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TIPS-tested open cups - 2007

I am delighted to bring you the final results of the first TIPS testing of open top cups. My article on cup feeding was followed by a webinar. From this work, I decided to test the best open top cups on the market.

I would like to thank each supplier for providing the samples free of charge and allowing TIPS testers to keep the cups. Without their co-operation and confidence in the TIPS testing programme, this in-depth study of the best open top cups currently available would not have been possible. I would also like to thank the team of dedicated parent testers whose comments and detailed feedback allow the TIPS testing programme to achieve a level of independence and impartiality that is second to none. I hope this study provides parents with a definitive list of products that are safe to use and comply with my evidence-based advice on feeding your baby expressed breast milk and weaning from bottle to cup.

The following awards have been allocated
(click on one of the links below to read the full reviews):

Best of the best – Doidy cup

Best budget – First cup

Highly commended – Steadycup + two-handed china cup

 

 

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You can also find out more about the testing process in the following sections:



Awards

Doidy cup
RRP: £3.80
Supplied by www.bickiepegs.co.uk

The outright winner in this category with an incredible 100% of testers choosing this as their favourite cup overall!
The innovative design with its slanting rim greatly reduces spillage and helps the cup remain surprisingly stable into the bargain. The perfectly sized double handles also make it easy for babies and children to drink from. The cup works well when feeding a baby if you follow the advice to hold the cup from beneath. With help, this cup is suitable for use from birth. It can be used for babies as young as three months with minimal assistance and is also ideal for older people or those with specific physical disabilities. This cup is especially useful for giving expressed milk in the early days of breastfeeding, when mothers want to avoid the using bottles and teats. This play a big part in promoting the success of breastfeeding, which is another great reason to choose for this wonderfully designed open top feeding cup.

Award: Best of the best

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First cup

RRP: £1.99
Supplied by www.tommeetippee.co.uk

A simple but nonetheless tried and trusted design that combines the benefits of a light two-handed cup with the extra security of a leak-proof lid for when you are on the move. Also included is a sipper lid which can be used as an alternative to the more conventional flip-top lid, helping toddlers’ progress from sucking to drinking.
This cup is available in a choice of bright colours, and all testers agreed it should be awarded the best budget prize.

Award: best budget


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Steadycup

RRP: £1.99
Supplied by www.steadyco.com

This cup lives up to its name by being almost impossible to tip over. It comes in four bright colours and the ingenious stacking system works well. It is worth noting the quality of information about this product (both online and with the cup) which is of the highest standard.
Testers did remark on the difficulty in cleaning this cup, especially when using a dishwasher. Whichever way up it is placed in the dishwasher, part of the cup is always full of water at the end of the cycle. However, it is encouraging to see that Steadyco have already addressed this issue by including drain holes for easy cleaning of their 8oz Booster Cup.
The Steadycup is part of a wide range of innovative cutlery and table ware designed especially for two to five year olds. It is also fully recyclable, microwave, freezer and dishwasher safe.
Award: Highly commended


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Two-handed china cup

RRP: £15.99
Supplied by www.royaldoulton.com


Testers liked the concept of a plastic-free cup that felt ‘special’, was easy to clean and discouraged any biting (a tempting pastime for toddlers). The weight of this cup did make it quite hard for small children to pick up but once they got the hang of the two handed grip it was child’s play. This cup is a great alternative to the more conventional plastic cups and would be an ideal present. It could even become a family heirloom (I still have my daughter’s Hunca Munca mug from 20 years ago!). I hope this well deserved award will help china cups to make a come-back.


Award: Highly commended


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Letter to testers

Thank you for agreeing to take part in the ‘TIPS testing for cup feeding’. I have sourced what I believe to be four of the best drinking cups for babies from six months of age (the Doidy cup can be used from birth, but is more likely to be used once weaning begins). All the cups are manufactured from the highest quality materials and comply with the latest safety standards. I would like you to use each cup for a few days (this could be quite time-consuming but stick with it) before moving onto the next design so that you can comment fully on the individual differences and give me your thoughts on what works and maybe what doesn’t. You can then complete the enclosed questionnaires and suggest awards for each cup. The awards are: Best of the best, best innovative, best budget, highly commended and commended.

 

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Cup feeding explained

The key points regarding cup feeding include:

  • Breastfeeding not only provides the best nutrition for a baby but also conveys physical and emotional benefits that will last a lifetime.
  • Cup feeding (using open cups in specific circumstances) is safe from birth and is less likely to interfere with the establishment of breastfeeding.
  • Weaning to solid foods should not be started before six months.
  • From six months, and within a supervised environment, infants should be encouraged to drink rather than suck.
  • Use open cups made from polypropylene, polyethylene, polyethersulfone or glass.
  • Consider using ceramic plates, cups and bowls.
  • By one year old a child should be actively discouraged from using any lidded feeder. Meanwhile baby-led breastfeeding should be encouraged.
  • The fostering of good eating habits from a young age will pay dividends in the long term and avoid the risks of obesity, iron deficiency anaemia (IDA) and speech difficulties.
  • Dental hygiene must be seen as a priority. Regular oral care and visits to the dentist are vital.
  • Remember that nutrition is more than just food. It is a social experience that should be shared and enjoyed by all members of the family.

 

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The questionnaires

Detailed questionnaires were divided into three sections covering: the product, how it was used and feedback. Questions about design, colour, shape, weight, ease of use, stability, spillage, favourite features, were included. Testers were also invited to suggest modifications and provide their comments.

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Analysing the results

Each of the six testers received four open cups with a detailed questionnaire (similar to ones used when testing TENS machines). I read, collated and assimilated testers’ comments before writing the final reviews inserted above.

 

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Cup feeding revisited

“Cup feeding would appear to be an innocuous subject and you may wonder why I am devoting so much time to it. When researching this piece, I did not imagine there could be so many potential hazards associated with this practice.
Cup feeding has been around for centuries. It’s only in the past 50 years that bottles, teats and cups with spouts and lids have dominated western cultures.”
This is an extract from my article ‘Cup feeding revisited’ published in the September 2006 MIDIRS Journal You can read the full article here can also go to the MIDIRS website and listen to the 24 July 2007 webinar.

 

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Please note that products tested by TIPS are not free or promotional products, but samples for the sole purpose of independent testing. All Testers must agree and sign a copy of the TIPS Award Scheme terms and conditions before taking part in a TIPS trial.

 

Disclaimer. TIPS Ltd is not responsible or liable for any failings of products that have been submitted for the testing programme. The responsibility remains with the individual manufacturer. Research is constantly changing and whilst every effort is made by TIPS Ltd to ensure the information contained in the guidelines is accurate and up-to-date, parent testers must still be encouraged to seek the advice of their midwife, health visitor, lactation consultant or GP if they have any concerns.

TIPS Ltd© 2007

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Doidy cup

AW_best-of-the-best_cupDoidy Cup

 


First cup

AW_best-budget_cup

cup photo

 


Steadycup

AW_highly-commended_cupsteadycup


Two-handed china cup

award graphicchina Cup

 


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