Sippy Cups That Promote Toddler Speech and Language Development

Sippy Cups
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TherapyWorks Sippy Cup Guide

Believe it or not, some sippy cups are better than others when it comes to speech and language development. We’ll walk you through what to look for in a cup and suggest some of our favorites.

What makes one cup better than another?

It’s all about the spout!

We’ll explain:

As babies are presented with solid foods and open cup liquids, they develop a swallow that is more mature than the one they used for breast or bottle feeding.

The next time you swallow, notice that your tongue naturally goes to the spot behind your front teeth where “teeth meets gum” and rolls back over the roof of your mouth to trigger your swallow.

This “starting place” for the tongue (just behind the two front teeth) is very important both for speech and swallowing.

A spout cup physically blocks the tongue from getting to where it needs to be. 

The tongue is not able to get to the right position because the spout is in its way.

In addition to the spout inhibiting the tongue from where it needs to be, many sippy cups on the market end up functioning much like a bottle by forcing children to suck effortfully to get any liquid.

By using non-spill sippy cups, we can unknowingly encourage an immature swallow pattern.

The best option for your child is always an open cup. We recommend giving your child an open cup whenever possible. That said, we understand that it is important to have a non-spill option when your child is on the go.

Look for a straw cup or a cup without a spout (like the top of a Starbucks cup).

Here are our recommendations for convenient and mess-free non-spill cups:

If you have questions about your child’s development please don’t hesitate to reach out. Our team of pediatric speech, occupational and physical therapists are happy to answer your questions!

Therapyworks Erin Michelle

Are you interested in services for your child? Founded by Michelle Worth and Erin Vollmer, TherapyWorks provides in-home speech, occupational and physical therapies in Michigan, Ohio and Illinois and teletherapy nationwide.

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We hope you and your family are continuing to stay safe and healthy! We have outlined our protocols for in-person sessions during COVID-19. As you know, the health and safety of our clients and therapists remain our highest priority. As always, please reach out with any questions or concerns. Thank you for your cooperation and understanding as we work together through these unprecedented times.


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