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Baby is ready to drink from a cup but you're not ready for a milk flood...

Suddenly you look at your baby and realize that they've become a toddler.  Suddenly the kid is walking (maybe independently).  Suddenly they're grabbing food off your plate to shove in their little mouth.  Suddenly, everything is different.  With all these changes going on you may be unprepared for the fact that day care and/or your pediatrician suddenly wants them to drink out of a cup.  You look at your wee babe and think "my whole house will be covered in milk, won't it?".  This is the point in time where in years past, parents were simply handed a sippy cup and all problems were solved.  But you may have heard the recent recommendations against them.

And so begins the search for a straw cup that won't spill, won't mold (yes this is a real problem with these things), and that your child can actually drink out of.  On this topic we have 2 recommendations.

1 year old, carrying Avent Straw Cup.

Best spill-proof cup

Our favorite is the Avent Straw Cup.  It cleans easily (including in the dishwasher) and absolutely won't spill even if turned upside down.  Also, I can say that after fully more than a year of use, the cups are still in good shape and for the inexpensive price that is quite something.  You can also buy extra straws if you lose some or your toddler likes to chew on them a bit too much.

For full disclosure, there are a couple of things to watch out for.  First of all, because they are spill proof, they require the child to suck pretty hard to get anything out.  Once they get the hang of it, it's not a problem but it can require a bit of parental miming to get them to do it (don't expect them to drink lots the first couple of times).  Second of all, if you take these guys on an airplane and then open them once you're in the air, you should open the lid first to equalize the pressure (otherwise all the liquid will come squirting out of the straw).  Sometimes this pressure differential can also occur in every day life if you put, say, cold milk into the cup on a hot day and let it sit out.

Straw cup is on the right, ignore the wine

Second best but still good cup

The other cup we've enjoyed using is the THERMOS FOOGO Straw Bottle.  These cups are certainly prettier and just as easy to clean as the Avents.  However, they do drip slowly if you turn them upside down and thus are not completely spill proof.  In our house we pretty much only put water in them for this reason. On the plus side, they don't require quite as much suction to drink and thus may be a better starter cup.  They are also basically twice the price of the cups above (especially if you pick any of their "cute" designs).

Additional care tips

You can certainly use the drying rack you already own after you wash your newly acquired cups.  However, we have found that the baby bottle dishwasher caddies just don't do well with the straws.  For this we recommend getting the OXO Tot Mini Silicone Dishwasher Basket (this has technically been discontinued but is still occasionally available on Amazon).  Also, to properly clean out the straws by hand you're going to need some Munchkin Cleaning Brushes.

Welcome to the next stage of your life - your little babe in arms is becoming a little person!

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