The 10 Best Sippy Cups
10. Philips Avent
9. Think Baby No Spill
8. Green Sprouts Sip & Straw
7. Pura Kiki Stainless Steel
6. Nuk Active
5. Tommee Tippee Tumbler
4. Nuk Learner
3. Klean Kanteen Kid
2. Gerber Graduates Fun Grips
1. Munchkin Miracle 360
A Brief History Of The Sippy Cup
As is the case with many products designed for children, the sippy cup was brought into existence by a frustrated parent looking to solve a problem. In 1988, a mechanical engineer named Richard Belanger was at his wits' end dealing with the cleanup after his son spilled yet another drink.
There were products on the market at the time that were supposed to prevent spills, but they were easily outsmarted by children who quickly figured out that they leaked when turned upside down. So, Belanger set out to design a cup that didn't leak from any angle.
The first prototype of the sippy cup was essentially a bunch of Tupperware parts put together with a mouthpiece added on top. Belanger then played around with different types of valves until he eventually found one that would allow air to flow in as the child drank, which created just the right amount of pressure to trap the liquid inside. This air pressure forms a seal that keeps the contents from spilling out, even when the cup is held upside down. A few years later, he licensed the idea to Playtex, and it quickly became a success.
Today, many parents find sippy cups to be indispensable tools, especially for taking kids' beverages on the go — after all, the last thing you need is to deal with a spilled drink in the car when you're already running late. There are countless varieties available in many different styles and materials, ranging from plastic to stainless steel, and some have built-in nipples to make the transition away from bottles easier on little ones. Heck, there's even an adult version of the sippy cup made for discreetly drinking wine in public.
Providing Plenty Of Healthy Hydration
Staying hydrated is extremely important for health at any age. Every part of the body needs fluids to function properly. They help to distribute nutrients to your cells and also aid your kidneys in removing waste from your blood stream. Not giving your body enough fluids leads to dehydration, which can cause headaches, dry mouth, and fatigue.
Plain old water is the best thing to put in kids' sippy cups to keep them hydrated, and since it contains no calories, sugar, or fat, it won't contribute to weight gain. However, the lack of flavor may make it unappealing to many tots. In this case, you can add a few pieces of their favorite fruit or a small splash of juice to appease their taste buds.
Milk is a popular choice because it's a great source of calcium and vitamin D, which help to make teeth and bones strong. Whole milk is typically better than skim or 2 percent because it contains more healthy fats that are important for early brain development. It may seem counterintuitive, but some studies suggest that kids who drink low-fat milk may actually have a higher risk of being overweight.
Fruit juice can be a good source of essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, but keep in mind that it is loaded with sugar and should be served to little ones sparingly. Be sure to look for "100 percent juice" on the label, as most other fruit drinks are even more sugary and have very little, if any, nutritional value.
Avoid giving children sodas, sports drinks, and anything else that's caffeinated. Caffeine doesn't just make kids hyper — it can cause stomach discomfort and trouble sleeping, and it's also a diuretic, meaning that it actually increases fluid loss.
Keeping Things Clean
Like anything else that's going to go into your baby's mouth, it is imperative to make sure that sippy cups are kept as clean as possible. They are exposed to quite a bit of bacteria on a daily basis, especially if you send them along with your kids to daycare. The tiny holes in the valves and mouthpieces provide convenient spots for mold to grow if they are not washed properly.
The best way to combat the buildup of nasty particles is to rinse the cup as soon as your child is done using it. This way, any leftover liquid won't have a chance to dry. You may even want to soak the cup and lid in hot, soapy water for ten to fifteen minutes before washing, just to make sure any dried-on residues have a chance to loosen up.
In many cases, the interior valves on these cups are hard to remove, which makes your job even more difficult. But if they can be disassembled, make sure to take apart every component, including straws, stoppers, and rubber rings, so you can scrub away every last bit of debris.
It's also a good idea to run your child's sippy cups through the dishwasher on occasion, as the high temperature helps to sanitize them and gets rid of any germs lurking in hard-to-reach nooks and crannies. If you want to go one step further, you can soak sippy cups in boiling water or use a bottle sterilizer to kill off any remaining bacteria.
Sippy cups are designed to keep liquids in, so drying them thoroughly can be quite a chore, but this is an essential step because moisture makes for an excellent breeding ground for mold. Make sure to never reassemble cups until all components are completely dry, and set them on a drying rack rather than a towel to allow for maximum airflow.