by maipham

April 28, 2020

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Finding a sippy cup for breastfed babies is hard.

If your baby is breastfed 100% for the first 6 months of his life, then congratulations for providing him the most comfortable period possible. 

Now it’s the time for him to slowly discover the world, experiencing his first-ever food and water. Now he will learn there are other things that he can eat other from mommy’s nipples. After babies reach 6 months old or since your baby eats solid food, that’s the milestone when you can start giving water in a sippy cup for breastfed babies.

Breastfed babies often face a harder transition period from breast to a sipping cup than bottled babies. 

As bottled babies are used to drinking strong water flow from the bottle without much effort, they can get used to sippy cups much faster. 

On the other hand, breastfed babies are used to using their tongue and jaw to work to receive breast milk, they need some time to get used to getting water with very little effort. Often, breastfed babies choke for some time until they learn how to master their skills. 

So if you are looking for the best sippy cup for your breastfed baby, you’ve come to the right place. 

Let’s join me in finding the best sippy cup that can reduce the choking for your little one. 

Does your child need a sippy cup? 

When my son Ethan was 6 months old, I started giving him water. But I didn’t use a sippy cup, I used a milk bottle instead. 

I was afraid of too fast water flow from the sippy cup that might choke him. But now I am a little wiser compared to I was then, here’s a few things I didn’t think of when using a milk bottle. 

  • Using milk bottle forced my baby to lean back to drink, which didn’t help him to learn how to drink himself
  • Because of too much physical therapy on his neck, his neck was quite weak. Using a milk bottle didn’t challenge him or encourage him to use his neck muscle
  • His hands, which weren’t flexible at that time, had to hold the bottle up, which also meant I had to initiate and finish the drinking process, without knowing if he wants more or less water

If you see no similar problem that can occur to your baby, you can definitely give it a try to use a milk bottle for water at the beginning. But eventually, your baby needs the transitioning from bottles to cups. 

Here’s why. 

The bottles slow down the liquid flow. When drinking sweetened milk, this means the sweetness stays on his teeth much longer, which, in turn, causes tooth decay and other dental issues. 

Your kid might not like the bottle when you first introduce it to him but keep trying. The key to success is to choose the right cup for your baby, depending on his age and development stage. 

Best sippy cups for 6-month-old to 9-month-old babies

The first period of transitioning requires special care, especially if your baby is breastfed. Because breastfed babies are used to using their jaws and tongues to get the milk, but those things have no use against a sippy cup. This is also the period that you will notice your baby gets choked with water a lot.

So what do you do?

You gently start the transition period by introducing the most breast-like sippy cup. However, as your baby is too young and he doesn’t know how to coordinate different body parts yet, choosing an easy-grip handle and soft spout. Some sippy cups even come with valves, which can prevent or reduce the spill.

Remember, for babies this age, using a sippy cup is more about practicing and less about drinking. So if your baby cannot use the cup well or barely get any water from it, you can give him some water using the milk bottle, or a small spoon.

So what are the requirements?

Soft spout – breast-like soft, lightweight, and with handles for easier grabbing.

Here’s the list of the best sippy cups for breastfed babies from 6 months to 9 months.

Nuby 2-Pack Two-Handle No-Spill Super Spout Grip N’ Sip Cups

This Nuby No-spill Super Spout Grip N’Sip is suitable for babies from 4 months up. Key features of this cup are:

  • No-Spill soft silicone Super Spout helps promote baby’s oral development without leaks or spills: this soft silicone replaces nipples, getting your baby used to a sippy cup.
  • TOUCH-FLO valve allows baby to control liquid’s flow rate: you don’t have to worry so much about your baby sucks the water too hard and might get choked
  • Grab handles on both sides: allow your baby to get a firm grip while drinking
  • High-quality material: BPA free, which is safe for babies.
  • Lightweight, small enough for young babies: this sippy cup can hold up to 240ml, but you should only half fill it, so your baby can learn to use his arms and hands’ muscles.

This cup received high marks from many buyers (of course, not all of them) as one of the best sippy cups for breastfed babies because it is leak-proof, durable and easy to clean. 

However, it also received some negative feedback when the leak-proof system doesn’t work well, or the soft silicone spout might not be good for babies if they bite through it.

What we like

  • Breast-like spout
  • No-spill, no leak, no mess (when it works properly)

What we don’t like

  • The no-spill system is quite tricky

Munchkin Latch Transition Cup

Another similar sippy cup that is great for first-time drinkers is the Munchkin Latch Transition Cup. It also has a soft silicone spout that is breast-like, gentle on the mouth and it moves with your baby.

The outstanding feature of this Munchkin Latch Transition Cup is that it has an anti-colic valve that prevents air bubbles from traveling through the liquid, reducing gas for your baby. Less air, less burp, less fussy!

It also contains the grip handles on both sides that can easily be removed as your baby advances.

What we like

  • Breast-like spout
  • No-spill, no leak, no mess
  • Anti-colic valve reduces gas
  • BPA free

What we don’t like

  • The grab handles sometimes come off easily. They are troublesome when you want to take your baby on the go
  • Some parents complain it is hard for babies to drink from it as it doesn’t let air in

NUK Disney Learner Sippy Cup, Mickey Mouse

The Nuk Sippy Cup takes the whole game into a different level. It also has the soft silicon that is breast-like, but that soft silicone spout also features a built-in air vent to help ensure your baby swallows liquid, not air.

Therefore, this Nuk Sippy Cup is a great choice for sippy cup for breastfed babies.

What we like

  • Breast-like silicone spout with built-in air vent
  • BPA free
  • No leak
  • Cute design

What we don’t like

  • The grab handles can be troublesome when on the go

Best sippy cups for babies 9-12 months

When your baby is more than 9 months, ideally he already has gained more flexibility with his hands and fingers. He is also used to drinking water and eating solid food. 

As he gets stronger and bigger, he needs a faster water flow with the sippy cup. If your baby is ready, this is also a transition period where he can transfer from silicone spout to a straw or similar.

Handles are optional here, some babies are ready to use their hands and fingers to hold the cup but some babies are not quite there.

Here is the list of best sippy cups for breastfed babies from 9 to 12 months old.

Philips Avent My Easy Sippy Cup

This Easy Sippy Cup has a soft silicone spout that is gentle on the gum and teeth. It doesn’t have a grab handle but it has rippled container shape, which is easy for baby to grip. The spout also comes with a built-in valve to ensure spill-free drinking,

The cup is BPA free and dishwasher safe.

What we like

  • Simple and effective design
  • Easy to wash
  • Good size for small hands

What we don’t like

  • The silicone spout makes babies want to bite them, which causes a bad habit for babies
  • With baby biting, the silicone spout is not really durable

Dr. Brown’s Options Wide-Neck Sippy Spout Baby Bottle with Silicone Handle

The Dr Brown Sippy Cup also comes with a soft silicone spout that is gentle for baby’s teeth and gum. It comes with a removable grab handle. When you remove the handle, the cup’s shape is designed for babies to grab easily.

This sippy cup is BPA free and dishwasher safe.

What we like

  • Wide-neck bottle is easy to wash
  • Soft spout is gentle for young babies
  • The bottle and handle are compatible with almost all other Dr Brown products

What we don’t like

  • The silicone spout makes babies want to bite them, which causes a bad habit for babies
  • With baby biting, the silicone spout is not really durable

Munchkin Click Lock Weighted Straw Cup

The Munchkin cup is great for babies who can handle a stronger liquid flow. This cup doesn’t come with a spout but with a soft straw that can offer much more water to your baby.

One thing that makes this Munchkin cup stand out from other cup is the weighted straw that is designed for your baby to drink water from any angle.

It comes with a lid that slips over to ensure no spill. Make sure you can hear a click when the lid is in place.

What we like

  • Allow babies to drink water from any angle
  • Easy to clean and easy to hold

What we don’t like

  • The grab handle is built-in with the lid, can be troublesome on the go

Best sippy cups for babies 12-18 months

Toddlers have learned to coordinate their body parts and how to use their hands and fingers. They can graduate from a soft spout. A hard spout is also a wise choice for a smooth transition.

The First Years Disney Toy Story Insulated Hard Spout Sippy Cups

The cup comes with a hard spout that can help toddlers get used to sipping from an open cup. The sippy cup lid has a drop guard bumper all around the edge to prevent breakage 

Besides, it even has a silicon valve to prevent leakage even if your baby turn the cup upside down.

This sippy cup is a perfect choice for families on the go because it has insulated walls that can keep drinks cooler for a longer period of time. What’s more, it comes with cartoon characters that are cute enough to make your baby fall in love with it. 

What we like

  • Separate cup walls keep things cooler
  • No spill, no leakage
  • Cute design 

What we don’t like

  • Some toddlers get angry with the slow flow of liquid 

Re-Play Sippy Cups

When it comes to giving drinks like juice or milk to your baby, you will want the liquid can flow out fast. You don’t want the flow is too slow that it can increase the risk of having tooth decay to your little one. 

They use a one-piece spill-proof valve, which means they’re easy to clean. Some parents gave Re-Play Sippy Cups a very good rating because of the one-piece cup and lid and the valve. As long as you put the valve in properly, these cups won’t leak. As your toddler gets older and spills less you can remove the valve to allow a faster liquid flow.

They come in different colors. They are BPA, Phthalate, PVC and Melamine FREE, (made from recycled milk jugs) and they can be washed on the top rack of the dishwasher. 

What we like

  • Super easy to clean
  • Good price

What we don’t like

  • The body shape of the cup is straight, which can be challenging for some toddlers who haven’t mastered their motor skills.

Klean Kanteen Sippy Cup

If you are concerned with everything your baby puts inside his mouth and you want to make sure he gets the best of everything, you can consider getting a stainless steel sippy cup. This cup is BPA free, phthalates and other toxins free, and plastic-free (except the lid cover which is also BPA free).

It is leak-proof and comes with a handle on the top of the cup for easier carrying by hooking a finger or two in it. It works for even bigger toddlers for this reason. To create a stronger flow, you can remove the valve.

It is dishwasher safe, refrigerator safe. However, it is heavier than other plastic sippy cups but shouldn’t cause any trouble for your baby.

What we like

  • High-quality material, non-toxic
  • Easy to clean and durable

What we don’t like

  • Some babies might have troubles drinking with the hooks touching their noses

Best sippy cups for babies 18 months and older

Munchkin Miracle 360 Trainer Cup

This Munchkin Miracle 360 Trainer Cup is perfect for babies to learn how to drink water from a cup. This cup doesn’t have any spout or straw so your baby will have to work to use his hands to get water from it. 

It has a lid that is automatically closed when your baby is done drinking and it has a 360-degree drinking edge to eliminate spill completely. It comes with a handle, which is great for the baby to learn a separate motor skill at once time. No extra part, no complicated design which makes it very easy to clean.

It is also BPA free and dishwasher safe.

What we like

  • The lid automatically close
  • 360-degree drinking edge

What we don’t like

  • Hard to disassemble to clean the lid 

Reflo Smart Cup

Reflo Smart Cups are award-winning, open-top cups that are just the right size for small hands. You can start using these cups with kids as young as 6 months old, but I recommend only trying this cup when your baby is at least 18 months old, because they are more suited for toddlers who are ready to train for an open cup.

The secret? A special clear “lid” of sorts nests inside the cup to help slow the flow of liquid if the cup is tipped over so kids don’t choke. However, the lid can get displaced easily. And it is obviously not a spill-free cup.

What we like

  • A lid that can slow down the liquid flow

What we don’t like

  • Doesn’t flip all babies on their backs

The First Years Take & Toss Spill-Proof Straw Cups

For a super affordable, on-the-go option, the First Years Take and Toss Sippy Cups fit the bill. These colorful BPA-free plastic cups are suitable for kids 18 months or older and feature a valve-free design with spill-proof lids. The lids are also easy to put on with a snap.

While these cups do have some advantages with simplicity and affordability, they’re not the most durable. In fact, some treat them like disposable cups, possibly lessening the savings over time. Some parents suggest that putting the straw after the snap the lid on the prevent leakage.

What we like

  • Cheap
  • Simple design

What we don’t like

  • Not so durable
  • Toddlers can easily outsmart the cup and cause leakage

Munchkin Splash Toddler Cups with Training Lids

Another super affordable option, this Munchkin Cup doesn’t disappoint. It doesn’t have a handle which encourages your baby to develop his motor skills. For the start, the Munchkin Miracle 360 Trainer Cup is ideal, once your baby knows how to coordinate his body parts better, you can switch to this Splash Toddler Cups.

It also comes with a training lid so you can close it or guide your baby to close it after he is done drinking. That training lid can direct the flow of the liquid, making it easy for your baby to learn. Now obviously it is not a spill-proof cup, don’t get it if you need that feature.

What we like

  • Affordable and simple design
  • Comes with 4 packs with different color

What we don’t like

  • No grab handle
  • Not a spill-proof cup

Other tips for a gentle transition from bottles to cups

  • When your babies are very young and have no experience with anything other than breastmilk before, start by offering a cup with some plain water between and after meals. 
  • If your baby resists cups, don’t force him but try again later with a little bit of milk in the sippy cup. You can dilute the milk if you wish.
  • Replace a milk bottle with a cup.
  • Transition away from cups that require sucking as soon as possible
  • If your baby doesn’t do well with a cup, try another type

Sometimes our precious ones will surprise us big time.

I know mine did. 

Ethan succeeded in using a sippy cup right at the first try. 

If your baby doesn’t, be patient and give him some time. When he is ready, transitioning to a cup will be easy. 

That will be another big milestone for your little one. Don’t stress yourself so much and enjoy the moment. 

Trust your baby. He can do it. 

About the author 

Mai Pham

Mai Pham discovered her passion for writing a few years ago and she never stop thinking about it ever since. She finally took the leap and created Live a Worthy Life to brag about her smart ass (mainly just for fun). Enjoyed the fun writing brings, now with her new interest in everything-baby-related, she created Mommy Instinct, to tell mamas that it's ok that they mess up, that they don't know what the hell they are doing, and that it's okay to sit back and relax for a while.

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