Since the title of this blog is “BottleTales” (because “AdventuresInRaisingAChildWhenIHaveNoIdeaWTFImDoing.com seemed too long), and now that I’ve got the experience of two kids under my belt, I figure a good ol’ simple review of the bottles and cups I’ve used in the past 4 years are in order.
I did a post years ago on bottles, but here’s my updated thoughts to include sippy cups.
Hands-down, the best. Definitely not the cheapest option, but if you’re a pumping working mom, you ain’t got time to wash a sh*t ton of bottle parts. The bottles now are much more fancy-pants than when I started with Dean, but the gist is the same: a nipple, a ring, an empty tube that you stuff what looks like a condom into. When you’re done, you just toss the liner and wash the nipple. Target sells their own brand of bottle liners, around $8 for 100. Worth every penny. These are also great when flying all day when you’re not in a position to wash bottles. I used to carry a ziplock full of liners and another ziplock with a few nipples. When you get to your destination you also won’t need a bottle brush to clean your bottles.
When I had Dean, I wasn’t a fan of these bottles. But then I scored a bunch of them at some giveaway and they have improved on them considerably, mostly by the introduction of a ring that helps reduce leaks. While I’m not a fan of washing additional parts (as noted in my above laziness with the Playtex bottles), these have been a handy staple for my diaper bag. I haven’t needed a sealing disk to stop them from leaking, which is factor #1 when carrying bottles in a diaper bag.
Absolutely fantastic for preschoolers, this was recommended to me by Dean’s teacher. She said it was her favorite, hands-down, because of it’s lack of leaking. The downsides: a ton of parts to wash, a bit big (lunch boxes aren’t exactly spacious), and it’s difficult for Dean to close with his weak hand muscles. This thing is a tank though and perfect if you need something that won’t leak.
This is my 2nd-favorite bottle for preschool lunches. It takes a bit to figure out how to close it without causing the straw to tilt (causing leaks), I do sometimes open up Dean’s lunchbox to find liquid everywhere on occasion. It’s great for diaper bags though (i.e. when you’re there to make sure it’s being closed properly). It’s also really easy for Dean to open/close with his hand strength. I think it’s Dahlia’s favorite cup now too.
Love, love, love this cup. It’s my go-to for my diaper bag when we go out for the day. It’s too big for preschool lunch boxes but because it can hold so much liquid (and it’s not very heavy), it’s perfect for the side pocket of my bag. It rarely, if ever, leaks.
When we slowly transitioned Dean away from the traditional sippy cup (it was really impacting his tongue movement and speech), we used this as an alternative. It doesn’t leak since it has a valve but it wasn’t a perfect solution for his lunch boxes…sometimes the valve wasn’t in tight enough, fall out, then leak everywhere. I do think it’s a great cup to have around the house or for your diaper bag, but not for preschool lunches.
I f*cking hate this cup. It’s easy to clean, but the straw is impossible to suck anything out of. I get that all these cups have valves and things to avoid leaking but you might as well give a stick to your child and tell them to suck milk out of it. I ended up having to shove a thin knife in it to try and open it but it’s still a total pain in my ass. I only paid two bucks for it, but it was two bucks I could have spent on lip balm instead.
On another note, cleaning straws is a total bitch. It doesn’t take much for milk to solidify into nasty chunks. My husband was using pipe cleaners to try and get the gunk out, but I figured out another solution: keep a container of soapy water next to the sink and dump the straws/valves in there when done. That way they don’t have a chance to get nasty and washing them just involves pouring some detergent through the straw and rinsing with hot water. Alternatively we’ll just store the cups in the fridge at the end of the day until it’s time to wash them.