Sippy cups are training cups that consist of a screw- or snap-on lid and a spout that allows an infant to drink without spilling the liquid. They help the baby to transition from nursing or bottle-feeding to drinking. Sippy cups are sold at most major retail and baby specialty stores. Choosing the best one for a six-month-old is important because the cup has to be easy to hold and use and should not inhibit dental development.
Easy to Hold
For babies just transitioning from bottle to sippy cup it is important to choose a style that they can easily handle and that will appeal to them. According to the Net Wellness website, choosing a sippy cup that has handles on each side is best for babies just starting out. These types are easier for little fingers and hands to hold, making them less likely to be dropped. This is extremely important because babies who have difficulty holding onto something may become frustrated and this can make mealtime much more difficult and messy. In addition, handles will allow the baby to be more independent at mealtime.
Easy to Drink From
Sippy cups have to be easy to drink from. If they are not the child will become annoyed with trying to get the liquid out and will lose interest or become upset. Using sippy cups with a straw that folds in may be a better choice because the liquid is much easier to access. Some sippy cups that have valves can be somewhat problematic to get liquid out of. Sometimes, taking the valve mechanism out of the sippy cup makes it easier for the baby, but be aware that is can be quite messy for you since removing the valve allows liquid to flow freely. When you have a very young infant, it may be better to get a cup without a valve to start with.
Avoid Spill-proof Cups
When choosing a sippy cup for your six-month-old you should try to get one that does not have a spill-proof valve. Some valves can be problematic because they allows liquid to collect just behind a baby's front teeth, the same way that a bottle does. According to the South Dakota Department of Health, this can lead to tooth decay at a very early age. If the tooth decay goes unnoticed by the parents it can lead to infections, problems with growth of permanent teeth and can affect the child’s chewing and speech.