Introducing a cup around 6 months with solid foods is recommended to expose babies to a different substance coming from a different vessel, and to begin to learn the skill of cup drinking. The best cups support muscle development in the mouth and are helpful in supporting the skills of language development and open-lidded cup drinking (Babygroup, 2016).
Therefore, when your baby starts solids at 6+ months, you should also introduce water in a straw cup at meals. The Honey Bear cup is best to start with at 6 months and was Theo’s first cup. Initially, you will have to squeeze the water (slowly) up through the straw into your baby’s mouth, and most of it will dribble out. Rather quickly, however, your baby will learn how to suck out of the straw. In no time, he will do it himself. Theo actually takes his cup, tucks it into the pocket in his bib (in his lap, more or less) and drinks away with joy and pride.
Below are the cups Theo currently uses. Most have straws and one has a recessed lid.
The Honey Bear cup is best to start with at 6 months. This was Theo’s first cup.
Starting around 8 months, we have also been using this Munchkin straw cup. It has a weighted straw so that when the baby tilts it, the bottom of the straw always stays in the liquid.
We have two of the Munchkin 360 cups with a recessed lid. Theo hasn’t gotten the hang of them yet. They're usually best for older babies and toddlers. How do they work? The suction between the top rubber piece and the handle / perforated piece is what keeps the liquid from spilling. The liquid seeps through when they suck on the edge of the cup. (Of course, if they throw it across the room, some liquid does come out.)
Other cups that come highly recommended include:
The Zoli straw cup, which some can use as early as 6 months, while others not until later. It has a weighted straw like the Munchkin straw cup.
The Innobaby Stainless Straw cup also has a weighted straw.
Think Baby now makes a stainless steel straw cup.