Sip and See - The World of Sippy Cups

Am I the only one who had no clue when to introduce sippy cups to their baby? I don’t know why I never thought of it (maybe it’s because I’m thinking of 465823475 other things in a day) but it just kind of dawned on me during last months check up. And lo and behold, my pediatrician said to start now. She recommended that Camden be (mostly) off the bottle by 1 year old. So naturally, I went on a research rampage to try and find the some solid sippy cup options. Below are a list of a several that I have purchased, my thoughts thus far, and the benefits of weaning your child off the bottle.

Benefits Of A Sippy Cup:

Dental hygiene: If your baby spends all day (or worse, all night) slurping on a bottle of milk or juice, his teeth — the ones you can see and the ones you can't — could lead to permanent damage and serious tooth decay and cavities. My dentist calls it “baby bottle caries”.

Health and nutrition: Too much bottle time can mean more ear infections. There's also the matter of a balanced diet. If your baby loves his bottle and sips from it nonstop, he'll have little room in his stomach for solids.

Development: If his mouth is plugged with a nipple, your baby can't practice talking; clutching the trusty bottle to his side keeps him from using both hands to play and explore.

Habit: A younger baby’s will is more malleable than an older baby. So breaking the bottle habit now will be easier on both your baby and you in the end.

My pediatrician said to start with water as an introduction, as well as offering varying shapes, colors and size options to see which one they gravitate toward.  It may take some practice, but just like bottle or breastfeeding, they will eventually get more comfortable with the sippy cup. Ages 9-12 months are when babies have best coordination to drink from a cup.

Dr. Brown’s
I got the soft-spout option as I heard it was an excellent first sippy cup.  If you are wondering which to go with spout wise the hard spout is good for teething babies and the soft, silicone spout is good for the transition from the bottle (ie, similar to the silicone nipple).  The Dr. Brown’s cup has a sip-activated valve that means if they are tipped over they do not leak. I haven’t experienced leaking from the lid although I know some people have – try my tip above to remedy this problem.  All in all I am very happy with the Dr. Brown’s cups thus far.
Cleaning: easy.  All pieces detach, can be cleaned separately and are dishwasher safe.
Perks:  great for first sippy cup
Downside: the handle is wide set and was awkward for Camden to use at first.  We used the cups without the handle.
Leak? Not that we experienced!

Playtex TrainingTime Starter Cups
I bought this cup because Diapers.com was (and is) having a deal on them right now. We’ve used this cup without the handle (it is detachable).  Without the handle, the cup remains easy to grip with its curved design.  Size wise it was easy for Camden to get his little hands around and tip up.  The more pronounced spout on this model was a win with Camden and from day one; it was easy for him to use. I like that this cup transitions to a straw as well. Overall, we liked this cup.

Cleaning: easy.  All pieces detach, can be cleaned separately and are dishwasher safe.
Perks:  good size, easy for little hands to hold
Downside: the leaking and the handle wasn’t a win for us – especially as he got older/more mobile.
Leak? Yes, if not on properly

mOmma by Lansinoh
I had heard quite a bit about this cup from friends and was excited to try it (it was voted Product of  the Year in 2012).  And I am glad I did.  I was worried what Camden would think of the straw but from the first use, he loved it. The silicone straw is flexible and sized well.  It does require quite a strong sucking ability to get liquid up the straw so this probably would not be a good first cup (Camden is still trying to master this).  The cup is well sized and finally, Camden likes the handles on a cup, uber flexible! I love the shape as well.

Cleaning: cup has two pieces, both dishwasher safe, straw requires extra rinse Perks: easy to use, straw option lets this cup grow with your child. The lid turns to cover the straw and prevent leaking.
Downside: the ball shape makes it easy to throw ;)
Leak?: Nope!

Born Free Single Training Cup
The Born Free line of sippy cups is one of the most popular from the research I found. Plus, we use their bottles and since the sippy cups are interchangeable with the bottles, I wanted to try. The training cup is an excellent choice for a first sippy cup.  The spout is a hard silicone that is great for babies who are teething, or like to bite down on things.  The cup is easy for babies to get their little hands around. The cup is super easy to clean and dishwasher safe.  We had minor leaking problems with this cup when it was laid or dropped on its side.  Overall though, I think the BornFree cup is a great option.  
Cleaning: easy.  all pieces detach, can be cleaned separately and are dishwasher safe.
Perks:  good size, easy for little hands to hold. Interchangeable Parts-handles, collars, nipples & spouts are completely interchangeable between any BornFree bottle or cup
Downside: Beginner cup, won’t grow with your child
Leak?: A little – very minor though.

Thinkbaby Trainer Cup

The silicone spout offers a soft feel that is made from the same material his bottle nipples are. The only difference is the shape. The spout curves and is elongated much like a traditional sippy cup while retaining the soft feel of a bottle nipple. With the large handles it has been very easy for him to hold the cup and drink sitting up as he learns to drink in spurts rather than a long bottle-feeding session.
Cleaning:  easy.  all pieces detach, can be cleaned separately and are dishwasher safe.
Perks:  easy to drink from, good size and shape cup for little hands, love the spout
Downside: I did find that when inverted, the spout does leak and can cause a bit of a mess if the lid is not on correctly.
Leak?: See above

One tip… I found with all sippy cups that if you don’t have the lid on exactly right and tight some leakage may occur.  If your cup is leaking, try taking the lid off and putting it back on.  And of course, I’d love to hear from you on what works since I am still on the hunt for the perfect sippy cup.