Handing an open beaker full of liquid to a child goes against all sensible parenting instincts. Why would you arm your toddler with the equivalent of a waterbomb at the kitchen table, let alone in a restaurant?

While it is tempting to keep spillages at bay with sippy cups, soft spouts and bottles, there are developmental benefits to making sure your toddler starts drinking from an open cup as soon as possible.

Learning how to drink from a cup and sipping rather than sucking helps young children gain control over their mouth muscles, which are essential for speech and eating, and sipping also encourages healthy orthodontic development and fine motor skills.

Another key reason for moving away from bottles and sippy cups is that they can encourage liquid to pool around teeth, potentially causing dental decay.

We looked at a variety of cups with and without handles that would be appealing visually and sensorially. Soft textures and edges that would be gentle on children’s gums and tongues were a strong consideration as well as the stability of the cups and how easy they were to hold onto. A four-year-old, a two-year-old and a 7-month-old put these cups through their paces.

If you’re just starting out, our top tip is to fill the cup less than half way up when you first introduce it, giving them less water to spill and less soggy wads of emergency kitchen roll.

Here are the best beakers for grip-ability and ease of use…

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The verdict: Toddler beakers

We love the flexible rimmed Liewood cup for a basic easy to hold open beaker, it wins our best buy for the soft feel silicone, cute detailing and practical features. Highly durable, these cups can be passed down again and again.

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