Category Archives: Must Have Baby Gear

Must Have Baby Gear

Top 9 Sippy Cups for Baby and Toddler

Sippy Cups and Your Sanity - Top Sippy Cups for Toddlers

Don’t waste your money on bad sippy cups. Do your research.  In a previous post, My Battle With Sippy Cups, I go into detail about my experience, and frustrations with sippy cups.  We’ve devised a list (see below) of the best sippy cups that the baby market has to offer (in our opinion).  Speaking for my own family, we have tried virtually every sippy cup out there.  Name a sippy cup – any sippy cup – and there is a 99% chance that we have it our kitchen cabinet.    

Along with my own experience with sippy cups, Mommy Mia Monologues has teamed up with other fellow moms, and we’ve read consumer reviews to compare a wide variety of other opinions.  We’ve devised a list of the best sippy cups on the market. Here is that list:

The Best Sippy Cups for Toddlers and Babies

1.  Nuk Learner Sippy Cups

Link:  NUK Learner Cups

I love the NUK Learner Cups and these made a great transition cup for when we weaned our daughter off of the bottle and onto sippy cups (which was not an easy transition!).  The reason the NUK Learner Cups make such great transition cups is because they are similar to the nipple of a bottle.  These sippy cups come in large capacity and small capacity.

  • Great For: Transitioning from a bottle to sippy cups
  • Sippy Cup Skill Level:  Beginner

2.  Dr. Brown’s Sippy Cups
Link:   Dr. Brown’s Soft-Spout Sippy Cup

I love the Dr. Brown’s Soft-Spout Sippy Cup because they are seriously, seriously spill-proof.  This is the sippy cup that I give my daughter when I let her run around the house with a sippy cup full of milk – I don’t have to worry about the milk getting all over the carpet and the floor.

  • Great For:  A Seriously Spill-Proof Sippy
  • Sippy Cup Skill Level:  Intermediate Beginner to Advanced Beginner 

3.  Playtex Insulator Spout Cup
Link:   Playtex Insulator Spout Cup

I recommend the Playtex Insulator Spout Cup for a toddler who is experienced in using sippy cups, as the flow can come out quite fast when they suck on the spout.  The handles are easy for babies to grab and this sippy cup is easy to clean as long as you rinse it out right after using it.  

  • Great for:   A proficient drinker and for when your toddler is very thirsty (for example, in the summertime after playing outside), and wants to guzzle down some water.
  • Sippy Cup Skill Level:  Advanced Beginner to Intermediate

4.  Gerber Graduates Fun Grips Soft Spout Trainer Cup

Link:  Gerber Graduates Fun Grips Soft Spout Trainer Cup

If I had to marry a sippy cup, I would marry the Gerber Graduates Fun Grips Soft Spout Trainer Cup.

  • Great for:  When baby is transitioning from a nipple-like spout to a harder spout
  • Sippy Cup Skill Level:  Beginner to Advanced Beginner

5.  Lansinoh mOmma Spill Proof Sippy Cup
Link:   Lansinoh mOmma Spill Proof Cup

The Lansinoh mOmma Spill Proof Cup  is fantastic and if I was made of money, I would buy more of these. My toddler loves how this sippy cup wobbles around on her high chair tray, and I credit this cup with helping teach my toddler to pick up a sippy cup on her own (which was a huge win for me because then I no longer had to hold it for her constantly).  They run about $10 each on

  • Great For: Entertaining baby and helping baby learn to pick up the sippy cup on her own.
  • Sippy Cup Skill Level:  Beginner to Advanced Beginner

6.  Nuby No Spill Cup with Reversible Valve

Link:  Nuby No Spill Cup With Reversible Valve

Once your little one moves from requiring a sippy cup that has handles, these Nuby No Spill Cup With Reversible Valve make a fantastic bang for your buck.  These cups are $2.99 each on, but I’ve seen Walmart sell these for $1.87 each.  The great part about these cups is that the valve is reversible (slow-flow and fast-flow).  These cups are extremely easy to clean – these cups fit in your dishwasher easily and the valves are also idiot-proof as far as cleaning.  We stocked up on these because they are so easy, and so affordable (compared to other cups).

  • Great for:  Affordability
  • Sippy Cup Skill Level:  Advanced Beginner to Expert

7.  Gerber Graduates Fun Grips Spill-Proof Cups
Link:   Gerber Graduates BPA Free Fun Grips spill Proof Cup.

On the slightly more expensive end of the handle-free sippy cup is the Gerber Graduates BPA Free Fun Grips spill Proof Cup.  My 18-month-old loves this cup because it’s easy to grab (the hour-glass shape helps her grip the cup).  If you can afford spending a couple extra bucks on these cups, it may be worth it.

  • Great For:  Transitioning away from sippy cups with handles to holding a “big kid” cup
  • Sippy Cup Skill Level:  Advanced Beginner to Expert

8.  Sippy Cups With Straws
Link:  Sippy Cups with Straws

If your baby has trouble tipping up a sippy cup to get the liquid out like my baby did, then I strongly urge you to consider purchasing at least one sippy cup that has a straw.  When we introduced our 9-month-old to the traditional sippy cups, she didn’t yet understand the concept of gravity and that she needed to tip the cup back for the liquid to come out; she would get so frustrated when no liquid would come out, and she hated sippy cups until we gave her a sippy cup that had a straw.  We bought the Playtex Baby First Lil’ Gripper Twist ‘n Click Straw Trainer Cup and the Munchkin Click Lock Trainer Cup, but I do NOT recommend either of these.

  • Great for:  Babies who don’t yet understand the concept of tipping up a cup to drink from it
  • Sippy Cup Skill Level:  Beginner to Expert

Don’t Forget:  

  • I highly advice that you also get a Sippy Cup Straw Cleaner, because cleaning out straws thoroughly is tricky without one. 

9.  Contigo Autoseal Trekker Kids Water Bottle
Link:  Contigo Autoseal Trekker Kids Water Bottle

I’m not sure who uses our Contigo Autoseal Trekker Kids Water Bottle more – my toddler or me.  I LOVE these things!  You can carry water on-the-go and you don’t have to worry about it spilling in your purse or your diaper bag!  They also make these in Contigo Autoseal Mugs for Adults (your drink will stay hot/cold for an extremely long-time in the Contigo Autoseal Mugs for Adults).

  • Great for: Drinking on-the-go without spilling liquid in your purse or diaper bag.
  • Sippy Cup Skill Level:  Expert


10.  Munchkin Miracle 360 Sippy Cup

Link:   Munchkin Miracle 360 Sippy Cup

The Munchkin Miracle 360 Sippy Cup is AMAZING for children who are leaning to hold real cups.  This cup is one-of-a-kind in that the cup has a 360 degree drinking edge that the child can drink from, and this edge seal up completely once the child is done sipping.  The is the way to go if you want to avoid spills while teaching your toddler or preschooler to hold big kid cups.  

What is your 
favorite sippy cup?



First 100 Words Board Book
Link:  First 100 Words Board Book

First 100 Words Board Book

Top 20 Must-Have Items for Sick Baby or Toddler

Top 20 Must-Have Items for Sick Baby this Flu Season Blog Post Title Photo

Nothing pulls on a mom’s heart strings or stresses a mommy out quite like a sick baby.  Make sure that you’re prepared for this flu season by stocking up on these 20 essential items and for your sick baby or toddler:

1.   Boogie Wipes

Link:  Boogie Wipes

Boogie Wipes Photo

Boogie Wipes

Boogie Wipes  are great for wiping the nose area without irritating the skin.  They also come in a “Fresh Scent” (instead of the traditional “Grape Flavored Scent.”  My little one seems to prefer the fresh scent.

2.  Cool Mist Humidifier

Link:  Crane Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier

Crane Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier Photo

Crane Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier

Cool mist humidifiers are the best – think the hippo Crane Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier is adorable and Crane is an amazing brand.  I have researched and experimented with very any of these pain-in-the-a** items, and I have narrowed it down to the two best humidifiers out there for babies (see my post on the Top 2 Humidifiers for Baby (Easy-to-Use). I’ve known a few people, including myself, who have been very disappointed with humidifiers bought in the stores.  (They are either to loud, difficult to clean, or have some other idiosyncrasy).  

3.  Liquid Medication Dispenser Syringe

Link: Infant Medicine Syringe Dispenser

Infant Medicine Dispenser Photo

Infant Medicine Dispenser

Having multiple Infant Medicine Syringe Dispensers on hand is extremely helpful. It’s hard to have too many of these things with a toddler or baby in the house.  Dispensers usually come in the box with each medication bottle that you purchase (for Infants medicine).  Save them! Otherwise, you’ll be forced to clean the dispenser after each use every single time.  If you’re supermom, then fine, clean it each time.  If you’re human like me, then you’ll be incredibly tired, and distracted, when you have a sick baby.  So clean it [tomorrow] and use a spare dispenser the next time.  

4.  Nipple Medication Dispenser 

Link:  Nipple Medication Dispenser

Nipple Medication Dispenser Photo

Nipple Medication Dispenser for Baby

If your young infant needs medication, Nipple Medication Dispensers Nipple dispensers are fantastic for this.  I prefer to use the  Infant Medicine Syringe Dispenser once my baby gets older – but the Nipple Medication Dispenser was the only way my child would take medication when she was a newborn.

5.   The FridaBaby (aka, “NoseFrida”) Nasal Aspirator

Link: FridaBaby Nasal Aspirator

NoseFrida Nasal Aspirator for Babies Photo

FridaBaby Nasal Aspirator

I was reluctant to try the FridaBaby Nasal Aspirator (aka, the “NoseFrida) at first, but this boogie-sucking item is a must-have.  It is fantastic.   My child used to DESPISE the booger sucker (so much so that I even published Help! Baby HATES the Booger Sucker: Mommy Support Needed a separate blog post, seeking advise in my moment of booger-sucking desperation).  Thanks to the readers at Mommy Mia Monologues, who suggested the Nosefrida to me, my child no longer fears booger sucking time (see How the Nosefrida Changed My Boogy Little Life).

Video of my daughter saying “ahhh” (in relief) 
each time we use the Nosefrida…hilarious.

(and/or the hospital-grade Booger Sucker)

Baby Booger Sucker Photo
Booger Sucker (I drew a happy face on the thing because 
I wanted to daughter to like it so badly).

For traveling and for daycare, keep a booger sucker on hand as well.  The booger suckers that they give you at the hospital are the best out there.  I have yet to find a great one in the store, though I’ve been told that has a few booger suckers with a lot of potential.  My child despises the booger sucker.  More on that in the post Help! Baby HATES the Booger Sucker: Mommy Support Needed.

6.  Spare Batteries for Baby Thermometer

Link:  Thermometer Batteries

Spare Batteries for Baby Thermometer Photo

Spare Baby Thermometer Batteries

There is no worse time to realize that your baby thermometer is out of batteries than when you have a sick, crying baby.  Do not let this happen to you.  Baby Thermometer Batteries(especially the Ear Thermometers)  are usually those weird, round batteries – not your simple AAA or AA batteries  – the digital thermometer batteries often require those circular kind of batteries that have weird names numeric descriptions to them, like the “CR-2032.”  Trying to figure out the type of battery your baby thermometer takes (not to mention, going to the store to buy the battery), while you have a sick baby or toddler will make you insanely stressed out.  Buy your thermometers spare battery before your baby gets sick – keep spare batteries on hand.

7.  Forehead and Ear Thermometer for Baby

Link:   Innovo Forehead and Ear Thermometer (Dual Mode)

Forehead and Ear Thermometer Photo

Forehead and Ear Thermometer

A Forehead and Ear Thermometer is the key to getting your babies temperature without waking the baby up.    This Thermometer model is fabulous because it acts as both an ear and a forehead thermometer – whereas most models are usually one or the other.  Using the forehead and ear thermometers are not supposed to be quite as accurate as the rectal thermeter to get an accurate reading of your baby’s temperature; however, I’ve always had success with these at gaging the range of my child’s termperature – if it’s high then I also use the rectal thermometer to make sure I have an accurage idea of whether to bring her to the hospital.

8.  Tissues with Lotion

Aquaphor Baby Healing Ointment Photo

Tissues with Lotion

If your baby or toddler has a runny noise, chances are that you’ll be wiping it a lot.  Using tissues with lotion is a good idea because it helps soften the rubbing on baby’s already raw skin.  

9.  Aquaphor for Baby Healing Ointment

Link:  Aquaphor Baby Healing Ointment

Aquaphor Baby Healing Ointment Photo

Aquaphor Baby Healing Ointment 

Aquaphor Baby Healing Ointment is amazing for chapped skin due to runny noses.  Use these ointments to rub around your baby’s chapped little nose and lips.  When your little one has a cold, this can make the world of a difference to your baby.  I swear my little one looks up and thanks me each time I rub this on her poor, chapped lips and nostrils when she is sick.

10.  Wet Ones, Antibacterial Wipes

Link:  Wet Ones Antibacterial Hand Wipes
Wet Wipes Photo

Wet Wipes

Load up on Wet Ones Antibacterial Hand Wipes.  You’re going to be wiping off a lot of snot and boogers.  Keep your hands clean so you don’t get sick yourself.

11.   Saline Spray for Baby

Link:   Saline Nasal Mist (Baby)

Baby Saline Spray Photo

Saline Nasal Mist for Baby

Using Saline Nasal Mist, Baby gets the gunk out and works wonders when coupled with either your booger sucker or the  Nosefrida Baby Nasal Aspirator  (see How the Nosefrida Changed My Boogy Little Life).  My child despises Saline Spray, but it is completely necessary when they have a cold.  It gets the gunk out of there, and can help to prevent pneumonia from building up in your baby’s chest.

12.   Pedialyte

Link:   Pedialyte
Pedialyte Photo


You definitely always want Pedialyte a stock of this in your pantry.  I mix just a little bit of Pedialyte in her sippy cup with water – she is more than happy to keep the liquids down.

13.   Chicken Noodle Soup

Chicken Noodle Soup

Chicken Noodle Soup is great for older babies, and sick mommies.

14.   Baby Food in Pouches

Baby Food Pouches Photo

Baby Food Pouches

Your toddler may refuse to eat when their sick, and they may even refuse to drink their milk.  Keep baby food pouches with yogurt (for their daily dairy) in stock.  

15.   Dole Mandarin Orange Cups 

Link:  Dole Mandarin in 100% Fruit Juice

Mandarin Orange Cups in 100% Fruit Juice

Dole Mandarin in 100% Fruit Juice is great for toddlers with colds.  These fruit cups doesn’t contain syrup or any artificial sweeteners (just fruit juice 100%).

16.  Medication Dosage Information Sheet 

Talk to the pediatrician and fill this out ahead of time.

Keep an all-inclusive list of the medications that your baby can take, and make photocopies of it for your child’s daycare provider, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and keep one in the diaper bag as well.  Be sure to ask your pediatrician about this prior to your child getting sick – because waiting for your pediatrician to call you back when your child is miserably sick can make minutes feel like hours.  Make sure to pair the dosage information with the milligrams (mg.), as some medications of the same type come in different strengths.  Make sure you jot down your child’s age and weight, along with the dosage (mg.) information as well.

17.   Medications

Little Remedies for Fevers 

Check with your pediatricians about medications that your infant/child can take (e.g., Tylenol, IB Profin, Benadryl, etc.).

18.   The “B.R.A.T. Diet”

(Banana, Rice, Applesauce, Toast)

The B.R.A.T. diet is fantastic for upset tummies.  Keep some mashed banana baby food on hand if you don’t frequently buy bananas.  I keep squeezable banana baby food and squeezable apple sauce in my pantry.  Mix in the Gerber Rice cereal with the banana baby food.

19.   Photo Copies of the Operating Manuals for Each Baby Thermometer You Own

Not all thermometers are created equal!  You have your forehead thermometers, versus ear thermometers, versus anal thermometers versus under-arm thermometers…what classifies a “fever” is different on each device!  It’s not as simple as 98.6 degrees!   Keep photocopies of your thermometer’s manual in every bag that you use for your baby (diaper bags, tote bags, gym bags, etc.).  Ear thermometers and forehead thermometers have different temperature ranges as to what qualifies as a “fever”; for example, a temperature reading of 98.6 degrees on some “forehead thermometers” can actually mean that your baby has a fever of possibly 100+degrees.  These devices vary significantly.  (Anal temperature readings are the most accurate, but I like to use that method only once I suspect a temperature with my forehead and ear thermometers. 

20.   Vick’s Baby Rub

Link:  Vick’s Baby Rub

Vick's Baby Rub

Vick’s Baby Rub

I put Vick’s Baby Rub on baby’s feet before bed when she is sick.  If I am going to be near her, I rub it on her chest too.  I do this after giving my little one a nice, long bath in a steamy bathroom.  My little one is a big fan of the Vick’s Baby Rub.

Don’t Forget!….

A steamy bath

Even though this may not qualify as a “product,” a steamy bath can do wonders for a congested baby or toddler.  I like to steam up my bathroom before I give my little one a bath when she is congested.  It helps every time.  

Top Sick Baby Products Photo

Top Sick Baby Products

WiFi Video Baby Monitors

WiFi Baby 2.0 Baby Monitor
2013 Model – (WFB2013)

I’ve been keeping my eyes peeled for a WiFi network baby monitor that has great reviews, and the WiFi Baby 2.0 has caught my attention.  For those of you who are on the market for a new video baby monitor, this may be of interest to you.  The WiFi Baby 2.0 uses your home WiFi network to stream video and audio to your iPhone, iPad, Android, Mac or PC (up to four devices at a time can be linked).  

The WiFi Baby 2.0 can also become a become a nanny-cam, and you can record audio and video while you’re at work (without any fees for cloud storage).  Another benefit to this WiFi enabled baby monitor is that it is password-protected (both video and audio);  the most secure baby video monitors are those that hook-up to your home’s wireless internet network.

The WiFi Baby 2.0 takes time and patience to set-up, as linking it securely with your internet can be a complicated process, but once the WiFi Baby 2.0 is up and running, it will be well worth it.   Just keep the customer service phone number handy during set-up (they are very helpful).

If the setup of a WiFi baby monitor sounds like too complicated of a process, then the Samsung Digital Wireless Pan Tilt Video Baby Monitor is a great alternative.  Try to steer clear from analog-based  baby monitors, as analog baby monitors are not secure and can pose potential security and privacy issues (see the video from ABC News below for more on privacy issues with analog video baby monitors).

Share your experiences and recommendations 
for baby monitors!

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Baby Pool – Summer Time, Fun Time

I’ve been looking for a great baby pool/toddler pool for my backyard for this summer, and one of my fellow mommy girlfriends posted this on my Facebook wall the other day.  It’s the Soft Sprinkles Tide pool.  How stinkin’ fun does this thing look?  I can’t wait to play in it!  (Or…I mean…for my child to play in it…that’s what I meant to say.)  Who wouldn’t want to play in a pool that sprinkles and sprays water on you?  

I also like the Intex Recreation Froggy Fun Baby Pool because it’s shaded.  It has great reviews, but I haven’t tried it yet.  I’m debating which baby pool we’ll be buying, and has quite a few baby pools to choose from.  

Does anyone else have any baby pool suggestions
 or recommendations for this summer?

Intex Recreation Froggy Fun Baby Pool