Many parents ask us why Lollacup was designed as a straw cup rather than a traditional sippy cup. Well, when it was time for my daughter to start drinking from something other than a baby bottle, I had no idea I would be faced with such a myriad of choices. Being a confused, first-time parent, I turned to my pediatrician who recommended I try straws, if at all possible.
If you conduct a basic internet search about transitioning your child from the breast/bottle to a sippy cup or a straw, you'll find a slew of articles written by bloggers and the like about the advantages of straw use in infants and toddlers. I delved a little deeper and talked with a few speech pathologists, pediatricians, dentists, and parents about the real reasons some people recommend straws over sippy cups.
Here is my take on the issue and the reasons I prefer straws over sippy cups:
- Speech advantages: "At the therapeutic level, straws have the promise of addressing a multiple array of disorders and muscle groups far beyond traditional practice." taken from "Advance," a publication for speech-language pathologists and audiologists. If straws are frequently used in speech therapy, they must contribute to the development of important muscles that enhance or at least support speech. You can find more interesting articles (from WebMD, Livestrong.com, etc.) on the straw vs. sippy cup debate on the FAQ page of the Lollacup website.
- Convenience: Weaning a child from anything (breastfeeding, bottles, pacifiers, thumbs, etc.) can be a nightmare, and I just didn't see the need to wean my daughter from a bottle to a sippy cup and then later to a straw/regular cup. I found that getting my daughters accustomed to drinking from straws or regular cups at meals and snack times meant one less thing (bottle/sippy cup) to pack when going out, since most restaurants provide small plastic cups with a lid and a straw.
As parents, we are always trying to do what's best for our children, and everything we do on their behalf involves careful thought and consideration. I believe that decisions like using a straw vs. a sippy cup are largely a matter of preference and may not have any long-term affects on children.
However, my husband and I weighed the options, chose to use straws with my daughters, and just couldn't find the right cups for them, so we created the Lollacup.