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  1. This blog post comes with a horrid photo.
    And a parental guilt warning.

    Here's the horrid photo....
    sippy cup tooth decay

    This is the mouth of a child with rotten teeth.

    Not a pretty sight.

    And heartbreaking for the little one having to undergo surgery to have them removed.

    And the parental guilt bit?.....

    Well, maybe we don't need to feel guilty.  We just need to grab new knowledge and do with it what we will.

    Challenge number 1.
    Grab new info and use it.

    Challenge number 2.
    To help keep teeth healthy and avoid them rotting, eat more whole fruit and drink less juice.

    What do you think?

    As well as making sure drinks (including water), are sipped rather than sucked, experts are recommending eating whole fruits at mealtimes, rather than between meals, and not to give juice to babies and young children.

    If a little one has already been given juice, experts suggest breaking the habit by gradually watering it down and that water is the best drink for hydration.

    Milk (bf or formula) is also important for babies <3

    But the word is, avoid juice for children.

    It's pretty clear that this sort of news can trigger terrible feelings of guilt in caring parents who have, with the very best of intentions, been giving their children juice to drink.

    So with broad shoulders and new knowledge, let's not beat ourselves up about anything that's gone on before.

    And just because something has been done for a while, it doesn't mean it can't be changed when we learn new information.

    It could take some doing - but would you agree keeping a child cavity-free is worth the swap?

    A great read is 'That Sugar Book' (from That Sugar Film). Here's one of many thought-provoking quotes from the book, "A glass of juice is not the equivalent of four apples, it is the equivalent to the sugar of four apples."

    The book also explains that whole fruit has many benefits including keeping the fibre present - which helps the body deal with the sugar of the fruit and helps with 'full up' signals so is relevant to how much sugar is consumed: pretty smart!

    Stay fruity if you fancy, but knowing the facts gives us the power to keep ourselves and our families healthy.

    And with a full set of gnashers!!

    by Sara Keel

    Founder and Director of Babycup Ltd, Little Cups for Little People

    Healthy weaning cups for babies and young children

  2. Magic - Just An Illusion and Maybe Confusion!!

    (Or 'What's the best cup for weaning?!')

    School holidays in the Babycup household, so we did some market research this afternoon!

    We know that little people need little cups - that's obvious!

    But we don't rest on our laurels and we know it's important that we check out new arrivals to the market.

    So we picked up some of the new sippy cups that are being called 'no-spill trainer cups' and are being positioned 'as if they are' or 'just like' (please note those key words: 'as if they are' and 'just like' ) open cups, for 'taking sips' or 'better for teeth'.

    Well, the results were very interesting!

    All our child-testers could not get a drop to begin with! So the adults tried and we all got around to figuring out how to make the plastic seal move to allow liquid out.

    Once drinking was underway, we made some very important observations:

    Despite supposedly being designed to be 'like an open cup' and with 'no spout', these cups do not act like open cups and they do not allow the user to drink from them like they would from an open cup. This is not a natural sipping action. A four year old tester actually pointed out that she was having to suck her drink to get it out of the cup!

    And if anyone is ever concerned about how far a cup has to be tipped for a drink to come out, well, once these cups get low on liquid the tipping angle required for drinking is crazy!

    What's more, previously proficient open-cup sippers immediately failed when given a normal open cup after one of these as they had become used to their cup not being properly open. So in fact this 'training' device actually 'untrained' a very good natural sipping habit!

    And these cups carry the warning that 'prolonged sucking of fluids will cause tooth decay'. This wording is a legal requirement.

    This wording is not needed on the Babycup packaging, because Babycup does not contribute to tooth decay.

    With the 'flanged' or 'valved' 'miracle-magic-wow-wee cups', children will 'learn how to get drinks out', but we believe they won't 'learn how to drink' (and that's where it all falls down). For all intents and purpose it might look like the right thing is happening, but it really isn't.

    "Children will 'learn how to get drinks out',
    but we believe they won't 'learn how to drink"

    It would be easy for us parents to be fooled by what we think we're seeing.

    It's a subtle, but big, difference.

    A bit like a sippy cup isn't usually in any way related to sipping!

    In conclusion, our test reinforced what we know already.

    An open cup, without a valve, a lid, a spout or a leak-proof seal, that is properly small for a small person's mouth (i.e. not a cup that is almost as wide as an adult cup or the proportional equivalent of a child drinking from a bucket!) is by far the best for little ones learning to sip. Healthiest, easiest and not creating the need for gadgets and gizmos that are detrimental to health or which delay the learning of the recommended sipping action.

    There may be times, such as on a long car journey, when you need a different option for giving a refreshing drink.  But for every mealtime, keep it natural, keep it healthy and make it an 'appropriately-sized mini open cup' (sorry, that's a bit wordy. Easier to say Babycup!).


    Just like a balance bike, when children learn the skill with the scaled down simple version, they generally won't need stabilisers when they move on to a fully-fledged version.

    Babycup - it's not big, but is clever. Just like your child!

    Cheers to happy, healthy sipping that's best for teeth, great for weaning and positive for your little one's development!

    Sara xx

    (Mum to three very important little people
    and Founder of Babycup - Little cups for little people)