Tag Archives: babies

Inspirational Mamas: Pam and Her Journey with Diastasis Recti

 Here at Mummy Confessions, I am proud to know some very inspirational mamas. I am happy to be featuring some of them here on the Blog!

I am so excited to introduce you to a lovely mama whom I met as a result of a Pregnancy App available when I was pregnant with my first and second child. (Read more here about how Pregnancy and Parenting Communities are helpful resources!)

She has been amazing enough to share about a condition called diastasis recti! Pam has first hand experience with diastasis and I hope the information and her personal journey here will help someone else who may have questions or is on their own journey!

Pam’s Journey with Diastasis Recti (Part One)

My name is Pam and I had a problem that affects many women, but few know about. It’s called diastasis recti. This is a separation of the ab muscles. For most women, after pregnancy, their ab muscles go back together. For others, they don’t. That gap is a diastasis recti. Risk factors for getting a diastasis recti include carrying multiples, c sections, and multiple pregnancies. Or, in my case, a petite torso and a baby that was transverse for much of the 3rd trimester.

“When I was doing [crunches and sit-ups], my stomach…bulged out like a mountain, or like an alien was trying to escape my belly button. It was so bizarre that I mentioned it to my OB.”

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Photo Credit: Ready, Steady, Mamas!

My first son was born in 2011. He was born by emergency c section. He was transverse for much of the 3rd trimester. I carried him all out front, and my muscles and linea alba were stretched to the max. I had never heard of a diastasis recti though. A few weeks after he was born, I was eager to start getting my body back. So I started doing a few crunches and sit ups, since that helped me get a six pack before I was pregnant. And when I was doing them, my stomach did this very strange thing. It bulged out like a mountain, or like an alien was trying to escape my belly button. It was so bizarre that I mentioned it to my OB at my 6 week check up. She felt around my belly, and said that I had a diastasis recti. She said that she had one too, and explained what it was. I remember asking her what can be done. She said that it can be fixed surgically, but most surgeons only do it after you’re done having kids. I asked if PT could help, and she said she didn’t know if it did. I left feeling like a bit of failure. I didn’t heal right after my baby was born, and it seemed like I was stuck with it.

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Photo Credit: InsightfulAutomation.com

At my next physical, I asked my regular doctor about it too. She also felt that it was there. She also didn’t know what I could do about it, aside from surgery.

So I saw a general surgeon. He was an older guy who said that I also had an umbilical hernia along with my diastasis recti. He said that the surgery would be through my belly button, and it would have to wait until our family was done. At this point, my husband and I didn’t know what our future was for our family, so I had to wait. (I would later find out that I did not have an umbilical hernia, and that he was wrong.)

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Photo Credit: TummyTribe.com

I was so unhappy with how my body looked. I had this perpetual baby bump, which is a common characteristic of a diastasis recti. I couldn’t bathe my son, because it was too hard to bend over the tub without my core being able to support my body. Doing the dishes was uncomfortable too. I struggled to carry heavy things, like laundry baskets and boxes. I also had trouble opening tightly closed containers because of my limited core strength. This diastasis recti was impacting my life, more than just how I looked and how people wrongly assumed that I was pregnant.

So I took to Google. There were some resources there, but not much yet. (More information and resources are available now though!!!) I did learn that in France, all women get physical therapy after birth to help their muscles and pelvic floor heal. And I was very jealous! If I had had that care, then maybe my body would be in better condition. I read about a few exercise programs that you can buy to help heal your diastasis recti. I also found a physical therapy facility near me that had a specialization in post-partum women’s health. I called them and started going.

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Many exercises worsen Diastasis; Photo Credit: PregnancyExercise.co.nz

I liked my first PT a lot. She was kind, patient, non-judgmental, and very helpful. I learned so much about how my muscles work (or don’t work in my case!). I learned how to gain some of my strength back. It was the support that I needed and the learning about my condition that I was desperately seeking. I wished that my doctors knew about the importance of physical therapy to help a diastasis recti.

“The videos didn’t help. I was stuck and I hated it. I tried jogging, and it made no change to the size of my stomach bulge. Between the extra skin and the diastasis recti separation, no amount of exercise was going to change what I looked like.”

At the beginning of my PT journey, my gap between my muscles was about 4 fingers wide, which is no small amount. It was May 2012. I did PT for about 1 and a half years or so, and I was able to shrink my gap to 1.5/2 fingers wide. But I was stuck there. I was not able to heal the gap. I tried to go back and saw a different PT. She was much less helpful and I didn’t make any further progress. I felt frustrated and stuck. I looked always a little pregnant, which people would ask me about. (Never ask a woman if she is pregnant!!) I tried one of the programs that I had found online, and it was a complete failure. I ended up just wasting time and quite a bit of money. I then tried some exercise videos, being careful to not make my diastasis recti worse. Doing any crunch or sit up type moves, or 100s in pilates, etc can pull the muscles apart more. So I did everything but these kinds of movements. The videos didn’t help. I was stuck and I hated it. I tried jogging, and it made no change to the size of my stomach bulge. Between the extra skin and the diastasis recti separation, no amount of exercise was going to change what I looked like.

My Diastasis post partum; Photo Credit: Pam

“Through my participation [in the 4th Trimester Bodies Project],  I was finally able to find peace and acceptance with my new body. It will forever be a part of my post-partum journey. Although my body wasn’t changed, I could mentally move forward.”

As a Mom in this era, I often found great support and resources online for all parts of Motherhood. This battle I was having with my broken body was no different. One life changing support network was the 4th Trimester Bodies Project. This photography project was dedicated to the uncensored beauty of motherhood. This project showed real Moms, and what a real Mom’s body looked like. This was so eye opening for me, and empowering. These were real people, not super models. And nothing was retouched. When I saw the picture of a Mom who also had a diastasis recti, I was brought to tears. I feel in love with the project’s mission and decided to participate in March 2014. Through my participation, I was finally able to find peace and acceptance with my new body. It will forever be a part of my post-partum journey. Although my body wasn’t changed, I could mentally move forward.

Continue Reading Pam’s Journey with Diastasis Recti ➡️

Photo Credits:
Ready, Steady, Mamas!
InsightfulAutomation.com
TummyTribe.com
PregnancyExercise.co.nz

Inspirational Mamas: Pam and Her Journey with Diastasis Recti, Part 2

In case you missed the first part, go back here and read the beginning of Pam’s journey with Diastasis Recti. Pam has been amazing to share her journey here, and I truly appreciate reading her story! I hope you are inspired as you continue to read!

Pam’ Journey with Diastasis Recti (Continued)

In 2015, my husband I decided finally that we wanted to have one more child. I knew that another pregnancy would re-open my muscle gap and make it worse. I knew that it could be painful and be an issue during the pregnancy. But we were happy to announce that I was pregnant in the fall of 2015. I was having a baby girl! Since my muscles were so weak, I showed very fast and I carried very big. I also had extra amniotic fluid for parts of my 3rd trimester. She was also transverse at times as well. I was having pelvic floor pain and back pain with this pregnancy. I had to wear a support brace that helped lessen the discomfort some. I then had to stop working at 36 weeks because I just couldn’t walk comfortably anymore. I knew that this pregnancy has really stretched my already stretched out muscles and skin.

Pregnant with my second child; Photo Credit: Pam

My baby girl was born in May 2016 also by c section. Since at this point I knew my muscles and my body so well, I knew I had another big diastasis recti. Assessing myself a few weeks post partum, my gap felt 4 fingers wide again, and much deeper. Once I healed from my c section, I started to notice back pain and hip pain. The pelvic floor pain started around 6 months post partum too. I did not have pain like this after my first baby. Doing many everyday things truly became impossible without both immediate and lingering pain. I knew that I need to get back to PT and start the process for a surgery consult.

“Doing many everyday things truly became impossible without both immediate and lingering pain.”

My women’s health PT this go around was so incredibly helpful. While there was not too much that we did for my diastasis recti, my PT was able to help me manage the back, hip, and pelvic pain. I still felt weak and broken, but at least I wasn’t in as much pain each day. She is kind and understanding and so helpful. I am so glad that I saw her before surgery.

I started my surgery consult with a general surgeon at the same office that I went to after my son was born. I saw a different doctor, who specialized in hernia repair. After looking at me, he said that I don’t have an umbilical hernia, and I do have a large and deep diastasis recti. He said that at this point my linea alba (this tissue connects your ab muscles) was “obliterated”. And it would be like operating on a wet tissue. He took some pictures of my belly and brought my case to his organization of hernia surgeons for further guidance, with my approval. At my second consultation, he said (very nicely) that there was nothing that he could do for me. For him, I was not operable and not a candidate for surgery. He said that I would have to see a plastic surgeon, and he gave me the name of one who he’s worked with before to get insurance to cover a plastic surgery procedure. I left feeling even more broken, defeated and alone in this journey. But I knew that I needed to be fixed. At 34, I should not be having chronic pain like this, and I knew it would only get worse as I got older if I didn’t fix my body.

After my second child; Photo Credit: Pam

My initial appointment with the plastic surgeon went well. She spoke fast but understood what I needed and why. We started the process to try and get my insurance to cover it. From my view point, this was a medically necessary procedure, despite the fact that it was with a plastic surgeon. I could not function with my core as messed up as it was. In my mind, I was calling my procedure a “reconstruction of my abdominal wall”. I didn’t yet know that that is essentially what a tummy tuck is. And a tummy tuck was what I was getting. The surgeon explained that if she only fixed my abdominal wall, then I would have a “fanny pack” of extra skin that will forever hang over the waist of my pants. So we obviously had to include removing the extra skin too.

The surgeon’s office tried many ways to code this procedure to get it approved, but to no avail. They priced it out for what I would have to pay out of pocket and gave us the number. It was much lower than we thought (still not cheap!) but we could swing it. So we paid and set the surgery date for May 8th, 2017, when my baby girl would be 11 months old.

I was extremely nervous leading up to the procedure. This was major surgery. I was going to opened up wide and operated on. I could not even fathom what I would look or feel like afterward. I had been disappointed so many times trying to fix myself and I absolutely did not dare to even think about the results. I just didn’t want to be broken anymore. I was too focused on my worries, arranging for the time off from work, and trying to arrange care for my kids while I had an 8 week lift restriction.

“I was worse than most that they see. It made me feel validated that I was truly broken and that I was not “lazy” or “fat”.”

Despite my worries, the actual procedure went very well. It took 3 hours or so. At pre-op, she and her surgical resident came to mark up my belly. They both were amazed still at how my belly looked and were happy to be fixing it for me. For whatever reason, this helped me feel a lot better. I was worse than most that they see. It made me feel validated that I was truly broken and that I was not “lazy” or “fat”. My surgeon said that she had to do an extensive amount of work on my muscles, especially in the middle by my belly button. She had to cut out and reattach my belly button after removing the extra skin. My incision line is about 15” long, from hip to hip.

My surgery was a day procedure, which was surprising but ended up being fine. I didn’t really look at myself that first day, I was extremely tired! I had 2 drains and a binder around my belly. The binder will have to be worn at all times for the first 4 or so weeks, and then I can switch to a Spanx type support if I wanted for weeks 4-8. The 2 drains were removed at 2 days post op and 5 days post op respectively. The first few times that I saw my new body I didn’t even recognize myself. It felt like an out of body experience, to the point that it felt strange to even look at myself. Most of the skin on my belly is totally numb and my belly button is now shaped differently than it ever had been my entire life.

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Post Op Photo; Photo Credit: Pam

During the second week things improved though! I was starting to heal internally and externally a little bit. It was still going to be a long healing process, but my scar was not as gruesome/Frankenstein looking. And I was starting to be able to move a little bit normally. (I could finally sit to use the toilet without help! It’s the small things!)

“I look like ME. The old me. The not broken me. The strong me”

As I type this I am 16 days post op. I will return to work at 4 weeks post op (28 days). I will hopefully return to full normal activities by 8 weeks post op. I have to see how my healing goes with the surgeon. Right now I am healing well but a little slowly because of all the muscle work that I needed. And I am starting to love my body again. I’m wearing my binder all the time, except to shower. (It is under my dress in the picture.) My back, hip and pelvic pain are completely gone. And I look like ME. The old me. The not broken me. The strong me. The me with a normal shaped body. No more being broken and disfigured. No more looking pregnant. I am ME again. And I am so glad. So very very glad.

Pam has also shared two Youtube Videos that can help you to check yourself for a diastasis recti:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PvybTZiLqRE
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uzIrt82maws

If you need to seek help for diastasis recti or any other pregnancy or post partum issue, please seek the professional advice of a doctor, midwife, or other health professional.

Great Apps for Baby Development

Mummy Confession: When I was a new mum especially, I was always curious to keep up with what skills my baby was developing. I often felt the need to see their progress and keep track of their milestones.

Disclosure: This post is not sponsored by any of the following companies or apps and is purely my honest opinion. This post contains affiliate links.

Now, hear me out, not every baby develops the same skills at the same time. Just like every child isn’t the same height, weight, or build, development varies from baby to baby. But, I like the reassurance of seeing how my child was coming along with milestones, as any mum would. I also like seeing what sort of activities help in their age group as well.

There are three great Apps that help mum to keep up with skills and developmental milestones that coincide with the age of their baby, toddler, and child. Below, I have outlined a few that have come in handy for me as a mother.

Many baby websites offer newsletters as well to help keep track of baby’s development and various things to expect as they grow. Some of these are  listed here with my Pregnancy and Parenting Communities  post.

The Wonder Weeks

The Wonder Weeks app has some great information on development and fussy periods

Each baby has times where they seem to be more sleepless, fussy, and all around grouchy, and I have found a lot of the time, it is because they are going through developmental leaps. The Wonder Weeks app is based on a book written about this. It allows you to enter your baby’s due date and it predicts when these “leaps” occur. So much is happening in their little world that you can’t see, and this helps me to be aware of what my baby could possibly be working on, or trying to figure out. As stated in the app, though, every baby isn’t doing everything listed by those time frames, but it is a great guide as you look out for things they are achieving!

You can also set up an alert to let you know when baby is entering a fussy stage, so maybe you will be that one step ahead, being prepared.

Download Wonder Weeks here:
Australia
United States
United Kindgom

Kidfolio

So many places to keep track of various baby things!

Do you like writing down what your bubs is up to?  Keep track of medications, immunisations, feedings, diaper changes, sleep, teeth, and more. Digitally store tons of developmental and growth information as well as photos and videos. Keep track of one child or more, and a daily bit of information on their age group.

If you want to have is information saved for a hard copy scrapbook later, get this app. It is so helpful when you feel like there is no time to write anything down. Plus, there are great communities online to ask your parenting and baby questions (and Baby Bump, their sister app, has one as well).

Download Kidfolio here:

Australia
United States
United Kingdom

 

Kinedu

Kinedu is a great resource for developmental activities!

I just got this one, but I’m already impressed! This one offers an evaluation of baby’s skills and development and helps with some activities to develop their skills.

It has videos that show how to do certain activities with your baby to aid development, and has in-app purchases for further things. It also offers articles on baby’s development. You can opt in for various categories to receive information and activities for children through the age of two. There is so much I haven’t seen yet, so I will need to check it out more before I can write about it, but I was impressed already in the short time I’ve had it!

Download Kinedu here:
Australia
United States
United Kingdom

I hope these come in handy like they have with me!

What apps have you found to be useful as a parent, or helpful for baby’s first years or after?

The Gro Company: GroBag & GroEgg ~ A Review and Overview

Mummy Review: I’m a light sleeper. My babies tend to be ones who roll around endlessly during their sleep hours, making it fun for anyone to keep them sleeping. We had the chance to try the Grobag and GroEgg together, and I’m hoping we’ve turned a corner in a bit more settled and easy sleep, as well as keeping with safe sleeping guidelines.

*Disclosure: I was gifted the Gro Bag and Gro Egg in exchange for my honest review and opinion. This in no way effects what I have written or think about these products. They have also answered a few questions about their products that I had asked below.

As you may have read, we have co-slept in the past, but as the littlest is now all over the place, he can no longer safely be in my bed. I needed to find a way for my baby to sleep safely and soundly throughout the night. When I was given the chance to review the GroBag and GroEgg, I jumped at the opportunity, as I hoped it would bring more sleep for me and for baby!

Enter the Gro Egg and the Gro Bag.

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The GroEgg- A Thermometer & Night Light

GroEgg

The GroEgg is a nursery thermometer which changes colour to indicate temperature, and displays the temperature digitally as well. It comes with a guide as well on how to dress Baby according to the temperature an indicates ideal temperatures. This takes the guesswork out of wondering if baby is too hot or cold! It doubles as a nightlight!
The GroEgg is meant to be used alongside the GroBag, another Gro Company product, as the various togs of sleeping bags are tailored to various temperatures, and alongside to layers in accordance with temperature guidelines. There is a handy guide in the pamphlet as well as on their website for further help.

I found the temperature to be accurate, and have no complaints, as it did display properly as well as change colour according to the temperature. I found it great as a nightlight as well as the fact that I didn’t have to turn a light on in order to read the temperature (or even enter the room). I could just go by the colour displayed and adjust the temperature accordingly.

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As well as the pamphlet inside that talks about the GroEgg, the Egg itself has the colour coding (which are logical choices for colours if you think about it) so you can tell what the range in which the temperature lies, and whether you need to alter it.

The GroEgg is powered by plugging it into an outlet. This does mean cords, and you obviously need to ensure you safely put it out of children’s curious reach. The plug, however, is not attached permenantly, but is removeable from the back. I would love if they offered a cordless option, but from my own experience with rechargeable cordless products, they can’t usually go all night without having to be recharged again anyways.

The GroEgg also comes with cute covers as well, if you prefer the look over just the egg shape. This is definitely a bonus if you are looking for something a little more like an animal shape.

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2.5tog GroBag in a 6-18 months size

GroBag

Upon taking this out of the packaging, I can feel this is made of quality material. The tog thickness is 2.5, so not too thin, but not too thick. Great for the autumn season. It also comes with a thermometer for the 0-6 months and 6-18 months sizes, and information of how to dress your child according to the temperature. So, if you don’t happen to have a GroEgg, you do have this thermometer. Though, it’s far easier to read the GroEgg, especially in the dark.

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Guidelines for how to dress Baby for sleep on the back of the thermometer

The great this about this sleeping bag is that there is no need to use blankets or wonder if baby is warm enough. There is no frustration about your child kicking off the covers and being cold either.

In our experience with it, the sizing was quite generous, and the 6-18 month size fit my child who is in a size 1 as well as my child in a size 2 (but just barely). It helped a lot to regulate the temperature and baby slept a bit deeper because of it. When bub wasn’t teething, he slept very well through the night with minimal wake-ups which was refreshing for everyone! Even my other child loved how it kept her warm and cozy.

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Our house was around 19-20 degrees at 2.5tog GroBag we needed a long sleeve shirt/onesie along with the GroBag itself. This did exceptionally well, and my baby had some nice sleeps. We have liked the GroBag so far, and are hoping in time, it will be a good part of his nighttime routine to indicate that it is time for sleep.

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Adorable patterns available, like this one!

The Pattern– I absolutely love this adorable print, and I believe it is fairly unisex. The hot air balloons and animals is a clever print, and both me and my children were fans.

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The Zippers– The GroBag has two zippers. It zips from top to bottom, not bottom to top like most baby products I’m used to! This means no pokey zipper bits on baby’s face! It also makes it easy to change. The second zipper at the bottom allows for you to have minimal opening when strapping a belt through when baby is in the pram.

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Belt Hole in Back– A small slit which you can easily lace a pram belt through! Minimal opening, so less disturbing for a possibly sleeping bub! It velcros shut, so it’s not an issue when not in use as well.

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Buttons at the bottom– To keep the zippers covered from prying fingers, or just out of the way, there is a little piece of fabric and some buttons to cover them.

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Sleeveless Design– while I first thought, “why sleeveless when it’s more a transitional or winter suit?” It makes sense so that bub doesn’t overheat. You can layer their Grosuit or other clothing according to their guide on how to dress Baby. You can see the full answer to my question here.

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Sizing– The size ranges for the GroBag is 0-6 months, 6-18 months, and 18-36 months. While the sizing may sound a bit ridiculous, it works well. My tall baby fits the 6-18 month size, and so does my middle child (who is a tiny thing way over 18 months). The sizing is generous, which is great, and means you have it last longer! (They even have a 3-6 and 6-10 year GroBag, but it isn’t currently in stock at the moment!)

Mummy Confessions Scale for Sleeping Bags-

Easy to put on: 4/5 – With a baby who just wants to go, it does get a tad difficult, but just because you need to get the zipper together at the top.
Stays on: 5/5
Easy to change baby in: 5/5 – The two zippers make it super easy!
Easy to take off: 5/5 – So simple!
Appropriate thickness for seasons available: 5/5 – They offer options from .2tog to 3.5tog
Baby likes it? So-so. He’s not a fan of sleep.
Material: 5/5 – Great breathable material, not too heavy,  but warm!
Sizing: 5/5 – The three size ranges are great, offering choice for various sized children…especially cool that they have up to a size 10 once stock is back!

Overall Rating of Gro Bag: I definitely rate this 5/5 overall, as all of the options for this Sleeping Bag definitely mean there is one out that that should work for your baby (if they like sleeping bags)!
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Questions I asked The Gro Company:

Why does the GroBag have a sleeveless design?
We believe that Baby Sleep Bags should be sleeveless to aid heat loss and air circulation. (Babies sleeping under traditional blankets rarely sleep with their arms inside). The new British Standard also stipulates that Baby Sleep Bags should be “without sleeves or hoods”. In cooler weather, we recommend long-sleeve bodysuits, in addition to a long-sleeved pyjama top, pyjamas or a sleepsuit.

What else can I use with the GroBag and GroEgg?
You should use your Grobag instead of blankets and sheets. The only other bedding required is a bottom sheet. Grobags are designed to replace blankets and sheets. They come in three tog (warmth) ratings for your individual baby and the temperature of your baby’s sleeping place. Duvets, quilts and pillows should not be used for babies under 1 year old and never with a Baby Sleep Bag. The Lullaby Trust recommend that the safest place for your baby to sleep is in a cot or crib in your room for the first six months. Important: never use your Grobag Baby Sleep Bag with a duvet or quilt.

· Gro-Suit– The Gro-suit is intended for use with a Grobag in cold weather or in room temperatures of 18°C or under. They are most suited to be used with a 2.5 tog or 3.5 tog Grobag.
If your room is under 16°C and you’re using a 2.5 tog Grobag you should add a vest underneath your Gro-suit. However, if you’re using a 3.5 tog Grobag you only need to use the Gro-suit underneath.
If your room is under 14°C you should ideally look to increase the temperature of the room, or use a 3.5 tog Grobag, with Gro-suit and vest.
· Gro Friends (Please remove from a sleeping baby. Soft toys should not be left in a babies cot)
· Gro Egg Shell
· Gro Muslins
· Gro Light
· Gro Anywhere Blind

Which tog do you recommend for which seasons (or where can I find that information)?
We recommend choosing the tog per temperature of the Nursery which is how our Grobags work hand in hand with our Groegg Nursery thermometer product.

We then have our What to Wear Guide available on our website for further assistance on how to dress your little one during sleep.

You can find further information about the Gro Company and their range of products at http://au.gro-store.com

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Sippy Cups…the Many Varieties

Mummy Confession: When I was a first time mum, I bought a lot of sippy cups. A lot.
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I know the choice can be overwhelming, and what on earth do you choose for your baby? Is one better than the other? Which is the BEST cup?

*Please note that unless directed otherwise by your doctor or peadeatrician, it is not recommended to give a baby water until at least six months old. Giving too much water to your baby, or giving it too early can cause water intoxication. Please consult your doctor for any other information.*

This post contains affiliate links, but has not been sponsored, endorsed, or otherwise compensated for any opinion or suggestions stated. Everything written is of my own accord. See my disclosure policy for further details.

I’ve found in my days of motherhood, that every baby is different and has different preferences for everything, including cups. Not every brand is the same, and not every cup is spill proof or easy to clean. In my opinion, the best cup is the one your child uses easier, comes apart for cleaning easily, and doesn’t spill for the early days of learning. To help you figure out which cup may be best for you, I have compiled a list of the four main types of sippies made for babies and toddlers.

In general, there are four different kinds of cups specifically made for babies and toddlers. This isn’t including the normal open cups, but rather ones with tops that in some way lessen or prevent the spilling of the contents inside. Before you get any of these, be sure to scrub them regularly by taking them apart as shown in their respective instructions. It helps to buy a brush kit to get all of the tiniest crevices. If it helps to know, some bottle companies also have their bottles which fit their sippy tops, but you would have to check those out individually. I recommend checking out Amazon for reviews of any cup before purchasing, just to see how it rates on all factors.

Image Credit: Amazon.com

1. Soft Spout Cups- These cups resemble a bottle and the flexible material used for those. But, rather than a nipple-like top, have a spout. These are easy for some babies as I’m sure the similarity to a bottle would make the transition easier. This one by Nuby was loved by my babies as they transitioned, though they preferred the bottle-like top. (These ones seem to rage at 6 months or so and up)

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Image Credit: Amazon.com

2. Harder Spout Cups – My kids preferred these for some reason, and just couldn’t get on with the softer spouts. Tommee Tippee has a few harder spout types for babies and onward, and many other companies make harder spout ones for toddlers. This particular bub has his very own Penguin sippy from the Avent line. The harder spouts usually have a little silicone or other material that probably feels nicer on bubs gums when they chew it. (These ones seem to rate around 6 months and up)

3. Straw Cups– the variety of these are endless it seems. From the Take-n-Toss straw cups to Camelbak water bottles with straws, you will not be lacking in choice! My preference is always one that is easy to clean in all the crevices, and is as spill proof as possible. We owned one straw water bottle that leant itself to easy pouring, and I often found myself cleaning up puddles and emptying tea cups of water. Straw Cups tend to be recommended for slightly older babies, as getting the hang of sucking until the water comes up can take a little time. I recommend starting with one that has a shorter straw for this reason. (These generally state around 8-9 months and up)

Image Credit: Amazon.com

4. Trainer Cups– now these particular cups are super innovative! There are a few options for these Cups, but they all lend themselves to teaching children how to drink out of a real cup (supposedly) without the spills. I say supposedly, because my smart toddler figured out that one particular cup was just easily pushed with her finger, tipped, and the water came freely. This cup is now only given in monitored circumstances. Munchkin has one of these types in both handle and non-handle versions, which are two different sizes. (These generally rate at around 12 months and up)

A Mix of several types
Some companies go above and beyond when it comes to supplying options for sippy cups. A few of the options include interchangeable tops or spouts. The Pura Kiki has straw, bottle or spout tops. Avent and Tommee Tippee have some of their range which is interchangeable with their respective bottles.

Some honourable mentions that don’t quite classify as “cups” but are great innovations in the helpful nature of the sippy cup are:

Spout Water Bottle Adaptor this smart little invention makes any water bottle a sippy! Just put the top on, and have a less-messy drink for your toddler while out!

Boon Snug Lid this top makes any cup transition to a spout cup or straw cup! How handy! They even have tops for snack bowls!

Honestly, you don’t NEED any of these Cups, but I’m grateful for the people who have created them, because they are a necessity in my household. The cleanup is much easier, transporting them in my bag or in the car makes for a much more pleasant ride, and my kids love the designs and the independence they have from being able to drink and carry them all by themselves. If you are skipping the sippies and straws, opt for a less breakable material such as plastic, melamine, or otherwise. But, if you decide to get a cup for your baby or toddler- Happy Sipping!

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