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  • Sarah Cicconetti, MA, CCC-SLP

The Truth About Sippy Cups


Infants use their tongues to express milk from breast or bottle. The tongue is cupped under the nipple, the jaw is lax, the mouth is open. All the muscles move at once. Sippy

cups use the same immature movements. They prohibit a child from stabilizing and controlling their lips, tongue, and jaw to work separately. Children like sippy cups because the suckling pattern is soothing to them. Parents like sippy cups because they don’t spill and are convenient. Sippy cups are made for parents, not kids.

Sippy cups can cause:

  • Dental problems

  • Swallowing concerns

  • Slurred speech

  • Lisping

  • Articulation

Sippy cups are not a developmental milestone. The milestone should be developing toddler oral-movement patterns by drinking from….the alternatives to the sippy! The Avent Natural Drinking Cup is appropriate for 6+ months. It encourages tilting, lip placement, and swallowing together. It’s mostly spill proof, too! Straws encourage mature oral motor patterns. Many have covers to prevent spills. Try straws around 7-9 months. Typical development from suckling (infant-based) to sucking (toddler-

based) happens at 6-7 months. This is the perfect age to encourage parents to introduce transition drinking cups. The cup shown below is a 360 degree drinking cup. Many brands make this style of transition cup. It is spill proof, easy to clean, and can be used by ANY age child who can drink from a straw.

Alternatives to Sippy Cups are available at:

The Speech Language Pathologist at Synergy Family Therapy Specialists has specialized training in:

➔ Breastfeeding

➔ Pediatric drinking

➔ Pediatric feeding

➔ Transitioning skills

➔ Oral development

➔ Lip/tongue Ties

#SippyCups #SpeechConcerns #StrawCups

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