What is a good brand/model of sippy cup to use to transition from bottle to cup for an 8 month old?
Also, how much water does a baby drink at this age? The doctor said I could give him as much as he wants, but will it affect the amount he eats if his stomach is full from water?
We have used lots of sippy cups but many of the leak proof ones requires them to suck/bite to get the liquid out, which is different from the way sucking on a bottle nipple works. So with our son, he took a long time to figure out how to use those types (eg Evenflo).
I liked to start my kids out with ones that have a softer spout at first. The ones we liked were the Nuby: pros are that they are big so you can put 8oz of milk, there is no extra piece to make it spill proof, and you can replace just the silicone spout. Cons are that if you have a heavy biter, the spouts break fairly easiy and then are no longer spill proof.
We also like the Gerber ones that have the handles on them. Pros are that you can use them with or without the spill proof valve so when they are older we stopped using them. They are extremely durable. We've never had to replace any parts or throw any out after 2 years of use. It has oz markers so you know how much you put but the cup is small (6oz). Cons are that the handle makes it not fit into cupholderes that don't have cutouts for them. (Our strollers don't, our carseat does.) Also, you have that extra valve piece to deal with.
Nuk makes a very similar one to the Gerber with handles too except no extra valve. Silicone spout. We don't know yet how durable they are. :)
PS yes, water does take up space. When our son was having trouble getting enough calories our doctor said, absolutely no water for him.
I think the right answer for a lot of these types of questions is to try out a few and see what you think of them. They all have different benefits and drawbacks. You can also try them out on your son and see which ones he prefers as well.
We went from the bottle to the type of sippy cup that has a soft rubber, flat nipple on it. We used ones by BornFree, because we could just swap out the nipple portion, and didn't have to buy a whole new cup. Our son liked these cups, but our daughter never really liked them much, for some reason. The biggest drawback to the BornFree system is that they're 5 pieces.
From there, we've found that the Playtex brand sippy cups (with a hard plastic top) are the must durable and leak resistant over time. They have 3 pieces (versus other products that are only 2) but we've never had a leak, and leaks became frequent with the 2-piece models after a dozen trips through the dishwasher.
I would have to agree with Steve that you should try out a few and see what works.
For our son, he initially rejected the sippy cup we gave him, but it turns out after we tried a few that he was rejecting ALL sippy cups, not just the one we got him. It just took time and patience, and eventually we settled back on the original one we bought. But it did take a few months for him to take to the cups. He actually preferred using the cups we were using, but given his lack of control, we didn't give him ours. Perhaps if we did, he would have taken to the sippy cup more quickly.
Not sure about the amount question... I was also worried about the impact on how much he ate, and I specifically asked our pediatrician. She said it wouldn't have much impact, so I tried not to worry about it (even though I did!). In the end, it all seems to be going fine.
Disclaimer - I'm the product consultant for Sassy Baby - and have two sets of twins (I'm a pediatrician) - and LOVE LOVE the Sassy Grow Up Cup. It's spoutless and encourages the type of muscle control that allows bottle babies to transition. Just my two cents as I poke around exploring this issue online.