If you’re reading this, chances are you’re in the midst of the bedtime routine struggle with your toddler.
As a mom of two who’s been through it all, I totally get it. One crucial aspect of this nightly challenge is finding the best toddler cup for bedtime milk.
I’ve successfully transitioned both my kids from bottles to sippy cups, straw cups, and open cups, and today, I’m here to share my experiences and recommendations with you.
When is a child too old for a bottle?
First things first, let’s address the question of when a child is too old for a bottle.
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) suggests that babies should be transitioned away from bottles and onto cups by their first birthday. Continuing to use bottles beyond this age may lead to dental issues and hinder speech development.
However, every child is unique, and some may be ready to make the switch earlier, while others might need a bit more time. The key is to start the transition gradually and be patient.
Both of my kids stopped feeding from bottles by 18 months. W went straight from the bottle to the straw, but Madi did the typical route – bottle, sippy, then straw.
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Best value: Munchkin Any Angle Weighted Straw Trainer Cup
Best first sippy: Nuk Learner Sippy Cup
Best straw sippy cup: OXO Transitions Straw Cup
Best microwave safe: Re-Play Spill Proof Cup
Best easy to clean: Munchkin Miracle 360 Trainer Cup
Best multi-use design: Cuddle Campus 3-in-1 sippy Cups
Best Toddler Cup for Bedtime Milk
Now, let’s get to the exciting part. These cups have been tried and tested by my own kiddos and have earned their place in our bedtime routine.
Best transition sippy cup for milk
The 360-degree drinking edge of this cup promotes a natural sipping action. It’s leak-proof and easy to clean, making it a fantastic choice for bedtime milk.
Both Madi and W love drinking from their Munchkin Miracle 360 Trainer Cup. We primarily used this cup for water. Since washing is a breeze with these sippy cups, they drink their bedtime milk from these when we travel.
If you’re wondering how to train your toddler to drink from the Munchkin 360 cup, you can have your toddler hold the cup in their mouth and press the edge of the lid to get some of the liquid out.
Comes in 4 vibrant colors and availalbe in 7 oz and 10 oz cups sizes (the larger size does not have handles).
The NUK learner sippy cup is fantastic for introducing your toddler to their first sippy cup adventure. The easy-grip, anti-slip handles are perfect for their little hands, and I appreciate that they can be removed as my toddler grows.
The spill-proof, soft spout is gentle on their gums while teaching them to drink from a spout. However, there’s one tiny downside – the cover is removable, which can make it easy to misplace.
Available in various cute designs and comes in 5 oz or 10 oz cup sizes.
Best straw sippy cup for milk
The Munchkin Any Angle Weighted Straw Trainer Cup has been a game-changer in our bedtime routine.
Both of my toddlers absolutely adore this cup, and here’s why. One of the standout features is the straw that can be tilted in any direction, which means they can comfortably drink from it even when lying down.
However, there’s one little quirk – Madi has a habit of chewing on the straw. It’s not a big deal though, as I found replacement straws readily available online.
Aside from that, this cup has been a fantastic choice for our bedtime milk ritual.
It has a variety of colors to choose from also comes in 7 oz and 10 oz sizes.
Both of my toddlers have taken a liking to the OXO Transitions Straw Cup. It’s spill-proof, which is a must during bedtime, and the straw is designed to be gentle on gums.
Unlike some other toddler cups, these lids are very easy to open and close, providing my toddlers with a sense of independence.
The removable handles are a fantastic feature, making it easy for their little hands to grip and drink independently.
The OXO Transitions Straw Cup is available in pink, blue, or teal colors and comes in 6 oz and 9 oz cups (the larger size does not have handles).
Best Toddler Cup for Bedtime Warm Milk
Now, let’s talk about keeping that bedtime milk warm. Some toddlers prefer their milk at a slightly elevated temperature, which can be challenging when using certain cups. Here are a few options:
I love the Munchkin Miracle 360 Trainer Cup so much that I bought the stainless steel version of it.
This premium insulated stainless steel cup is ideal for serving warm milk to my little ones. The vacuum-sealed design keeps their milk cozy until bedtime. What’s even better is how easy it is to clean – no extra valves or parts to fuss over.
I simply heat up the milk separately in the microwave and pour it into this sippy cup. It’s a bedtime essential that’s hassle-free and perfect for keeping those nighttime sips warm and comforting.
The Muckin Miracle 360 stainless steel cups are only available in 10 oz but come in 4 vibrant colors.
I love the versatility and modern design of the Cuddle Campys 3-in-1 toddler cups. They’re made of 100% silicone, which means they’re heat-resistant and safe for serving warm milk.
With one purchase, you get three functions – a sippy cup, a training cup, and a straw sippy cup. They’re incredibly convenient as they can go in the microwave, dishwasher, freezer, and even the oven!
However, these cups don’t come with lids, and because they’re opaque, you can’t easily tell if your toddler has finished their milk until you open it.
The Re-Play spill-proof cups are thick and microwave-safe, making them an excellent choice for serving warm milk.
The hard spout is perfect for toddlers, and the one-piece silicone valve does an excellent job of preventing leaks and spills.
A bonus is that they fit perfectly in car holders for those on-the-go moments.
It’s only available in the 10 oz size but comes in a ton of color options.
How to Choose the Best Toddler Cup for Bedtime Milk
The variety of transition cups available can be overwhelming, right?
Nowadays, toddler cups come with various features and options, but you can simplify them into three main categories: sippy cups, straw cups, and free-flow or open cups.
To make the right choice, consider your child’s preferences and developmental stage.
Sippy cups with spill-proof designs are great for beginners. Madi used sippy cups for her bedtime milk for about 6 months until she learned how to drink from a straw. Sometimes, she still prefers the sippy at night to this day.
Pros of using a sippy cup for bedtime milk
- Transition from Bottles: Sippy cups are a helpful tool for transitioning toddlers from bottles to regular cups, especially the ones with silicone sprouts.
- Spill Prevention: Sippy cups are designed with spill-proof valves or spouts, which help reduce messes during mealtime or while on the go.
Cons of using a sippy cup for bedtime milk:
- Extended Use: While sippy cups are helpful during the transition phase, some children may become overly reliant on them, potentially delaying the switch to regular cups.
- Limited Drinking Skills: Sippy cups don’t promote the same sipping and swallowing skills as regular cups or straws, which can be important for a child’s development.
- Hard to clean: Most sippy cups have parts that need to be taken apart for cleaning.
Pros of using a straw cup for bedtime milk
- Speech Development: Drinking from a straw cup can promote speech and oral development by encouraging tongue and lip control, which is important for articulation.
- Transition to Regular Cups: Straw cups provide a smoother transition to regular cups since they mimic the action of drinking from an open cup, making it easier for toddlers to adapt.
Cons of using a straw cup for bedtime milk
- Learning Curve: Some toddlers may initially find it challenging to figure out how to use a straw cup, especially if they’re accustomed to sippy cups or bottles.
- Straw Replacement: Over time, the straw may wear out or become damaged, necessitating replacements. This can be an additional cost and inconvenience.
- Not Completely Spill-Proof: While they are less likely to spill than open cups, straw cups may still leak if not properly sealed or if dropped.
Free-flow and open cups
Pros of using a free-flow or open cup for bedtime milk
- Natural Drinking Experience: Free-flow or open cups provide a drinking experience that closely resembles drinking from a regular adult cup, promoting natural oral development and coordination.
- Fewer Components: Open cups typically have fewer parts than sippy cups or straw cups, making them easier to clean and maintain.
Cons of using a free-flow or open cup for bedtime milk
- Mess Potential: Toddlers may spill more easily when using open cups, especially when they are still mastering their motor skills.
- Learning Curve: Young children may take some time to get the hang of drinking from an open cup, which could be challenging during the bedtime routine when they are tired.
- Bedtime Routine Challenges: Using open cups during the bedtime routine may require more supervision and assistance from parents, which can add complexity to the process.
How to give toddler milk milk before bed
Now that we’ve covered cup options and their pros and cons, let’s talk about the logistics of giving your toddler milk before bed.
Here are some tips:
- Routine is Key: Establish a consistent bedtime routine that includes milk. This can signal to your child that it’s time to wind down and get ready for sleep.
- Transition Gradually: If your child is attached to the bottle, transition to a cup gradually. Start by offering the cup during daytime feedings and reserve the bottle for bedtime. Over time, reduce the amount of milk in the bottle and increase the amount in the cup until the bottle is no longer needed.
- Limit Quantity: Be mindful of the amount of milk you offer before bed. Too much milk can lead to discomfort or frequent nighttime awakenings. A small serving (around 6-8 ounces) is usually sufficient.
- Stay Calm and Patient: The transition might not be smooth sailing from the get-go. There may be resistance or frustration. Stay patient and calm, and reassure your child during the process.
Final thoughts about the best toddler cup for bedtime milk
Remember that every child is different, so be patient and flexible during this process. The best toddler cup for bedtime milk is the one that suits your child’s preferences and needs. Whether it’s a transition sippy cup, a straw cup, or a cup that keeps milk warm, you have plenty of options to choose from.
I hope my recommendations and tips have been helpful to you on this parenting journey. If you have any questions or want to share your own experiences with toddler cups, please leave a comment below.