The Importance Of Properly Cleaning Your Children’s Sippy Cups

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by Azure Sullivan

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07.13.2022

Sippy cups- oh, the joy of a toddler learning the fine motor skills of drinking without spilling. The even bigger joy is the cleaning process of these cups (am I right?). In this blog, I want to stress the importance of taking extra care when cleaning these wonderful children’s accessories. And I will tell you why..

Flashback- I was at a good friend’s house a long time ago and was helping her with her kids while she caught up with some errands. Part of that was me helping her wash the dishes and clean up a bit. I love cleaning. Not a problem for me. The problem was coming soon though.

As I was prepping the dishes to be strategically placed in the dishwasher, I came across a few sippy cups. All sizes and shapes. There must have been at least five. My instinct was to take all the pieces apart. Some had straws, silicone mouth pieces, rings for the mouthpieces, handles, extra lids, and don’t forget the actual cup portion. That’s a lot of pieces!

kids health secrets tips to cleaning your child's sippy cups to keep them safe

To my dismay, there was a ton of build-up in and around the mouthpieces and the mouthpiece ring where the threading is. I also found black crud and mold growth. I was incredibly shocked to think that her kids were drinking from these cups. I was even more shocked to think that my friend thought these were clean.

I immediately grabbed a bottle brush and pipe cleaners to hand wash these pieces and then sanitized them in the dishwasher. I kept the left over gunk to show my friend what was growing in her children’s cups. Her immediate reaction was an explicit response followed by tears.

The impact on your children

I’ve even seen reviews on common Amazon sippy cups where people complain that the cup wasn’t fully cleaned from the average dishwasher cycle. This is because they all need that extra step in the cleaning process to reach all the nooks and crannies that food and drink might get stuck in. These cups can harbor bacteria that can make your child sick. They can also develop a build-up of mold and mildew, which can also be harmful to your child’s health.

kids health secrets use a bottle brush for your child's sippy cups to keep them safe

What you can do

Here are some tips on how to make sure your sippy cups are spick and span (and your children are safe):

1. Take apart all the pieces- this includes the straw, handles, lids, silicone mouthpiece, and rings

2. Use a bottle brush or pipe cleaners to get in all the small crevices and threads and wash with soapy water

3. Rinse everything off really well

4. Place all the pieces in the dishwasher on a hot cycle and use a sanitizing setting if your machine has one

5. Let everything air dry or towel dry before reassembling

6. Inspect the cup often for any cracks or wear and tear. If you see any, replace the cup

If these steps are one too many for your daily tasks, then rotate dishwashing and hand washing. For example, wash the cups by hand today and the dishwasher tomorrow. But be sure to still disassemble the entire cup each and every time!

Sippy cups are an essential part of childhood. They help with the transition from bottle to cup and eventually, to an open cup. But like anything else in your child’s life, they need to be properly cared for to ensure their safety. With a few extra steps in the cleaning process, you can rest assured that your child’s sippy cup is clean and bacteria-free.

The story of my friend is a great example of how easily life can make us forget these things. We are all busy and have a lot on our plates. And I know, it’s just one more thing to add to the role of parenting. But taking the time to clean your child’s sippy cups is worth it to know that they are drinking from a safe cup. So, next time you’re doing the dishes, take those extra steps to ensure your child’s sippy cup is sparkling clean.

kids health secrets tips to cleaning your child's sippy cups to keep them safe

 

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