Someone who must have been a parent once said: The days are long, but the years are short. In the first couple years of your little one’s life, you go through so many transitions with them – and one of the biggest is transitioning from breast or bottle to sippy cup.
While pediatricians recommend weaning baby from a bottle between 12 – 18 months, it all just depends on when they’re ready. And how much patience you have. And the cup itself.
Which Training Cup is Right for Baby?
You might have some thoughts on which sippy cup you’d like your baby to use. But the truth is, we all have our own preferences and baby is no different. Experimentation is key, so we don’t advise filling up the cart with a single kind of sippy cup before figuring out which will help better move baby beyond the breast or bottle. Which is exactly why Dr. Brown’s has so many different styles of cups. No, not to confuse you, but to give you and baby plenty of options to find the perfect fit.
To make it even easier, we’ve put together a starter guide on how to use Dr. Brown’s training cups for a successful sippy transition.
Transition Spout Bottle
- About: Choose from the Sippy Bottle with Handles or the Bottle to Sippy Starter kit, both available in Standard 8 oz/250 ml and Wide-Neck 9 oz/270 ml. Both feature the familiar Dr. Brown’s bottle with a soft silicone sippy spout.
- Use: These two sippy bottles are perfect for the first step to weaning baby from the bottle. They use the same drinking motion and teach gripping skills – but the spout still feels like the bottle nipple, encouraging faster acceptance.
Soft Spout Transition and Toddler Cups
- About: There are two versions: 6 oz Soft Spout Transition Cup and the bigger 9 oz Soft Spout Toddler Cup. Both feature handy handles and a contoured shape for little hands. Both also have a one-piece, spill-proof spout.
- Use: Soft Spout Transition Cup is great for introducing baby to a training cup when baby is as young as 6+ months, as they can use the handles to get a good hold. The Soft Spout Toddler Cup is better for more steady hands, at 9+ months. It’s easy to clean and spares you the mess.
Baby’s First Straw Cup
- About: We love the soft silicone weighted straw in this 9 oz straw sippy cup that lets baby tip and sip in any direction – with no spills. Features an attached lid that keeps the straw clean when not in use.
- Use: The best thing about this cup is baby doesn’t have to understand upright drinking, so it’s a perfect transition between bottle and sippy. The lid keeps the straw clean, and the included cleaning brush makes clean up a breeze. For babies 6 months or older, Baby’s First Straw Cup is contoured, and the handles are removable, so it grows with baby.
- About: This cup comes packed with a ton of features. Highlights include 360-degree sipping, sip-and-see clear valve for independent learning, and easy clean/assembly.
- Use: Cheers360 is designed to be used after a bottle sippy spout or straw cup. It’s great to grab when baby begins mimicking, since it can be used as, and looks like, a big kid cup. When baby is 9m+ and as their drinking skills improve, remove the valve for a true big kid cup.
Milestones™ Straw Cup
- About: This lightweight 12 oz sippy straw cup has a soft, no-spill silicone straw and spill-proof valve to teach safe straw sipping skills and features an attached lid that keeps the straw clean when not in use.
- Use: This economical cup is great to stock up on for on-the-go sipping. Sometimes babies need a middle ground before getting to a full sippy, and the Straw Cup works well for that. The larger size makes this cup great for babies 12m+.
Milestones™ Sippy Cup
- About: A durable, spill-proof hard spout offers leak-free learning with a one-piece valve that’s also good for easy cleaning.
- Use: This 12 oz cup can keep up with your on-the-go baby. This bite resistant sippy cup is a go-to for babies who like to use their budding teeth. The Milestones™ Sippy Cup is an excellent choice for babies aged 12 months and up.
Proper Cup Assembly and Cleaning
As is the case with so many baby products, proper cleaning and drying is key – especially with training cups. Here are a few simple tips to help you keep your cups nice and clean:
- Don’t let your cups sit for too long after use. Wash them as soon as possible; at minimum, rinse them before forgetting to do the dishes.
- Completely disassemble all parts before cleaning. Which, in many cases, is only a couple parts.
- Allow the parts to dry completely and wait to re-assemble the cup until the parts are dry.
Your cups can be washed in hot, soapy water. The Dr. Brown’s bottle brush works well for this. You can also put all the parts in the dishwasher, just be sure to use the top rack only. A quick five-minute boil on your non-double-walled cups will help you with speedy cleaning. As for the double-walled cups, all other cup parts can be sterilized except for the vessel itself. Once you’ve got it down, cleaning and assembly will be a snap!
What if my baby won’t take a sippy cup?
In your never-ending quest to minimize stress, here are a few other tips that should help make your cup transition easier.
- Eliminate distractions: Avoid beginning the transition when you have other big life events happening, such as a move. The more comfortable and familiar everything is to your baby, the better your chances.
- Try a soft spout: A soft spout cup will feel more familiar than hard plastic. While some babies jump right to hard plastic, some need a soft spout first.
- Lend a Helping Hand: Touching the spout to the roof of your baby’s mouth will stimulate the suck reflex, which shows him the spout is like a nipple.
- Substitute if needed: Try putting just a bottle nipple in baby’s mouth to initiate sucking, and then switch to the sippy cup spout. For the tough cases, learn how products like our 2-in-1 Bottle Transition Kit can help baby through.
- Get the timing right: Early on, avoid switching from bottle to cup during early morning and later-day feedings when babies tend to be fussier. Use mid-day feedings and then gradually switch over to all mealtimes.
- Switch up the liquid: If you’re getting any resistance, experiment with milk or water. As your baby gets more used to the cup, she’ll get more content with whatever you put in it.
- Don’t give up too fast: If baby doesn’t take to a cup right away – don’t toss them! Give it a few weeks and try again. Most babies make the transition successfully.
For more help deciding which cup is right for your baby’s age and stage, take a look at our Bottle to Cup Transition Chart.