At 2 years old, your little one has most likely grown up from using a nipple style bottle. It’s time to test out new cups that they can drink water and milk from, among other beverages.
Around this age, you can experiment with straw based cups or ones that your toddler can tilt to drink (like your Tervis). It all depends on their learning curve and how comfortable they are with the new cup.
While there are literally a hundred different best cup options for your 2-year-old, I will limit mine to the best 3 cups and share why you’d want to get it for your little one. I’ll save you from the analysis paralysis 😉
Should a 2-year-old drink from a sippy cup?
I’ll address this question first, as it’s a very common one at this age when your kiddo is getting more independent and capable to do things on their own.
Around this age, self-feeding skills have improved to the point where your toddler will be eating and drinking on their own without much help. Your toddler is growing at a rapid pace and is probably prepping for potty training and bed changes among other changes.
While there is no exact proof that sippy cups are bad, I did find a medical paper that mentioned: “potential increases in exposure to sugared/acidic liquids through the use of the sippy cup”.
For this exact reason, and recommendation by my daughters pediatric dentist, we moved our daughter from nipple-based sippy cups to a cup with straw around 1 and a half years.
Around 2, we started moving from a cup with a straw to a regular cup entirely, just like how we would drink water. It’s prone to more mess during the beginning but the transition wasn’t so bad.
To summarize, there’s no proof that sippy cups are bad, but there are medical papers and recommendations from health professionals that work exclusively with kids to move on to better alternatives.
What should I put in a sippy cup?
Every parent has different guidelines on how to raise their kids, but we all want to have our little one as healthy as possible. Here’s my personal input from my own research and lifestyle.
I’d say to always have a cup full of room temperature water ready for your little one to drink throughout the day. Depending on how old your toddler is, you’d supplement with milk. For us that’s during breakfast and dinner.
Juices are very sugary, and it’s not something we give our kiddo on a daily or even weekly basis. Sparingly used only for special events, juices are a “fun drink” to have sometimes.
Your little one will get their nutrition from the various food they eat and supplement that with milk and water from their sippy cup. If you have any tips or thoughts about this, make sure to comment below and let me know what you think.
What cups should a 2 year old use?
At this point, I’ll share some top recommended products that you can get online or try to find a similar one at your nearby grocery store.
I chose these products for a few reasons. The cup has either been used by our daughter, we’ve heard great things about them, or they are highly rated and recommended online.
Dr. Brown’s Cheers 360 Spoutless Training Cup
Why get this cup
- This cup is a perfect in-between transition cup from sippy cups to the real thing. If your kiddo needs more time and tends to spill often, this is a perfect “leak-free learning” cup.
- Semi-transparent cup shows how much water your little one is drinking throughout the day.
- The size is perfect for their tiny hands to grasp, making it easier for them to drink from it more often throughout the day.
The one main con
- Our kiddo used this cup happily, but out of the 3,000+ happy reviews, I did notice some parents complaining that the cup was hard to drink from for some toddlers. The structure of the cup and design is great, but this is the one primary negative I noticed.
First Years Mickey Mouse Insulated Hard Spout Sippy Cups
Why get this cup
- After the spoutless training cup above, our next step with our little one was this type of cup. With the spoutless training cup, your little one has to tilt it up for flow. As they get older, they can pull the water with this type of spouted sippy cup, similar to how we drink from a Tervis cup.
- Your kiddo will love the Mickey Mouse design. If you get them a well-designed cup from a character that they love, they’ll keep the cup next to them all day long and drink plenty more water. I’ve seen it myself with our little one.
- Very sturdy and leakproof, one less thing to worry about 😉
The one con
- Similar to the cup above, some parents complained about their kiddo not able to get the fluid out. This cup is recommended for kiddos 9 months and older, but they all grow at different rates. Keep their normal cup as a backup option while they work on transitioning to a cup like this over time.
Munchkin Splash Toddler Cups with Training Lids
Why get this cup
- This is the perfect transition up from the cup above. Each cup I recommended was a 1-2-3 step transition, with this being an ideal cup that your kiddo should use on a daily basis.
- With no straw or suction-type feature, this is the cup that most resembles a regular open cup that we as adults use. As your kiddo gets more developed with their gross motor skills, this is the cup that they’d use at the end.
The one con
- Both cups I mentioned above had minor complaints about getting the water out, not this one. As this is very close to drinking from a cup of water, the relief valve will be perfect. That could be a negative in that there might be plenty of spills in the beginning as your little one learns to transition from the different cups before.
The transition process will vary based on how much practice your little one has had with the different baby bottles over time.
They’ll go from a nipple bottle to leakproof cups, and then graduate with a cute colored cup that will resemble a regular glass cup that we’d drink from.
The 3 cups I mentioned were popular choices for parents and will help your little one with his/her transition over time.