Why a straw cup instead of a "normal" sippy cup? Sippy cups have been shown to promote tooth decay and create speech problems. See this article here for more information. I don't know exactly how true all of this is, but after doing some research I decided I didn't want to take that risk. So, Sydney started with a straw cup around 4-5 months old. What you decide to do is up to you, but I want to provide you with a comparison of some of the straw cups we have used and which ones work well and which ones don't! I'll even include Amazon's price and link to the cups on Amazon (when I am able) so you can see other reviews or buy one :)
If you decide to go with a straw cup, the straw cleaner is a MUST! I got mine from Mom4Life.
We really, really love the Insulated cup. It is spill-proof without being difficult to drink from. It will splatter some if shaken or thrown, but usually very little. The straw is 2 pieces and is easy to clean, and the cup is top-rack dishwasher safe. The slender design of this cup makes it very easy for little hands to hold and also allows it to fit in diaper bag pockets easily. The non-insulated is very similar to the insulated and is also top-rack dishwasher safe. Sydney loves to use it, but since it isn't insulated we use it mainly for water. It has a slimmer middle to make for an even easier hold for little hands.
2nd Pick: Thermos Funtainer 12 oz- $15.99 (We bought ours at Academy Sports, but Target sells them also)
This cup was the first straw sippy Sydney was able to use because it has no leak-proof valve so the drink comes out easily. The straw is 2 pieces and is very easy to clean. The cup is top-rack dishwasher safe, but not recommended. The only drawbacks to this one is that it is a little heavy (my 12 month old can carry it easily now) and it isn't leak-proof. However, Sydney has thrown it down and it only leaked a tiny bit so I don't see this as a huge problem. We use this sippy a LOT when it is warm outside. It keeps water super cool, much better than other cups. The major plus to this cup is that Sydney can use it for several years (even as a pre-teen) because it isn't a sippy cup!
Gerber Cool Twisties Insulated Straw Cup - 9 oz - $3.95
This cup has been a good one for us now that Sydney is older. It is pretty difficult to get any liquid out of, but that's because of the leak-proof valve. We haven't had any trouble with this cup leaking! The cup is top-rack dishwasher safe, and the straw is 2 pieces that are pretty easy to clean. The straw does get some discoloration (Sydney likes to drink with food in her mouth...and green beans and squash turned the straw a funny color). We haven't had any trouble with this cup breaking, but I've read other reviews saying that their toddler threw the cup and it broke. It seems to be pretty easy for Sydney to hold and she can open and close this one by herself now.
The first thing I loved about this cup was that it was squatty and had handles. That's where the love ended for me. This cup was so leak-proof it was next to impossible for Sydney to drink out of until she got the hang of drinking out of the other leak-proof straw cups. By that time, she didn't really need the handles. It is not insulated, so best used with juice or water. The handles also mean it doesn't easily fit into a diaper bag pocket. The straw is 2 pieces and easy to clean, but the valve portion is hard to squeeze back in place. The cup is top-rack dishwasher safe. We use this cup now because it is leak-proof and Sydney can open and close it on her own, but I wouldn't recommend it as a 1st cup.
This is my least favorite cup that we have tried. It doesn't leak when dropped, but the liquid tends to come up the straw (when open or closed). I've checked and double-checked that the straw is in correctly and I can't figure out why this happens, but I've read reviews where other moms had similar problems. It is insulated which is good for milk or hot days. The straw is 2 pieces and easy to clean and assemble. The cup is top-rack dishwasher safe.