Once you start offering your baby water at the 6-month mark, you can use a sippy cup, 360 cup or straw cup instead of a bottle. While sippy spouts (especially soft ones) are often easier for transitioning away from a bottle, many doctors also recommend straw cups as they help with speech and oral development. You’ll probably end up trying a few to find a favorite, but with our help, maybe you’ll nail it on the first try.
Nuby 360 Edge 2 Stage Drinking Rim Cup
Kid can drink from any part of this 360-edge drinking cup, topped in soft silicone. New drinkers grip the two handles and guide the cup to their mouths. Detach the handles when your child has the hang of grasping the tumbler instead. With only two parts and a transparent cup and rim, it's easy to clean. Pop on the hygienic cover to keep it clean when not in use.
Available at amazon.com, $6.99.
Tommee Tippee Insulated Sippee Toddler Cup
These 9-ounce insulated tumblers keep drinks cool and limit messes thanks to a spill-proof valve. The soft spout is easy for toddlers to drink from and gentle on teething gums. They're dishwasher-safe and free of BPA, BPS and phthalates. And the bright colors guarantee they won't get lost in the bottom of your diaper bag.
Available at amazon.com, $14.21.
ezpz Mini Cup & Straw Training System
So many smart features turn this cup into a training system, helping your child learn to use a straw and drink from an open cup. The kid-size cup is made from no-slip silicone and angled on the inside for a more even flow of liquid. It has a weighted base with bumps to keep the cup from falling over. The straw also features small bumps to decrease tongue suckling and promote rounding the lips, and the curve in the straw promotes lip and jaw closure. Flip the straw upside down for more advanced sipping, and then move on to the open cup.
Available at ezpzfun.com, $14.99.
Dr. Brown's Stage 1 Soft-Spout Transition Cup
This compact cup is perfect for baby’s first attempts at sipping like a big kid. They’ll love the soft spout that reminds them of a bottle's nipple and handles they can easily grip. You'll love that leaking is minimal and it comes with a flip top to keep it clean when you toss it in the diaper bag or stroller.
Available at drbrownsbaby.com, $5.99.
Joovy Dood Training Cup & Insulator
If you prefer a hard spout style, this 7-ounce cup is a good choice. The mouthpiece is specifically designed to help protect gums and the palate while babies are teething. It's insulated so it keeps beverages colder longer. And you can even freeze liquids in the cup, which is perfect for extended trips.
Available at joovy.com, $14.99.
Miniware 1-2-3 Sip!
Little ones can drink three different ways with the adaptable 1-2-3 Sip! from Miniware. Start your baby out with the silicone straw insert, then level up to the non-drip spouted lid (just the right size for tots), and, finally, graduate to the open cup. The easy-on-the-eyes cup is made out of plant-based bamboo fiber and vegetable starch material and has major minimalist appeal.
Available at miniware.com, $18.
Pura Kiki Straw Bottle with Sleeve
Once your baby has some practice drinking from a smaller cup, we love this stainless steel option that’s completely free of plastic. The 11-ounce bottle keeps beverages cool, and an outer sleeve (available in 6 colors) means little hands won't freeze while holding it. Another awesome feature: Many standard nipples and sippy spouts also fit on the cup, so you can ease the transition and offer milk as well.
Available at purastainless.com, $19.99.
Dr. Brown’s Baby’s 1st Straw Cup
Once your baby has mastered a soft-spout, it’s on to straw cups! The flexible, weighted straw on this 9-ounce cup means that babes can sip from any angle. The attached lid is super convenient when you’re on-the-go, and the cup even comes with its own brush to keep things clean.
Available at drbrownsbaby.com, $6.99.
Lollacup Sippy Cup
The Lollacup can make the learning-to-drink process easier thanks to a weighted straw that helps draw water, or even a smoothie, up and into the tube no matter which way the cup is tilted. The materials are all BPA-free, BPS-free, and phthalate-free for super-safe sipping. And the cup "chick" wins major points for being so adorable and coming in seven cool colors.
Available at lollaland.com, $16.
Green Sprouts Glass Sip & Straw Cup
Here's another plastic-free cup with tons of drinking options. It's made out of glass and has an outer plastic shield with handles and a non-slip, shock-absorbing base to prevent breakage. The cup comes with a silicone straw, but you can purchase additional tops with soft and hard spouts for versatile sipping.
Available at greensproutsbaby, $19.99.
Oxo Soft Spout Sippy Cup Set with Training Lid
This clever set helps babies transition from the bottle and then to drinking from a cup without a top. First, introduce the sippy with the hard top and handles. Later, ditch the handles and switch the lid to one that functions pretty much like a regular cup. A special insert with perforated edges will control the flow of water, to everyone's relief! Once your child has the hang of that, remove the insert and your big kid can drink from a grown-up cup.
Available at oxo.com, $10.99.
Munchkin Miracle 360 Trainer Cup
Here's a great option for learning to drink from a spout- and straw-free cup. This trainer cup allows kids to tip and drink from any side (as they would from a regular cup), and it magically seals when they stop drinking. Another plus: You don't have to clean small straws and valve parts. What’s more, Munchkin has made a new line of “Wild Love” cups featuring threatened species like the polar bar and African elephant to support animal welfare efforts.
Available at munchkin.com, $7.
Thinkbaby Thinkster of Steel
As the first company to offer a BPA-free baby bottle, Thinkbaby knows how important safe sipping is for families with young children. The offerings now include the ultra-safe Thinkster of Steel, which can transform a stainless cup from a baby bottle to a sippy to a straw cup with the simple twist of a cap. We love the straw option with a cross-cut design that means no messy spills. And, even better, a portion of the purchase price can go toward a charity such as Save the Whales.
Available at gothinkbaby.com, $13.99.
Tommee Tippee Easiflow 360
Fill your child’s Easiflow 360 with something to sip on, and you’ll be thrilled to see them drinking out of a “big kid” cup. The spout-free design is great for learning how to drink out of a cup and is good for oral development. The single-piece valve is simple to clean and the cup comes in 7-ounce (with handles) and 8-ounce (without handles) options and in single cups or packs of two.
Available at tommeetippee.us, $12.99.
Tommee Tippee No-Knock Cup
Ready to quit cleaning up spilled milk? Thought so! Here’s a cup that simply won’t dump over, even when toys and elbows knock into it left and right. The base sticks to any smooth surface, but the cup easily lifts when pulled upward for drinking.
Available at tommeetippee.us, $12.99.
—Whitney C. Harris & Julie Seguss