Get, or Forget? WOW 360 Kids Cup

Today I am reviewing the popular Wow 360 Kids Cup. I’m doing these reviews so that you can feel better informed about whether or not you want to spend money (and precious cupboard space) on all the various cups, plates, bowls, bottlers, cutlery and more that is out there marketed as being “the best for your baby or child”. I’m not reviewing the aesthetics or form necessarily – I’m interested in the function. In particular, how it can help (or hinder) your child’s developing of eating and drinking skills (called oral motor development).

Wow 360 Kids Cup

Product Type: 360-degree edge spoutless sipper cup

Product Claims: Uni-flow drinking edge, Spill free, No spouts or levers or buttons, Comfortable lip edge

Cost: Around $13 - $15

Where I Bought This: Woolworths

Age/Stage: 12+ months (although according to their website, children ‘of all ages’ love the WOW cup)

Hacks Recommended? Not very hack-able

The WOW cup is much loved by many mums out there. It’s relatively new on the market and promises a unique cup design that isn’t quite like anything else there. It’s very similar in appearance to the Philips Avent Grown Up Cup except that there is one main difference – the way it flows.

The way this cup works is that it has a seal all around the edge of the cup between the lid and the cup itself. This seal works like a one-way valve, and the way that it allows the drink to come out is by biting and sucking (at the same time) anywhere on the edge of the cup. The WOW website has some pretty big claims – it’s spill free, you don’t need any levers or buttons to drink from it (um.... what??), and it’s good for oral motor development.

Now, I’m going to pull them up on that last claim. What science have they got to back this claim up? Since when is biting and sucking to get liquid out of a sealed cup ‘good for oral motor development’? If anything, this action is very similar to using a traditional valved sippy cup, which we are realising these days is decidedly not good for oral motor development. Applying jaw pressure to bite, whilst sucking at the same time, is not a natural oral motor movement and not necessary for learning how to drink from an open cup or a straw (the two main ways we want kids to learn how to drink). The only advantage I can see to the WOW cup over a traditional sippy cup is that this cup does not encourage tongue thrust or tongue protrusion (because it’s awkward to bite down while your tongue is pushed over your lower teeth). But you still need to suck on this cup. Which I’m not a fan of.

The Good:

  • it doesn’t leak

  • it encourages the child to tip upwards like an open cup

  • it restricts the flow so your kid doesn’t dump a cup of water on themselves

  • it’s quite easy to clean

The Bad:

  • you can’t easily see how much liquid is in the cup / how full it is (unless you buy their ‘juicy’ version made for juice... grrrrrr don’t get me started on all the things wrong with that!)

  • the child can’t practice getting a bigger mouthful from tipping the cup up more, so it’s teaching them nothing about the physics of how cups work

  • it’s not free flowing

The Ugly:

  • It encourages an unnatural bite & suck motion

The cup is not terrible for your child, but it’s certainly not as wonderful as the packaging claims it to be. It’s a good alternative for a traditional sippy cup. BUT if your child is ready for an open cup then an even better alternative would be an actual open cup (just take a small bottle of water with you when you’re out and about) or a free-flowing 360-degree cup (which isn’t completely spill proof but is better for oral motor development).

Verdict: Not as great as it claims to be, but not the worst thing ever either. 6/10

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