20th May 2023
Getting your toddler their own water bottle is a great way of helping them to take on more water and stay hydrated. It can also help the environment as a refillable water bottle can be used over and over again. There are lots of choices when it comes to choosing the best toddler water bottle and a number of things to consider.
The importance of getting a water bottle for your child
Every living thing needs water to survive – including us! Staying hydrated is important for adults but can be even more important for kids, who can easily become dehydrated when they’re on the go.
While it can vary between individuals and circumstances (like activities and how hot it is), the European Food Information Council (EUFIC) provides the following guidelines for healthy total water intake:
- 1-2 years old - 1.1–1.2 litres
- 2-3 years old – 1.3 litres
- 4-8 years old – 1.6 litres
You might find it difficult to remember to drink enough water yourself and that’s certainly the case for an easily distracted toddler. Having their own water bottle can encourage them to drink more, as well as helping you to keep track of how much they’ve had.
Filling their bottle with water can help cut down on less healthy options like sugary drinks and can also help cut down on single use plastic bottles, which is better for the environment.
Can toddlers use water bottles?
Some water bottles are approved only from 3 and up. Water bottles for young children must be free of sharp edges and not contain detachable small parts or parts that can become detached through wear and tear. Toddler beakers and sipy cups might be more appropriate for under-3-year-olds, while some designs are somewhere between a sippy cup and a water bottle.
Many older toddlers can use water bottles but adult-sized ones are still likely to be too much for them to handle, at least on a regular basis. Specially designed water bottles for toddlers will be smaller and shaped for little hands to grip. They might also have other features like non-leak lids and sippy caps.
What types of water bottle are there?
The biggest difference between different types of water bottle is the material they are made from. Plastic bottles used to be by far the most common but now stainless-steel water bottles are becoming more and more popular.
Stainless steel water bottles do not rust and are generally environmentally friendly, durable, safe and easy-to-clean. Many stainless steel toddler water bottles have double walls with vacuums that can help keep drinks cold (or warm in some cases) for longer. They do tend to be more expensive than plastic water bottles though.
Other than that, water bottles for toddlers can come in different shapes and sizes. They can also have different lids and drinking mechanisms such as nozzles, straws, flip tops and sports-style twist tops. There are also loads of different designs that might appeal to your little one and encourage them to drink more.
How to choose a water bottle
The best water bottle for toddlers will depend on a number of factors, including how old they are and your own personal preferences.
Smaller water bottles might be best for toddlers as they will ideally need to be able to hold and use them independently. They might also have to carry them around, especially if you send them to nursery, pre-school or school with a water bottle. A carabiner clip can be handy if you want to clip them to the outside of a bag.
Choosing characters or designs that appeal to your little one can encourage them to use the water bottle more. Some bottles are also good at keeping cool drinks cool and warm drinks warm.
What to look out for when buying a water bottle
There are a number of things to think about when buying a water bottle for your toddler. These include:
- Size/capacity – Make sure your little one can easily carry and use the bottle.
- Leak-proof caps – The water bottle is likely to spend time in a bag or backpack and you certainly don’t want it leaking all over everything else.
- Drinking mechanism – Straws, or sippy tops might be best for toddlers but some people might prefer other options.
- Build, shape and material – Stainless steel or plastic? Is it sturdy and durable?
- Ease of cleaning – Can it go through the dishwasher? Is it easy to take apart and clean all the different bits, such as built-in straws?
- Age-appropriateness – Is it approved and is the size, shape, weight and usability suitable for your child and the stage they are at?
Safetyconsiderations when buying a water bottle
As we’ve already noted, the water bottle should be approved for use for the age group of your toddler. Younger children might sometimes still be able to use water bottles that are not approved for their age group, but it is possible that the bottle will not have been put through rigorous testing to make sure pieces will not become detached through wear and tear.
Choosing an easy-to-clean bottle can help you keep it germ-free and a leak proof water bottle will prevent the drink from going everywhere – including over your toddler.
The best water bottles for toddlers
1.YETI Rambler Junior 12oz Kids Bottle
YETI is an American company specialising in outdoor products and this stainless steel kids' water bottle has the quality you might expect. It has a 4.9 rating out of more than 5,000 amazon reviews thanks to a double-wall insulation that helps keep it cool and strong stainless steel that can take all the knocks your little one puts it through.
2.b.box Tritan Triangle Drink Bottle
The triangle shape is designed specifically for little hands, making it easier for kids to grip. It also features a lid-pop button to help them easily open or close the lid and a straw positioned so they can drink at any angle.
3.NUK Sports Cup Toddler Water Bottle
At 450ml, this is a large capacity for active toddlers. It has a soft push-pull spout that makes it easy for little ones to open and close while playing and is leak-proof with integrated valve seals. It has a cute chameleon theme and the design changes colour when warmed or cooled.
4. THERMOS FUNtainer Stainless Steel Baby Shark Bottle
THERMOS is well known for its heat-retaining flasks and their insulation technology keeps drinks cold for up to 12 hours (note, this bottle is not for hot liquids). The double wall stainless steel construction is also built to handle drops, dings and assorted roughhousing.
5. Camelbak Butterflies Eddy + Kids 400ml Water Bottle
Recommended for 3+, this compact and colourful butterfly-themed water bottle is a great addition to any lunchbox. The cap and bottle are odour and stain resistant, it’s dishwasher safe, and made of 50% recycled plastic that is free of potentially harmful BPA, BPS, and BPF. Eddy + Kids bottles are also spill-proof when open and leak-proof when closed - meaning no more soggy backpacks!
6.TUM TUM Flip Top Kids Water Bottle with Straw
If you’re looking for a toddler bottle with straw, this flip top water bottle for toddlers fits the bill. The Buxton-based small business Tum Tum says that their tritan plastic bottles are leakproof, indestructible and easily operated by the bounciest of toddlers and the hundreds of positive Amazon ratings would seem to agree.
7.Tinc Tribal Flip & Clip Water Bottle
This non spill water bottle uses a lockable flip top lid - just slide and push to unlock and slide back to lock it to stop any leaking. It also has a handy carry loop and is suitable for kids from 36 months.
8.Nuby Super Slurp Water Bottle
Unlike a lot of toddler water bottles that are only approved from 3 years, this one is suitable from 18 months, making it an ideal first step up from a sippy cup. It’s dishwasher and microwave safe and the easy-to-use spout is durable & bite resistant.
9. Tiddlers & Nippers Stainless Steel Vacuum Insulated Bottle
Pack your own tiddlers and nippers off with this double wall vacuum-insulated bottle that keeps hot liquids hot for over 10 hours and cold liquids cool for 24 hours! Available in Diggers & Lorries, Fabulous Fairies & Dinky Dinos, all with vivid 3D Printing!
10. Foxberry 300ml Children's Small Reusable Water Bottles
This is a great choice if you’re looking for something simple that’s value for money. The bottles come in a 4-pack with differently coloured lids and have a non-leak lid with a self-closing valve and no moving parts. Perfect if you’re fed up of having to take apart a bunch of bottles for cleaning, making sure that every lid, straw and base go together!
11.Mountop Kids Water Bottle with Straw Lid and Handle
This water bottle is designed specifically for kids, being easy to hold and use. There’s a hygienic push button lid and a pop-up silicone straw that are both easy and comfortable to use bottle. The bottle is designed to introduce children to drinking from a real straw - just like the big kids!
12.Snug Kids Flask - Stainless Steel Insulated Water Bottle for Kids
This rugged stainless steel toddler water bottle keeps drinks hot or cold until lunch and beyond. It has an easy-to-use push-button lid and comes in a range of themes including robots, cars, cute cats, unicorns and more. Recommended from 3 years and up.
13.JC Personalised Children's Water Bottle
This is a pretty standard kids’ water bottle but you can have it personalised with their name – or anything else you might want on it. You should bear in mind that this makes it handwash only as the bottle will be personalised with 100% waterproof high tack vinyl.
14.Tommee Tippee Insulated Sportee Toddler Water Bottle
Tommee Tippee are a trusted name in baby products and this toddler water bottle provides a great link between a sippy cup and bigger water bottle. It’s a double-wall-insulated sweat-proof sports bottle design that keeps kids cool while playing with a sippy-style mouthpiece. It also fits nicely in pram or car cup holders.
15.HYDRO FLASK Kids Waxter Bottle
Made with pro-grade stainless steel and using vacuum technology to keep drinks cool, this is a high-performance water bottle that’s also easy to use. It comes with an easy-to-clean Wide Mouth Straw and the stainless steel has a powder coat that is easy to grip, sweat-free, and durable.
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