Moving from bottle to cup
Beaker, trainer cup, sippy cup? Whatever the name, they all do one very vital thing – aid our baby’s transition from breast and bottle to drinking from a regular grown-up cup.
When should I introduce a cup?
The NHS and the British Dental Health Foundation recommend your baby should start moving from the bottle and onto a free-flow feeder cup at six months – about when they are sitting unaided – and bottles should be given up completely by the age of one.
This is because the teats and spouts encourage children to suck for long periods of time, which can mean the drinks that cause tooth decay stay in contact with your child’s teeth for a long time.
Like the assortment of names, there are a wide variety of baby cups to suit different ages and preferences. You can pick from spouts or straws, handle or open cup, free-flow or valve, cups with a rim valve or angled child-friendly cups with a weighted base.
The NHS says that using an open cup or a free-flow cup without a valve will help your baby learn to sip rather than suck, which is better for their teeth, but it may be more practical on some occasions to choose a different cup.
What shall I give my baby to drink from a cup?
Once you start weaning and you get into a routine of feeding, you can introduce a drink of cooled boiled water at mealtimes. A non-handled cup with a soft spout will be easier for you to hold to help your baby at first.
Breast milk and formula can both be served in a cup too – and it’s ok to give your baby water straight from the kitchen mains tap in the UK once they are at least six months old, but it should be boiled and cooled before six months.
As your baby grows, try a cup with handles so he can hold and drink from the cup himself. Hygiene is important, and if you serve milk from a cup, the spout, cup and handles should be sterilised until your baby turns 1.
We’ve got more safety information right here:
1. Litecup Baby, £11.99, MFM Gold Award Winner
Suitable for ages: 4 months +
Why we love it:
This non-spill baby cup has a unique feature to help with the bottle-to-cup transition. It’s the only one of its kind to light up! The soothing automatic glow makes it easy for little ones or their parents to find in the dark.
Our gold winning vessel also has a patented no-spill 360° valve, which allows the free flow of liquid for natural drinking style. The textured handles are removable, so you can choose a style that best suits your child’s grip.
Mums and dads on the move will also appreciate the security ribbon and safety clip – just click it onto to the baby’s high chair or buggy straps for peace of mind.
It has the thumbs up from dentists and holds up to 200ml. Suitable for children aged four months and upwards.
What our MadeForMums Awards Judges say about the Litecup:
“My son loves this cup especially that it lights up. I like the fact that it doesn’t get mouldy and is very easy to clean. It is also very easy to find if dropped under the bed due to the light.” Mum of 2, Rhiannon
“It’s a very robust cup. Very hygienic and easy to clean, which was a huge plus point, as previously we have had to regularly throw cups away due to mould developing and teats getting chewed. We’d rather spend a few more pounds to get a cup that lasts. My seven-month-old learned how to use it effectively really quickly. It doesn’t easily leak or spill.” Mum of 2, Samantha
You can buy the Litecup Baby from: Amazon, Kidly and Hippychick
2. Bickiepegs Doidy Cup, £3.85, MFM Silver Award Winner
Suitable for ages: 3 months +
Why we love it: Designed and made in the UK, the Doidy Cup teaches your baby to drink from a rim with its unique slant of the cup, without thrusting their head forwards.
The natural mouth action used is apparently the same as in breastfeeding and the cup is available in loads of bright colours, and our mum reviewer loved the stylish, modern design, but warned it can get messy!
What our MadeForMums Awards Judges say about the Bickiepegs Doidy Cup:
“My little Harry absolutely loves his new Doidy cup! Although he gets more fun out of emptying it onto his highchair tray and splashing in it, he still manages to pick it up and take sips from it, which at seven months I didn’t realise would even be possible. Without being chosen to judge this product I wouldn’t have known it existed, and I am so glad that I now do. What a great idea!” Mum of 2, Lauren
“The Doidy cup is very unique and allowed my 11-month-old to drink easily from the cup. It is easy for a parent to hold and let the child drink but it is not very suited to independent drinking with very young children as it just spills everywhere. However, for a child who isn’t keen on drinking out of a bottle, it is a fantastic way to get them to drink. It is very good value for money and it is definitely a cup I would buy and use.” Mum of 2, Lynsey
You can buy the Bickiepegs Doidy Cup from: Amazon, John Lewis and Bickiepegs
3. Babycup First Cups, £6.99 for 4
Suitable for ages: 4 months +
Why we love them: Recommended by dentists, these dinky cups aim to get little ones drinking from an open cup from day one.
At 5.2cm tall and 4.5cm diameter they are easy for even tiny babies to hold.
Suitable for use from four months to age three, each of the colourful cups holds up to 50ml and can be used for drinks, purees or even expressed breast milk.
You can buy Babycup First Cups from: JoJoMamanBebe and Babycup
4. OXO Tot Transitions Soft Spout Sippy Cup Set, £10.50
Suitable for ages: 4 months upwards
Why we love it: The versatile Transitions Soft Spout Sippy Cup Set has been specially designed to grow with your child from four months to 12 months. The almond-shaped spout opens easily as your little one’s lips touch it, and it comes with a sturdy cap to prevent leaks.
When your little one is ready, the cup’s training lid mimics grown-up cups, to help them learn how far they need to tip it. It has a training disk that can be set to slow flow and fast flow. When they’re ready, this can be removed, transforming it into a training cup.
You can buy the OXO Tot Transitions Soft Spout Sippy Cup Set from: Amazon, John Lewis and Kidly
5. Munchkin Miracle 360° Sippy Cup 296ml, £5.50
Suitable for ages: 12 months +
Why we love it: This sleek and colourful cup has got a large 296ml capacity, and is leak proof and spill proof, thanks to its valve that seals automatically after drinking from anywhere around its rim.
Perfect for popping in the buggy, changing bag, or even on the nightstand, it comes in four bright colours and can be used from 12 months.
You can buy the Munchkin Miracle 360° Sippy Cup 296ml from Amazon
6. TUM TUM Tippy Up Cup, £7
Suitable for ages: 6 months+
Why we love it: Our judges loved the cup’s clever weighted straw, which works for any way up drinking (as the weight follows the liquid) and avoids those frustrated moments of sucking at fresh air. The sweet teddy bear design was also a hit with little testers.
To clean, just remove the straw and it’s dishwasher, steriliser and microwave safe.
You can buy the TUM TUM Tippy Up Cup from: JoJoMamanBebe and Amazon
7. Lansinoh mOmma Developmental Drink Set, £14.99
Suitable for ages: 4 months +
Why we love it: With three different attachments, you’re getting a feeding bottle for use from birth, a two-handle non-spill beaker for use from 4 months, and finally a one-handle non-spill straw sipper.
Head to our review of the mOmma Developmental Drinking Set for more on how it works and performs.
You can buy the Lansinoh mOmma Developmental Drink Set from: Amazon
8. Sophie La Girafe Non-Spill Cup, £10
Suitable for ages: 6 months +
Why we love it: Sophie the Giraffe fans rejoice – now your little one can even have their favourite giraffe at meal time too! The cute handled cup gradually reveals Sophie hidden within their milk (or she can splosh about in their water). It can be used with the valve, or without to create a free-flowing spout.
You can buy the Sophie La Girafe Non-Spill Cup from: JoJo Maman Bebe and Amazon
9. Pura Kiki® 11oz Toddler Sippy Bottle with Sleeve, £16.95
Suitable for: 8 months+
Fashionable but functional, the Pura Kiki® Toddler Sippy bottle is one you wouldn’t mind owning yourself. But, aside from its stylish looks, it’s beautifully designed to ease your toddler away from a nipple bottle with ease.
Looking for sound eco-credentials? It’s plastic-free, BPA and toxin-free, and made from aluminium so it won’t shatter or crack. Good for your pocket and the environment! Created to grow with your child, one bottle can be used for years with a simple swap of silicone lids.
Finally, what’s not to love about the pop of colour on the silicone sleeve – and, yes, they do have an adult range too…
You can buy the Pura Kiki 11oz Toddler Sippy Bottle with Sleeve from: Ulula and Kidly
More on baby cups and beakers
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