Monday, August 25, 2008

Finding that perfect infant sippy cup

Thumper is going to be 11 months this week and I've yet to buy her that sippy cup. I've been trying to get her to drink from a glass cup half heartedly and while she's getting better, she's also slurped up water and then choked way too many times and developed an aversion to drinking from cup.

I finally sat down tonight and spent a few hours reading on the different alternative sippy cups.

The biggest thing on sippy cups is BPA, in that many plastic sippy cups are made from materials that contain them. My thing with plastic in general is that people say #5 plastic is safe now. But what happens 10 or 20 years from now? It's like plastic, they said it was safe before, and now it isn't.

Much like looking for that stroller, looking for a sippy cup is hard when you've never bought one and you have to go w/ what people say. There are lots of things to consider when you buy a sippy cup, and there are so many reviews out there for one to sift though. What makes it doubly hard is that there are different requirements for kids of different age. For example, an older kid may want a good looking one. A younger kid may need one with handles.

Some things I'm looking look for are:
  • doesn't leak
  • have a handle for infants to grasp
  • is easy to clean
  • not too heavy for infant
  • can handle lots of dropping since Thumper is still very young
  • will last a long time
Some features that are nice to have but not too important for me are:
  • doesn't have too many parts as it's easy to lose them
  • a training sipper
  • has a thermal sleeve as to keep warm liquids warm and cold liquids cold.
The things that people have mentioned in reviews which are irrevalent to me are:
  • design. Since Thumper is an infant, she doesn't care about design yet.
  • dish-washer safe.
What I really want is a sippy cup with a metal cover. But no such things exist. All metal sippy cups have #5 plastic covers. I don't understand that at all. Sure, the water will not sit in plastic. But come on, the child will be licking and chewing the plastic, I don't much like that either. So I'm going to settle for a metal one if I can. I just don't trust that someone won't say, one day, that #5 plastic isn't actually that healthy either.

In regards to metal, the most common ones are made with either stainless steel, or aluminum. I'm going with stainless steel, because according to The Green Guide:
Aluminum bottles with an enamel inner coating are also a healthy alternative, though aluminum requires more energy to produce and has greater environmental impact than stainless steel.
Anyways, here are two websites with great reviews on sippy cups so I won't relist them: Natural Moms and Z Recommends. Instead, I will list my own contenders and then add info from my research of their recommendations. I think when it comes to leakage, you'll always have people who find that it leaks and others who find that it doesn't. So you just have to buy it and try it for yourself.

1. Sigg Baby Water Bottle
It got great review on one site and not so great on the other in terms of leakage. I think I will pass because the paint can chip after some drops. Important since Thumper is still young. Otherwise I think it's one that older kids will love because of its design; again, something not important for me right now. Don't like the alumnimum part to begin with. In addition, some people don't like the epoxy lining.

2. Thermos Foogo Sippy Cup
Pro: Thermo design means that bottle isn't cold to hold when you put cold water in it. It's got good componets you can get like side handles (good for Thumper's age) and get straw spouts.
Cons: It leaks terrible for some people, and not at all for others.

3. Born Free Sippy Cup
Bottom of my list as it's all plastic.

4. Kleen Kanteen
My first choice until I heard there were other choices. The pro is that it is stainless steel. The con is that it doesn't insulatel. And of most concern to me is that it has no handles and since it's stainless, it's a bit heavy for a small baby.

5. Safe Sippy
Another product much like the Foogo: stainless wrapped in rubber-like plastic. Z Recommends had a really good review of this sippy. Said that it leaks less than the others but doesn't work as nicely. Other reviewers loved this more.

Anyways, after writing this all down, I think I'm going to go with Kleen Kanteen first. There is a Klean Kanteen With Insulated Totes apparently. But I think I'll just get the plain Klean Kanteen Bottles for the following reasons:
  • The bottle can grow w/ the baby. There are other caps we can use as we get older and no longer need sippy adapters
  • We're planning to only put water and maybe milk in the bottle. Our family does not normally drink cold stuff as a rule so I can have lukewarm water in the bottle instead. For milk, we're going to train her to use cup still and no it won't be too much of an issue too often. Worse comes to worst, I can buy some sleeve or knit some cozies for her. Because of this, temperature won't be an issue.
  • There are other adapters I can buy if I don't like the Avent sippy.
  • Because Thumper is so young and she likes to chew on everything, I don't want her to chew on plastic, even ones that are BPA-free.
  • It can double as a cup if Thumper drinks straight from the canteen!
My second choice is the Safe Sippy and third choice the Foogo by Thermos

If Thumper were older, the Safe Sippy would probably be my first choice because it actually fits my criteria better. But the Kleen Kanteen wins due to the chewing factor, and the fact that it can grow with the baby. I'm going to buy it and see if the dropping onto floor is an issue. If it works out, it'll be a good investment compared to the Safe Sippy.

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