After a highly anticipated wait, we proudly present our brand new and much anticipated Hegen Straw Cup for toddlers!
It has been six years since Hegen was founded, and our Mummy fanbase (and their babies) have also grown along with us. As the newborns in our community become toddlers and preschoolers, we have received countless requests for products that would allow them to continue their Hegen journey in the years ahead.
This got us thinking about what we could add to our ecosystem, that would support and extend the Hegen mission to help babies to receive breastmilk exclusively for a longer period of time.
As many Mummies have remarked, a natural extension from our feeding range would be a straw cup. As such, we created a new straw spout with the same Press-to-Close, Twist-to-Open™ (PCTO™) design that current users can easily attach to their existing collection of Hegen bottles and containers.
Voila! Little ones can immediately learn how to suck naturally while continuing to benefit from the safety of Hegen’s patented design and PPSU materials. PPSU or Polyphenylsulfone is an FDA compliant food grade material widely used in the manufacturing of medical appliances due to its superior toughness and high-temperature resistance. It combines the advantages of both glass and plastic materials; BPA-free and lightweight. PPSU is naturally amber-coloured and contains no artificial pigments.
Hegen PPSU is free of BPA, BPS, Phthalates and PVC.
Good for kids and for Mama
The design of the new straw spout is in part inspired by our Founder, Yvon Bock’s, own experiences with her children when they were just starting to drink juices and water on their own. “When my children were little, they often use straw cups during the day, while out and about, at school time or during playtime at home,” shared Yvon. “The pain point for me was to flip open the cover and be sprinkled in the face with the juices or residual content from the straw!”
To mitigate this, Hegen designers created a patent pending 2-step anti-burst safe opening to block the sprinkles of liquid when the bottle is opened and lock the cap in place when the child drinks, to prevent the cap from touching the nose. With minimal parts for easy assembly and cleaning, the overall design minimises trapping of dirt and saliva.
Yvon explains: “A good straw also means the child can sip naturally as studies have shown that sipping is a skill required to progress from bottle feeding with a teat to an open cup.
Though straw cups that come with a valve prevents spills, it requires a child to engage more strength in sucking in order to draw the liquid. That is why The Straw Cup is easy to sip which allows a child to be able to learn this important skill. This new straw spout also has a built-in air vent and easy to wash components that have no hidden or hard to reach nooks and crooks, ensuring hygiene and safety.”
The lower portion of the straw can be cut to adapt to various Hegen bottle sizes simply by trimming the straw. By intentionally producing a new attachment, The Straw Cup is able to help develop a child’s fine motor skill by learning how to hold a bottle or cup from the outset independently.
What the experts recommend
Both the World Health Organisation (WHO) and United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) recommend for babies to be breastfed within the first hours of birth and have breastmilk exclusively for the first six months of life.
The two organisations also propose that infants should be breastfed on demand, without intervention from bottles, teats or pacifiers. From the age of six months and up, children can begin eating safe and complementary foods and continue to breastfeed for up to age 2 and beyond if possible.
While this may be possible in an ideal situation, there may be circumstances in which a Mum is unable to breastfeed exclusively or for as long - perhaps due to medical or personal reasons. Our team understands this and our aim is to support as much as possible, the needs of baby and mother from birth to toddlerhood.
Whilst there is no specific period to wean your child from a feeding bottle, the American Dental Association recommends transitioning from the bottle by your child’s first birthday as the prolonged use of a bottle may cause cavities on baby’s teeth¹.
As such, the introduction of the straw cup from 9 months of age may assist in preventing tooth decay and is the first step towards teaching your child how to sip and eventually drink from an open cup. Toddlers would naturally progress from suckling to sucking skills. This is a new motor skill that a toddler would need to learn and a straw cup is one of the best options to encourage them to learn acquire this new drinking skill while seated upright.
“Our focus is to provide an easy to use medium to support them on their secondary nutrition feeding; from drinking milk to water, juices, yoghurt and more,” says Yvon.
1. American Dental Association. (2004, March). From baby bottle to cup: Choose training cups carefully, use them temporarily. JADA, 135, 387.