Insight into the Straw vs. Sippy Cup Debate
Posted on September 27 2020
Many parents ask us why Lollacup was designed as a straw cup rather than a traditional sippy cup. Well, when it was time for my daughter to start drinking from something other than a baby bottle, I had no idea I would be faced with such a myriad of choices. Being a confused, first-time parent, I turned to my pediatrician who recommended I try straws, if at all possible.
If you conduct a basic internet search about transitioning your child from the breast/bottle to a sippy cup or a straw, you'll find a slew of articles written by bloggers and the like about the advantages of straw use in infants and toddlers. I delved a little deeper and talked with a few speech pathologists, pediatricians, dentists, and parents about the real reasons some people recommend straws cups over sippy cups.
Here is my take on the issue and the reasons I prefer straws over sippy cups and why we decided to launch what we feel is the best weighted straw sippy cup on the market.
- Speech advantages: "At the therapeutic level, straws have the promise of addressing a multiple array of disorders and muscle groups far beyond traditional practice." taken from "Advance," a publication for speech-language pathologists and audiologists. If straws are frequently used in speech therapy, they must contribute to the development of important muscles that enhance or at least support speech. You can find more interesting articles (from WebMD, Livestrong.com, etc.) on the straw vs. sippy cup debate on the FAQ page of the Lollacup website.
- Convenience: Weaning a child from anything (breastfeeding, bottles, pacifiers, thumbs, etc.) can be a nightmare, and I just didn't see the need to wean my daughter from a bottle to a sippy cup and then later to a straw/regular cup.
I found that getting my daughters accustomed to drinking from straws or regular cups at meals and snack times meant one less thing (bottle/sippy cup) to pack when going out, since most restaurants provide small plastic cups with a lid and a straw.
As parents, we are always trying to do what's best for our children, and everything we do on their behalf involves careful thought and consideration. I believe that decisions like using a straw vs. a sippy cup are largely a matter of preference and may not have any long-term affects on children.
However, my husband and I weighed the options, chose to use straws with my daughters, and just couldn't find the right cups for them, so we created the Lollacup.
The Lollacup offers other feeding advantages. Often there is a phase where children often refuse to eat. The typical solution is to put cereal in a bottle so that there is something solid going into the baby. This makes both the baby and the mother feel better. Some bottle makers offer a cereal nipple for this. It's a nipple with a bigger orifice to allow the thicker fluid to go through.
Our cup is valve-less, which will allow for thicker fluids to flow through as well. This makes our sippy cups like bottles. This is a huge benefit. If you have done the work of weaning your child off of the bottle, but are then faced with the dilemma of needing to feed your child cereal, you will need a transitional sippy cup without a valve which will allow the infant to consume thicker fluids without regressing to a bottle.
Earlier Weaning - What is the right sippy cup age?
While there is no set age that you can start weaning, the experts say the earlier the better. The American Academy of Pediatrics suggests that the right sippy cup age is before your baby is 18 months old. "I'd say definitely before age 2, but the sooner the better," says Keith T. Ayoob, EdD. He’s an associate clinical professor of pediatrics at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in Bronx, N.Y.
Due to our straws being easy to use, it allows infants to apply less suction to drink, providing parents the option of starting the entire process early.
BUT WHAT ABOUT THE LEAKING?
Yes, we do realize there is a trade off. Valves are normally used so that manufacturers can make a leak proof/ spill proof claim. We can not make this claim when the cup lid is open and the straw is exposed. However when the cup lid is closed for traveling and when the cup is not in use, we are indeed leak proof. We strongly felt and still feel, by the thousands of testimonies, that the trade off was definitely worth making.