“ Brand: Bell / Type: Training Cups „
Like most parents, I spent quite a lot of time and money looking for the perfect sippy cup for my toddler. Anyway UP cups were too large in diameter for a six month old and the lids so rigid I was never sure if I had managed to seal it or not. If I did, the poor child got VERY frustrated trying to suck the liquid out. This style of cup was also too deep in my opinion, holding a lot more liquid than a very young child could drink in one go, meaning some was left to backwash into the cup and breed bacteria. Other cups we tried had similar failings
too small, too large, too fiddly, pointy spouts tat hurt the gums, you name it. I sat back one day and reflected on just what I DID want and need from a sippy cup.
It needed to be comfortable for a six month old to hold easily, be durable, seal easily, have a soft spout that could not be bit off in the first use, and preferably be of some use AFTER it was time to remove the lid. I dont give my little ones black currant squashes or high juices until they are past the throwing the cup game stage as even the most liquid tight cup has been known to have the lid pop off with the forceful throw of a small child. I pondered awhile and suddenly remembered something from my childhood, Tupperware bell tumblers. They were compatible with, and often sold with, sipper seals to turn them from a normal 7 oz tumbler to a lidded cup for young ones. I had a look, and they were still going strong, so I ordered a set of four with the seals. Tupperware had not yet relaunched here in the UK, so this was an EBay purchase from my American Tupperware specialist. I paid the equivalent of £12 including postage for 4 cups and lids. I felt this was a bargain as a childs sippy cup here in the UK averages about £4 each. Now that they have relaunched, you can go to the tupperware website, click on the Find a Tupperware Consultant link at the bottom left hand corner (slightly to the side), choose International, and request a catalogue from your local rep, if you do not already know who that is. New Tupperware is also finding its way onto Ebay's UK site now, so that is another way to go.
They duly arrived, and I opened the package to find four coloured tumblers, one each of yellow, green, blue, and a melony orange. The colours are muted rather than screamingly bright, and very pleasant and the plastic tumblers had a faint texture to aid in grip. The sipper seals themselves were a simple affair, and just as I remembered them from the 70s. A simple plastic domed lid with a moulded spout, it was of a pliable plastic that was firm but not hard. They are made to simply fit over the bell shaped lip of the tumblers, and one presses the domed area behind the spout a few times to create a gentle vacuum seal. Sound familiar? Unlike the much touted and much newer retail store cups of a similar nature, the softer lid makes it super easy to ensure a good seal, and the spout is softer and thinner, making it more friendly to younger, more delicate mouths. The vacuum created is also not quite so absolute, meaning the child will get a sip out each time they try without having to suck hard, making this a more natural transition to sipping from an unlidded cup. Occasionally one will get the odd drip from the cup, but this is where common sense comes into play. Children should not be walking about drinking anyway, and should sit in a safe place while eating or drinking, so if this is done, small drip are not a concern. Why is this, you might ask? Small children concentrate hard on one task at a time. When walking, they tend to clench the teeth about the cup, adding to tooth decay as they wander about not drinking, but with sugars and acids building up about where the teat or spout are. Also, they are more likely to fall over if they are concentrating on their drink at the same time, rather than where they are going! These precautions also help to prevent choking.
Okay, so we have settled about how it is a wonderful beginner cup for children 6 months and up. What about that second disastrous stage of learning to use the cup the lid off stage? This is where Tupperwares cups are unique from the usual lidded cup. For well over 40 years, the bell shape to the lip of the tumblers has meant that the gently outward sloping lip of the cups made a natural seal against the bottom lip of the drinker. This means that once you take the lid off, your child has a ready seal against their bottom lip from liquid dribbling from rim and down their front. A normal cup is straight and smooth, and a child must learn force the lips into a seal against it while at the same time learning to take a sip without a spout measuring the dose. This can be quite tricky, but the bell shaped edge makes it that much easier. It allows that much more ease in use that the child is able to master the portion to swallow more easily and without quite so much dribbling and spluttering once the lid is off. So effective this has been, that Tupperware 30 years ago introduced the shape to a larger size tumbler for adults, to minimize spills and dribbles during picnics, barbecues, and parties, all events where more attention is on the social aspect of the gathering than it is to the food and drink we are stuffing ourselves with!
Storing these is also a breeze. The four tumblers stack easily inside themselves to fit on a standard cupboard shelf, and the seals fit easily inside a drawer. Washing is also a snap. The cups are dishwasher safe, and I have also washed the lids in my dishwasher at the more plastic friendly 50 degrees without any problems. Durability is also what one comes to expect from Tupperware, and I got it. After my daughter used these from aged 7 months, my son then began to also use them, and today, at 6 and 4 years respectively not only are they still using the tumblers, but I have four as new looking tumblers, and four VERY serviceable but ever so slightly chewed sipper seals while other brands look VERY tatty depsite them having much less use. My Tupperware ones alone will be pressed into service again as the new arrival makes it way here and becomes old enough to use a cup. Also not to worry if a lid becomes misplaced; Tupperware sell the seals separately so replacements are a snap to buy and dont cost an arm and a leg.
My overall verdict is that is the closest to perfection a sippy cup can get. At 7 oz, it holds close to what a childs full bottle would, so not too much if full, and if less is wanted, not too empty to get a good seal. It also makes a good size for holding a normal amount of drink at the table during meals once past the toddler stage. The lid is easy to put on, the seal easy to apply, and the spout rigid enough to do its job, but pliable enough be kind to the mouth in case of bops or pokes, or even for use during the teething crisises that occur. The seal is a gentle one, so any child, even one with chronic tongue tie like my son had, to get a decent sized sip of liquid without a struggle, but not so lax as to pour into the mouth causing a nasty surprise to an unsuspecting little one. The price is highly competitive for this type of product. The durability is unmatched with the cups not scratching as badly, the seals not getting that scabby look, and the lip making this a great transition cup from lidded to unlidded. I give this a full five stars due to all these points. This is exactly the sort of quality and perfect fit for its purpose that now has me looking to Tupperware first for our kitchen and tableware needs. Forget the rest, come to the best. Parents have trusted them for over 40 years, and so do I implicitly.
Product features: 4 200 mL Bell Tumblers; tapered designs are easier for smaller hands to hold; stackable for easy storage; use with the Sipper Seal Set (sold separately) to help toddlers learn to drink from a tumbler; virtually liquid-tight seals elimina