Dear Doctor Teresa,
I have heard that you should not use sippy cups with children because it could effect their speech. I am worried because I do use them often with my son because they are so convenient. What should I do?
M.B. New York, New York.
Sippy cups can be very convenient to avoid messes, especially when traveling and to help make the transition from bottle to cup drinking if used for a short while. Ideally, however, you should avoid them.
Sippy cups displace proper tongue placement and can negatively impact dentition. These can lead to articulation problems that require therapy to correct.
A better alternative to sippy cups, is a straw. Use cups that have lids with straws to help with messes. I also suggest that parents pour little amounts of juice and milk at a time to avoid messes. This also provides an opportunity for your child to request for "more" which can facilitate language practice as well.