Friday, February 1, 2013

Introducing water and a sippy cup

Before my little girl started solid foods at 6 months, she didn't really drink much water. We only gave her little sips of water from her medicine dispenser on occasion. Most pediatricians advise that newborns and young infants who haven't started solids should avoid or limit their intake of water. The reasoning for this is that babies on a liquid diet of formula or breastmilk don't really need any water. According to Kellymom, breastmilk is already about 88% water and thus no additional water is truly needed. Their stomachs are so small at that point and water just takes up space and makes them feel full so they consume less actual food, which slows down their weight gain.
Once she started solid foods, her doctor recommended that we start to give her water on a daily basis up to about 4.5 oz a day. She also advised that rather than give her water in a bottle we should give it to her in a sippy cup. This would help her distinguish between milk in a bottler and water in a cup. It would also be a stepping stone to her eventually drinking out of a regular cup.   I looked online and in stores and as usual there were tons of options; so many different sippy cups and straw cups to choose from.  I couldn't decide if I should start with a sippy cup or a straw cup and what the benefits of each were. I decided to try one of each and see which we preferred.  The most important feature I focused on finding was a cup with easy to clean parts. I didn't want to buy a cup that would breed mould in the straw or spout.  I also wanted a cup that had the handles attached to the lid or a removable ring, rather than attached to the cup itself.  If the handle is attached to the lid or ring, it is always perfectly aligned with the straw or spout in the center so the baby can easily hold on to it and drink out of it. On the other hand if the handles are attached to the cup itself, when you screw the top on, the straw or spout won't always be aligned in the center, you would have to try multiple times to get it to line up.
As of right now we have tried two cups:
I had heard glowing reviews about the Zoli straw sippy cup, and I really wanted to give it a try. The name of it confused me slightly because I always thought a cup was either a sippy or a straw cup but not both.  But now after trying it I kind of understand how its more of  hybrid. It seemed a bit expensive to me at first,  $12 for one little plastic cup?  but I tell you it's totally worth every dime.
As you can see from the photo, the design is relatively simple, but what makes this straw cup better than all the others is the innovative BOT straw inside. The narrow straw is made out of soft flexible silicone and has a weighted ball at the end of it, which allows the straw to move around in any direction when the cup is tilted. This is a genius feature and far superior to traditional straw cups that are much bulkier with a chunky rigid straw. My baby was able to drink out of the zoli cup by herself at 7 months. She got the hang of it within minutes and no matter which way she tips the cup,  the weighted ball ensures that the straw stays in the water and she is able to drink it out, even if there is only a little bit of water in the cup.
This is her with her zoli cup at 7 months:

I love how streamlined the cup is and how slim the handles are, perfect for small hands. Best of all this straw cup has no valve so it acts like a natural straw and the baby doesn't have to suck on it too hard to get the water out.
The cap of the lid flips back but remains attached  to the lid so you don't have to worry about losing it or getting it dirty.  
The main downsides of this cup is that the straw is annoying to clean since it is so narrow and is integrated into the lid. I do have a straw cleaner so I use that and also follow the instructions that were included with the box. So far we only use this cup for water so its not too bad to keep it clean. Another thing is that the cup can leak if the cap is shut in such a way that it puts pressure on the straw, so its always best to pack it separately. But all in all I still love this cup and recently ordered another one for her to take to daycare. Even her daycare teachers who have many different brands of cups are impressed with this cup and how easy it is for her to use.
Replacement straws can be purchased for the cup and their website has a video showing how to remove the straw from the lid.
Replacement straws and straw cleaning brush
I found a pair of these Nuby cups on sale at TJ maxx and decided to give them a try. They seemed to have all the features I was looking for; a handle attached to the rim, and a one piece easy to clean spout with no valve.  They also had a soft silicone spout which promised to be gentler on baby gums that cups with a hard spout.
These cups are just alright, I don't love them but they aren't bad for the price. These cups require much more coordination in order to get the water out. She has to lift the cup up high and tilt it and then tip her head back a little. Its hard for her to remember to tip the cup back all the way. she tips it partially and starts to suck on the spout but doesn't get much water out. She quickly gets impatient with it and shakes it vigorously and drenches herself in water Basically we have to assist her to use this cup if we actually want her to successfully drink the water. The cup is also a bit wide and bulky and you have to fill it at least halfway to facilitate easy drinking, which makes it pretty heavy for a baby.  
Its fairly straight forward to clean, but you do need a spout brush. It has 4 separate parts ( the cup, handle ring, silicone spout, plastic cap) so it takes up more space on a drying rack.  Overall we much prefer the Zoli cup and only use this one as a back up.



  1. Who knew there was so much to sippy cups?! I'm filing away that Zoli cup for when my little guy starts drinking out of one. Love the pic of your little girl and her cup!

  2. The Zoli sippy straw cup sounds so innovative! really well thought out,she is ao grown!
    big hug