Ditching The Sippy!
Sippy cups seem great- they are convenient and there are no spills to clean up, but there are several reasons to consider ditching the sippy cup. First, hard sippy cup spouts may get in the way of feeding and swallowing development. When your child was a baby he used an anterior-posterior tongue movement to move liquid from the front to the back of the mouth for swallowing. After a year old, kids learn to put their tongue up behind their teeth when swallowing. Hard spouted sippy cups, may get in the way of the necessary tongue placement, preventing tongue tip elevation and interfering with feeding and swallowing development. A tongue that does not elevate tends to rest in a forward position and then may not be able to produce speech sounds accurately. In addition, tongues that rest too far forward can lead to an open mouth resting posture, mouth breathing, and changes in facial structure.
What to use instead?
Straw cups or open cups! There are lots of good cup options on the market, but here are a few:
Straw cups that pop up to prevent leaking such as the Playtex Sipster Straw Cup
Aluminum cups with built-in straws such as the Kid Basix Safe Sippy Cup (it is a straw cup)
Munchkin 360 Miracle Cup- can be used to teach open cup drinking with less spilling