As your child approaches 12 months old, it’s recommended to start introducing cup drinking. An open cup is a good choice, but if you’re not up to the messes that it will likely create, it’s a good idea to opt for a straw cup over a sippy cup.
When drinking from a sippy cup, children still have to suckle the same way they would a bottle, with the tongue protruding forward. Speech-language pathologists often think that this can contribute to speech issues. That’s not to say that every child who uses a sippy cup will develop a speech problem, but why not try to avoid any potential issues to begin with?
Straw cups with a short thin straw are a good alternative because they force the tongue to move backwards rather than forward, ultimately promoting the proper tongue placement for correct speech.
Reviewed by Dr. Sara Connolly, December 2018