Top 3 Questions to Ask before Buying a Water Bottle for your Child
As a parent, you have a lot to think about when it comes to your child. In this post, we we'll talk through three important questions to consider before buying a bottle for your little one.
And we’re glad you’re here. BottlePro is all about health through hydration, and teaching your child to use a reusable water bottle will have many benefits in the long run. Proper hydration habits are tied to better health, and avoiding single-use bottles will help your child’s future wallet as well as the environment that he or she is inheriting.
So without further ado, let's get started!
Question #1 - Is Your Water Bottle Safe?
Moving on to question number one, is it safe? As with anything with your child, the first question you should ask is, will this be safe for my child to use every day. Normally the concern with bottles is about leaching, or whether chemicals or toxins seep from your bottle into your drink. Aside from that, there are physical hazards, which is particularly true with glass because it can break into sharp pieces.
The Safest Water Bottle Materials for Children
The safest bottle materials that we recommend using for children are:
Are Stainless Steel Bottles Safe for Kids?
In many ways, stainless steel bottles are the best option for children. They’re widely shown to be safe, are easy to clean, and don’t have an inner liner like aluminum bottles. There are plenty of reputable brands with many different style to choose from, so you have plenty of options to pick what’s right for you and your child. And unlike glass, they won’t shatter and potentially create a physical hazard if your child drops the bottle. Stainless steel bottles typically come in one of four alloys or grades: 304, 316, 18/8 and 18/10. Any of these grades should be fine with normal use, but if you’re really looking for the best grade, consider buying a bottle made with 316 steel because it’s more corrosion resistant.
Should You Avoid Stainless Steel Bottles for Kids?
For the most part stainless steel bottles are a pretty proven and safe option, but there's one thing to keep in mind with many of them. Make sure you look at the lid construction. Many bottles that are made with stainless steel bodies still have exposed plastic under the lid that can come in contact with the water, so if your goal is to completely avoid plastic contact, keep this in mind. I’ll give some links in the description to bottles that I’m aware of that completely prevent plastic from contacting your water, and if anyone else knows of other options, please leave a comment below to let us and other viewers know.
The Best Stainless Steel Bottles for Kids
There is a lot of competition in the stainless steel water bottle market, so there are plenty of options to choose from. These are some of our favorites!
Are Silicone Bottles Safe for Kids?
For silicone, most research shows that it is very safe and a great alternative to plastic. It is BPA-free, extremely durable, lightweight, and flexible. Just make sure it says food-safe or food-grade. Pretty much every bottle with silicone will list this on the packaging, but it doesn’t hurt to check. And if you’re buying from a lesser-known brand, you could also reach out to the manufacturer for more testing info if you’d like to learn more. Pura is a brand we haven’t tested yet, but looking at their website, they are leaning heavily into silicone-based options and are a good one to check out.
Should You Avoid Silicone Bottles for Kids?
In my opinion, the biggest potential downside to silicone is what we don’t know. While research has mostly shown it to be safe, compared to some other materials like glass, silicone is still relatively new and it’s always possible that new research could bring up potential concerns. I wouldn’t blame you if you want to avoid silicone bottles for this reason, but keep in mind that most water bottles use some silicone, either in the seals, straw, or spout. It’s very hard to completely avoid silicone in water bottles nowadays.
The Best Silicone Bottles for Kids
The 100% silicone bottle market is relatively new, so there aren't nearly as many options to choose from compared to stainless steel. Many do not have great reviews, so we're waiting for this sub-genre to develop more. Still, here are a few worth considering for children of varying ages.
Are Glass Bottles Safe for Kids?
Glass gives the cleanest drinking experience, and many people feel safest using glass because it’s a material that’s been in use for a long time and has a more natural feel to it. Many people prefer glass because they find that it doesn’t have an aftertaste that you might have with plastic, silicone, or stainless steel. And even though materials like BPA-free plastic and silicone are tested to be safe, glass is made with fewer additives and chemicals so many people feel safer that it helps avoid leaching of potentially harmful chemicals.
Should You Avoid Glass Bottles for Kids?
Now all that sounds great, but there is a big drawback. Glass is usually the heaviest bottle and can be extra bulky, so it may be more difficult for your child to manage than alternatives like plastic or stainless steel. And obviously, glass can also break and create a physical hazard with sharp edges. If you want to get a glass bottle for your child, make sure it has a protective sleeve and is made of borosilicate glass because it’ll less likely to shatter and is more temperature and shock resistant. You may want to avoid mason jars because most of them are not made of borosilicate glass.
The Best Glass Bottles for Kids
These are some of our favorite glass bottle options for kids within a few age ranges.
Real quick, I’d like to take a few moments to thank FJbottle for sponsoring this video. One thing they do well is clearly label what type of stainless steel is used in their bottles, and they have a mix of 304 and 316. With other brands, sometimes it can take more digging around online to know which grade it is, and higher-grade 316 stainless steel bottles can sometimes be hard to find.
They sent us these bottles to help us have some content for this video, and we appreciate the different designs they’ve come up with. There are spout lids, straw lids with silicone tips, and quite a few different designs for whatever your kid is interested in. Each bottle comes with a cleaning brush and a straw cleaner if it’s a straw lid, so it’s easier to keep your bottle clean right from the start without having to buy a cleaning kit, though you eventually may want a more robust bottle cleaning brush. This one is a kid-size of the 34-ounce bottle that I used a lot over the last few months and honestly became one of my favorite bottles. It has a magnetic lid, a carrying strap on the side that I ended up using a lot more than I thought I would, and an anti-slip base that helps prevent a few dents and spills. Please note that they do have plastic under the lids, but the fact that they have 316 stainless steel options and silicone straw options tells me that they are very aware of material safety. We’re very thankful for their support, so we hope you’ll visit www.fjbottle.com to learn more!
Question #2 - Which Bottles are Easiest for Children to Use?
The next question you’ll want to ask yourself is whether the bottle will be easy for your child to use.
What Size Water Bottle is Best for Children
Pick a size that’s a good fit for your child depending on his or her age and ability. I’d recommend sticking to 16-ounces at most for younger kids because larger bottles like 20-ounce and especially 32 and 40-ounce would be too much to handle.
Bottles can be pretty big and bulky, so look for features that make a bottle easier to carry like a carrying strap, pouch, or large handle.
Are Straw or Spout Bottles Better for Children?
To make it less likely to have spills, there are a few things to keep an eye out for. Straw lids are easier for many children to drink from, but they're also more prone to leaking, especially if you store a bottle on its side like in a backpack. So depending on your child's age, you may one one more than the other. Double-check the reviews since there’s almost always someone who will mention if it leaks easily.
Question #3 - Will Your Child Like It?
The third question you should ask is, will my child even want to use this bottle? Now for sure, buying a bottle that’s easy to use important to encourage regular use, but kids are all about style and sporting something that’s fits their interests.
This is where having different styles really comes in handy. Is your kid into trains? Unicorns? Pink? Blue? Brands like FJbottle and Klean Kanteen have designs with different graphics and themes, while brands like Hydro Flask and YETI only have color variations. You know your kid better than anyone else, so get them a bottle that strikes a chord with what they’re interested in. That will help encourage them to keep their bottle with them and build on healthy hydration habits.
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Try searching for things like "infusers" or "Hydro Flask".
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