Is there anything more exciting than weaning your child onto solid food?? Ok, there’s loads more exciting stuff but it’s still high on the list of parenting milestones in my opinion. When your child starts feeding themselves, what you’re really witnessing is their very first step away from needing you as much. I actually feel a bit sad now that I type this because it’s so true. Their foray into the land of independence begins with that first handful or spoonful of food that successfully goes from plate to mouth.
Weaning isn’t easy. Watching food fall left, right and centre with possibly one fistful of carrots actually making it into that ravenous mouth is painful to watch. You will be tempted to grab the spoon away and feed that messy dumpling. Even if you don’t do it the first few times you will learn soon enough that babies get tired and will stop eating way before they have had enough to eat. This is purely because they have expended a lot of effort or they are now bored. Cue the ‘I’m starving’ cry 5 minutes after you’re done cleaning up, followed by the “I’m too tired to eat” cry as soon as you warm up some food. Hey, no-one said parenting was easy!
Here’s a little tip to make sure your baby is eating enough while still learning the life saving skill of feeding themselves: You can either feed them something soft and squishy before hand then give them a bowl of finger food once they are about 80% full OR you can shovel some food in while they’re distracted by the broccoli in their hands. Win win!
As with any great adventure, you need to be equipped with the proper tools. This means brightly coloured bowls, spoons, forks, cups etc. Kids love colour. It keeps them entertained, distracted and thinking. You may think you are the parent whose child will use monochrome cutlery and crockery in shades of tan but show them one bright pink plate and that dream will be shattered. Don’t fight it. Buy all the colours.
Last week, Chicco sent me a few things from the Mix and Match Weaning Range to try out on my two year old. She is not exactly a baby anymore but the weaning process is still in full force. We received 3 bottles and a very interesting plate to review.
A bit of bottle history
Finding the perfect sippy cup is the parenting equivalent of searching for the Holy Grail. With my first daughter I ended up with 13 different sippy cups. THIRTEEN brand new bottles. This was in part to my novice parenting skills but also because leaky bottles are a thing even if the label claims otherwise. Not only that but the whole free flow system of a sippy cup was quite overwhelming. There was a lot of coughing and sputtering followed by a decisive refusal of said evil bottle. This prompted another trip to Baby City to try another bottle. I did find a way around this though (because having your kid drink water from a formula bottle just isn’t cool) when I finally tried out a straw cup. She took to it immediately and never looked back. With my second born I didn’t even attempt a normal sippy cup. She went straight onto straw cups and life was good.
The bottle review
When the bottles arrived, I was certain that my 2 year old would go straight for the orange straw cup. It is what she is familiar with and she loves orange. Yet again I was reminded that kids are full of surprises. Not only did she insist on the purple bottle but my five year old then decided that she was going to take the pink one! I told you, kids love colour! Anyway, the Active Cup (pink and purple) is one of those zero spill cups where the water only comes out if your child sucks on the rim of the bottle. What is this magic you ask? Well, there’s a valve inside the bottle that controls water flow and the suction releases the valve to allow water through. Genius!
The Active Bottle does not leak! Believe me, we put this bottle through its paces. Tossing it around, shaking it, leaving it on it’s side…not a drip. Now my kids sleep with the bottle in their bed at night and I don’t have to wake up a million times (very slight exaggeration) to give them a sip of water.
- It does not leak.
- The concept (of sucking to get the water out) was really easy for the girls to grasp.
- The pattern and colours are gorgeous. You need to see the blue ones!
- I noticed that my 2yr old now drinks from a cup without spilling (I normally have to change her clothes after each meal) so the lesson has clearly been carried across from bottle to cup.
- The lid is detachable. It disappeared on the first day and was never seen again.
- It doesn’t hold much water as the inner container is quite narrow. My girls drink a lot and often and I find myself filling the bottles more regularly.
- The bottle is top heavy and fell out of my backpack a few times when bending over to strap the girls into their car seats.
Overall its fantastic. Easy to wash and clean. I think it would be perfect for a younger child. The bottle does advertise that it is bite resistant…I guess they mean that you can’t bite the rim off coz ours has acquired some teeth marks. The little marks are of zero concern though after me having to replace a number of straw bottles that were bitten clean through.
The plate review
I had never heard of a Warmy plate before and I’m pretty sure this didn’t exist when I had my first child or I would have definitely bought it! The concept is simple, you add hot water into a little compartment on the side of the bowl. The water settles at the bottom and keeps baby’s food warm. Let’s face it, most kids are sloooooooow eaters, especially when they are first learning to feed themselves. If you watched my Instagram Stories last week you would have had a good laugh at my expense. I could not for the life of me get the cap to open. Two broken nails and one butter knife later, I finally managed to pop the cap open. Now I want to kick myself because it is actually really easy to open and I could have saved two nails. All you have to do is twist the cap!
- It really does keep the food warm for much longer.
- The bowl is non slip so its unlikely to slide across the table.
- There is a little indent to rest cutlery on which is simple but so useful.
- I don’t like that I can’t wash the inside of the bowl. The insert says that you can wash the inside with water and vinegar to keep it clean but I still prefer to see everything that gets touched by food/liquid.
- The cap loosens the more often you use it and could become easy for small fingers to twist open.
Overall I love the concept but it’s not for me. I would rather use a simple bowl and serve less food at a time so that it stays warm that way. That being said, if you usually sit with your child as they eat and don’t mind being diligent with the washing up, then this plate is perfect for all the slow eating kiddos.
Disclaimer: I received these products from Chicco in exchange for my honest review so while this is a Sponsored Post, the review is my own unbiased opinion.