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!
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!