Sensory Oral Needs: We Still Use Sippy Cups

Do your kids have crazy sensory oral needs?

We have something in our house that I don’t readily admit…

We still use sippy cups in our home.

Those of you with toddlers won’t think twice about having sippy cups.

But my boys used these cups until ages 8 and 6 years old — well past the age of needing these.

Be sure to learn more about Sensory Processing Disorder and my parenting tips on how to support your child with sensory challenges.

Sensory Oral Needs: We Still Use Sippy Cups | Mommy Evolution

Sensory Oral Needs: We Still Use Sippy Cups

My two boys are undoubtedly sensory oral seekers, but my youngest one is on the extreme scale of sensory oral needs.

He often needs something in his mouth.

This can include crunchy food, his fingers/hands and even his shirtsleeves.

I can’t even talk about how many shirt collars we’ve lost to him sucking and chewing on them!

When he became old enough to move to regular cups, I found he calmed down if I gave him a sippy top or straw rather than a regular cup.

Straws are great for many kids, but my little guy needs the tough sucking action of a sippy top.

It’s the sensory input that he’s often seeking!

And I have a feeling if your little guy chews on everything, he’s seeking that sensory oral input, too.

We did move beyond many of the baby/toddler cups and use The First Years Take & Toss Spill Proof Cups exclusively.

Although, I have to say it seems strange to call them “take and toss” considering we’ve had ours for years.

It seems wasteful to toss anything plastic.

At least recycle it!

But these cups keep on going in our house.

As sensory parents, we are often faced with what we should expect from our children with what we think they need.

Just because it may seem inappropriate for many kids, I encourage you to pay attention to what your kiddo needs and work from there.

I don’t expect my kids to need sippy tops forever, but they sure do need them now.

Join our inclusive community, visit The Sensory Spectrum.

Sensory Oral Needs Why we still use sippy cups in my house


  1. Maria Iemma says:

    I say we should all use what we need to for our kids – no judgement here.

  2. As the mother of an 18yo daughter with moderate cerebral palsy and HUGE oral issues (she cannot speak, has difficulty chewing hard things, cannot pucker, etc.), I feel your pain. The stigma of sippy cups is tough. Until just a year ago, she was still using sippy cups. Try finding an age appropriate sippy cup for a 17yo! Yikes! Finally, I tried a travel coffee cup and it worked. It’s not ideal, but it’s better. Trust me… We tried DOZENS of cups. Don’t believe me? Check out the link I shared. Hang in there.

  3. Judith Kenyon says:

    Hi, I want to thank you for your openness in sharing information about your children. I am totally in agreement about not paying really close attention to a child’s cronogical age in regards to his developmental needs. This goes for everything, from sippy cups to nighttime diapers, to needs for a comfort toy etc. I am a mother, grandmother and retired special ed teacher and I have seen many children thrive when their little needs are met.

  4. That last paragraph – about sensing what our kids really need – really hit the spot. You’re so matter-of-fact and yet loving and sensitive. Yay you. Good advice!!!

  5. I sure like this post because it reinforces something I had a hard time best friend spent about $8000 overall for braces for her 16 year old daughter..and she still uses a sippy cup…I thought that was rediculous…now I know..thank you

  6. My son who is 6 will still ask for a sippy cup sometimes. I never even thought about it being a sensory seeking thing for him. Thanks!

    1. Absolutely! It’s easy to see the sippy cups as something only toddlers need but sometimes our sensory kids know how to ask for what they need without being able to tell us why they need it.

  7. Thank you for posting on this topic! My 9 year old still uses a sippy cup, and I honestly did not give much thought to others being in the same situation. It is normal for us and something he still needs.

    1. Definitely the norm for us in our house! I sometimes think only my kids do things that seem off kilter — and then I’m reminded that there are loads of sensory kids out there probably doing the exact same thing 😀

  8. I couldn’t agree more about providing our children with what they need- even if it doesn’t fit with society’s expectations. Way to go for recognizing the needs that your children have and providing them with an avenue to meet this need!

    1. Thanks. It can be tough because I feel that they should have already outgrown these things. But then I remind myself that it doesn’t hurt anyone and actually helps them get the sensory input they need.

  9. Youngest person under my roof: 12
    Number of sippy cups: 4

  10. My kiddo used his sippy cup as a chew toy. Looks like the puppy got ahold of it, but we don’t have a dog. They still use them (We got the Nalgene ones) but they kind of leak. 🙂 thanks for the heads up on why my kid is still interested in using it!

    1. Absolutely! And my kiddo chews the sippy cup part as well… and then gets mad that there are no tops that haven’t been chewed on. LOL.

  11. Love the article.

    Here is my challenge my 6 year old daughter has always been a blanket sucker. Almost every night I find her asleep with it in her mouth- its not just one blanket though I have changed the “main blanket” many times and even taken it out of the room. She will use the bed sheet as a replacement. She has the sensory need to suck but I have been trying to find a replacement that is one easy to keep clean and something that doesn’t effect the teeth. Any ideas?

    1. My child also sucked on his lovey for many years. I would think about going to a small “baby” blanket and get multiples so you can easily throw them into the wash.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *