Sippy Cups vs Bottles

Balint Horvath, PhD

Writer, parent, and veteran of baby feeding battles.


Finally! It’s time to wean your little one and I know you can’t be more excited! But, weaning comes with a lot of decisions. First probably you want to compare sippy cup vs bottles, then based on the information you need to make a decision which route to follow.

My daughter is reluctant to drink most of the time, therefore we’ve experimented with a lot of cups and bottles. I believe I’ve become an expert over the 1.5 year of her existence.

My Top Picks

What are sippy cups and baby bottles and why you should consider them?

As children grow, it’s essential that you also change their feeding style. If they were initially breastfeeding, you can advance them gradually to using a bottle. Most parents start this transition with bottles since these are more readily available. However, some parents swear by sippy cup options, saying their children adjust more seamlessly.

But, what are these options actually?

Baby bottle, or feeding bottles, or nursing bottles are simply bottles with a teat or nipple your baby uses to drink from the bottle. They can be used by kids of all ages, from infants to older infants of around 14 months. For the best baby bottles in the market, read my comparison of the Comotomo, boon, Tommee Tippee, and Nanobebe baby bottles.

Sippy cups on the other hand are cups designed for toddlers. They have a lid to prevent spilling and a spout or straw which your tot drinks from. They are commonly used by older infants and toddler, of two years or older, but some brands have options for younger ones. Usually, your little one will drink more liquid from sippy cups than they will from baby bottle.

One last possibility for using a sippy cup is when using it to feed your baby instead of using a bottle, in case your baby is not taking a bottle.

When is the right time to transition to sippy cups?

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, your little one will be ready to start drinking from a sippy cup when he or she is between six and nine months. By the time your baby is twelve months, it’s better to ditch the baby bottle and go ahead with sippy cups.

How do you know your baby is ready for a sippy cup?

Just like weaning a baby at six months, there are a few tell-tale signs you can use to wean them off the bottle. First, your child should be able to sit by herself, hold her head, and open her mouth when she can see a spoon.

Start slowly by holding the sippy cup for your little one. Kids are naturally observant and they see how you are holding the cup and they want to copy you. If she doesn’t get the hang of it the first time, that’s ok. Try using a straw with a bottle you can easily squeeze. Once the liquid gets into her mouth, she will naturally start figuring out how to suck from the spout.

Best for babies – Munchkin Latch Transition Cup

Product description

  • Minimum Age: 4 months
  • Capacity: 4 ounces
  • Weight: 2.24 ounces
  • Color: Orange
Munchkin® Latch™ Transition Cup, Silicone, 4 Ounce

What I love about it

  • Easy to use – It comes with a flexible spout, and two side handles
  • Safe – It’s made from Polypropylene and Silicon, all of which are Phthatalte, Lead, and BPA free materials
  • Easy to clean – You can wash and sterilize with soap and hot water. It’s also dishwasher safe
  • Easy to assemble – It has a few pieces which make it easy to put together when you need it
  • Suitable for different ages – You can use it with infants as young as four months up to 12 months

What’s not so great

  • Big – Some parents feel its frame is a little too big for small hands

Product information

Whether your baby is bottle-fed or breastfed, the Munchkin Latch Transition Cup offers a great way to start them for cups. It comes with a soft silicone spout that your baby can easily latch on. Regardless of which side your child turns to while drinking from this sippy cup, the spout is flexible enough to move with your baby. You also get adjustable side handles with this model. That means that you can align them with the direction the spout is facing once you have it secured. Your baby won’t need to hold the cup at an uncomfortable angle based on which direction the spout faces. Since it’s suitable for younger infants, you can transition your baby to sippy cups much earlier.

Best straw sippy cup – Nuby 3 Piece Girl No-Spill Cup with Flex Straw

Product description

  • Minimum Age: 12 months
  • Capacity: 10 ounces
  • Weight: 7.2 ounces
  • Color: Boy, Girl, Neutral
Nuby No-Spill Soft Straw Easy Grip Sippy Cup for Girls - (3-Pack) 10 Oz - 12+ Months

What I love about it

  • No spills – Only your child’s sucking motion will enable liquids to flow through the straw’s Touch Flo valve
  • Easy to grip – The Easy Grip contoured base makes it easy for your child to hold on their own
  • Outdoor friendly – You can go on trips with it
  • Promotes oral development – The sucking motion helps to strengthen your child’s oral muscles
  • Affordable – It’s ideal for those on a budget since you get three of them with your purchase

What’s not so great

  • Delicate straws – If your child likes to bite, then the straw may wear out a lot faster

Product information

If you’re looking to teach your child a new skill, then try the Nuby 3 Piece Girl No-Spill Cup with Flex Straw. It’s a sippy cup with a straw attachment rather than a nipple. That way, your child begins to train their mouth muscles to use a straw. Its straw is made from soft silicone, which doesn’t interfere with your little one’s gums or any developing teeth. It’s also certified safe since its materials do not contain any traces of BPA or Phthalates. To sterilize it, you can place the straws and tops in boiling water before rinsing out the cup with hot water. To clean it after each use, disassemble and place in the dishwasher’s top-shelf. Hand washing it with soap and warm water is also possible. The lid seals perfectly, making this cup ideal for mess-free travels. This is the version my daughter got later on.

Runner up for babies – NUK Disney Learner Sippy Cup

Product description

  • Minimum Age: 6 months
  • Capacity: 5 ounces, 10 ounces
  • Weight: 3.2 ounces
  • Color: Blue Mickey, Red Minnie, Mickey, Elmo, Minnie, Winnie the Pooh
NUK Disney Learner Sippy Cup, Mickey Mouse, 5 Oz 1Pack

What I love about it

  • Easy to grip – The handles have anti-slip grip making them more comfortable for your baby to hold
  • Dishwasher safe – You can clean it in the dishwasher
  • Multi-functional – It can be used as a sippy cup by infants. Once you remove the handles, it turns into a cup for toddlers
  • Soft – It comes with a flexible silicone spout which doesn’t give your child any discomfort while they use it

What’s not so great

  • Drinking difficulties – Some parents report that their children struggle a bit to learn how to suck liquids from it

Product information

If you’re a fan of Disney themed items, then try out this Sippy Cup. It features a few Disney characters in different colors. As you purchase, you can choose whether to get a 5-ounce or 10-ounce sippy cup, depending on your child’s age. Whichever size you select, your baby will have an easy time with it since it has two handles. The spout is made from soft silicone that’s Phthalate and BPA-free. It’s shaped like a bottle’s opening, making it easy to transition your baby from using a bottle. The spout also comes with an air vent to limit the amount of air your baby sucks in while the drink. Assembling the sippy cup for use is easy, and you can also disassemble to clean it just as quickly.

Sippy Cup and Bottle Comparison

Main similarities

For starters, you’ll notice that all these options are easy to assemble for use and to disassemble for cleaning. You don’t need to worry about tiny nooks and crannies that could hide dirt. They’re also made with toxin-free and dishwasher safe materials for your child’s safety and faster cleaning.

Main differences

The Munchkin Latch Transition Cup and NUK Disney Learner Sippy Cup come with handles while the Nuby 3 Piece Girl No-Spill Cup with Flex Straw doesn’t. However, to make up for that, it comes with a straw, unlike the other two which have spouts. But the Munchkin Latch Transition Cup’s spout offers more flexibility than the NUK Disney Sippy Cup. Another advantage with the Nuby 3 Piece Girl No-Spill Cup is that your purchase comes with three no-spill cups rather than one, as is the case with the other two options.

Bottom line

Start by knowing your child’s age to see if she’s ready to transition from bottle to a sippy cup. Then find a model that they can try and hopefully like.

Out of the sippy cups reviewed here, I’d recommend the Munchkin Latch Transition Cup. My daughter picked it up right away and seemed to love it.

And if you’re baby or toddler is throwing the bottle on the floor, I wrote a separate blog post about it.

Last update on 2024-05-03 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Photo of author


I’m Balint, founder of this site and a father (and dad) to a baby-turned toddler. I found the world of babies so fascinating that I started a blog dedicated only to that topic. By the way, I studied physics, engineering (PhD, MSc), and therefore I do a thorough research when I write about something. Since it’s a blog, of course I also write about my personal experiences.

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