With obesity a real problem in the U.S., you don’t want to encourage your toddler to drink too many calories in the form of milk or juice. Water is a perfect solution for staying hydrated without adding too many calories or sugar.
If you want something that will last through their childhood instead of the cheap sippy cups they like to carry around, keep reading to find out which the best water bottles for kids are.
That way, you won’t have to worry about constantly replacing their bottles because the ones on this list will hold up for the long run.
|1. Zulu Torque Bottle||Best Straw Bottle|
|2. Anature Stainless||Best Stainless Steel Bottle|
|3. GO Bottles||Best Insulated Bottle|
|4. Nalgene Tritan||Best Leak Proof Bottle|
|5. CamelBak Kids||Best Lunchbox Bottle|
What’s Wrong with Disposable Water Bottles?
Disposable water bottles are convenient, widely available and you don’t have to worry about cleaning them after use.
But they’re also a complete waste of resources — that includes your money and the materials used to make them.
These bottles won’t break down for 450 to 1,000 years (source) — that’s an awful lot of waste that could have been avoided. Last year, around 50 billion plastic water bottles were used in the U.S. alone, and the majority weren’t recycled either — they just went straight in the trash (source).
What’s worse is that when we throw these bottles away, we might as well be tossing our hard-earned money in the garbage along with them. Not only are they a waste of money, but they’re also a waste of natural resources like gas needed to transport them all over the globe.
Environmental issues aside, if you think that bottled water is the safer, healthier option, think again. Bottled water isn’t any better than the water you’ll get out of your faucet at home (source).
When Should Kids Start Using Water Bottles?
You can start introducing water bottles at a very young age — around the same time you teach your child to start drinking from sippy cups. They may not become a water bottle pro overnight, but if you’re patient, they’ll get the hang of it.
If you’re using a water bottle that early for your child, you may want to give careful consideration to what type of material you the bottle should be made of. You can choose:
- Stainless steel.
What Type of Material Is Best?
There are pros and cons to each type of material. Some parents still don’t trust plastic since the BPA scare, and they wonder what frightening chemical will be next to get banned out of the plastic products they’ve trusted for years.
But stainless steel and aluminum water bottles also have drawbacks. Stainless steel is pretty heavy for a child to lift and it can do some serious damage to toes if a baby drops it while trying to take a drink.
Metal bottles have also caused some freak accidents — some kids have gotten their tongues stuck inside when they try to get the last drops out the bottle. When that happens, the tongue is difficult to get out because a vacuum is created (source).
Glass bottles are easy to break, and no parent relishes the idea of their child having to walk through or around broken glass.
You’ll have to weigh the risks involved with each type of material and decide what’s most important to you to figure out which kind of bottle is right for your child.
Things to Look For
Choosing a material is the first decision to make, but there are some other considerations as well.
- Weight: If you want your baby to be able to lift the bottle without help, steer clear of glass and stainless steel. Plastic is the lightest option here.
- Cost: Stainless steel and glass bottles are both pretty pricey. Plastic ones are usually the cheapest.
- Durability: Plastic bottles aren’t made to last forever — that’s why the price tag is so low. Aluminum will last longer than plastic, but generally not as long as stainless steel or glass.
- Design: If you want a bottle that appeals to your child with their favorite cartoon characters, you need to be aware that this will shorten its lifespan. Kids usually don’t want to use anything too babyish as they get older.
- Capacity: If your child goes on a lot of road trips or is outside a lot sweating up a storm, you might want a water bottle that holds a greater amount of liquid.
- Spout: A soft straw spout is best for your toddler to learn with, and it won’t accidentally hurt their developing teeth. A softer spout is also a good idea for younger kids who like to walk around while they drink. If they trip and fall, a soft spout won’t do much damage to their gums, roof of the mouth or teeth.
The Best Kids Water Bottles of 2018
A practical, nice-looking water bottle is something that kids love using as much as adults do, and will spare you from adding extra waste to landfill. Once you’ve given some thought to a bottle your child will want to use, take a look at our favorite picks below.
1. Zulu Torque Kids Water Bottle
These modern-looking water bottles hold 12 ounces, and they do it in style with a silicone sleeve over the plastic bottle.
They have a locking flip lid with a soft straw that won’t hurt the top of your baby’s mouth, their lips or their teeth if they happen to fall while walking around and drinking.
Although it’s made of plastic, it is BPA-, phthalate-, and PVC-free.
Even though you can’t put this in the freezer to chill your water, the top is big enough to fit ice cubes in if your baby prefers cold water.
- You can put this in the dishwasher.
- The straw is big enough that your child will be able to get enough water out without having to suck too hard.
- It’s hard to break this bottle, even if you drop it.
- These are fairly expensive.
- If something happens to the straw, they don’t sell replacement ones.
2. Anature Stainless Steel Water Bottle
These are brightly colored and hold 9 ounces, which is just the perfect amount of liquid for a child. Plus, since there aren’t any childish characters on these bottles, so they’ll still be cool enough to use as your child grows up and gets pickier.
This double wall bottle is vacuum insulated, which means it will keep the water cold for hours. If you want to change it up a bit during the winter and use it for hot chocolate on a cold day, it’ll keep your drink hot for around 10 hours.
- You won’t get that annoying metallic taste to your water.
- It won’t sweat on the outside of the bottle, so you don’t have to worry about your child forgetting to use coasters on your nice tables.
- It’s small enough that a child will be able to hold it.
- It doesn’t use a straw but has a screw off lid, which might be less convenient.
- It may be a little heavy for some toddlers.
3. GO Bottles Stainless Steel Insulated Bottle
Your toddler won’t be able to break this, no matter how hard they try! There’s a no-slip cover to help their little hands hold on more securely, which is great for parents who worry about their child’s toes getting smashed by a falling bottle.
You can’t use this for hot drinks, but it does an excellent job insulating your cold drinks, and can keep ice cubes solid for 24 hours.
It has a straw to drink from, and comes in some bright, fun colors to interest your child.
- It won’t leak.
- This bottle keeps your drink cold for up to a day.
- It’s easy to clean.
- More expensive than others on the market.
- It holds 24 ounces, which is a bit much for smaller children.
4. Nalgene Tritan Grip-N-Gulp Bottle
This water bottle holds 12 ounces and comes in more than a dozen vibrant colors to choose from, some of which have fun designs if your child prefers those.
The plastic used to make these doesn’t contain BPA, and the smooth mouthpiece should feel comfortable against little mouths.
This is tough enough to stand up to the rigorous use a toddler will put it through. And since it’s spill proof, you won’t need to follow your toddler from room to room mopping up little puddles.
- It’s affordable and dishwasher safe.
- This bottle is small enough for your toddler’s hands.
- Made in the U.S.
- The spout doesn’t close.
- Some parents said this bottle is hard for their toddler to get much liquid out of without getting frustrated.
5. CamelBak Kids Water Bottle
This charming bottle is small enough to fit in a lunch box without hogging too much space. It won’t spill in your child’s lunchbox either, ruining their lunch.
Plus, kids will love all the different colors and designs they can get, from unicorns to dragons.
Recommended for kids from ages 3 to 8, this has a redesigned cap and valve to give your kids a faster flow rate than their older versions, so your child won’t get impatient waiting for their drink.
- Dishwasher safe.
- BPA- and BPS-free.
- It uses a bite valve for a drip-free experience.
- Some parents complained that the tubing in the bottle fell out of place repeatedly.
- Mold may collect in the spout.
My top pick is the Zulu Torque bottle. Although I tend to shy away from plastic bottles and cups whenever possible, the idea of my child dropping a heavy stainless steel bottle on her toes makes me uncomfortable.
This bottle is lightweight, so even if she gets butterfingers and drops it, it shouldn’t hurt her.
I also love the look of this bottle with the silicone sleeve, and I like the soft straw. For kids who tend to sip water while they’re walking around, a straw could prevent a trip to the emergency room if they’re clumsy and fall with it in their mouths.
Moms out there, what kind of water bottle do you and your munchkin prefer? Tell us in the comments!