When it comes to social media, it takes me a while to believe the hype about some things. Like, for instance, did they really find a mermaid off the coast of Spain? Like, for real? And these baltic amber beads – what witchcraft is this?! Show me proof! I want to see for myself! So when I started hearing stories that Curlys beloved Tommee Tippee sippy cup is no longer safe to use, I had to investigate! I breastfed my girl for as long as I could and found the Tommee Tippee Closer To Nature bottles to be top notch, as she switched from boob to bottle. I mean, you can’t go wrong with Tommee Tippees!
So it was only obvious that I would stick to what I know works when Curly progressed from bottle to sippy cup. I got her some totally cool Tommee Tippee Trainer Sippy Cups. They are funky (who wouldn’t want a hot pink sippy cup?!), non-spill and designed to help your tod develop grown-up drinking skills. But, what I later learned totally shocked me!
Moms all around the world freaked out after photos of moldly non-spill valves start circulating Facebook. The first post, describing the moldy sippy cup, was posted by Marie-Pier S. L’Hostie and Penny Powell of Quebec, who claimed that a friend broke open the non-spill valve of the sippy cup, to try to figure out why his son kept getting sick. The photos show a disgusting looking valve, filled with mold.
Tommee Tippee responded to the claims, stating that their sippy cups are easy to clean and the non-spill valves should not grow mold if they are used and washed properly. The company cited that those specific cups should only be used with certain liquids and not thick milks, warm liquids or pulpy juices. The website actually offers users a PDF manual that gives you step by step instructions on how to clean your sippy cup. It states that all the parts of the bottle are dishwasher safe, except the non-spill valve. The valve needs to be handwashed and water must be run through all of the openings, to ensure that it is properly cleaned.
Well, all of this was very worrying. Exposure to mold (and orally, at that!) can cause severe health damage in little ones, such as asthma, wheezing, itchy and watery eyes and rashes. I was not planning on taking that chance, even though our sippy cup valve seemed pretty clean and I knew that we had only been giving Curly cooled, rooibos tea in hers.
In our first attempt to crack open the valve, we discovered that this thing is pretty solid. I mean, you really can’t get in there! Which immediately made me wonder how the heck we were meant to keep it clean, in the first place. I mean, sure, we run water through all the openings and follow the websites cleaning instructions. But is it enough?
These pictures speak for themselves:
So yep, there you have it. No more Tommee Tippee sippy cup for my girl. I’m a fan of the brand, but this is not cool. The company released a final statement about the matter, saying that they are in the process of designing new sippy cups that will have easy to clean pieces and in the meantime they will replace all the moldly valves for transparent ones. Is it enough, moms? Are you willing to give Tommee Tippee another try?
A snippet of their statement:
“We want everyone to be happy with our products and we always want to exceed expectations. We’ve therefore listened to our customers, and will be launching a new Sippee cup in the next few months.
The new cup will have a two piece valve that can be used with different types of liquid, and is easier to clean.
In the meantime, we are making transparent, see-through valves (see photograph) immediately available to any parents that have concerns. The see-through valve will enable parents to see inside, and give them confidence that the valve is clean, when used in line with recommended instructions.
Alternatively, we will be happy to provide parents with a different style cup if they’d prefer. Either option will be provided free of charge.
Anyone that would like a see-through valve or alternative cup should contact our Careline toll free on 1-877 248 6922, and one will be sent as quickly as possible.
The reported problems only relate to the one-piece valve on the Sippee range of cups, and do not affect any other Tommee Tippee product.”