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It doesn’t matter how many times you bellow “watch out for your water”, nor how often you hand over a drink with the plea: “please be careful with this one”, teaching a toddler to use a cup instead of a beaker is notoriously messy.
When trying to make the transition from beaker to cup with my son, I found my patience pushed to its limits when we were on the sixth change of soaked clothes of the day (and hadn’t even managed to make it out of the door yet).
He’d grown accustomed to being able to swig with the wild abandon of a person enjoying their fifth pint, as up until now the spouted lid on his cup would retain most of his drink no matter how vigorously he gesticulated.
He also struggled with positioning his mouth on the rim of the (plastic) ‘glass’ and with keeping hold of its smooth sides after months spent gripping handled beakers. So more often than not, the majority of his water would end up spilled over furniture, car seats and buggies.
Then one afternoon in a park cafe, just after my toddler had poured an entire glass of water over my jeans, I spotted another family with a child of a similar age, who seemed to be getting through their drinks without any of the drama that was ensuing at our table.
At first glance it seemed like their toddler had mastered drinking from a handleless open-topped cup, but then I realised that her cup had a concave lid, which allowed her to drink from the edge of a cup “like a grown-up” without the risk of emptying the contents all over herself with just one enthusiastic gulp.
After a bit of Googling I found the aptly named Miracle 360 Sippy Cups online and promptly bought a pack, which are available in packs of two from Amazon for £11.99 or individually for £6.49 from JoJo Maman Bébé or KIDLY.
These cups have a soft lid with a 360-degree drinking edge, designed to teach toddlers how to sip from the rim (rather than a spout), but unlike open-topped glasses they have a seal to prevents spills.
With no spouts or straws involved, these cups are also better for a toddler’s developing teeth.
Plus, there is an additional benefit: Unlike spouted beakers — which can be a real nightmare to clean if used with milk instead of water — these cups have no bits that are awkward to reach with a sponge, so they’re easier to keep clean (and are dishwasher safe).
Now my family are able to enjoy cafe trips without fear of a soaking.
The only downside? These cups make drinking so mess-free it’s tempting not to move onto open cups at all.
If you plan to use your Miracle Cups while on the go, Munchkin now also makes lids that can be used to prevent the rim getting dirty while traveling.