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Sippy cups are an important transition item for babies

Pediatricians say babies should be introduced to the sippy cup at about 6 months to prepare for the transition from breast or bottle. Sounds easy enough, but, babies can balk at drinking from something new. It's not unusual for parents to try dozens of different cups before finding one that their baby likes and will use.

There are several styles available. Sippy cups for babies are small, 5 to 6 ounces, and usually have a soft spout and handles for tiny hands. Toddler cups are larger, 9 to 12 ounces, with spouts that can stand up to chewing and general abuse. Sippy cups with straws instead of spouts are also available for babies, toddlers and children; pediatricians recommend them to avoid orthodontia issues that may result from babies sucking too long on sippy cups. Kids' water bottles, on the other hand, look like small versions of adult-sized water bottles and can be toted to school or sports practice with ease.

Today's kids cups are BPA-free

In the past few years, manufacturers that make sippy cups and other childrens' drinkware have phased out use of plastics that contain bisphenol A (BPA), a chemical linked to possible health issues. Still, some parents are leery of all plastics; for them, there are a variety of stainless-steel cups on the market that either eliminate plastic altogether or limit it to BPA-free plastics and silicone spouts or lids. Also, never let your child wander around with a sippy cup; it can result in injury.

ConsumerSearch has analyzed more than a dozen expert reviews and hundreds of owner reviews to determine the best sippy cups for babies and toddlers, the best straw cup and the best water bottle for kids. One of these is sure to ease your child into the world of big-kid drinking.

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