Is Your Toddler Ready to Drink From a Sippy Cup?
Once a baby's head, neck, and back muscles have developed enough that she can sit up easily by herself, she's probably old enough to drink from a sippy cup.
Although parenting expert Dr. William Sears points out that there's no magic age that a child will begin drinking from a cup, experts recommend introducing a cup to a child several months in advance of when you'd like her to be drinking out of it exclusively. Dr. Alan Greene says that it takes about six months for a child to transition over from a nipple (breast or bottle) to a cup, given the amount of learning involved in using a cup.
If your toddler does use a sippy cup, buy the kind with easy-to-hold handles on both sides and a one-way valve in the spout, which is great for avoiding spills. Rinse cups thoroughly after each use and use a small bottle brush to clean the valves, as liquid left inside can cause bacteria or mold growth.
Does a toddler need to use a sippy cup? Of course not. Some parents prefer to transition their toddlers directly to a regular cup instead of a sippy.