup that will prevent spills and satisfy your baby.