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Sippy Cups

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?

Thank you,

M.B. New York, New York.

Dear M.B.,

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.

Good luck,

Doctor Teresa

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