Should Parents Skip the Sippy Cup?


ThinkstockSippy cups are a blessing for parents that dread cleaning up the messes and accidents that come when babies transition away from bottles. But sippy cups are a relatively new invention. Before them, infants transitioned directly from the bottle to a cup. 

Many pediatricians recommend avoiding them completely and moving straight to cups. Of course infants should not be holding anything breakable, but moving from a bottle to a plastic cup is perfectly safe. According to Everyday Health, one-year-olds are capable of holding a plastic cup with two hands. 

If you’re worried about spills, serve drinks only when your child is sitting at the table or during meal times.

Doctor Recommendations 

"The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry call for switching straight from bottles to lidless cups, instead of using sippy cups," in a story in The Washington Post.

There's also a concern that sippy cups can become a crutch for infants in transition. Infants may end up walking around with a drink constantly. Constant juice consumption can cause cavities and drinking throughout the day can disrupt a child’s appetite. If you do serve juice, ensure that you dilute it with water to cut down on the sugar. WebMD reported that "[n]early one-third of toddlers with tooth decay problems used sippy cups, according to the study published in the Journal of Dentistry for Children."

Sippy Cup Injury

Walking with a sippy cup, according to Everyday Health, may also cause a child to fall when they are learning to walk. 

If you can’t remove the training cup completely think about weening your child off the sippy cup sooner rather than later. Do not let your child go to bed with a sippy cup. Confine it to meals and begin to serve them drinks in a simple plastic cup held with two hands. 


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Read More: Baby Names: Why Naming Regret Is Higher Than Ever

Sara Novak writes about health and wellness for Discovery Health. Her work is also regularly featured in Breathe Magazine and on She has written extensively on food policy, food politics, and food safety.









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