(No, it’s not another post about breastfeeding.)

In the five years since I’ve introduced our children to the concept of drinking from something other than me, we’ve tried and tested almost the whole gamut of sippy cup brands.

Basically, as the girls got older and the whole sucking thing became less important, I just wanted a cup that didn’t spill. Especially when it was left on the bed. Or on a pillow. Or on the carpet.

Is that too much to ask?

The girls often take drinks with them to bed, and the wet patches from slow seaping leaks were driving me crazy. Plus I found that the valves often popped out of sippy cups when they got banged around a bit (or dropped), so I was cleaning up water all over the place.

Then last October, when I was visiting a friend on the Sunshine Coast, I spied a product she had brought back from the States. Apparently these new-fangled, whizz-bang Contigo cups didn’t spill. Ever.

Contigo cups, June 2010

So I carefully noted the brand (Contigo)and when I got home I googled and ebayed in hopes of purchasing some here. No go. Late last year, Contigo products weren’t available in Australia. At all. Yeah, I knew they were at Costco and Target in the States, but Australia was just too far away and too insignificant a market for Contigo to export to.

However, I did know someone who was coming over for a visit — a friend’s mother-in-law. So, with a bit of crafty PR-speak (“100% leak-proof”), I convinced this friend that these cups were the end-all and be-all of no-spill cups (and they came in adult-sized versions too), and only she could help.

The friend not only helped with the purchase and the logistics of getting the cups here to me in Australia, but Christie also bought some for herself. And liked them.

As I did. I love these cups. They not only don’t spill, they’re also compact enough to go in the fridge without the annoying handles that are attached to most sippy cups.

To use them, you press the button to release the valve. When the button isn’t pressed — no water comes out. So their default state is sealed.

Calista, 2yo, June 2010
When we first got the cups, Calista couldn't work the mechanism, but now that she's two-years-old, she has no problems with it.

The kids’ cups are a little small in the height of summer when we drink litres and litres, but there’s an adult version available that would suit older children. David and I each have a full-sized water bottle from Contigo, and I keep a spare one in the car. I also have one of their travel mugs, and I sent it out once with David, so I must presume that it works very well and although I haven’t yet had a crack at using it myself!

In fact, Christie liked the Contigo cups so much that earlier this year she started importing them to Australia to sell online. She’s also started offering them to day-care centres and schools as a fundraiser option. (I think it’s a very generous fundraiser, too.)

And I have it on very good information that Christie will be selling the Contigo cups at the Pregnancy, Babies & Children’s Expo that’s happening this weekend in Brisbane. So if you’re interested, you can see the cups there, and maybe even buy one for yourself.

Then you’ll see what I’m raving about.