No Sippy Cups? - Tulsa,OK

Updated on May 24, 2014
A.A. asks from Tulsa, OK
23 answers

So I've seen many questions with posters that state they do not/will not use sippy cups for their toddlers, and today's question got me wondering why. Personally, we never used the traditional "sippy" cup that has a lid and a valve (too much to wash and potentially lose), but introduced the kind with just a lid around 8 months. My son was EBF, and didn't get bottles much so it was either water in a cup or breastmilk. Around 2.5 he was trustworthy enough to lose the cups with lids and go to regular cups with only an occasional accident. We still use the lidded cups when we are going out for the day so he's got water when he wants it and we don't have to stop to buy any. Generally on the big parenting debates I don't agree with both sides, but I at least understand them both. I can't come up with a good reason to be anti-sippy, anyone willing to enlighten me? I'm not trying to start a debate, to each their own, I just want to know the rationale. Thanks for sharing!

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So What Happened?

All interesting perspectives, as always! Now I need Canuck (or someone) to tell me what a soother is. I'm guessing a regional term for pacifier? I also don't limit a drink to just during meals. Juice and milk are with meals only, but water is allowed whenever he wants it. Now that he's bigger, he goes and gets his own from the sink, but as a toddler I wanted him to have access to water whenever he was thirsty. My niece has speech issues, and her therapist did suggest losing the sippy cups and going to ones with straws only (something about tongue thrust with the sippy's that could lead to trouble forming words).

Featured Answers



answers from Kansas City on

I never saw a problem with sippy cups. We used them, hell, I use the plastic ones that have a lid and straw for grown ups because I'm a notorious klutz.

11 moms found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

No clue.
Convenient, not messy and honestly, we never had O. that looked close to Defcon 10 germ level!

9 moms found this helpful

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answers from Chicago on

I have 4 kids. All used sippy cups. None have speech problems. None got sick from gross bacteria.

Parents just make decisions about what they think (or read) is the *right* way to raise their kids. We all have our own quirks about raising kids.

I would choose sanity over a battle w a 15 month old.

11 moms found this helpful


answers from Erie on

Until now, I had never heard anyone complain about them or attribute speech issues, bacterial infections or anything other bad thing to their use. I used them with all four of my kids, it was a great way to keep the mess down in the house and the car. My kids used them for all kinds of drinks, and I only had a dishwasher for a short period of time when they were little, otherwise we have always hand washed everything. No one died or has dental issues. I am so not a germ-a-phobe.
Now we use a lot of coffee cups with lids, like a lidded Starbucks cup but made of plastic, it's the grown-up sippy cup! (And they are made locally, which is a nice plus.)

9 moms found this helpful


answers from Toledo on

We used sippy cups and let our kids carry their drinks around the house and have as much as they want. Now that they're older, they get their own drinks. They are pretty good about staying hydrated. Also, no dental issues like I always heard about.

I really wouldn't worry about bacteria. In our society we actually are too worried about bacteria. We need a certain amount of bacteria exposure in order to build our immunities. Too many kids are not exposed to enough bacteria at young ages and have no way to fight it off when they are older. My son recently had an ear infection, and the doctor was telling me that he needs to receive triple the dose he would have a year ago. Triple!!! This is because the previous amount wasn't getting rid of the bacteria anymore.

My kids also know how to drink out of regular cups. I never needed to teach them. I just waited until they were ready, and they did just fine.

ETA - I'm always surprised when people want to limit kids to drinking only at the table or only at meal time. I know many, many adults who do not drink enough water each day. According to my urologist, a good percentage of the population is actually dehydrated because they drink too much caffeine (and alcohol) and not enough water. I think it's great that my kids enjoy drinking so much. I know it is good for their overall health.

9 moms found this helpful


answers from Austin on

Pish posh. I think we moms listen to too many old wives tales.

Our daughter used a sippy with and without valves. If you use the proper cleaning solutions.. it is like anything else you will not have any problems.

The sippy is just a step towards a regular cup. So the moment she could handle a cup without splashing her face, or spilling it tipping it over, of course we moved on to regular cups.

And like anything, you watch for changes, you decide when it has gone on long enough and you phase it out , drop it loose it or whatever works for your child. I have learned there is no Best way for every child, Instead there are best ways for the individual child. And we as parents can figure it out.

8 moms found this helpful


answers from Chattanooga on

Meh. For me, it was never about the potential for problems or germs... I'm fine with sippy cups in general. It just seemed like a pointless step, so I just introduced her straight to a regular cup. I kept one for her in the kitchen, where she could drink any time she was thirsty.

I DID use a straw cup for traveling, or if we were somewhere she needed to be able to carry her drink around... But for he most part, she was taught to drink from a cup and to be careful with it. :)

It was funny, the first time we went home and she met my grandma at around 18 mos. She was given a sippy cup, and didn't know what to do with it. Lol.

I couldn't care less if other people use them though. It's one of those parenting decisions that is so inconsequential that it doesn't really matter in the long run.

ETA: Gamma G.'s pretty simple really. Don't let your kid run around with a cup... Especially if that cup is full of something other than water.

7 moms found this helpful


answers from Reading on

How in the world did I get my children through toddlerhood without all this strife and controversy! By the way, tongue thrust happens, with or without sippy cups. My kids tongue thrusted from birth, neither nursed well, neither could take a bottle, both have had speech issues. They couldn't figure out the valves so we didn't use them.

Of all the debates parents have, I'm really glad I missed this one.

7 moms found this helpful


answers from Oklahoma City on

I used them until the kids were in school while at home but not a true sippy cup. We used the Take N Toss from Walmart that had straws. I refuse to have to clean carpet when some child runs across the room with a cup in their hand and then trips and falls making chocolate milk or some juice/punch that will leave a stain.

Perhaps those mom's who'd rather clean house all day instead of having time for a life should teach us other mom's who can't do that all day what the secret is.

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Richland on

Never knew this was another bragging topic. Don't get it though. The idea that sippy cups were invented so that kids could drink without their mom around? What? I have baby pictures with me and a sippy cup. They were invented so that you could teach a six month old to drink from a cup. You know, back when they still didn't have the greatest muscle control? I know everyone nurses longer now and all that but they really were just a way to keep your kitchen sort of clean when they were going through their gravity tests with any food or drink you put on their high chair.

My kids used them when we were out and about because they don't spill. I can throw the drink in my purse without needing to buy a new purse. At home we use cups, but if you need something to not spill....

Hell I have a spill free water bottle sitting on my desk right now! Nope, my teeth are still where they should be and I have yet to destroy a keyboard. :)

I guess I am sensing an attitude that they are lazy and I just think they are convenient when you are out a lot.

I would have answered that question with a spill free sippy cup in the crib. At first I was going to say put a cup of water on their nightstand but realized probably still in their crib. Then I saw the answers and the what happened and wasn't going to touch the question with a ten ft pole.

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Williamsport on

This sounds like one of those issues where it shouldn't be a "thing". I'm sure there are reasons for not wanting to use them. And that's fine. But people use them too. And that's also fine. I haven't seen any problems in my 3 ex sippy users anyway. My kids could also use regular cups after bottles, but when I wasn't in the mood for spills: Sippies. I did feel bad about the plastic nightmare that is toddlerhood, so I used the SAME THREE SIPPIES for the duration of their sippy stage. And when one got lost, we had to share two...

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Minneapolis on

My daughter refused to drink from a sippy cup with a valve, at any age. She went from a bottle to a regular cup. Her daycare taught her to drink from a cup without a lid, sitting at a table for meals, at 14 months. At home we used the cheap plastic cups with the spout lids for awhile before just having her use a cup/glass like the rest of us.

I wasn't "anti sippy cup". She just would not drink from one. You have to suck really hard to get liquid from them, I tried it. And, we just didn't have that much problem with spills, so it wasn't a big deal. And, there's no reason for a child to constantly carry around something to drink, anyway.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Honolulu on

The dental issues really only have to do with juice, milk anything with sugar. If its just water, then it won't impact teeth. I was never a big sippy cup person but we did have a few for travel and such. Not anti but I didn't want to deal with making another transition to regular cups so just went straight from bottle to cup at a little over a year.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Portland on

So, we used a sippy with a valve for a short while, not very long. I breastfed but also started introducing bottles at around six weeks because A. Kiddo already nursing well and B. I wanted to be sure that I wasn't just a boob, that is to say, I wanted to be able to go out for an evening or have a beer without worry.

Sippy cups with a valve don't have 'backwash', so we didn't have any worries. I'm pretty sure we also brought a clean one with water along with us for the first couple years of restaurant trips out of consideration for servers (didn't want spills).

And we never allowed him to just carry it around. In the stroller was fine, but at home and restaurants we taught him to sit down at the table to eat and drink.

In the big picture, life is long and being 'anti' something as utilitarian as this just seems sort of a waste of energy. Use them or not. My child used regular cups at home since he was about two or so, because we had nice sturdy mugs for him (instead of tippy plastic cups). I didn't really put a lot of thought or energy into that aspect of parenting...saved it for the things that matter a bit more than a cup. We also used a pacifier at about 5 months because he really wanted to suck on something... people told me it was going to be 'horrible' to break him from it, but we just sort of 'forgot about it' at 18 months or so and you know, it was no big deal. (Each kid is different!)

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

they bug me because i hate the name.
not sure what other than 'sippy cup' they could be called, but it grates on my ears!

3 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

I think the big issue here is that some parents replace bottles with sippy cups. Which is not what they were intended for. My children used sippy cups at the table...they never walked around with them. And if we were going to be out all day we had sippy cups with water. I always offer my kids water at all times day or night. But milk or juice is for meal times only. They have found a love for water and request it all the time now. I think that some people are referring to the fact that they see children with sippy cups in the kids mouth all the time. That to me is unacceptable. I saw a child at the store yesterday who was probably around 5 or 6 with a binkie clipped to his shirt and a sippy cup in his hand. To me, he was too old for that. I was lucky and none of my kids took to a binkie tho.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Pittsburgh on

I never used a sippy cup. I saw absolutely no reason to teach my son he could disregard gravity and then have to teach him all over again later. He learned to use a regular cup starting at 8 months. Yes he would spill but he only had a cup at the table and he made such a mess eating that cleaning up a little more spilled milk wasn't any worse. He was using a regular cup at restaurants reliably by a year. He never had a cup that he carried around the house and he did not have drinks when he was in his stroller. We drink at the table and in the kitchen. When we are out, we stop to drink.

I have always wondered what the bacterial counts were in those sippy cups of backwash with a bit of juice that toddlers seem to carry around for hours. I would say the gross factor also played a part in our decision.

ETA: I personally have no problem with other people using sippy cups. I just happen to find them gross as well as unnecessary. Same feelings as Canuck on the pacifier - ewww.

Teaching a child that food and drink are consumed in a kitchen or dining room, not in a bedroom, does NOT cause a lifelong water deficit. It teaches a social norm. Exposure to environmental bacteria is not the same as providing bacterial culture medium for your child's food. My son plays/played in dirt (I'm sure he ate some too). However, I keep and serve perishable foods either cold or hot. This is simply common sense and well supported by CDC guidelines.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

I do use a cup with a lid off and on during the day until I feel comfortable with her just drinking from a cup. As I see it, they can just drink from cups, so why not just let them drink from cups? The sippy is an invention to let kids drink without mommy present. My son drank perfectly from a cup by 13 months. I could totally trust he wouldn't dump it. My oldest did so at 11 months -for some reason I was allow to give her water! But then after I had my son the doctor said no water till 12 months. My current 15 month old does pretty well with no lid, we are getting there.

My parenting philosophy is each to his ability. If they are able, why use something else? But I'm weird. My 15 month old has started using the potty. I put it out after they start walking, and usually they desire to be like the big people so much that they train themselves by 18 months. One reason I don't want a night water habit is that my other kids night potty trained at 21 months. I'm hoping she follows suit in terms of development.

Btw, I'm not "anti-sippy cups." I don't use them. There is a difference. Kind of like how I don't use bottles, or breast pads, etc. I'm not against them, I just didn't need them. I don't need sippy cups, so I don't use them,

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Salinas on

How do you all feel about kids drinking from the dog's bowl?

I was speaking to my girl friend about this. She says her children NEVER drank from the dog bowl because she was always present with a cup of fresh water. I feel it helps foster their independence and self reliance. For a little one to be able to find their own water source and then figure out how to utilize it, now that's an important life skill.

Shall we discuss?

2 moms found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

I guess I never really liked sippy cups because I saw so many parents using them as a way to shut their kids up, and they were often filled with juice or milk, just creating a dripping sticky mess everywhere.
My kids were breastfeed for around 18 months and had water cups with lids (not perfectly leak proof) at the table only. If they got thirsty they knew to come to the table or kitchen counter for a drink. I don't think it's a good habit to walk around with food or drinks while you're playing or working, plus I had no interest in having a bunch of plastic cups all over the house to keep track of.
Of course they were good for travel, for a short time, but we had water bottles, so that period was very short lived.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Raleigh on

I've read that sippy cups can cause speech problems with extended use. I never used the traditional sippy cups- just the insulated flip-top kind with the flexible straws. Those are better all the way around, in my opinion.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

I like lidded cups because it keeps Bugs and flies out of your water when you are at the park. Nothing worse then taking a brink and finding a nat or small bug in it. People will make a big deal about anything.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Grand Forks on

I introduced my breastfed kids to sippy cups when they were infants so they could have water, and after they weaned they used the sippy for milk until they were close to two. I also left them with a sippy of water in the crib in case they woke up thirsty. (I just didn't want to clean up spills or wake up in the middle of the night to get a drink of water) . They still had to sit at the table to drink, I didn't let them walk around with the sippy cup. When we were out and about they just had a sports bottle or straw bottle with water.

I guess we all have things we don't like. I was totally anti-soother. I still can't stand to see a kid with a soother.

1 mom found this helpful
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