Adam Gartenberg's Blog

Business Analytics and Optimization, IBM and Social Marketing

Tell me again how you’re doing this for me?




Despite having no shortage of sippy cups, disposable sippy cups, convertible sippy cups, straw cups, and no-spill cups, we've discovered that one of the best ways to keep our kids well-watered on the go was a good old off-the-shelf "disposable" water bottle.  Deer Park (the brand our supermarket seems to push), even has a handy little 6 oz  bottle - with flouride, no less - that's just the right size to throw in the bag, and it even fits our 17 month old's hands pretty well.

While it's not spill-proof (see below for more on that), it does close easily and best of all, it's refillable.

Or at least it was.

It seems that the good folks at Deer Park (alas, in Marketing, I'm sure) have taken it upon themselves to solve a problem I never had.  Their "new, improved" bottles boast a new cap with "no small parts" that children could accidentally swallow.  In other words, it's now impossible to remove the cap.  

Now I don't know what other parents are mixing in their kids' baby food, but I can assure you that our 17 month old (let alone our 4 year old) can't twist off the cap of their bottles, so this is most certainly a problem I never had.  But even more importantly, we had just found a solution to the only real detraction from using a water bottle as a sippy cup.  The Lil Topper is a twist-on cap for a standard water bottle, and truly does make a water bottle spill proof.  It's great, our kid loves it, and we've been using it regularly for the last week or so.  At least until we came home from the store and discovered that the "new, improved" Deer Park water bottle also meant that we couldn't swap out their top for ours.

And here's the thing the folks at Deep Park obviously missed.  Yes, we reuse the water bottles.  But you give a water bottle to a toddler and watch how long it lasts.  Even if it doesn't end up lost within 2-3 days, it soon reaches a stage (even with cleaning) where it just looks nasty enough that it's worth tossing it and grabbing a new one from the shelf.  Only this time, the one we'll be grabbing will be from someone else.

Deer Park Water?  Buh-bye