Sippy Cup Review

Last week, as I was throwing a particular sippy cup across the kitchen, I thought I should tell someone how much this cup sucks.

We have a lot of sippy cups.  We have twins, so we have two of everything but I think we’ve tried quite a few of the cups on the market.  We have a few favorites and we have a few that we absolutely hate.  Before I got rid of the ones that make my life hell, I figured I’d tell someone.  Or everyone.  The world wide web.

The boys started with a sippy cup right at the one year mark.  We had been washing bottles, and all the bajillion parts that went with them, for an whole year and I was ready (and hoping the boys were too) for cups.

The boys have always been pretty open to trying new things.  We had no problem switching off formula to whole milk.  It was seamless.  Actually, after a few days on milk, they began to refuse the formula.  Oh the savings!  We introduced the cups around the same time and they actually preferred to drink out of the sippy cup.  Good riddance bottles!  (I might have cried a little bit).

Nuby ($13 – 2 pack)  

We started with these Nuby cups.  They had handles on both sides so it was easy for the Nugs to hold onto them and there is a soft “nipple”.  The Hubs hated them but I didn’t think it was any big deal.  At first.

The reason for the dislike is the nipple part.  It’s soft and rubbery – like a bottle’s nipple (which is good) but after several uses, they were quite difficult to get into place. I took the cup apart after each use to ensure they were cleaned well and it was a b*%$^ to get them back in place.  And Nuby states, “Listen for the click to ensure it’s locked into place“.  This is a joke.  If the nipple isn’t on juuuust right, then you don’t hear the click.  You unscrew it, try to manipulate it back into place, try to screw it back together to end up with the same issue.  Over and over again.  Then you give up and give it to the baby and it leaks like a sieve.

Tommee Tippee ($12 – 2 pack)  

Pretty quickly we moved on to the Tommee Tippee.  We really liked these but remember how I said I was tired of cleaning all the bottle parts?  Well Tommee Tippees have a little plastic and rubber inserts that have to be put together and then placed in the lid (to be spill proof).  We messed up a few times (there are little pieces that have to fit together correctly or else…) but got the hang of it pretty quickly.  These were our go-to-cups for six months. The Nuggets had little problem adjusting to the hard spout to drink, maybe a day or so of practice.

Pros: They are incredibly durable.  The Hubs even ran one over with the stroller and drug it along for a minute before realizing Weston had thrown it out.  Looks a little rough but works fine.  The boys were able to finally crack one of them after several months of use and one of them rocket launched it across the kitchen.  Cons: it’s hard for the boys to get the last couple sips of milk.  Unless they are laying down, they cannot get their heads back far enough to get the remainder of the milk.  Also, if you lose one of the insert pieces, you cannot replace them.  You have to buy a new cup.  I hope Tommy Tippee changes and starts selling just the inserts because spill proof is a MUST.

Tommee Tippee ($7 ea)  

The next step was for them to learn more “active drinking” via a straw. I went to the brand I had success with and looked for the “next step”  It was these cups.  They do not have a straw in them, so the cups still have to be tilted backwards to drink.  That’s not exactly the next step.  Although the boys drink out of the cups just fine, they can be confused with the actual active drinking cups we have.  Any of the cups that have a straw like top, the boys have learned they have to hold them down to get the milk out – not these.  Again, same cons as above.  I don’t use these as much anymore.

Munchkin ($6.50 – 2 pack)

 
Then, I bought these Munchkin cups.  The Nuggets really hadn’t gotten the hang of the straw yet – we even tried giving them water out of a regular straw but it just wasn’t clicking for either of them.   The only semi-negative to this sippy cup is the child has to have a strong suck.  Since the boys weren’t catching on how to suck via the straw, these cups didn’t work at first.  We put them away for a while and now that they have straws mastered, these cups rock.  We rarely use the little piece that holds the straw down (for travel and sanitary reasons).  Both boys just pull it off so I stopped putting it on the cup, unless we go out.

Nuby ($8 – 2 pack)  

Here we go again.  Same problems, different cup.  This was one of the cups launched across the kitchen this week.  The same issue with the rubber aspect of this cup.  I bought these because the aforementioned cups were too hard to suck and this would help them learn “active” drinking.  It’s not as much of a “straw” but it’s not a nipple either.   The boys do have to hold them down, and there is a straw on the inside.  I rarely get the “click” and they leak far too often.  I’ve retired them.

Wow Cups ($10 ea)/Munchkin Miracle 360 Cups ($12 – 2 pack)  

On Valentine’s Day my mom brought The Nuggets little gifts.  One of them was a Wow cup.  There were four grown adults in the kitchen and none of us could figure out how this cup worked.  The Hubs gave it to Corbin and he put it right up to his mouth and took a sip.  Doh!

These cups simulate drinking out of a regular cup.  There is a rubber insert that connects to a plastic piece, that then is screwed on to the cup.  The boys just put the rim up to their mouths (like you would put the rim of a cup to your mouth) and then suck.  The rubber then lies back down and when they drop their cup, it keeps the liquid from coming out.  SUPER COOL. The WOW cups quickly became our favorites.  They are really easy to clean too. So when I stuck my finger through the rubber insert of one of the cups, I was quite sad.  I went to purchase a new one and found the Munchkin brand (less expensive).

Both brands are pretty much all pros.  Once, we were out shopping and the cashier saw Corbin drinking and asked if the cups held hot liquid because she wanted to use it for her coffee cup.  There are only two cons: 1. The Wow cup: if you’re not careful, it’s easy to push through the rubber piece.  The Munchkin brand has the plastic to back up the rubber piece so you don’t stick your finger through it.  2.  If these cups are thrown and hit the ground hard, they are not spill proof.  Example: Dropping them from the highchair.   Since it’s the rubber laying across the plastic, it doesn’t bode well when it’s pitched across the room.  Still though, these are my favorite sippy cups and probably the best for teaching the boys how to actually drink from a cup.

The First Years ($7 – 2 pack)  

The Hubs bought these cups because (believe it or not) he thought we didn’t have enough cups. The boys didn’t take too these well. He bought them when they were still exclusively using the Tommee Tippee and these cups had a very different type of spout. I also realize quickly, not quickly enough, that they’re not spill proof. So we’ve put The First Years cups in the cabinet and we can pull them down in a few more months.  The big pro to to this cup is it’s the only one we have that is insulated.

So there you have it.  Hopefully I’ve saved you from having to buy 89 types of cups like we did.  Each child is different though and you may go straight to a straw or stay with the double handled cup until they’re 5.  That’s just my two cents.

XOXO

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Pamper Rewards

Are a joke.

I’m a believer in reward cards.  I’ve got about 10 of those little buggers on my key ring.

I like the coupons they send me and the gas points I rack up.  I’m a believer in the benefits.

I entered the Pampers Rewards program.  I thought, I buy a box of these things a week.  Each individually wrapped bunch (in the big box) comes with a serial number that is ridic long.  I spent time entering the info and I haven’t reaped a single benefit to date.  Months and months of diapers and I haven’t racked up enough “points” to be rewarded with anything.

N O T  A  F A N.

I will continue to buy Pampers though because they are the best.  For us.

When the boys were born they wore the preemie Swaddlers – Baylor Medical Center in Grapevine used them for newborns and in the NICU.  We continue to use them after we went home.  When The Nuggets graduated out of preemie and into size 1 and size 2, we also used Target brand (love me some Target).  This worked well for a while but as soon as we got into size 3, Target started leaking a lot more.  We tried Huggies and Luvs but both leaked at night.  Therefore, we are tried and true Pampers fans.

At size 4 we use Pampers Extra Dry.  The Swaddlers seemed leaked more often and are actually slightly more expensive.  I definitely like the Cruisers but they are also more expensive and the Extra Dry seem to work great.  Why pay more for the same results?  Although, we do whenever I send The Hubs to the store because he can never remember which type to buy so he goes for “the best”.  I.e. the most expensive.

A LOT of people are into Honest Co Diapers.  This is Jessica Alba’s company and they have some great products.  The diapers are eco-friendly hypoallergenic, free of chlorine processing & risky additives (like fragrances, lotions, and latex), so very good for babies with sensitive skin.   I cannot speak to absorbency because we’ve never used them. For the amount of diapers we use, I cannot justify spending the money.  Their “jumbo pack” is $13.95 for 29 diapers ($0.48 per diaper).  My box of Pampers is $47.99 for 144 diapers ($0.33 per diaper).  Since we go through about a big box of Pampers every week, my cost of diapers would go up $21 a week.  No can do.  Plus Weston has sensitive skin (eczema) and he does great with Pampers.

I do absolutely love the adorable designs on the Honest diapers though.  You can actually pick which one you want!

diapersThere are tons of other options too.  SO cute!

Another biggie for us is Dr. Smiths Diaper cream.  It’s kind of hard to find (not sold at every major retailer) and that has lead us to buy other brands in a pinch.  Boudreaux Butt Cream, Destin and Aveeno all pale in comparison.  Dr. Smith’s is no joke the most effective diaper cream on the market.

It’s not cheap, but unlike the diapers (which aren’t exactly cheap either) we don’t have a suitable substitution.  I’ve begun ordering it on Amazon.com since it’s kind of difficult to find.  It’s actually not hard, it just isn’t convenient.  One Wal-Mart location will have it but the next won’t. If you go to their website though, the store locater will show the retailers in your area that stock it.

That’s my two cents on some pretty important products for our babes.

The boys are 17 months old today.  Update to follow shortly!

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The Beauty of Backpacks

I had just barely announced that I was pregnant and my mom was already buying stuff for me.

She called to ask what kind of diaper bag I’d like, “Do you want something designer-ish or more typical diaper bag?”

My mom knows me.

Designer-ish all day.

She bought me this giant Guess bag that is incredibly cute.  I carried it (the few times we went out of the house) and it fit every-thing. I got compliments. It was great. And stylish too.

When we were taking our vacation this past summer, I knew that the Guess bag wasn’t going to work.  First, I learned that The Hubs and I wouldn’t be able to sit together.  Read about that here. Therefore, we would need a bag per baby.  Second, and this is one that had bugged me all along, the bag didn’t stay on my shoulder well.  You know what I mean, when you have your purse on your shoulder and every time you have to bend or lean, it falls.  Well imagine a giant bag, filled with stuff and a baby in your arms and it keeps falling….it’s quite annoying.

Enter backpacks.  They’re not a new concept.

One bag, per baby.  The Hubs already had one and it would work perfectly.  I also had one.  From HIGH SCHOOL.  It was a mess and therefore it ended up in the trashcan.  I almost bought a cute, fashionable backpack. I mean, I am always up on the new trends.

Right.

Anyways, I wandered over to the regular kids school backpacks….and they were soooo much better!  Lots of pockets and easy access areas and therefore, I caved on my desire for fashion and went with a plain ol’ Adidas backpack.

And I’m never going back!

When you’re carrying the baby(ies) in those big bulky car seat carriers, having a bag securely on your back is The. Way. To. Go.  Obviously, The Hubs likes it because he wasn’t a fan of carrying around my Guess bag 🙂  All the little outside pockets have easy access to wipes and cleaning spray for toys and pacifiers (<– total life saver).

Side note: We don’t use two bags on a normal basis because we can fit what we need into one backpack on most outings.

The only type of bag I haven’t tried would be messenger style.  You know…slings across one shoulder to the other hip.  I could see perks for this back too.  No slipping off the shoulder, easy access pockets and you’d be able to get into the bag, while it is still on you.  Only downfall to the backpack.  I’m pretty sure The Hubs would be flabbergasted if I came home with another (4th) diaper bag.  So we will stick with the backpacks!

So think long and hard before you buy that designer diaper bag and I say, just go with the trusty Jan-sport!

XOXO

Lindsey

Baby Jogger Citi Mini GT

After reviewing some of my old posts, I realized I said I would do a post on my Baby Jogger City Mini.

One of these babies!
We bought our Cadillac of strollers right before our trip to WI.  If you want to take it through the airport, make sure you are not flying American.
 
Anyways, this thing ROCKS.  It costs an arm and a leg (think around $599) but, I think, The Hubs got suckered.  We purchased it at Buy Buy Baby. We could have gotten “last season’s” model for about $100 less but The Hubs haaaad to have the one we could see and touched in the store.  Usually, I can talk him out of this kind of rash decision, and order the less expensive option online, but we were in a crunch for time.  We needed it for the airport.  Sometime after we sold our soul to Buy Buy Baby, I found out that American wouldn’t allow it past the ticket counter.  Gah!
 
I am waaay off subject.
 
This stroller is awesome.

It can be steered with one hand.  Hell, one finger if needed. 

 
It isn’t advertised as a jogging stroller but it totally can be.  I lock the front wheels and run with it.  Granted, I’m not a long distance runner so it works just fine for us.  I won’t add that I haven’t run more than, cough*three times*cough, in the last several months.  I plan to.  I neeeeeed to.
 
It is great at “off road-ing”, with the all terrain wheels (that cannot go flat).  The sun shades have three levels of coverage, which can keep them completely out of the sun. Even when you are walking directly into the sun.  They also have little peek through window to see the babies. 
 
The seats recline to almost completely flat.  Great for nap.  I will admit the actual process of lifting it back into a sitting position is kind of cumbersome and definitely requires two hands and a bit of wrestling.
 
The five point harness is totally necessary but also makes the stroller an option for pretty small babies.  I wouldn’t put a newborn in it, but with support, a 15 lb. nugget could totally ride in this Caddy.
 
I did NOT take spending that kind of money on a stroller lightly.  I Instagram stalked twin mommies and they all recommended this stroller.  I creeped out moms on the March of Dimes walk in April while staring at their strollers like a weirdo and finally asked what they thought about it.  A resounding, “fantastic!” is what I got.  Real mom’s recommendations are what sold me. 
 
Would I do it again and pay full price for the newest model?  No.  I would go with “last season’s” or order it from a discount site for sure.  Would I also punch the person that works at American Airlines that says no to strollers over 30lbs?  Yes. Yes, I would.
 
Today is The Nuggets doctor’s appointment, so tomorrow I should have an update on their stats.  Saturday are our family pictures and the boys 1 year pictures (two weeks early) and I’m very excited!
 

 
XOXO

Twin Mommy Advice

Now that everyone and their mom have blogs, there is a lot of information out there. Whether it’s advice on what to eat while pregnant, what you need in the hospital bag, to how to train your newborn to sleep…believe me, I’ve read almost all of them 🙂 

With that said, there is a lot of conflicting info and you can pretty much find whatever answer you want. 
The Hubs takes this approach when he is sick and I’m pushing for him to see a doctor. He thinks Google can diagnose him accurately and it NEVER says he needs to actually see a doctor. Funny. 
Anyway, this post is my addition to the World Wide Web of info. I think I posted something similar in regards to breastfeeding.
Twin supplies!
My fav products to date:
1. Infant bouncer – these were probably our most used product. Our’s were monkeys and therefore called ” the monkey seats”. 

When our nanny first started, the boys we just under 4 months.  I showed her how I set these seats up, sit between them, and hold the bottles so the Nugs can eat. She said, “you feed them at the same time?!” I proceeded to inform her that she could try to feed them separately but the one without a bottle, would scream bloody murder.  The boys are 10 months and we still use them. At this point it’s just a great way to contain them for a few minutes to get a bit of formula in them. The blinky lights and toys were great for entertainment as well.
Without it even being said, I wish I was nursing and a stay at home mommy and didn’t need these seats but that is not the situation I’m in and therefore, the seats are still essential.
2. Super thick, high quality cloth diapers. For burp rags. No this mommy did not cloth diaper twins. If you have done that, you’re dedication is astounding. But since there is twice the milk and twice the baby barf, have quality burp rags. 
3. Bottles. Lots of them. That’s really the best advice. And to keep a sink full of hot soapy water soaking used bottles at all times. 
We used three different kinds. I had solely Medela bottles (again with the nursing) to begin with. The NICU advised we obtain a preemie nipple after Weston choked (and scared the shiv out of me) when we were still learning to eat. Believe it or not, only Dr. Brown’s offered a preemie. Then when it was time to bump up to more than 4 oz bottles I couldn’t justify spending the money on Medela (not pumping any longer) and the Dr. Brown had too many pieces. We ended up with Playtex with the natural latch. The boys did great with these and the silicon incert to assist with air bubbles worked wonders.
3.5. I know there is no such thing as 3.5 on a list but this one piggybacks on #3.  And it’s my list, so I can do whatever I want. I digress. The grass AND a bottle rack.

With all the bottles you have you need both. The spin rack is best for the actual bottle and nipples but the “lawn” rack is stellar for everything else. I’m pretty sure tat even after the bottles are gone. The lawn will still be on my counter for drying bowls, spoons, sippy cups, etc.

4. Activity centers (of any kind)

We bought one from Baby Einstein (above pic) and Evenflo (bottom pic). They both have their own positives but as soon as the Nuggets were stable enough to be in them, the looooved ’em. The Einstein was sensory overload with music and cranks and rattles galore! The Evenflo seemed to be the less favored until…they learned to use their weight to make it bounce! Now, it’s their favorite. As they’ve gotten older and more mobile, we use these as a safe way to contain them. For example, when one has completely blown poo out of his diaper and you need to leave the room (covered in said poo) there should to be a place for the other babe to chill safely.  I wouldn’t recommend leaving your child alone for any length of time but you understand what I mean. I hope.

5. Snap and go stroller frame. 
I got this sucker off Amazon for $80 and it was worth every penny. The car seats are heavy with babies in them and since one person cannot carry both (I don’t care how buff you think you are, it’s too awkward!!) I left the house approximately 3.4 times with both boys by myself and I couldn’t have done it without this. You don’t even have to take them out of the car seats. 
These few products are what I thought of (pretty much immediately) when I asked myself the question, “what could I have not survived without, with twins?” There are many other favorite baby products but not necessarily for twins. 

I sure love these two. 

Xoxo – Lindsey