Some experts say straw cups are better for developing mouths, but that can pose a challenge for babies and toddlers. Most children who have been breast- or bottle-fed tip their heads back deeply to drink, but traditional straw cups won't allow them to do so.
The Lollacup (*MSRP $16) reinvents the traditional hard-straw cup with a flexible, weighted straw that follows the liquid around the cup. This means that babies and toddlers can tip the cup up without receiving a mouthful of bubbles and can completely drain the cup's contents. The Lollacup is BPA-free and designed and built in the USA. The cup is not leakproof, but parents say the lack of a leakproof valve results in easier drinking for little kids. This makes it impractical for transporting. One feature that kids adore about the Lollacup -- it's so cute that parents say they consistently choose it over other cups.
The Zoli Bot (*MSRP $12) echoes the flexible, weighted straw design of the Lollacup. The Bot has a narrower straw than Lollacup that parents say is easier for little babies to manage. Parents of older babies and toddlers say that the Bot straw is too easy for toddlers to chew through, which can pose a choking and plastic ingestion hazard. For this reason the Bot is best for babies who aren't chewing heavily.
For parents who want to avoid plastic bottles, the heavy-duty Thermos Foogo Vacuum Insulated Leak-Proof Straw Bottle (*MSRP $17) is constructed of vacuum-sealed stainless steel and is purported to be the best insulator on the market. Unlike the Lollacup and Bot, the Foogo does not have a flexible straw. This means that kids will have to keep the cup propped up for water flow. The lid of the cup is generally leakproof. But if the lid isn't closed, the bottle will leak from the straw and pressure can build in the straw. One advantage of the Foogo is a myriad of compatible cup and lid options offered by Thermos for the Foogo line, including sippy lids, food container lids and lightweight plastic bottles.
The Camelbak Eddy Kids (*MSRP $13) is a popular bottle for older toddlers and school-aged kids. It comes in kid-friendly, yet sophisticated designs and has a bite-valve straw spout that parents and experts say is intuitive and easy for kids to use. The Camelbak Eddy is constructed of ultra-sturdy, BPA-free Tritan plastic, and the straw and valve components are made of silicone and BPA-free plastic.