If you don’t already have one, you soon will. The shelf or drawer in the kitchen that is dedicated to just one thing: sippy cups. And if yours is like mine, it’s overflowing! I decided to do a little spring cleaning and sort through my “sippy cup clutter” – hoping to tame the beast that the drawer had become.
To tackle this feat, I decided to separate the cups into types and stages. Jack is a sippy cup pro, but Delaney is just starting to use a NUK® Learners Cup. I wanted to make sure I kept cups that will be right for each of them.
First, I got rid of any cups that weren’t spill proof. If they lost their inner venting system or didn’t have one, out they went. If I wanted the kids to make a big mess with their milk, water and juice, I would just give them a bucket.
Then, I sorted the cups that passed the first test into three main groups: soft spout, hard spout and straw.
The soft spout group featured lots of different shaped spouts. I knew from experience with Jack that the best soft spouts were the ones that made learning the new skill of drinking from a cup easier. I also wanted to make sure the spout was soft enough for Delaney’s brand new teeth and sensitive gums. Cups like the Gerber® Graduates® Fun Grips® 2-Handle Soft Spout Cup made the cut. They also have handles that are just right for her little hands to grip.
The hard spout group had less variety in spout shape. Most of my collection had the typical hard spout that looks like a small nub sticking up from the top, but I also had some that had a spout that looks more like a ridge – similar to the shape of the rim of a glass. I could see when Jack used these cups that his mouth was forming the shape of a cup, rather than the “puckered seal” that is similar to using a bottle. Plus, these cups are part of the same transition system as some of the soft spout. (The tops and bottoms of these progressive cups can all be mixed and matched.) In addition to the spout differences, this group also included one of my favorites for sending to daycare, Gerber® Graduates® Insulated Tumblers. These are perfect because they feature the ridge shaped spout plus help keep his drink colder longer – a win-win.
The newest cups I have started to acquire are straw cups. Jack thinks they are just fun to drink out of, but I’ve read several articles that suggest straw cups are good for oral and speech development. The shape his tongue and mouth take promote certain speech sounds and can also strengthen cheek and lip muscles. Straw cups, like the NUK® Straw Active Cup®, also help toddlers begin drinking from a cup upright, rather than tilting their heads back.
So for now, my sippy cup drawer has some order to it. I wonder how long it will stay that way? To help you avoid “sippy cup clutter” in your kitchen, I’ll leave you with three quick tips:
- Invest in cups that are designed specifically with healthy oral development in mind. The type and shape of the spout is important for the different ages and stages of cup drinking.
- Choose a style that progresses with each stage of development and offers tops and bottoms that can be mixed and matched through the progression. That means less cups in your drawer, just use the next spout on what you already have.
- Ensure all the pieces of the cup can be removed for thorough cleaning.