* Prices may differ from that shown
When my son turned six months and we were weaning him onto solids we decided that it was a good time to try and introduce him to drinking from a cup. We had been combination feeding him for a few weeks - breast and bottle - so he was now used to drinking from a bottle. I wanted him to drink water from something other than a bottle so that there was no confusion between milk and water. When looking in Mothercare for a beaker, I came across this weaning bottle from Tommee Tippee and it seemed a good next step in the transition from bottle to cup.
The weaning bottles are suitable for use from 4 months. They retail at around £4 and are available in peach, pink and blue. The bottles are made from a transparent plastic and have a scale on the side for fluid ounces, so can be used for formula as well as water/juice. The top of the bottle is designed to be a cross between the teat on a bottle and a beaker. This is made of a softened (but very solid) plastic and is quite thick. The lid screws on to the top of the bottle so hold well. Underneath the teat, there are two plastic parts that need to be correctly in place to ensure that it is non-drip. These parts need to be cleaned every time the bottle has been used and I found these quite fiddly to remove and replace these. Unfortunately, if they are not replaced correctly, the non-drip mechanism doesn't work and the bottle can be leaky.
My son had been drinking formula from the Tommee Tippee Closer to Nature Bottles so I thought that, by sticking with Tommee Tippee, this would be a simple transition to make. However, it did not prove to be the case for us. My son did not take to the new style teat at all well and became frustrated that his sucking did not seem to lead to a steady flow as it would a bottle. Despite buying these to drink water from, we also tried with milk to check that it wasn't the water bothering him rather than the bottle itself. He became equally frustrated with the milk in there.
The non-drip feature - when the bottle is correctly made up - is a great feature to have and it does work well. This allows you to let baby hold the bottle themselves - although the lack of handles on these makes this difficult. The bottles have good capacity though and are probably best used with milk for this reason - there are handled cups available in this range to try with other liquids if you find the teat to be a success with your baby.
Overall, these are a nice idea but they didn't work for us. I found them difficult to clean and inconvenient to reassemble and my son just didn't get on with the teat. Eventually we moved to a free-flowing cup and had more success with this, but I would have liked the no leak mechanism as this proved quite messy....!