Three and a half years into this parenting thing and it’s obvious that some toddler gear is designed better than others. I never thought this blog would include reviews of kids’ products, but after struggling through everything from poorly designed toys to impossible-to-program wake up lights, it feels like I’ve built up expertise that can benefit other parents.
First up: toddler sippy cups. Not to be confused with baby bottles (which is an entirely different topic). These cups with lids are often introduced around a child’s first birthday. The cup itself is closely tied to the transition a child makes from mother’s milk (or formula) to the full range of toddler drinks (milk, juice, water, etc).
After trying a wide variety of sippy cups over the past three years, making a recommendation for best toddler sippy cup is easy. The Nalgene Grip-n-Gulp provide to be the most durable, leak proof and easy to clean of any we tried.
By far the biggest problem with sippy cups is leakage. Soft mouthpieces often break down due to chewing, and certain lids can be difficult to achieve a tight seal. If you can’t find a cup to solve these issues, you’ll constantly be cleaning up spills—big and small. The lid on the Nalgene solves these problems with hard plastic mouthpieces that stand up to continual gnawing; plus the bottle closure was simple to seal. Tossed in a backpack or vigorously shaken by your little one—as long as the plastic valve properly in place, there won’t any spills or leaks.
The Nalgene gets high marks in other areas as well. With it’s modular design, it’s easy to clean and the parts can be mixed and matched – making for fun color combinations and convenient if you lose a part. Durability is also a strong suit: after two years we’ve yet to break one and that’s with hundreds of drops and generally haphazard care.
Other notable cups we tried but found lacking included the Nuby Grip N’ Sip and Gerber Graduates Advance—both of which suffered from leaking after our boys broke down the rubber mouthpieces by chewing on them. The Munchkin Click Lock Bite Proof Trainer Cup, which contrary to it’s name, had issues with leaking from the seal between the cup and lid. And various toddler-specific cups with straws, which were always difficult to clean. With these options and more out there, I can’t say for certain you won’t find a better sippy cup to match your needs, but for us the Nalgene Grip-n-Gulp is the way to go. If you have a cup that works great for your toddler let me know in the comments.