MoneySavingMom.com
FREEBIE LIBRARY!
Join my email list and get FREE ACCESS to the MSM Freebie Library, including my top printables & eBooks.

Ditching the Sippy Cups

This doesn’t have much to do with saving money (unless you count the money saved on buying sippy cups!), but so many of you asked how we’ve taught Silas to drink from a regular cup yesterday that, just for fun, I did a short video last night explaining how we’ve taught our children to drink from regular cups instead of sippy cups.

Subscribe for free email updates from Money Saving Mom® and get my Guide to Freezer Cooking for free!

114 Comments

  • This whole thing cracks me up! (Not you, Crystal…) We also rarely use sippy cups with our 4 kids. They just learn! My kids breastfed long enough that they didn’t need milk though. It’s probably be a lot easier to clean up spilled water than spilled milk. If they had been dragging milk all over the house, I might have reconsidered.

  • JessieLeigh says:

    Love it! We ditch sippy cups “early” in our home in much the same manner. I don’t like having to clean those pesky little valves. 😉 I found my third child was the easiest because she was so eager to keep up with her big sibs… I think she’d be offended if we gave her a sippy cup! Ha! Love the idea of using a mug- that’s a great idea.

  • Melissa says:

    We’ve used sippy cups a lot, but simultaneously taught them to drink from regular cups too. With my youngest (18 months) we’ve let her drink water on her own from plastic communion cups after church when she was about 12 months old. She felt so grown up and it was small enough for her to handle!

  • Emily Kay says:

    I would love to do this because I can’t seem to keep sippy cups clean enough and end up having to replace them every 3 months or so. But my concern is how to keep them drinking enough liquids? My kids don’t “think” to drink unless their cups are right there with them, which is why having a sippy to carry around the house is so nice. Even with a sippy sometimes I can’t get 8 ounces in them during the course of the day so I’m nervous about how dehydrated they’d get if they didn’t have the constant reminder of their sippies.

    • Melissa says:

      We keep a cup for the older girls out to drink from. They know to dump it out, but they like that we let them get their own water. You could still use them just for water and not juice or milk. They stay cleaner a lot longer with just water!

    • Noah says:

      I switched to water bottles as mine got older, so they can still have them around the house. We use the stainless steel thermos ones with the straws. And we use them only for water.

    • Karrie Richert says:

      I like the saying: “You can lead a horse to water but you can’t make him drink… but you CAN salt his oats so he wants to take a drink.” I would try giving them pretzels, Goldfish, or other salty things that will make them know they’re thirsty. My personal rule is that the kids aren’t allowed to take snacks and drinks around the house with them (I have toddlers), so I just make sure to give them snack times w/drinks enough times throughout the day.

      • ksenia says:

        If you give them salty things, then that dehydrates them even more, making it necessary for them to drink much more. It’s kind of counter productive.

        • Karrie says:

          I don’t think it’s counter-productive, if you keep it in balance. I’m not suggesting a bowl of chips to get them to take one sip of water. My kids will drink half a cup of water for every pretzel I give them. There’s not enough salt in a pretzel to undo that much water intake. If I was giving them soda, then sure.

    • Amy says:

      I don’t let my kids get up from the table after meal times unless they’ve finished a whole cup of water. The size of the cup increases as they get older. Mine don’t like to drink a lot of water during the day, but I think it’s very important, so I started that rule. Now that we have it, they’re more likely to come to the table between meals and get smaller drinks. I think that learning how good it feels to have your thirst completely quenched helps to realize when they’re thirsty more easily.

      It did take some getting used to when I first started the rule, and even a few tears, but now everyone is used to it. In fact, my little ones who have never known any differently have never been upset about it because it’s all they’ve ever known.

    • Megan says:

      I make my boys drink a big glass of water before we go to the park, outside to play, and basically before we do anything they really want to do. I just tell them, “We have to make sure your body has enough water so it can work well!”

      We also completely eliminated juice. I used to think that I had to do anything to get my son hydrated, so I would water down apple juice. But he refused to drink water at all. He hasn’t had juice in six months and it is so much easier to get him to drink water now.

  • Meredith Ball says:

    I know this is an expense but we taught our daughter by using disposable Dixie Cups. Don’t worry, it only took one box at 2 dollars. It was easy for her to handle and she got the concept down this way.

    • Ashley says:

      That’s what a friend of the family does for her daycare. She uses them regularly, but she was tired of looking for sippy cups or worse, smelling them if they got lost! They start at about 1 there and just have to keep the cups in the kitchen. It’s worked out really well 🙂

  • Jennifer Kaiser says:

    What an interesting thought! We use sippy cups mostly for when we go out of the house and sometimes the littles take them to bed with them. We have an “only water in the sippy cup” rule so when I find a sippy under the bed a month after it hid there, it’s not full of a nasty surprise!! 🙂

    • Mary Jo says:

      That’s a great idea! The worst is finding a sippy cup of milk that’s been hiding for a while. Major gross!

      • Melissa says:

        Been there, done that in super hot FL. I didn’t even open it since it had been 1 month since we lost it. In went directly into the trash without a second thought!

      • AJ says:

        Even worse is when the kid finds it and you’re thinking “Hmmm… I don’t recall giving them a sippy of milk today” 🙂

        • Sarah says:

          ROFL! 😀

          • Heather says:

            My father-in-law was weaned off the bottle that way! His mother left a bottle of milk on the windowsill in the sun on purpose. Sure enough, he came along . . . and he never wanted a bottle again.

            Not that I am recommending this method.

        • Kim says:

          hahahahaha! I have definitely asked my husband before – did YOU give her milk to drink today? Then made a mad dash to the cup before she could suck a drop out of it….

          definitely putting water only in the sippy cup is a great idea. 🙂

          • Heather says:

            You guys are making me feel so much better! I thought I was the only one! 😉

            When I ‘find’ a lost sippy cup i always say to myself, ‘please dont be milk, please dont be milk’ LOL

  • andrea says:

    When setting at the kitchen table my kids use reg cups but when they are walking around with the cup or going to the park (along with whatever else) we use sippy cups. My kids are 4 and 6 🙂

    • This makes me feel better about letting my kids hang onto their sippy cups for awhile longer. My kids are 3 and 4 and love their sippy cups. I keep thinking I should wean them completely, but it’s a security thing for my 4 year old, especially at bedtime. They both drink from regular cups at school, church and most meals. But I sure love the convenience of still using them for car trips or the park.

    • Beth T says:

      We have this rule too with my 20 month old son. He keeps a glass on the table most of the time but if he leaves the table then he gets a sippy cup. We don’t have strict rules about eating and drinking only at the table so often we all eat dinner in the living room together and he uses a sippy. I like to do both. There are times when he uses a cup perfectly well but other times when we are both tired its nice not to have the pressure of spills 🙂

  • Amy says:

    I was actually quite confused when I saw the title of this post, and I’m still a bit… confused. I guess I didn’t realize that drinking from a regular cup was a difficult process. We use sippy cups for many things, such as traveling like you mentioned, even for our 4 year old, but that is to contain spills. At home they have always used regular cups at meal times. Our youngest just turned 1 and gets a regular cup at meal times now and enjoys being like his big brother and sister. My ABSOLUTE FAVORITE cups are the little rainbow cups from Ikea. They are SUPER cheap, plastic, and just their size! Plus we practice our colors while we eat! 😉

    • jennifer says:

      We love the Ikea cups too! They’re the perfect size for toddlers, and so inexpensive!

    • Jen says:

      I think it depends on the child. My daughter is 4 and has been drinking from a real cup for as long as I can remember. I don’t remember “teaching” her how to do it, she just did. But with my 2 year old it is a difficult process for some reason. No matter how small the cup, how little is in it, he still ALWAYS spills it. Consider yourself lucky if learning to drink from a real cup was not a difficult process for any of your kids!

      • Rachel says:

        I suppose the ‘issue’ is for those of us who without thinking just use sippy cups with little toddlers. I have a 19 month old who uses them 90% of the time. Because he uses primarily sippy cups, he is in the habit of throwing it on the floor when done with it . . . that wouldn’t work with regular cup (Mom would react!) So . . . once we have unwittingly instilled that habit in them, the thought of switching to a regular cup at a young age doesn’t appeal.

        I have noticed that my little guy, who happens to be #3, can handle a small regular cup quite adeptly, in imitation of the older two. I may just try him with a regular cup at supper tonight, I’d be glad to move the sippy cups down to 10% useage! 🙂

        Thanks for once again showing me the obvious Crystal! 😉

      • Melissa says:

        I completely agree- every kid is so different. My first child was just much more uncoordinated and just gets really excited quickly or distracted and 9 times out of 10 will spill his cup unintentionally. Bless his little heart, he was also a NICU baby for several months and was a little behind in some things anyway. My second kiddo is night and day different- he can do things at 1 that my 2 year old (almost 3) still can’t do. I just don’t stress about it, I think everyone sweats the little things way too much sometimes. Like potty training. No one goes on their honeymoon in training pants (as my mother assures me) and yet I find myself stressing about it all the time! Anyway, we give them both practice when we can but we travel a TON and so I don’t know what I’d do without sippys!! =) Heehee. Nothing like a 8 hour trip by myself with a 2 and 1 year old and realizing that I’ve forgotten their sippy cups. I usually have to add on an hour or so of traveling. Blah. =) I like the tip of giving them a tiny bit of water and just increasing it slowly, I’ve noticed that helps as well. It’s funny to hear people talk about keeping kids hydrated- my kids are little water and milk guzzlers, I have to CUT them off so that they will eat their food! 🙂 Heehee! How funny is that.

    • Crystal says:

      Did you read the comments on this post? https://moneysavingmom.com/2011/05/this-weeks-menu-10.html

      That should explain why I did this post. Hopefully! 🙂

  • Bre in KY says:

    We taught our 22 month old the exact same way…he loved the 5oz. Dixie cups, so we kept adding more and more water until he was able to handle it. It didn’t even take half of a box! We were so surprised! We are also the same as Jennifer, only water or flavored water in sippy cups…:)

  • Helene says:

    My grandson was a bit developmentally delayed but I think he was almost 5 last year before we stopped the sippy cups totally (not all the time but sometimes-I hear the gasps.) I’ve had drinks on the bed (turn for two seconds with a bedtime drink), on the floor, knocked over on the table, you get the idea. In the high chair days the tray was always wet without one.
    I vote for Silas doing his own sippy cup vs regular cup video 🙂

    • Heather Finnegan says:

      My oldest is nearly 6 and has SPD and prefers “sucking” something out. This can also be accomplished with a straw, but then I am buying straws. I use q-tips to clean the sippys-a pain but I only buy them every few years. Both of my kids could drink from a regular cup by the age of 2, they just don’t unless they have to. I always thought I would require all food to “stay at the table”. But I am pretty laid back, so I just nix food traveling to the second floor (where our bedrooms are). I guess you do what works for you 😉

      • Kristina says:

        So glad to hear from another mommy of a child with SPD (Sensory Processing Disorder for anyone who’s wondering)! I think that does make a difference with some kids. I was just thinking about trying to make the switch with my 20 month old daughter, but as with so many things, it’s different when they have SPD. We’ll see how it goes!

  • Cori says:

    My son is sixteen months and he enjoys drinking from a regular cup. So much so, in fact, that he tends to upend it all over himself by the second or third sip! So he still gets the sippy cup a lot of the time, and practice with water in a regular cup. He also tries to use his bath toy cups to drink the bathwater, which I try to discourage. Ick!

    • Melodie says:

      Try putting only a couple tablespoons of fluid in the cup at a time. That way, if it spills, it’s no worse than a spot of drool down his shirt. Mean time, he’ll get the hang of holding the cup and still get the feeling of discomfort from spilling the water if he does it wrong. It’s kind of a self correcting skill, so it’s fun to watch.

  • Cindy says:

    Our three kids (which includes a set of twins) went straight to a regular cup, too. I’m not a big fan of plastic, either, so we just stuck with those little cheap glass cups that come in a set of 6 from Ikea. They have a fairly heavily-weighted bottom, which makes them harder to tip over than taller, skinnier plastic cups. You could probably find similar ones at thrift stores or garage sales to keep it even cheaper!
    Since we live in a dry area, our kids do have water bottles (Kleen Kanteens) nearby in the car and at bedtime. But, I can’t imagine how tricky it would be to keep sippies that are used for juice or milk clean, with all those little parts!

  • Mary Jo says:

    Katie (almost 27 months) does pretty well drinking out of a regular cup without making a mess most of the time. On occasion, she’s decided it would be pretty fun to pour it all out though. Thanfully, 99.9% of the time she’s just drinking water and it’s not a big deal. And, she loves smoothies way to much to waste them by dumping them out. ha! 🙂

  • I love your video blogs! 🙂 I need to get the courage to start doing this as well.

  • I was wondering if you were going to answer the question! 😉 We were better about teaching our first to use a regular cup (started with a TINY jelly jar, smaller than a shot glass), but with our second have been more lax. What I want to know – Does Silas really drink his smoothie out of that glass and without a bib and NOT have it all over himself and everything else???

  • Katie says:

    Mugs don’t break easily . . . unless you get a poorly baked one. 🙁 My toddler shattered a mug the other day just by rapping on it with a spoon. When the flakes disintegrate as you try to pick them up, it’s a clue that poor-quality ceramic was used.

  • chelsea says:

    My kids do fine with regular glasses. Where they have trouble with is juice boxes. I rarely buy them, so when the kids do have a chance to drink from one, they either squeeze it too hard and juice goes everywhere or they lose the straw. Then they get frustrated! 🙂

    • Meghan says:

      Here’s a great trick another mom taught me for juice boxes–before you give it to your child, pull up the “wings” (the pointy flaps on each side). Then squeeze the top to make it stand up a bit, which puts extra air into the box, and less juice squeezes out (I hope that makes sense). I also usually take a small sip of the juice to put more air in there, too.

      • I ordered the juice box holders from One Step Ahead. No messes….EVER! It’s rare that my kids get juice, but when they do I always use the One Step Ahead holders. I think I’ve bought them for every Mom I know 🙂

  • Noah says:

    My daughter has been drinking out of a regular cup since around 1. The only problem is she still manages to knock one over ALL THE TIME! So to save money on milk and such, I still will give her a sippy because I’m tired of spills. LOL! But, she’s the only one of my 3 that is a clutz like that. And hopefully she’ll figure out being more careful soon. She still thinks it’s fun to help clean up!

    • Anitra says:

      Yes, whenever I give my not-quite-3-year-old a regular cup, I have to be SUPER vigilant to make sure she doesn’t knock her arm into it and knock it over.

      I still put her milk and juice in sippys 90% of the time for that reason. With a baby in tow, I am just not paying enough attention to keep her from knocking it over.

  • Sally says:

    This makes me think that sippy cups are an “acquired need” rather than a true one. 🙂

    • Heather says:

      They certainly are a convenience that make a life a little easier in the toddler years. Obviously, parents for most of history managed without.

    • Allison V. says:

      This is true. I readily admit that the binkies were for me more than the kids, and my five year old still gets sippies…not because she can’t drink from a regular cup, but because her 2 & 4 year old brothers will spill it even if she doesn’t! People can frown all they want at my binky babies or sippy-toting-kindergartner, but they’d frown a lot more if they saw how I react when I’m frustrated. Gotta pick your battles.

  • Samantha says:

    Our 17 month old can drink out of a regular cup and a water bottle now too! It’s nice when we are at home but in the car she still gets a sippy cup =]

  • Heather says:

    Hmmm. I find it easy to teach them how to DRINK from a regular cup. Perhaps it helps that I often use sippy cups without the valves in. A pediatrician recommended that to me way back with my first child (have 4 now). With a valve, it’s almost a bottle.

    My problem is the deliberate spilling of drinks! And yes, I know I could train a toddler not to do it, but there are so many other things to train him . . . I’d rather focus on other stuff. So these days, he gets a regular cup for water, and a sippy cup for milk.

  • Shanna says:

    My 2-year-old drinks just fine from a regular cup. We have Tupperware cups that are just his size…love them! Not sure if they still make them that size though.
    I started him out very early drinking out cups, because some kids I knew didn’t until they wete Almost 4 (and that was because they had to for preschool) and I was determined that mine would NOT use a sippy as a bottle. We do use sippy cups on trips and at the park, water bottles are a great idea, thanks!

  • Rose says:

    I hated cleaning sippy cups with my first kiddo, so with my second i ended up throwing them all away when he was around 1 and just used the cheap straw cups. Now they are 4 and almost 2 and we use regular cups at meals but during the day i keep Camelback water bottles filled with water so they can have it close at hand and drink whenever they want.

    • Catherine says:

      Think I was typing at the same time as you – don’t know what we’d do without those bottles 🙂

  • Catherine says:

    Camelbak bottles are what we use for the whole family and they are amazing! Kids know which color is theirs and we don’t have a spill problem or a hydration problem – crazy how much water they drink from those things too.

  • MomofTwoPreciousGirls says:

    Are you kidding, I could still use a sippy cup sometimes! If my girls are at the table STRAPPED in their chairs then they are allowed to use regular cups. My 3 yo can drink like normal, the 2 yo (next WEEK!) can do it if it’s not too full.

    When they are wandering around the house, there is no way I’m letting them do it with a regular cup!

  • Melodie says:

    I ditched the sippy as soon as possible too! I started giving them sips from regular cups around 12 months and by 1 1/2 years old, they could do it by themselves. I did it mainly because of two things: 1) I was tired of finding soured milk sippy cups under beds and couches three weeks after they were lost there; and 2) I was always forgetting to bring sippy cups to the in-laws and restaurants, so they needed to learn to drink from a cup if they wanted to drink at all on these occasions. ;P

    I let the kids that are tall enough to reach the faucet get their own drinks of water when they want. And I usually put them in charge of giving a cup to the littlest ones while they are at it. They can get to the plastic cups on their own and they love the independence and responsibility. I have to admit that it does encourage playing in the sink and splashing water around the room . . . but it’s not hard to throw a rag their way and say, “clean it up!” They’ve been getting smarter about it after having to clean up after themselves several times now.

  • ashley says:

    when my son started eating real cereal and milk out of a bowl at age 2, he was desperate to drink his milk out of the bowl like mama did!! we started with a small amount and worked our way up. now i can give him a cup and he does fine with it. we still use sippies for out and about, but i’m ready to nix them altogether. (my mother in law will be appauled, of course she hated when we went directly from breast to sippy instead of a bottle!)

  • Becky says:

    My hubby taught my daughter to use a regular cup in the bath tub. He gave her a little bit of ICE COLD water in a regular cup.
    It only took a few spills before she got it.

  • jennifer says:

    I started at 6 months, giving them a small plastic cup, with drops of water and they caught on fast. I have twin boys and they love their cups. They jump and scream when they see me getting them out of the cupboard. They still spill some but they have the general idea. With a lot of patience and time, I think any kid can learn.

  • Deborah says:

    My sister-in-law gave me some “recycled” kid yogurt cups. They’re good for first cups since they don’t hold much. Then you don’t even have to buy the Dixie cups. 🙂

  • jennifer says:

    My 2 yo uses a regular (plastic) cup most of the time now – he started refusing the sippy because he wants to keep up with his big brother (3 yo). I love the idea about the mugs, though. I’ve been hesitant to give either of my boys a “real” glass yet, but the sturdier mug is a great idea! I’ll definitely be trying that – probably with my 3 yo first before I try it with my 2 yo, though! We do still use sippies for both of them when we’re out and about, or for a drink they’re going to carry around the house with them. But for mealtimes, not anymore.

  • Maggie says:

    We’ve only given our two year old drinks in regular, small cups and he does fine. He actually does better with heavier, small glasses (we got several small rocks glasses from IKEA) because they are heavier and he naturally has to be more careful with them. We keep a small pitcher of water in the fridge (that is only halfway full) for him to get water out of when he wants a drink so I don’t constantly have to give him refills. One way I’ve found to discourage spilling on purpose is to have him clean up his spill (to the best of his ability). He even cleans up accidental spills, which also encourages him to be more careful. I also only give him small amounts at a time and have him stay in the kitchen area with his cup. When we visit with friends and they give him a sippy to drink out of, he acts like he doesn’t know what to do with it–especially the spill proof ones. Sippy cups have actually been linked to tooth decay (bc lots of times, kiddos have unlimited access to juice and they don’t get their teeth brushed after every drink) and speech delays (the sucking that it takes to get the liquid out of their cups misplaces their tongues in their mouth, which can cause problems with sucking and swallowing reflexes, leading to problems with articulation. And it can also pull the front teeth forward, much like thumb-sucking can do). Sippy cups can be a useful transition tool, but we tend to use it for convenience instead of transitioning to regular cups. Cute post!

    • Pamela says:

      Thank you Maggie! My daughter, now 15 Today!At 2 she had problems with articulation due to a tongue thrust…..the speech therapist said on day one to “throw the sippy cup away” and replace it with a straw……..the sippy cup made her tongue thrust out even more, but the straw made the tongue go in while drinking. I didn’t let her use the sippy cup all the time, only when we were somewhere that I did not want to have anythig spilled (water was the only I would allow in them)….but after the fateful day of throwing it away for good, I had to retrain myself and my friends and family about this problem.

      So, EVERYONE…….THROW AWAY THOSE SIPPY CUPS!!!!!

      • Melissa says:

        Actually, this was the opposite for us. We were encouraged to use the sippy cup from our OT and speech pathologist. Long story short, he was in the NICU on a feeding tube for a long time (born with heart failure and severe meconium aspiration and went on heart/lung bypass). He was a “silent” aspirator and anything he’d drink went right into his lungs (we watched it via OPM radiology studies with him). Anyway, one of the ways we strengthened his throat and tongue muscles was to use a regular sippy cup or a sippy with a straw (especially with thick liqiuds) and also giving him a straw to suck out of. Sometimes I’d have him drink yogurt with a super wide straw as an occupational therapy exercise. Anyway, it helped him strengthen his muscles because he had issues with all of that and he gradually got better and better. Now he is a normal 2 year old, off the feeding tube and thickened liquids, and eating and drinking normally and can drink out a cup fine even though we ONLY gave him sippys, never cups because of his aspiration issues (the liquid came too quickly for him to learn to swallow it in time before he aspirated) and even though they told us at birth he may always be on a feeding tube and never speak because of his issues. Even though he was supposed to have speech delays because he was in the NICU so long and also on ECMO, he never once had an issue. So I think it depends on each particular child and the circumstances.

  • elizabeth says:

    The bathtub is a great place to practice drinking out of a regular cup as well. Just be sure it is clean water in the cup! Also, the preschool my kids attended had the kids pour their own water and juice. They would put out 2 cup plastic measuring cups with a handle about 1/2 full of juice or water and the kids would pour from those into their dixie cups. There were spills from time to time, but the kids learned to do it after not much practice. They started doing this when the kids were in the 2-3 year old class.

  • Samantha says:

    : ) This is probably more of an, to each his own, kind of deal. I’ve seen lots of children in my family raised by different sisters, brothers, and cousins, etc, and they all did things a little differently. Some had their kids use pacifiers until they were 4, some weren’t potty trained until 5 or 6, some used sippys for too long, some didn’t. Somehow they’ve each turned out just as well-rounded as the next one did. Looking at the bigger picture, when they are grown, it’s not these things that matter so much. Like Crystal said, use a cup if it works for your little one, but I hope no mommy or daddy is out there stressing out about it. Seriously don’t!

  • Catherine says:

    My almost 2 year old can drink out of a cup just fine (she often steals mine if I leave it where she can reach it) but I still prefer sippy cups because she is sooooo fascinated with liquids. She not only wants to dump it out, but also put her hands in the cup, put other objects in the cup, shake the cup, etc. I don’t mind cleaning up, but with a regular cup she only drinks a sip or two before it becomes a toy. Putting just a little liquid in the cup usually works, but it’s too time consuming for her to get all her liquids that way.
    (By the way, she’s obsessed with puddles, wet floors, wet laundry, swimming pools, sprinklers, faucets, sinks, rain, etc. She still cries when we take her out of the tub after an hour!)

  • sarah says:

    great tips! and i do have to say, you are so pretty! what kind of lipgloss do you use? i’ve been meaning to ask lol

    • Crystal says:

      I got it at the Dollar Store a few years ago. Isn’t that so helpful?! 🙂 Sorry, I wish I knew more about it, but the brand/label is completely worn off of it!

  • Christine says:

    My son is good with a “big boy cup” but man, my daughter, she just likes to see what it’s like to dump water on the floor. This gets super old, fast. She’s not quite two and somehow the physics of the waterfall is way more interesting than anything I do to deter it. It’s not a matter of learning to drink from the cup. It’s a matter of me wanting to spend a few days chasing her around the house with her water cup and cleaning up messes.

    I think it’s just easier to wait until she outgrows this fascination.

    • My daughter (almost 2.5) started the transition a few months back, but we quickly discovered her fascination with putting things _in_ the cup. Oh, it’d spill from time to time, but far worse in my opinion was the food, toys, dirty fingers, silverware, and random other flotsam that she’d put in there. We went back to sippies for a while and are now trying the cups again. Considering that we’re probably not going to buy too many more and we’re now on our third child, I don’t see it as a huge waste of money. Mostly everyone drinks out of my water bottle anyway.

  • Marion says:

    This is how we did it too, yet we keep a couple of sippys for fun. My 11 (almost 12) year old still loves to occasionally drink from it and refers to it as his “ba”. Of course the 5 year old wants to copy!

  • Megan says:

    I agree, I really love that lip gloss! (You know, while we’re on the topic of Important Financial Matters and all. :P)

  • michelle says:

    I learned my about 18 month old was ready for a regular cup when he tried drinking tub water in a play cup 🙂

  • Tara says:

    One other thought (that may have been posted already) is to let them use a heavy cup when they are old enough to handle it. I thought my then 5 and 3-yr-old only needed to use plastic so as to avoid broken glasses. That was until we visted a friend who let all her kids use glasses to drink from. She said they were much easier to avoid spills since plastic tumps over so much easier. We started the next day and have never looked back.

  • Liz says:

    I love that you did this video. It’s so funny that you put up a post about menu planning and it turned in to a discussion about the little details in the picture. Besides the cup, someone even noticed sewing stuff in the background. I guess your photos get extra-analyzed!

  • We did sippy cups with my son, but transitioned my daughter MUCH earlier to a regular cup. I wish I had known it wasn’t that big of a deal when we had Noah. We wasted a lot of money on sippy cups!

  • Julie says:

    We started our little guy (22 months old now) out with little plastic shot glasses from the grocery store when he was about 10 months old and he loved it!! Didn’t stop him from drinking his milk from the bottle or water from sippies…it was just something novel for him. Then when he was about 16 months old we bought a set of six shot glasses from IKEA that match our juice and water glasses that we bought from there. He used those for several months and that is how he learned to drink his milk from a cup (as he had steadfastly refused to drink milk in anything but a bottle).

    He has now graduated to the juice glasses (I think they are about 6oz) filled about halfway full and doesn’t spill very often. We do still have two sippy cups (the kind that are for older kids without the spout) and one of those no longer has the little plastic nozzle. We use those just for water when we are away from home or for him to carry around the house with him…but he gets plenty of opportunities to drink milk, water, and diluted juice while at the table out of regular glasses.

  • I think this is best to “teach” during the summer time. Take them outside, fill the cup up a little, take off the shirt and let them try! It’s also very helpful if you let them have a sip from your cup when they are toddling around the house! A little practice at a time goes a long way! 🙂

  • I think I read it on Tightwad Gazzette when our daughter was 1 yrs old to transition from bottle to cup to save money and not have to keep buying sippy cups. To my surprise, like your children, she did well and liked using cups.

    So my mom-in-law made it her job to buy them sippy cups all the time! Which they did use in her presence.

  • Hilliary says:

    My 9 month old loves to drink out of whatever cup we are using. When he sees you with a glass of water he’ll come to drink it with (read:for) you. I won’t lie though, I love his sippy cups. They keep my carpet dry. 🙂

    Once he will hold a cup regularly, I don’t see him sticking with sippy cups. I mean, he ditched his paci at 4 months and hasn’t used it since.

  • birtrightrose says:

    We only use the Ball Mason jars for cups. The 8 ounce jars for the ‘big’ kids, and the 4 ounce jars for the little ones. They are glass, sturdy and cheap, and look nice! We moved when our smallest was almost 2 and got rid of all the plastic. We never looked back.
    I do insist that food be eaten in the kitchen at the table. It is respectful to our bodies and spirits to eat properly, and discourages emotional and mindless snacking which attributes to the obesity of our youth today.

  • Holly says:

    Our pediatrician recommended we go straight to drinking from an open cup, so it’s just always something we’ve always done. We first started with small dixie cups and moved to a small plastic kids cup. We still use sippy cups but waited to introduce those until she had drinking out of an open cup down first.

  • Challice says:

    I did sippy cups with my daughter but dh HATED them. He hated cleaning them and boiling them (hey those sippy parts can get so icky!) and we just ditched em too so we pretty much did it how you did Crystal. 🙂 It works well, especially when your at a friends (or grandparents) house and they dont have sippy. 🙂

  • Vanessa says:

    I don’t have a link for information, but I once read that it is actually better for the speech muscles development if you have your children drink out of a regular cup instead of a sippy/straw. So essentially by having your children drink out of a regular cup you are giving them better communication capabilities.

    • Jordon says:

      my sister in law is a nurse and has actually told me this same thing. That there are certain muscles they don’t learn how to use while only drinking from a sippy cup!

      • Pamela says:

        One of the first thing my daughter’s speech therapist told me was to get rid of the sippy cups!!! Thankfully she only had speech services for two years and speaks well now.

  • Jeanine says:

    Where did you get the mugs? Are they plastic? My little boy has just started only wanting a “big boy cup” and I know he would love to have his own mug because mommy drinks her coffee out of one. 🙂

  • Jordon says:

    Silly off topic question here, but your hoodie looks super cute! Where did you get it?
    But I do totally agree with the sippy cup transistion. We started out little guy on real cups (the tupperware ones) no lids while he was still taking a bottle around 9 monthsish.. Like you said just puttinga little bit in it. I sit down to eat with two cups for him, the one he will drink from and a second one of water to refill his cup with… you never know when they will decide to drop it off the highchair so the less amount of water in there the better 🙂

    • Crystal says:

      It was an online deal awhile back. It’s really comfy — of course, I’m the person who would live in hoodies if I could! 🙂

      • Jordon says:

        me too but that one looks comfy yet stylish! 🙂 any idea on the brand?

      • Melissa Fox says:

        I know your try to keep your warobe small- so I was curious about how many hoodies do you have?

        Also- do you store the clothes you wear in the “in between” stages during pregnancy (before maternity) and after pregnancy-pre-pregnancy stage? I don’t want to get rid a lot of my clothes but I do not know what size I will be after I have our baby (due at the end of Aug) and do not want to buy all new clothes once I do get to pre-pregnancy size. (It took me almost 2 1/2 years to get back to pre-baby size after I had my son- then I got pregnant! Which is truely a blessing since we were trying for 2 years to give him a sibling)

        Do you just keep your favorites? Or store them all and see what fits when your weight seems stable and not steadily declining?

        • Crystal says:

          I have three hoodies. I usually just wear them in Winter, but it got cold here recently again, so I pulled them out!

          I currently have all my maternity clothes loaned out to my sister-in-law and I don’t have any other clothes in storage. However, it’s been two years since I’ve been pregnant and I’ve been at the same size for quite awhile, so that is somewhat why. I have a few maternity clothes in my loaned-out stash that can be used in early pregnancy or post-partum I tend to buy about 3-4 new items every six months and get rid of the same amount, in order to keep my wardrobe about the same number of clothes all the time. So if I’m losing pregnancy weight, I just try to hold out as long as I can with what I have until I get back down to my pre-pregnancy weight. I don’t always make it and sometimes buy a few inexpensive in-between things, but I try to manage as best as I can.

          If you like to dress trendy or wear fitted clothes, this probably wouldn’t work. But since I tend to wear jeans and t-shirts (and hoodies in Winter) most of the time, it usually is manageable. Though I certainly wouldn’t win any fashion awards. 🙂

  • Kristan says:

    For me the bigger concern is getting my children to sit still in a chair to eat or drink (and is my bigger point of amazement about Crystal’s original post) – maybe if I could do that then I’d let them try regular cups too…as it is, with all the up and down they end up spilling. They all CAN drink out of regular cups (3 1/2 times 2, and 22 months), but I try to save myself headaches where I can. 😉

  • kim says:

    LOL–NONE of us use regular cups here! All 7 of us use “sippy” bottles all the time b/c I’m such a klutz and knock things over too much (due to chronic illness, pain, weakness). We can write our names on bottles and use them over and over so we don’t have to wash cups all day. We live in the desert so water must be always available or we dehydrate so we take them everywhere and have them by our beds at night. We don’t drink juice or milk so they don’t get yucky inside. We have cups with lids that you stick a straw in for smoothies–when those tip over the sticky mess can’t come out very quickly so it saves me lots of cleanup time.

    I wasn’t able to read all the comments, but maybe someone mentioned that sippy cups can contribute to speech delays? We had a 15 month old foster child who was in therapy and they said NO SIPPY CUP. Something about the way the mouth sucked or lips formed around it…don’t remember exactly.

  • Maha says:

    Its true that it’s hard to get the kids to ditch the sippy cups once they get attached to them. We taught our daughter to use a regular cups while using sippy cups as well when she was 11 months old. Now she is 21 months old and she uses her sippy cup, straw cup and regular cups with equal ease. I guess the trick is the earlier the better 🙂

  • Jean Voelker says:

    As a retired RN who spent 26 years working at the WIC Program, I can tell you that sippy cups was one thing that we had problems with. Children walking around with large sippy cups all day long spoils appetites and causes dental problems. Getting parents to put only water in the cups between meals and at bed time was a struggle.
    When my four children were small, sippy cups were 4 ounces. Now it is hard to find one that size. Also, it was used with water at meal times from 6 months to 1 year, when they were learning to hold it…after that they used open cups. We found that the short, fat on the rocks cups worked best because they needed 2 hands to hold them and were less likely to be knocked over.

  • christine says:

    maybe i over-think things, or because i’m single foster parent but i always ask myself “does _______ help my kid develop age appropriate tasks/behaviors? what are pros & cons for the kid?” from my personal perspective sippy cups, potty chairs, pull ups, training wheels would selfishly benefit only me. unless the child has special needs there is no reason to delay learning just so i can avoid clean up or delay teaching. looking at the big picture i also don’t want to send my kids the message that it’s ok to take the easy way until forced to do it the right way v. giving it 110% and striving to do the right thing from the get go.

  • Dineen says:

    Who knew that simple picture of Silas with a smoothie would generate such a buzz?

    My little one was much like your 3. I found that sippies didn’t work well for me because they were too much for transitioning from bottle feeding, not breast-feeding and she had no clue how to generate that sort of sucking pattern. If you remove the valve to make it easy or no-suck, you remove the no-spill features. Thus no value. Her greatest joy with a sippy cup at that age was shaking water out of the spout. My favorite early drinking cup was an old 2-handled Gerber “sippy” with the lid removed (probably 40 years old) from the thrift store.

    She mastered drink water from a water bottle (no valves) very quickly I think because of the small opening. It fascinated people to see a toddler drinking from a 20 ounce regular water bottle while we were out shopping.

    • Ashley says:

      That’s too funny! I taght my daughter to drink straight from a regular water bottle when she was like 18months and she drank from it better than her cousins that were 5 & 6!
      We also taught both of our kids to drink from straws at about 7 months. I was told by a speech pathologist that straws help with the mucles in their mouth to form properly and are much better than sippy cups. 🙂

  • Amy says:

    When we’re out and about (especially at a restaurant), I use the lid from my son’s bottle to give him little sips of what I’m drinking, which is water or occasionally, unsweetened tea. He still dribbles a little down his chin, but he likes it. And if he dumps the whole thing, it’s only an ounce or two.

Money Saving Mom® Comment Policy

We love comments from readers, so chime in with your thoughts below! We do our best to keep this blog upbeat and encouraging, so please keep your comments cordial and kind. Read more information on our comment policy.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *