Monday, December 11th, 2006
Commentary: Water Bottle Nipple Adapter
Here is a seductively simple product that new parents will think they need: the Water Bottle Nipple Adapter by BabySport.
It’s a plastic adapter that screws onto a standard bottle of water. The adapter lets you then use a latex or rubber nipple on the bottle. Two adapters of different sizes are included, though I don’t know if that’s for differing bottle sizes or differing nipple sizes.
The Big Idea pitched for this product is that parents often forget their baby’s bottle when leaving home, and it will be handy to buy a bottle of water from a store for your baby.
Sounds cool, doesn’t it? But let’s think about it a little.
- How often does a parent forget to bring a bottle while traveling? For us and our 2.5-year-old daughter, we forgot two times, and only within the last two months. In those situations we had her drink directly out of a water bottle. Of course, we breastfed for 20 months. Moms don’t usually forget to pack their boobs.
- If you forgot your baby’s bottle, what makes you think you’ll remember a water bottle adapter? If you can store a spare adapter in your car at all times, why not just store an empty bottle and then pour water into it?
- How soon should a nipple-using baby be drinking water? Two BabyCenter.com articles (one, two) indicate babies don’t need water before six months, and probably not before the first birthday. Of course, ask your pediatrician for advice.
- Isn’t a child who is old enough to hold and use a nipple-topped water bottle old enough for a sippy cup? Wouldn’t such a child prefer to drink from a sippy spout, and not a nipple?
- Why isn’t this product a sippy spout adapter?
- Will some parents attach this thing to a soda bottle or juice bottle? The American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Academy of Pedodontics state that juice should be offered to infants in a cup, not a bottle, for reasons related to tooth decay (and even then, plenty of pediatricians recommend giving kids minimal juice). The manufacturer only discusses water, but you know how parents can be.
- Are the water bottles you’re buying on the spur-of-the-moment free of bisphenolâ€“A?
- What size nipples does this thing accommodate? It looks like it handles
Playtex-sized nipples. If it handles large Avent-sized nipples, then it
could probably hold Avent’s sippy spouts (as seen on Kleen Kanteens).
- The inventor of this product is the former host of the TV program Cheaters, current host of STAG: Last Night of Freedom (a reality TV show about stag parties) and the future host of Billionaires Car Club. These are not technically reasons to hate this product, but sheesh! For some reason, somebody thought it wise to mention this relationship in the company’s news release.
Yes, I’m quite skeptical. Oh, but you say, the nipple adapter is only $1.95, and why not err on the side of caution?
That’s the seduction. As wide-eyed new parents, my family wasted at least $200 on individually inexpensive baby gear products that seemed important, but went unused. Our daughter didn’t need toilet seat locks, or even cabinet locks. Every child is different, but I dare guess that most babies don’t need bottle or wipe warmers. A hungry baby doesn’t care if milk is warm, and she can endure a room-temperature butt wipe.
Sure, I’ve been harsh here in second-guessing this product. So, I’ll credit the manufacturer for having a genuine marketing pitch. They seem to really believe many parents forget their kids’ bottles. That’s why the adapter is being sold nationwide right now at 7-Eleven and Circle-K convenience stores… precisely where such a parent, on the road, might look for this item. Let’s check back in a year to see if 7-Eleven and Circle-K still stock this gear.
[Link via Strange New Products.]