Cup Confusion? Our Simplified Guide to Bottles & Cups

Cup Confusion? Our Simplified Guide to Bottles & Cups

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This is a topic that frustrates me about the baby product industry-- if literally all the professionals agree that children should skip the sippy cups and 360 cups, then why do they still sell them?! 

Seriously. Pediatricians, Speech Language Pathologists, & Pediatric Dentists all agree that sippy cups are completely unnecessary, and 360 cups aren't too far behind. It all comes back to the development of your child's ability to swallow and place their tongue in the proper position in their mouth.

The important facts: Babies are ready to develop their immature swallow around one year old. In order to develop this, they need to learn to drink from an open cup and straw cup which both allow for correct tongue placement and a mature swallow. The sippy cup and 360 cup do not. If you want to learn more about the mechanics of the swallow, check out one of our favorite resources, The Speech Sisters, here. 

The open cup transition: So, in order to work on this transition, it's important to start early. When you begin feeding solids to your baby (usually around 6 months of age), start offering about an ounce of water in an open cup at mealtime, just for the purpose of getting them used to the act of swallowing this way. It will be messy, but practice makes perfect in the long run. You can also begin doing this with a straw cup inter-changeably (with the primary emphasis on the open cup). As your child grows and weans off of milk, you will keep giving them more and more water. We love this Feeding Littles post with tons of information about the milk to water transitions, check it out here.

Our thoughts on the education versus product gap: Although we love the resources we share here on our blog, one of the problems we encountered that inspired us to open Little Wares was the quality of the products recommended by these professionals. The education piece was there, but the product quality was not.

We feel confident that we can combine this information here with a selection of great products that you can feel confident selecting for your little ones, like our 100% plastic-free Pura Stainless Steel Straw Bottle, along with the interchangeable Big Mouth Sports Lid that allows for open drinking even on the go. For at home, our Bamboo cups & tableware as a shatter-proof, lightweight yet eco-friendly replacement for cheap plastic kids tableware.

At Little Wares, we take a minimalist approach and usually recommend buying enough products to "wash one, use one." Of course if you have more than one little one, you might want to consider a few more.