Long before I became a mom I had an episode with a large ovarian cyst that had to be surgically removed. It was in 2002. I had already been married three years (I was 23 when I said “I do”). And around then, I started thinking about wanting to have a baby – some day.
Infertility treatments were in the news a lot then, grabbing my attention. I was already a vegetarian because I didn’t trust what farmers were feeding the animals. Next I started questioning what kinds of mystery chemicals were going into our bodies without us knowing it, thus causing these strange things to happen in our bodies that were designed to make babies and naturally populate the world.
That was when I started learning about estrogen disrupters and the dangers of BPA. I stopped putting plastics in the microwave and started avoiding them all together. Around 2009 medical studies started being released on the dangers of BPA, taking the news mainstream. The sassy side of me was thinking, “I told you so.”
In 2004 my first child was born. We bought a few plastic baby bottles because that was what you did then. Seeing that’s what lined the isles at Babies ‘R Us – where every pregnant woman goes to gawk over all the hundreds of silly things you think you need when having a baby until you find out they are mostly all useless items. Right?
We never used those bottles. Because she refused with all her might to take a bottle, and never did. I even tried some silly thing that was silicon and shaped like a breast! Seven-and-a-half-years later, none of my babies have ever drank from a bottle. They went straight from nursing to drinking water from a sippy cup, a straw or eventually by my second child – a shot glass.
Now there are so many great options out there for avoiding plastic cups with children, from buying glass bottles (which are now available at Babies’R Us) to stainless steel options you can find in camping supply stores. It’s pretty simple to pass up those cute Dora cups these days.
Now I’m going to give you a little run down of what we have used and liked through the years, to the coolest glass cups I recently bought online researching for this post.
Klean Kateen’s are prettying much a given now, and a trusted brand we have used and owned for five years. Recently I added the Steel Pints to our collection. They are great for picnics, grabbing for the car on the way out the door, and on our porch or backyard where there are concrete surfaces and I worry about glass breaking around bare little toes. They are too big for my toddler, but work great for the rest of us.
Also in this realm are Sigg cups. About three years ago they came out saying the interior lining of the cups contained BPA. They had a voluntary recall and replaced old Sigg cups for free through a mail-in system, which was very nice of them to do. We had all ours replaced then. But the interior lining is now pealing away from the cups at the top. So if you are investing in a stainless steel cup I’d skip the cute designs and buy a Klean Kateen. They even have baby bottles now. Replacement lids are versatile and easy to order. My newly ordered BPA free tops still fit my five-year-old Klean Kateen’s.
Small juice glasses work great for little hands and can be found in all types of discount home stores and kitchen places when you look for them. Plain shot glasses are a perfect size for six month old hands sitting at the dinner table for the first time. Granted, you have to watch closely and teach that throwing them is not appropriate. Thankfully we have all wooden floors in our house and have broken very few glasses though the years. Usually they just bounce when dropped!
This set of 3.25 oz Duralex Picardie Clear Tumblers (also available at William-Sonoma) is what we used for our third baby and I LOVED them. They fit perfectly in her little hands. She still uses them today for things like small amounts of orange juice.
Recently I wanted to seek out something bigger for her, with a top. After finding the Cuppow that turns a wide-mouth mason jar into a travel mug for adults, I wanted something similar for children.
Browsing on Abe’s Market one night I couldn’t believe it when I found one! It’s called EIO Kids Cup and it’s covered in a silicone sleeve to prevent breakage. It uses an 8 oz. mason jar and you can buy them with the jars, sleeves and tops. Or individually as sleeves and tops. After a little trial by error for my toddler to learn to line up the hole on the top with her lips, she loves this cup! She requests it every time she gets a drink. Hands down it’s my new favorite thing. And when my other two girls saw it, they asked for one too! I had never seen this cup before and wondered why someone hadn’t invented one. Then, I literally stumbled upon it.
After that unique find I went fishing for more, and found the Be Kind Sillsipper Picardie Glass at The Glass Baby Bottle. The glasses are 7.4 oz and too wide for my toddler to get her hands around. But my older two girls enjoy them a lot. They use the lids at bedtime and place the cups by their beds. It’s a neat concept. But for toddlers, the top also comes off easily. So unless they really want the top on, the top would become useless. The Glass Baby Bottle has interesting options for stainless steel baby bottles by OrganicKidz and Pura. The colorful stainless steel 10 oz. cups by Ecococoon look like great fun too.
For on the go, my favorite glass bottle for both me and the girls are by Lifefactory, which we bought locally at Earthfare. The 9 oz size holds too much for my toddler so I bought her a 4 oz baby bottle size instead. Online you can get sippy lids, which just saves me from having to open the top for her. And makes it more usable in the car. We took out the rubber piece inside the sippy lid, that makes it spill proof and hard to suck out of. It works great for my two-and-a-half-year-old.
I got sucked into the beauty and sleekness of the BKR glass bottles for myself. It’s okay. I like the color and the top is the same size as a regular plastic water bottle which is nice. But moisture gets trapped between the silicon sleeve and the glass bottle when I put it in the dishwasher. So it’s not my favorite – a little too high maintenance for me.
As much as I’ve tried, I don’t like drinking out of stainless steel. It changes the taste for me and feels too much like camping. Most often on the way out the door I grab a regular glass from my cabinet, that I know fits in my car cup holder, and simply leave home with it filled with fresh water.
Other things I thought of as I was grabbing glasses out of our cabinets to take the photo up top, was to just be mindful of what is around you. My girls love the sake set that we found at a yard sale to pour and serve each other tiny amounts of water. And if you are going to buy your child a tea set, buy them something like this one, that they can actually use. Don’t be afraid to give your child something breakable. Things break! Give them the tools to help clean up the mess and let it go.
Life is too short to worry about a little spilled milk. And life is too short to drink out plastic cups with leaching chemicals.