In much the same vein as my review of pelican bibs a fortnight ago, here's my take on a few of the trainer cups and beakers that Lara has been trying out.
When I first started weaning Lara, I began offering water with her meals; I gave her a MAM transition trainer. We use (and love) the MAM feeding bottles so it seemed like a natural progression. At first Lara used the cup with a traditional MAM teat fitted so that she could get used to holding the cup without changing her drinking technique. After about a week I fitted the soft teet-like spout and she took to it straight away. The soft spout is more robust than a teet. It has a small plastic insert which holds the spout rigid and prevents spillage. For about three weeks I switched between the teet and the spout depending on Lara's mood. I found the transition trainer to be the perfect way to introduce a cup to my daughter.
Lara has now moved on to a trainer cup with a traditional rigid spout. We have tried both the Lindam Annabel Karmel Cup (because we loved their weaning spoons) and the Anywayup Cow Cup (because it looks groovy).
The Lindam Annabel Karmel Cup is a non-spill cup with flexible handles. It is sturdy, has a soft rubbery feel (which is easy to grip), it easy to open and has an effective non-spill valve which can be removed once your child gets used to NOT throwing their cups around (do they ever?) The cup comes with a matching cover to prevent leaks and to keep the spout clean – the colour matches so well that family members and childminders have been totally thrown by it and haven't realised that it is a lid! Ehehehe – then they seem surprised when Lara throws a wobbly because she can't get any liquid out. When I first moved Lara onto this cup, she found the sucking motion against the valve to be hard work. It took a few weeks of getting used to. I am extremely pleased with the Lindam cup and would have bought more of them if I weren't the type of Mummy who likes to try a little bit of everything!
The most recent cup that we have tried is the Cow Cup by Anywayup. It is very similar to the Lindam cup in shape and purpose but has a small lip at the base of the cup to prevent it from falling over (it can't however, prevent Lara from picking it up and tipping it over). The non-spill valve on the Cow Cup is slightly different and allows Lara to drink more easily – however, the valve often seems to fall out and I find it floating in the dregs of the water when I open it up. The spout cover on the Cow Cup is very tight-fitting to ensure it keeps the contents in. I have no worries leaving the cup rattling around inside the changing bag but I do have worries trying to open the blimming thing to wash it! I often end up pulling so hard that when the lid finally does come free, it catapults me across the kitchen. The lid on the cow cup is useless – it doesn't have any means of staying put so I just go without. My feeling is that the Cow Cup looks pretty, but isn't quite up to the job.