I think the true sign that baby G is turning into toddler G is her use of tableware at meal times. I introduced her to eating off a fork many months ago and she picked it up right away. As long as I put the food on the fork or spoon, she'll pick it up and direct it into her mouth. She still prefers to feed herself with her fingers, though; so I decided she needed to at least learn to eat off a plate or out of a bowl. I reached out to the company I trust to provide great toddler tableware items--Tommee Tippee. To celebrate G's birthday, Tommee Tippee allowed me to review many of the products suitable for one-year-olds. Everything we reviewed is up for grabs in the Babies First Birthday Blog Party giveaway event that starts today!
Why Tommee Tippee is great for one-year-olds
Tommee Tippee products were created in the UK over 50 years ago and recently made their way into North American homes. The company is has a full line of baby products under the Closer to Nature line, with bottles, pacifier, breast pumps, monitors and more. Also, check out Tommee Tippee's online web application, The Day Baby Was Born, that allows you to save your pregnancy and birth story memories into a printable story book. Tommee Tippee doesn't stop with infants, though; the Explora products are for the weaning stages and well into toddlerhood. G loves their bright colors and I love the practical options for our meal times.
Explora Feeding Spoons ($4.99 for 8)
The spoons are BPA free plastic & are dishwasher/microwave safe. They feature easy grip handles and have an awesome deep scoop so that the food stays on the spoon. In each pack of 8 there are two each of orange, pink, blue, and green colors that coordinate with the other Explora products.
Baby G's Verdict. These spoons are very high quality that have held up extremely well through daily use & wash. G can't quite use them by herself yet, but we are still working on it. Aside from trying to teach her to self-feed with them, I use them to feed her yogurt. G doesn't seem to have any complaints about them, and neither do I. She especially love the bright & bold colors. Tommee Tippee Feeding Spoons are great for feeding older babies; but are perfect for toddlers who feed themselves because they hold a lot of food for growing appetites.
Explora Easi-Mat ($6.99)
The Easi-Mat is a BPA-free, non-slip, grippy mat that works with the Explora plates & bowls. It suctions to the tableware for less mess at meal times. The mat rolls up for easy storage & travel (great for restaurants). We've used the mat on baby G's high chair tray, a table, and also our coffee table. It's stuck to all surfaces. After you get the mat stuck on whatever surface you desire, push the plate/bowl onto the center suction pad. Once the meal is over, gently pull the tab to loosen the suction & voila, the tableware can be easily removed.
Baby G's Verdict. G doesn't really notice the mat until she's done eating (re: getting bored in her high chair)--then she starts to play with it. She's really intrigued by the feel of it & the fact that it "sticks" to her tray. She also likes to mess with the pull tab. It generally works pretty well to hold her bowl or plate down--although she has been able to get them loose a few times. In my opinion, I never expected the mat to work as well as it has. I didn't expect it to be perfect at holding tableware down, so the fact that her plate or bowl has come loose less than 5 times in the past month makes me still recommend the mat to other parents. Because it is so easy to wash & use, I can't imagine needing another one, so the $7 price point seems really reasonable to me.
Explora Weaning Bowls ($4.99 for 4)
Microwave, dishwasher, freeze safe, BFA-free plastic. The bowls hold 11 ounces and feature an ergonomic shaped handle. The four bowls also stack together for easy storing. Tommee Tippee Explora Weaning Bowls work great on their own, but make meal times less hassle when paired with the Easi-Mat above. They are also good for serving your younger baby early purees or cereals.
|G's favorite snack: oranges|
Baby G's Verdict. G loves these bright bowls! She still thinks it is fun to peek in to see what surprise is inside. :-) So far she uses her hands to eat out of them--like grabbing cheerios or pieces of fruit. I hope that some day soon she will use a spoon to eat out of them. The stay stuck to the Easi-Mat better than the plates--I can't recall them ever coming loose. I like that they come in a 4 pack because I can use one at every meal and still have one left while the others run through the dishwasher.
Explora Section Plates ($5.99 for 2)
Baby G's Verdict. I love using plates with G because it is great practice for being a big girl. Sure, I suppose she could still eat straight off her tray, but the habit has to be broken eventually. I figured 11 months was the best time, and she's taken to them very well. She enjoys pulling food out to eat--often she'll put food that has fallen out, back into the plate before taking it out to eat. I'm so proud of her! I don't like that she's able to get them off of the mat, as I mentioned above, but she's not really tried to throw them or anything. I love looking down at her plate to see all of the colorful food options we are feeding her. :-)
Explora li'l Sippee Spill-Proof Flip Top Straw Cups ($7.99 for 2)
Microwave & dishwasher safe, BFA-free plastic & silicone. The screw-on lids are interchangeable with other Tommee Tippee li'l Sippee cups & Closer to Nature bottles. The cups are truly spill proof and don't leak. The straw is soft & works without biting; supports oral development. Once they are taken apart, they are really easy to clean...but they aren't the easiest cup to get apart. Once you've done it while looking at the instructions a few time, it becomes second nature. The process is necessary for the flip-top lid and spill-proof features to work.
Baby G's Verdict. We've used the cup for over a month now, with no leaks or spills, so I'll put up with the slightly annoying process for disassembly (putting them together is easier). One of the proudest mom moments I've had lately is when G finally learned to drink through the straw. She still doesn't do it instinctively yet (it seems like she still has to re-learn each time), but I almost cried the first time she sat there and drank from the straw. She seemed really excited too. I love that the cups feature a flip-top lid for travel & storage. I'm excited to use these cups for years to come, until G drinks from a non-lidded cup.
You can purchase Tommee Tippee products from Babies R Us, Toys R Us and also now at Target! Be sure to follow them on Twitter and like them on Facebook--you'll also get bonus entries in the giveaway for doing so.
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I received the above products to facilitate this review. Prize will be sent from Tommee Tippee. All opinions are my own, yours may differ. Not affiliated with, sponsored by, or endorsed by Facebook. Entries involving Facebook are not mandatory, and Facebook has no liability for this giveaway. Ends 3/8/12 at 12:01 AM Eastern. Open to US and Canada.