Oh, the battles you have to fight with toddlers. They are over the dumbest things.
Nora was the type of baby that would take any bottle. Any pacifier. As long as it was a means to nourishment and/or comfort, she was game. She had a laidback personality, it seemed.
But then she became a toddler. I’ve told you before my stance on toddler mood swings. They ain’t pretty.
We went through a time around Nora’s first birthday when she suddenly gave up the bottle. She wouldn’t drink from one anymore, but she also wouldn’t drink from a sippy cup. She would nurse for a few minutes in the morning and a few minutes at night, but that was it. I still don’t know why she did that–self-weaning, teething pain–who knows. But when we finally did get her on a sippy cup, there was only one kind that she liked. These ones:
They were only the second sippy cups we tried, they worked well, they were easy for her to use by herself–so they were winners. DONE. We went out and bought several more. No complaints from us.
Eight months later, though, and Nora has a lot of teeth. The spout on these cups is not what I would have considered “soft” compared to others (in other words, it’s nothing like a bottle nipple), but come to find out… it can definitely be chewed up. And Nora was starting to purposely chew them. Once I realized that they were, in fact, sort of soft-spouted, I knew that we would have to make a transition to a hard-spout cup. I wanted to make a good choice for the next sippy cup because ideally, we would transition her just this one more time before she’ll eventually drink from a normal cup. It needed to be something that could grow with her a little more.
I had seen a number of people recommend these Nalgene Grip ‘n’ Gulp cups, so I started to look into them.
Then, one of our friends happened to mention that her nearly 4-year-old son uses the Nalgene cups and that they love them, so I was sold. We ended up finding them in the water bottle/outdoors section at Target for cheaper than they are online, by the way. Still a pricey sippy cup at $7.99, but they are virtually indestructible. We had Nora “pick one out,” and we came home to give it a try.
BIG. FAT. FAILURE.
Nora wanted nothing to do with it. In fact, every time we’d bring it near her, she’d push it away, and if we tried to set it on her high chair tray, she’d throw it off. Unfortunately for her, we’re not ones to give up easily, so we made the decision to go cold turkey. She wasn’t going to get her old sippy cups back, no matter how difficult she tried to be about it. Because the thing about her stubbornness?
She gets it from me. I can play at this game.
I remembered back to August/September when she was refusing the bottle and sippy cup, and I recalled our pediatrician telling me that Nora would absolutely NOT dehydrate herself in order to prove a point. At that time, the doctor maintained that Nora was getting enough liquids to keep at least partially hydrated through her foods.
Over the course of the next week, we had limited success with the new sippy cup. Sometimes she would take it (briefly), other times she wouldn’t. Sometimes, I practically had to force it on her for her to see that it was actually water (or milk) in there, and then once she realized, she would drink. But then at the next meal, we’d be struggling all over again.
During our weekend in the Poconos, she was especially difficult about it, and I have to admit–even I was growing tired of it. Michael and I talked at length about it. We wanted to put an end to the wars, but we weren’t willing to go back to the old sippy cups in order to do so. We figured that we just hadn’t found the right sippy cup for Nora.
Then, on Memorial Day, we were at a restaurant and Nora showed special interest in my straw. When I was done with my cup, I filled it with water and presented it to Nora. Wouldn’t you know it–she gulped down the entire cup through the straw. That was it: A STRAW! I thought we had finally cracked the code, so we stopped on the way home to pick up a straw sippy cup.
As soon we got this thing home and out of the package, I discovered that it was not what I had expected. The “straw” on the top of the cup is SUPER SOFT–much like a bottle nipple, in fact. You can suck the liquid out as if it’s a straw (because there’s a straw that goes down inside), but the “feeling” of it is nothing like a straw. I don’t know what possessed me to try this with Nora, for we could’ve just taken it back to get our money back, but alas, we tried it. And it was an even bigger failure than the Nalgene cup.
I did everything I could to get her to drink from this thing, but she wanted nothing to do with the top of it. If I removed the top and separated the hard straw from the top and let her simply sip the water through the hard straw, she was completely happy. But since this clearly had to be done with my assistance each time… no. It wasn’t going to work.
We weren’t ready to give up on the straw, so back to Target we went to get what I had been picturing all along. We came home with these guys:
We had high hopes for these ones, but unfortunately, we were met with limited success. We gave these ones a few days, too, sending Nora to daycare with them. Apparently she drank out of them a bit there, but I don’t think I ever saw her take sips from them.
To top it all off, these are THE BIGGEST PIECE OF CRAP CUPS EVER. They leak all over the place, and for no reason. As I mentioned, Nora doesn’t drink out of these. She won’t. So all we’ve ever done is to put liquid in these and then let them sit there in case she’ll actually take it. While they’re sitting there, liquid inexplicably gets drawn up into the straw, which continues to happen until eventually the liquid is spilling out of the straw uncontrollably.
PIECES OF CRAP, I tell you. $7.50 for a two-pack of crap. Playtex has a “leak-proof, satisfaction guarantee” so I’m currently trying to get our money back, but since we didn’t save our Target receipt OR the packaging (since I had to shred it just to get the cups out) I don’t know if that’ll happen.
So you might wonder where this left us.
Now, we’re in a (pretty) good place with it. The Nalgene cup, that is. For the past few days, she’s taken it without (much) issue, and has drunk plenty from it throughout each day. I think we’re actually getting places. We’re contemplating buying a couple more of them so we have a few in rotation but I’m still a little afraid of jinxing it. :)
One comment that I have about the Nalgene cup is that with the leak-proof “stopper” inside, it is IMPOSSIBLE to drink from. I could barely extract liquid from it (and yes, I did open up the bottom of the stopper), so how the heck do they expect toddlers to do that? The only way Nora has been drinking out of it is with the stopper removed, so if she tips it, it leaks all over the place, of course. But that doesn’t really bother us that much since she only drinks water when she’s away from the table, and thankfully, she doesn’t tip it over much anyways. It works for us, but it sure as hell wouldn’t for some other people.
And in case you’re wondering… we spent $10 on alternate sippy cups that our kid refused to take, only to end up right back where we started with the Nalgene cup. Who’s laughing now?
It’s been an interesting few weeks.
Has anyone else engaged in “sippy cup wars” with their kids? Who “won”? How did it play out? How much money were you forced to spend on cups before it all came to a close? I don’t know how you felt at the end of it, but GOSH I’m tired.
AboutI'm Heather. I just turned 30. I'm happily married, and mommy to the most beautiful little girl in the world (what, you're saying I could be biased?). Determined DIYer and homeowner. Sarcastic. A perfectionist. A bleeding-heart liberal. Frugal. Loves a little dog way more than many humans. Loves food, hates exercise (it's an ongoing battle). A loyal football fan. I love to laugh. Value family and friends above all else. Vie to be a world traveler.
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