This blog is going to be part life update, and part product review. I want to say up front, I’m doing the product review on my own volition. Just a real parent who had a real struggle (that is apparently common, I just didn’t know about it), who found a product that saved her butt.
As for the life update portion, recently, Lily decided that she was no longer going to take a bottle. I left her with my in-laws one evening to go to the next town over. She’s always preferred the Dr. Brown’s bottles, so that’s what I pulled out for her. While I was eating dinner, I got a text from my MIL that said that Lily not only wasn’t taking her bottle, she was flat-out refusing it. Gagging on the nipple, fussy, and just all around not having it. I ended up coming back to nurse her because I knew she was hungry, but she wouldn’t take ANY of the bottles I had. Not Dr. Brown’s, not Nuk, not any of the cheapo off-brand ones I had. Needless to say, I was sort of freaking out. I need this child to be able to take a bottle. Josh and I just got season tickets to the theatre (woohoo tax refund, WOOHOO HAMILTON), and I was freaking out because if she won’t take a bottle we can’t leave her for several hours to go see a show! And of course, there are other instances where I would like to leave for more than a couple of hours, because, you know, freedom.
The next morning I went into fix-it mode. This baby IS going to to take a bottle, if it kills me. I decided that I would wake up a little bit early in the mornings and pump her first feeding, and give it to her in a bottle. That was a good idea anyway, because my freezer stash was dwindling a little bit. So, I pumped, and away we went. It was like WW3. You would have thought I’d offered her poison. She kept looking at my like I’d betrayed her by giving her a bottle. I tried Dr. Brown. I tried Nuk. I tried every brand I had stored away. NOTHING. Then, I decided to try a sippy cup. I had one that was given to us at a shower. Just one cup, my last hope.
It went…better. She still didn’t love it, but after about an hour she took 4 oz out of the sippy cup. Okay, a beacon of light. We’ll scrap the bottle idea, and dive into the realm of sippy cups. I was a little flabbergasted that my 5.5 month old was ready for a sippy cup, but okay.
Now for the product review portion of this blog. I’ve tried three different cups, with varying levels of success. The three I’ve tried are (in order of what’s pictured): Munchkin Latch Transition Cup, Munchkin Mighty Grip Sippy Cup, and Munchkin Mighty Grip Straw Cup.
I’ll do the review in order of least successful to most successful. First up, Munchkin Mighty Grip Straw Cup.
I bought this cup in a moment of desperation. I won’t say that it’s a bad cup, because it’s definitely not. I think it’s more that Lily just isn’t quite old enough to grasp the concept of a straw, and that’s what lowered the success for us. She never actually sucked on the straw to get milk out of it, she mostly just chewed on the straw, which, admittedly, she did like.
Pros for this cup (that I know about so far): easy to hold, the top of the straw is silicone so it’s bendy and won’t break, cup holds a lot (no ounce markings, but I’d guess around 8-10 oz or so).
Cons: Lily is too young to figure it out, and there are lots of pieces to clean. The straw comes apart, but all I could do to clean it was run water through it, so there’s some potential for mold growth. I never could get all the water out of the top of the straw.
Next one up: Munchkin Mighty Grip Sippy Cup
Lily tolerated this cup. She didn’t love it, but she grudgingly would drink out of it if she was hungry enough. I usually put about four ounces of milk in it, and it takes about an hour to get her to take all of it. She sucks for a few minutes, then gets frustrated and we do something else, then back to the cup, and so on, until she drinks all of it. It’s somewhat of a frustrating process, but I was willing to resign myself to it if it meant she would drink from something other than my boob.
Pros: easy to hold (it’s the same body as the straw cup. In fact, the tops are interchangeable between the two cups), the spout is soft plastic rather than hard, so it somewhat moves with her, large volume.
Cons: It’s hard for me to say why Lily didn’t love this cup. Maybe it has a weird mouth-feel for her. Maybe she has to work too hard to get the milk out. Maybe the spout wasn’t soft enough. I don’t know. For us it’ll be a good back-up cup, because she will take it, she’ll just put up a fight.
And now, to the winner, the Munchkin Latch Transition Cup.
I love this cup so much I could cry. And further, Lily loves it. She doesn’t just tolerate it, she loves it. If your baby starts rejecting a bottle, this will be the first cup that I recommend to you. I don’t want to tout it as this miracle product, but for us, it’s kind of a miracle product.
Pros: oh, there are so many pros. Like the other sippies, this cup has a soft spout, but unlike the other ones, it’s made of the same kind of a silicone as a bottle nipple. I was feeling the difference between the two with my fingers, and the Latch cup is way softer. It feels more like a bottle, but with a sippy cup shape. This cup also has ounce markings, which I LOVE. With the other two cups I was using my Weight Watchers scale to see how much milk was in them. Kind of annoying. This one has handles, which Lily really digs. She can essentially hold this cup herself (I have to help her a little, but not much), and as a bonus, the handles come off, so the cup grows with her. Last pro: that little blue valve in the bottom of the cup. It’s advertised as an anti-colic valve, and I don’t know about that, but it does really help the air-flow in the cup. All in all, I really love everything about this cup. With the Mighty Grip cup, it would take Lily about an hour to drink 4 oz. This morning, I put 5 oz in the Latch cup, and it was gone in 15 minutes. Fifteen minutes, y’all. In fact, after she drank all the milk, she still wanted to play with the cup. She didn’t want me to take it away from her! Oh man, just so awesome.
Cons: there aren’t many. I don’t like that the oz markings only go to four, but that’s a forgivable offense. There’s also a lot of parts, but again, for how much I love this cup, I don’t mind washing a few extra parts.
So, there you go. Moral of the story, for me anyway, don’t wait a long time between giving bottles to your exclusively breastfed kid. Since she always took bottles like a champ, I didn’t really worry about it. The worry is always that your baby will begin to prefer the bottle over the breast, but the opposite can happen too! To avoid this happening again, I’m giving Lily a sippy every morning just to get her used to it. But, I would definitely say it’s better not to get to that point! Even if you’re a stay at home mom like me, just pump semi-regularly and give your baby a bottle often, so that you can be sure she’ll continue to take it. But, if you do find yourself in a bottle-rejection situation, there is hope!
**I said it at the top and I’ll say it again, I was not approached by Munchkin to do a product review, I’m not getting paid to do this review, and I’m not getting free stuff to do this review. I just like to keep it real on my blog and I was to dish out helpful information. However, if Munchkin wants to send us some Latch cups I would NOT say no!**