When your little one is ready to transition from bottle or breast to a cup……I have some suggestions.   A regular sip-cup promotes the same forward tongue movement that a bottle does……..which can promote a child to have a lisp….using a straw-sippy cup promotes more typical movement of the tongue.  However, be sure that the straw-sippy cups do not have the insert in them.  The insert in the straw sippy cups promotes the same forward tongue movement….because your tongue actually has to move forward to pull the liquid out of the straw.

  I personally like the “First Years Take and Toss Straw Cups”.  With a cup like this….there is no valve or insert….the straw is just inside the cup….a small hole in the lid helps to keep the straw in place and reduces spilling.   This type of straw cup….requires tongue retraction when your child is pulling the liquid out of the straw…..this is much better for sound development….for tongue placement…..and for the overall development of the oral cavity.


A straw can be a bit challenging…but there are a few tips that may help your little one…..cut a straw in half……put the straw in a cup filled with the liquid……use your pointer finger to hold the liquid in the straw (by covering the hole at the other end of the straw).   Next, place the straw between your child’s lips…..and have her practice drinking….once she gets the idea of how the straw works..your next step will be….. again cut the straw in half… it in a small plastic cup……and see if she can drink the liquid….

Another favorite of mine……is the honey bear straw cup….this can be purchased on talk tools website listed above.  This type of straw cup is a great teaching tool for the little ones that are learning how to drink out of a straw… can squeeze the honey bear so that a small amount of liquid enters your child’s mouth….this will help her in learning how to drink from a straw….and also promotes tongue retraction not protrusion.


It is difficult for the little ones to understand what to do with a straw….if she is old enough to understand….”make a kiss with your lips”……ask her to do so…..then ask her to suck the air in……you may have to demonstrate what you mean by this……once she has a good handle on making a kiss with her lips and sucking in… can place the straw between her lips….and ask her to suck in……next try by placing the straw in a cup filled with a liquid…and see if she is able to use the straw to drink.


Practice in the bathtub…..use the sink water (not tub water).  Put a straw and  sink water in a small plastic cup……no worries if you make a mess……have her practice drinking from a straw.

You can also try drinking from an open cup in the bathtub……with the sink water in a small plastic cup…..this is good practice for your little one until she has mastered open cup drinking.









The three cups above are cut-out nosey cups….and are sold through talk tools and Amazon.  I wanted to post about them because they are great for addressing open cup drinking. 

The nosey-cups are ideal for people with limited range of motion of the head, neck or upper extremities, or arthritis. The Nosey Cup has a cut out for the nose that permits you to drink without bending your neck or tilting your head. Made from translucent plastic. Dishwasher safe.  Cut out for the nose permits drinking without bending neck or tilting head.  Nosey Cup Specifications:4 oz., 8 oz. and 12 oz. sizes.  Made from translucent plastic.  Dishwasher safe. 

What I like about the cups too…..I can assist with cup drinking and  I can squeeze the cup together as I am watching the little one with grading-knowing how much to open your mouth during eating or drinking…the child’s ability to know how much of a movement to make.




When your little one has become more competent with the nosey-cup….or at the same time….as I always tell parents “bath time is the perfect time to practice cup drinking”….with sink water…yes some parents thought I meant with bath water.  In the bath tub there are no worries if you spill…..and this provides your little one with a great opportunity to practice.  Please post with any questions…below you will find further information from the website about he reflo cups.

The Reflo Smart Cup ™ is a revolutionary new concept in training cups. It’s a smart alternative to sippy cups and a great transitional tool for your children to learn to drink from an open cup.

No buttons or other complicated mechanisms to operate. It’s as easy as drinking from any ordinary cup without the worry of big spills due to the patent-pending Reflo ™ insert that controls the flow of beverage anywhere along the cup’s rim and at virtually any angle.

BPA-free, phthalate-free and dishwasher safe, the Reflo Smart Cup ™ is designed for safety and hygiene with no moving parts to trap dirt and germs.

Recommended for all ages as a smart alternative to “sippy cups” which have been associated with dental and speech problems.

The Reflo Smart Cup ™ is the safe, smart way to learn to drink from a regular cup.


Product Information


  • Cup capacity with Reflo insert in place is 6 fl. oz.
  • Cup capacity without Reflo insert in place is 10 fl. oz.
  • Cup colors available: Red Violet, Blue, Green and Clear
  • Reflo insert color: Clear
  • All components are BPA free
  • All components are phthalate free
  • All components are dishwasher safe
  • Cup and Reflo insert are virtually unbreakable (see warnings below)

Recommended for:

  • Any child old enough to use a sippy cup
  • Any adult that wants a virtually splash-proof cup while on the go

Design considerations:

  • All components are translucent so that users can see beverage levels for both safety reasons and as a training aid, so that users can actually see the cup’s contents as they drink.
  • For optimum hygiene, there are no moving parts to trap debris and germs.
  • Will work at virtually all angles and at any point of rotation delivering the same amount of beverage to the user as they drink from the rim of the cup.

Other features:

  • Virtually splash-proof, making the reflo smart cup ideal for transporting in cup holders in the car or on strollers.
  • Can be used with ice cubes without concern of users choking on cubes. The Reflo insert will keep cubes in the beverage and away from the user’s mouth.


  • Not for use with hot beverages.
  • Not for use with beverages containing pulp or other solid matter that may clog openings of the Reflo insert. Ice cubes will not affect the proper operation of the Reflo Smart Cup.
  • The Reflo Smart Cup is not spill-proof. It is designed as a training aid for users to learn to drink from a rimmed cup.
  • Do not use excessive pressure to set the insert into the cup as it may become lodged. See instructions for recommendations on removing a lodged insert.
  • Only use the provided cup with the Reflo insert. The Reflo insert is designed specifically for this cup and will not work in most other cups.
  • Reflo Smart Cups can develop cracks if thrown onto hard surfaces, especially when filled.






 Believe it or not….the fork is easier to use than a spoon for your little one.  When using a spoon…there is too much your little one has to do….first she has to put the spoon in the bowl of cereal….or yogurt….or soup….and then she has to manage the right amount on the spoon so that it does not spill off of the spoon….then pick the spoon up…bring the spoon to her mouth…and then turn her wrist just enough that she gets in her mouth.  

I tell parents to start off with the fork first….it may not be easy for her to pierce the food….rather than having her struggle with that…pierce the food for her….put the fork back on the plate…..and then have her independently feed herself.  Voila!

3 Responses to SIP-IT!

  1. Jen says:

    Thanks Kimberly Ann! I will be sure to get the honey bear cup and we have a bunch of the toss and go straw cups. Thanks!

  2. Jen says:

    When William is off bottles, you will need to remind me of this one. Can I just go from bottle to straw cup or do I need to have some sippy cups just incase he can’t figure it out? Or do most kids figure it out? I think I had Jolene off bottles by one, so I assume I will do the same for William.

    • admin says:

      hey jen….most straw sippy cups have a valve or an insert….this makes the cup function just like a bottle..because the tongue is working in the same way it does as when he is drinking from a bottle. This is the forward tongue movement…and this forward tongue movement may have an impact on sound development, the shape of the palate and teeth. The toss and go cups work great…because there is no valve or insert. It is a little challenging for kids at first to get how the straw works….and this is because the tongue now has to retract to get the liquid…not move forward. So if you get the honey bear can squeeze the liquid into his mouth until he understands how it works…hope that helps

Leave a Reply