I am very lucky to have three wonderful children who delight me, exhaust me, make me proud, make me weep with joy, get me cross, bowl me over and run me ragged.
Parenting is the hardest and the most important thing I have ever done. Like most of us, I am learning as I go along. Trying my hardest to make a good job of it has meant I've questioned the norm on various issues and when my first was ready to wean I hunted high and low for the perfect cup for her to drink from. Unfortunately I didn't find it and instead I would pull the valves out of no-spill beakers and remove the lids from sippy cups. This solved one part of the puzzle, (have you ever tried drinking from some of those children's cups? For many of them you need a suck to rival a vacuum cleaner...). So the sipping side of things was improved, but my baby girl was still drinking out of a cup the equivalent size of me drinking from a bucket.
When beautiful daughter number two came along I was still frustrated by the fact that most drinking cups for infants are relatively gigantic for little heads and mouths (and hands) and I also disliked the idea of my children constantly drinking from a spout or teat. I delved deeper into the subject and found an alarming body of growing concern amongst health professionals, backing up my fear that spouts and no-spill valves are not just without any health benefits, but are actually potentially damaging for a baby or child's developing teeth, jaws and palate (see Info page for more details).
So, whilst lovely baby number one had been weaned on puree but I'd at least questioned the drinking side of things, baby number two was able to move up a step weaning-wise.
Firstly, my second daughter was opened up to the wonderful world of baby-led weaning, (I have to admit to being rather scared at first but it was really and truly amazing and I thoroughly recommend it. If you have any qualms then read the extremely helpful and very calming baby-led weaning book by Gill Rapley and Tracey Murkett link to BLW site or BLW book for guidance and info - it's an easy read and well worth it), and secondly, drum roll please............., she started drinking from an open cup at the age of six months. The cup wasn't the ideal one, but I was getting closer and I really saw the benefits of open cup drinking.
Completing our girl band, beautiful daughter number three was born and, as the six months milestone approached, and armed with the knowledge and experience of weaning my two eldest girls, further research into open cups began. My husband was in agreement with what I was aiming for and was hugely supportive of my quest to find a suitable open drinking cup: a little cup for little people.
So, here is Babycup.
A non-toxic, BPA-free and phthalates-free, range of open drinking cups for babies and toddlers. It offers an alternative for parents who don't want their children to be constantly sucking from a spout, teat or no-spill valve and has been given the thumbs up by a variety of health professionals including dentists and orthodontists. As well as the knowledge that I am not harming my little one's facial or jaw development through something so seemingly innocent as a choice of drinking cup, I have also seen amazing fine motor skills development. At 11 months my youngest's pencil grip rivalled that of many five year olds. Click here to watch my one minute Babycup film showing how fun it is to use a Babycup and the great fine motor skills that are developed: Babycup The Movie.
|Not quite Shakespeare but looking pretty good |
- an excellent pencil grip from just 11 months old
The cups come in four fabulous colours and are translucent so your child can see inside. These gorgeous mini drinking cups are Made in England. They are produced in a highly experienced manufacturing unit, so they really are the real deal - they're not just made from any old plastic or imported from a factory without credentials. These cups are made to food contact standards and are made to be good enough for even newborn or premature babies to use.
For EU conformity and for my own peace of mind, the cups have been lab tested in the UK and are confirmed as adhering to EU 10/2011, a very long piece of legislation with lists and tech info that reaches for pages and pages. However, despite the mind-boggling content of the legislation document, it is a crucial and massively important law to comply with and I am delighted to say that Babycup has a big fat tick of approval. Big thanks to the team at Smithers Pira http://www.smitherspira.com/Testing/Home.aspx who carried out the tests.
You may wonder, why not use any old small container? Why not use a toy cup or a small lid from a bottle? By all means use what you are comfortable with but do bear in mind the importance of knowing what material your baby's drinking cup is made from. Non-toxic, BPA-free and phthalates-free means Babycup will not leech any nasty chemicals into your baby's drink. The lab testing really is a valuable reassurance.
Parents or carers might worry about how to tackle the task of teaching a child, (who is used to throwing a non-spill valved cup on to the floor without consequence), that a ‘big girl/big boy cup’ can spill and create a mess. With so many gadgets and gizmos on offer, it’s easy to see how we become spoiled. But with lids and valves we become unaccustomed to a cup spilling, and this is a mistake. Our carpets become more treasured than our children. There is an easy change to be made, in order to help reverse the trend for crooked smiles; poorly developed faces, jaws and teeth; dental decay; speech impediments and a host of other early childhood health problems. Fill cups less and, like the American Academy of Pediatrics suggests, switch to an open cup as soon as your child can manage it.
Begin slowly. 1oz or less, or just 20ml at a time. Milk or water. Be close at hand. Help. Guide. Be patient. Let your hand hover nearby if need be. Be ready to take the cup if spills concern you. Help your child find the table/surface so they start to feel how to place the cup back down and pick it up again. You will be amazed and very proud when you see what your child can do given a little time and support.
|Using Babycup is Child's Play!|
I believe that the barrier to helping reduce many childhood problems is our decisions as parents and it's so often our own fears or prejudices that stop our babies and children developing in the most natural and healthy way. It is up to us as parents to change that.
I hope your babies enjoy using Babycup. I also hope you have a fun experience on our website - a fine piece of online whizzbangness for which, along with the Babycup logo, photos and packaging I am very grateful to my fabulous dad, photographer Duncan Cubitt for his photographic expertise and advice, and to Diane May at May Creation http://maycreation.com/html/home.htm for her gorgeous and generous design work. Also big thanks to Candi at Create http://www.create.net/ for answering my countless technophobe website questions. Alan Lawrence and his team of product design consultants at iterign Ltd http://www.iterign.com/ - knowledgeable, skilled and highly talented - Babycup could not exist without them. And of course the biggest thanks to all the brilliant babies, especially our family and friends Amelie and Ben, who are already merrily and healthily sipping from a Babycup.
Big love to my husband and girl band of daughters x
Sara Keel - Babycup founder
My husband - seriously outnumbered -
one day he'll probably get a boy dog so he can make use of
those lists of boy's baby names we never used!
They're not big, but they are clever.
Give them an inch and they'll make you smile.
Give them a Babycup and they'll learn to drink.
2012, New British proverb ; )
|Babycup Infant Weaning Cups |
Open drinking cups for babies and toddlers
The Babycup range of baby and toddler open drinking cups
is BPA free and phthalates free
Suitable for weaning from 6 months
Also suitable for cup feeding newborn or premature babies -
please see our FAQs page for further details
Babycup - Little cups for little people