Is there anything worse, in a house with a toddler, than discovering a mysterious puddle on the floor?
The most common puddles around here (fortunately) are the kind made by drinking water, so the quest for a good, leak-proof water bottle is a noble cause.
As well as being anti-spill, I had two more criteria: it had to be easy for the child to use independently; and dishwasher friendly. Low cost would have been nice but — for such a frequent-use item — I’m happy to pay more for something that ticks all the other boxes.
Camelbak Eddy Kids' Drink Bottle
Value for money
A fully-featured and leak-proof (unless intentionally manipulated) drink bottle. Works well for it's intended purpose, and easy to clean, though at NZ $30 it's a bit pricey.
Camelbak’s eddy drink bottles (which come in adult sizes as well — I have a couple of my own) make use of their trademark bite valve to keep the water in. We got it when the Little Monkey was 14 months old, at which point he was accustomed to drinking from baby bottles, open cups and the occasional disposable water bottle. I expected the bite valve to have a bit of a learning curve to it, since you have to bite and suck at the same time. However (to prove me wrong) he had it figured out in less than a minute.
The valve means that theoretically the bottle is leak-proof, although there is a caveat. If your child is determined enough, they will work out that by tipping it upside-down and squeezing they can have their water play moment. But that’s enough about my charming Little Monkey. 😉
The kids’ bottle is 400ml and comes in various colours, with fun printed patterns around the bottle. The bottle itself is (BPA-free) plastic, and the bite valve is medical-grade silicon. The valve is attached to a straw, but (unlike the adult version) the straw is designed to let water into the valve even when the bottle is upside-down. Actually, I’m assuming that this is an intended feature — at any rate our Little Monkey is able to drink with the bottle tipped up, which is useful since it’s an instinctive action.
If (when) the bottle gets knocked around the straw can detach inside. It’s easy to reattach but requires adult intervention. This doesn’t happen too often (and we’re — ahem — not very careful with it) so just a slight inconvenience.
The silicon valve is replaceable, which is essential if your child has teeth (actually I don’t know. Maybe there are kids out there who are capable of using it as intended and not chewing the crap out of it. Those kids don’t live here).
The bottle is 7cm in diameter, which means it fits perfectly into the cup holder of our Diono car seat. And it’s reasonably easy for little fingers to flip the nozzle up and down, though this took a bit longer to master.
The biggest issue is that the bite nozzle forms a little compartment, and if (hypothetically of course) food particles were to make it in there… Well, it can get pretty gross. Fortunately, the parts are all dishwasher safe. The nozzle is quite small so needs to be contained or secured — I find spearing it on one of the dishwasher’s prongs works well to hold it in place and ensure it gets well cleaned.
Overall it’s a pretty good bottle, a bit pricey but we think it’s worth it. That doesn’t mean you can’t watch out for sales, though!
And as for those puddles — well, they’re not too prevalent anymore, but we haven’t started toilet training yet…
Awesome or Average: Awesome
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Or support our site by buying from Amazon (note: we have bought Camelbak bottles from Amazon as it was cheaper than buying locally, but currently they aren’t shipping them to NZ. I’m leaving the link here because a) you may not be based in NZ and b) this may change)