At Last! Water for Infants!

Readers, in truth, I originally thought I had to boil tap water for my kids’ bottles. Then my pediatrician said nope — we live in the First World. Rejoice and let the kids guzzle.

But since there is no easier dollar to extract than that from the wallet of a new parent, an Australian company is now peddling  Bebi hidsykzzak
Infant Suitable Water
, “quality, ready to drink baby water that can be stored at room temperature.” Water that doesn’t go bad at room temp? Imagine that!

Bebi Infant Suitable Water offers you the same protection as boiling your water; but at a much faster pace, thanks to our advanced and award winning packaging innovation.

The packaging innovation I always appreciated was the one that came with our apartment: A faucet. You just turn it on and out the stuff comes. No lugging liquid from the grocery. No bottles to recycle. No waiting and not much money. Just…H2O.

If we lived in a place with a brackish well, or our only water came from a river with cattle carcasses drifting by, well, Bebi Infant Suitable Water might’ve been a refreshing alternative. But somehow I doubt that it’s being sold in those places. And I doubt those folks could afford it.

I really thought our society had already done everything it could when it comes to demonizing tap water. Never underestimate the power of fear! – L.

Bebi. The water for babies whose parents have been convinced they need it.

Bebi. The water for babies whose parents have been convinced they need it.

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43 Responses to At Last! Water for Infants!

  1. Mark Davis June 29, 2014 at 12:09 pm #

    Good lord.

    “offers you the same protection as boiling your water”, namely, nothing more that you haven’t already got.

  2. Kathleen Bell June 29, 2014 at 12:29 pm #

    That is hilarious! It is all about the Money! It would be so different if it was actually about the well being of the baby. Excellent words.
    Peace 🙂 Kathleen

  3. Reziac June 29, 2014 at 12:34 pm #

    There are two issues with this, from a “health of your child” standpoint:

    1) There are no real standards on the quality of bottled water.

    2) When bottled water has been tested, it’s been found to contain many times more contaminants and pathogens than even the poorest of first-world tap water.

    So, yeah, this is really all about extracting money from the Stupid Gene that activates when people become new parents. I mean, how else do you get people to pay 2 or 3 or 4 times what they would for a gallon of gasoline??

  4. Kimberly June 29, 2014 at 12:37 pm #

    At the beginning of each Day of Camp Kimbee, my niece and nephew fill three reusable water bottles with ice and tap water. The biggest problem we have with them is the same reason we carry them – lack of water fountains. Parks that I went to in the 70’s that were full of water fountains now have none. Some were lost to misuse and neglect. Others were removed because of misunderstanding in the 80’s about transmission of certain diseases.

    Fortunately in Texas eating establishment have to give you a glass of tap water at no charge, if you ask for it. So we’ll go to a fast food place get 3 small fries or ice creams and 3 waters. Some places will just let us fill our water bottles, others make us take a cup.

  5. Stephanie June 29, 2014 at 12:51 pm #

    Normally I agree with what you post, but not this time. There are many areas of Australia where access To clean water is scarce and people often take very long car rides through remote areas to get from one place to another. Having a few of these in the car might be handy if you have to drive 10 hours through the bush in an old car with no gas station or store for a hundred miles. Sure the marketing is over the top and you could bring a bottle of water, in Australia this product may be useful once in a while.

  6. Emily June 29, 2014 at 1:28 pm #

    Aside from Stephanie’s example, I agree with the majority. I’m sure I drank tap water as a baby, and I grew up to be a perfectly healthy adult. If such a product had existed when I was the right age for it (not that there’s any “right” or “wrong” age to drink water), then my parents probably would have rolled their eyes, and continued giving me tap water.

  7. Emily Morris June 29, 2014 at 1:29 pm #

    Yes, we can all name places where this would be great, but when suitable tap water is claimed not good enough? It’s money.

  8. Jennifer Allen June 29, 2014 at 1:30 pm #

    It’s sad that people can be convinced that they need anything, if it’s packaged right. Play on people’s irrational fears, and put it in a pretty bottle and it will fly off the shelves. Babies’R’Us actually sells a similar product, right next to the baby formula and bottles. It’s essentially just bottled tap water, but I believe it’s called “Nursery” water. It’s advertised as being “safer” for babies, and comes in small packages and gallon sizes so new mothers can stock up for all those baby bottles they’ll be mixing up. Ridiculous!!

  9. EricS June 29, 2014 at 1:32 pm #

    Bahahaha! Just like most bottled water out there, it’s just regular tap water…repackaged. In fact, some bottled waters have been tested, and found to be less suitable than regular tap water. Just goes to show, a lot of “suckers” to be had in this day and age. More than any other in the history of mankind.

    Save your money, drink from the tap. But if you’re really concerned, buy a good filtration system for you faucet. It will be much cheaper than buying bottled “water” on a regular basis, in the long run.

    Corporate greed will be the death of the majority of us, and this planet.

    Fun fact: The U.N. estimates that it would require an additional $30 billion a year to provide safe, clean drinking water to the ENTIRE PLANET.

    We spend 3 times that amount on bottled water.

  10. Mike June 29, 2014 at 1:45 pm #

    Yes, but in those areas where bottled water is needed, I’m sure you can already buy it by the liter, and probably MUCH cheaper than this special “baby” water. Still, I expect that they will have plenty of customers convinced that there must be something special about it, because, well…it’s for babies…nothing is too good for your baby…I mean don’t you care about your baby’s health and safety?

  11. Rachel June 29, 2014 at 1:46 pm #

    I drink bottled water because I think tap water tastes nasty, plus I like it to be near freezing. But i don’t think its any better, unless i get the refillable reverse osmosis filtered kind (then it gets the fluoride out).

  12. Scott June 29, 2014 at 1:57 pm #

    I wonder if it has the added floride that tap water has for healthy teeth. I have heard (sorry, can’t make a citation – can someone else?) that there has been a decline in dental health in the US that has coincided with the rise in non-floridated bottled water. It this stuff isn’t floridated, it may be worse than tap water.

  13. Ann in L.A. June 29, 2014 at 1:58 pm #

    We had water jugs delivered to our house when the kids were little, but that was mostly because Los Angeles didn’t fluoridate their water and we wanted our kids to get the fluoride.

  14. Ariane June 29, 2014 at 2:03 pm #

    Tap water or any water used to prepare infant bottles (I’m assuming you meant to prepare formula with) should be boiled, actually. Not to sanitize or kill anything in the water, but to sanitize the formula. Infant powdered formula is not sterile and has been found to contain bacteria that can cause dangerous infections in babies. But the US has very high standards to tap water purification and nothing in it would harm your baby.

  15. Jennifer Jo June 29, 2014 at 2:24 pm #

    Totally beside the point, but the title made me think: Water for Chocolate, or Water for Elephants.

  16. hineata June 29, 2014 at 2:31 pm #

    With Stephanie on this, some parts of Oz this might actually be useful. I wonder if it’s actually getting to those far off the track places though …. I suspect not, people out back probably are too practical to buy it 🙂 .

    As for the rest of the western world, what polluting nonsense….

    Even in Malaysia, where the water used to be fairly suspect, the only time we needed to buy water was when some idiot broke the water main. Otherwise boiling was enough, and that was in what was only a developing country at the time.

  17. Coccinelle June 29, 2014 at 2:47 pm #

    Whatever the reason you want your baby to drink bottled water, I will not ask any questions… but why not buy REGULAR bottled water??? This is really laughable. In fact it’s so laughable that I remember a joke here on TV in 1995 or so with this exact situation. Now it as come to reality…. sigh.

  18. Jake June 29, 2014 at 3:11 pm #

    I agree with this, but I know about how you hate bottled water. Frankly I love the stuff for one reason: portability. Because we can’t walk around with sinks on our backs, so let’s just bring the tap water with us and huzzah! So no, not a waste of plastic, just portable tap water, albeit with a fancy lable and a huge markup

  19. Jill June 29, 2014 at 3:15 pm #

    This stuff sells for the same reason people are willing to lay out $1,500 for an ugly purse with some designerks logo all over it: stupidity, plus it makes them feel special.

  20. Asya June 29, 2014 at 3:25 pm #

    Not only does it make little sense to buy, but the product is a little creepy. Their website says that “No – all of our products (including the bottle) contains no BPA (Bisphenol-A), Phthalates, Nitrosamines or Siloxanes. Additionally, both the closure and teat/nipple are all made from FDA approved food grade material.” Besides the fact that it’s full of typing errors, this doesn’t tell you much about the packaging at all. Great, it doesn’t have this this and that, but what IS it made from?! What is the “FDA approved food grade material?” Is it plastic? Is it glass? Gee, at least it’s BPA free! Furthermore, if this company is all about safe perfect water for babies, why not list the mineral content? What is the magical sterilizing process? What are their “highest standards?” Is it fluoridated? So someone basically paying for… boiled water in a plastic bottle with possibly even more fluoride than tap water? No thanks.

  21. gap.runner June 29, 2014 at 3:38 pm #

    Special water for babies is not new. Back when my son was a baby (15 years ago) one of the baby food companies, either Gerber or Beech Nut, sold special water for babies. It was in the baby food and supply department at the grocery store. After doing some quick math, I figured that the cost of the baby water was 3 to 4 times more expensive than buying regular bottled water. There was nothing different or special about the baby water except for the label.

    It’s amazing what people will buy because they think it’s better for their babies. Needless to say, I didn’t buy the baby water for my son. I used either regular bottled water or filtered tap water. He survived even without the high-priced baby water.

  22. Papilio June 29, 2014 at 3:50 pm #

    “the US has very high standards to tap water purification”

    Yeah – the only improvement I can think of is to filter that pool water taste out of it, like they do here.

    For those of you saying that a bottle of water is so handy in certain circumstances: a bottle filled with tap water is equally portable. I swear.

  23. SOA June 29, 2014 at 3:53 pm #

    Pediatricians keep changing the recommendations. First it was use tap water for bottles, then boil the water, then use distilled water. We just used tap water.

    One of my friends let her kids only drink bottle water and they never got the fluoride water and that along with the sodas she let them drink and the extended nursing all night long rotted his teeth out. Tap water would have probably been better for him.

  24. SOA June 29, 2014 at 3:55 pm #

    My mom has to use bottled water but it is because she lives out in the country with well water that tastes really really bad and smells bad. So we use it only to bathe, water plants and cook with if it is boiled. We use bottle water for drinking. But again, cheaper to buy big cases or gallons of it. Not buying specialty water.

  25. bmommyx2 June 29, 2014 at 4:13 pm #

    This is an Australian product, maybe there are issues with the water? I know when you make up formula you are supposed to have sterilized water & that is not easy on the go unless you used bottled. I also know it’s more critical for a younger baby or an immune compromised baby. I would never trust tap water for a baby unless it was boiled. There are lots of stupid overpriced convenience products on the market, especially aimed at busy overtired moms, like wipes warmers. This is no different. Here in the US we have nursery water on the shelves in the water isle sold in larger bottle.

  26. LRothman June 29, 2014 at 4:35 pm #

    Ariane: Unless you are mixing the formula while the water is boiling, boiled water won’t kill anything in the formula. The directions I remember (granted my kids are all teenagers) were something like: boil water, allow to cool, add formula.

  27. Jenny Islander June 29, 2014 at 5:09 pm #

    If the local water is so bad that you are afraid to give any to your baby, buy a filter! Even a filter that catches absolutely everything is bound to cost you less per glass than this stuff. Plus, when you’ve bought it, you’ve got it, for its entire lifetime, and you don’t have to figure out what to do with all the empties.

    Speaking of empties, buy a cheater-pint* bottle of juice** once in a while. Save it, scrub it, and fill it with water to take along. When it starts to look old, buy another cheater-pint.

    *Minute Maid and other brands offer bottles that used to hold a pint, but now sport a New Better Look!!! at a smaller capacity and the same price. The bottles are made of the same tough plastic as the 64-ounce juice bottles.

    **Don’t use milk bottles. Milk proteins tend to cling to plastic and it’s very difficult to get all of them off. You may end up with a bottle that has an invisible bacterial growth medium in it. Bleah.

  28. Jennifer June 29, 2014 at 8:09 pm #

    Taiwan has somewhat dodgy tap water that you wouldn’t feed to babies without boiling and filtering first, and there would be quite a few people who would be able to afford to buy this. They are working on upgrading the water infrastructure, but it’s a long, expensive process. It’s also really hot here much of the year, so staying hydrated is important. So I could see the convenience in pre-boiled and filtered water in a bottle designed for a baby to drink from.

  29. BL June 29, 2014 at 8:18 pm #

    I suppose this topic wouldn’t be complete without a link to the DHMO FAQ:

  30. Ron June 30, 2014 at 9:05 am #

    “I really thought our society had already done everything it could when it comes to demonizing tap water.”

    Then you need to see the movie Idiocracy, about a person from our very stupid present who finds himself in a very stupid future where every one consume energy drinks. Whenever he mentions drinking water everybody replies “Water? Like from the toilet.”

    So yeah, it’ll get worse

  31. pentamom June 30, 2014 at 9:07 am #

    Well, I’m just a bad mom. I breastfed all my kids, although some of them got supplemented quite a bit, a couple of them weaned before the age of 1, and all of them got bottles at least occasionally.

    I NEVER boiled water and never used anything but tap water.

    My kids over their lifetimes have tended to get sick less than the kids around them. I know that’s an anecdote and not proof of anything, but it does make me find the hygiene hypothesis all the more believable.

  32. pentamom June 30, 2014 at 9:12 am #

    I dunno, BL, that DHMO site looks a little sketchy. Let’s go with the actual MSDS:

  33. Dirk June 30, 2014 at 9:47 am #

    HA HA HA….I can’t imagine buying this stuff…but…

    This stuff is sold in AUSTRALIA!!!!

    They come in fruit juice too.

    The water quality in Australia is good, but it is impacted by droughts. I suspect this Australian company thinks it will make money of rich people in the Eastern provinces and well water farmers in the Western provinces.

  34. J- June 30, 2014 at 10:14 am #

    So the $0.69/gal distilled water I buy a Wal-Mart (I don’t like the taste of my tap water) is a deathtrap? It’s good to know that I can buy 8 oz of Bebi for $2.77 ($2.95 AUD). It’s amazing that my kid is still alive.

    I guess I should stop putting him in the floor for belly time were he rolls around with the dogs? I guess no more baths because he might get tap water in his mouth? Holy hell, I just realized I touch his hands and then he puts his hands in his mouth!!!

    Oh wait, he’s still fine. Never mind, carry on.

  35. Michelle June 30, 2014 at 10:18 am #

    Can’t you already buy 2.5 gallon jugs of drinking water in any grocery store? Even if you don’t use tap water, why wouldn’t you just use regular bottled water?

    My grocery store sells bottle nipples designed to fit the tops of standard water bottles. I do think that’s clever. I like the convenience of bottled water (and I have enough money that I’m willing to pay just to not have to wash a bottle), and combined with the little one-serving packets of formula for the diaper bag, I think that would be convenient for on the go.

    Of course, I find it way more convenient just to breastfeed, but that’s just me.

  36. Warren on June 30, 2014 at 11:23 am #

    To get the sanitization you are seeking, you would have to bring the water to a rapid boil, add the formula, and bring back to a rapid boil. Not only way to time consuming, but you would also be cooking off vitamins, proteins and such that the baby needs from the formula.

    All we ever did was boil the bottles for santizing. After 6 mons, they were just washed with the rest of the dishes. And until we moved here, with the well, we used city water for everything.

  37. Donna June 30, 2014 at 11:34 am #

    I’ve lived places with icky water where I relied on bottled water so I am not opposed to bottled water in general. I just don’t understand why babies need SPECIAL water. We lived in southern California when my daughter was a baby. The water tastes bas to me so I wasn’t going to make my baby drink it, but she didn’t need her own special water. The same bottled water that I drank was fine.

  38. Emma June 30, 2014 at 1:50 pm #

    I note that many communities in Australia use recycled water (i.e., from the sewage treatment plant) as their municipal water supplies. I have no problem with this personally (it goes through extensive treatment first and is probably cleaner than most well water, and makes environmental sense when you live in a desert) but recycled water for drinking is actually illegal in California (and probably other states too?). So I imagine quite a few Americans would drink bottled water when in Australia if they knew the supply was recycled (most people can’t get over the ick factor of their drinking water having been through the sewer).
    That said, if you’re not comfortable drinking tap water, normal bottled water would be just as good (and much cheaper) as this “special for baby” water is overpriced marketing to worried parents, same as many things.
    I remember my mum saying to me one time… if you want to make money on something, market it either to parents or brides. They’re both equally crazy and will spend crazy money on specialized stuff when the everyday version will do the same job for about half the price.

  39. baby-paramedic June 30, 2014 at 3:39 pm #

    Wish I could post pictures, I would post my 90odd Litres of bottled water I have stacked next to the front door (I will get around to putting it away properly, I swear!). We only buy two brands of bottled water, as we know where they actually source their water from, as well as fill up our bigger containers whenever we are back at the inlaws. Like also mentioned above, we always have at least 10L in the car, if your car breaks down you may be stuck for a long while (especially if you can’t raise anyone on the 2-way radio!). I live fairly close to the coast (not far beyond the great dividing range), and it is still over 100kms in every direction to the nearest towns.

    A fair number of Australians rely upon tank water or bore water. And when bad droughts come through the water supply drastically worsens, the city of Goulbourn is a prime example, but smaller areas are also badly hit.

    It may seem weird that we are an excellent first world country, but we are badly affected by the tyranny of distance in combination with our concentrated population centres. Live outside of those zones, and your water may be dodgy, your electricity supply often is (going through a good patch at the moment, but about a year ago we were averaging several outages every day), and access to what are considered basic services in the population centres, are limited.

    (Also in one town I worked, the water was flammable. Don’t know about you, but to me flammable water probably shouldn’t be drunk).

    So, yeah, in conclusion, a hell of a lot of Aussies rely upon untreated water sources.
    But I have no idea why we need infant specific bottled water, our regular bottled water should be fine if you can’t use your tap water!
    (And I cannot find on their website where they actually get their water from. Bad form).

  40. Reader July 1, 2014 at 2:23 am #

    But hang on Stephanie, there’s still regular bottled water for those occasions. Or you could fill a reusable bottle (or a larger water storer if travelling long distances through the outback). Why is either of these options less suitable for babies?

  41. pentamom July 1, 2014 at 10:37 pm #

    In fact, if you were taking a “very long car ride through remote places” with little or no access to water, these teeny tiny bottles would be the LAST thing I’d want to depend on. It would be nuts to do something like that without BIG containers of water, in case a problem arose. So I can’t see how the outback situation provides even the smallest justification for these things.

  42. derfel cadarn July 2, 2014 at 3:44 pm #

    Unless your toddler is regularly drinking out of ponds and muddy hoof prints you have no worries. You should be more concerned over whether or not the water your drinking contains fluride, it is an industrial waste product and a poison, no level of its consumption is safe.

  43. Jillian July 2, 2014 at 6:25 pm #

    The formula package specifically says one can use tap water or boied and cooled, or bottled. If you use special formulas, you cannot heat the formula at all, not even in a bottle warmer. Formula should be made wit cool water to preserve nitrients and because warm water sit in a boiler. Water boilers are not clean.

    Some localities in the us have water warnings for peoe who are kll, compromised immune systems, pregnant, or very young to filter their water or buy bottled. DC is one of these places. Thereare frequent PSAs in the dc region about the tainted water. While there, i use a filter or purchase water.

    Bany water has been aroumd, but another recent gimmick is toddler formula from 1-3 years. Because milk is evil and we need to keep spening hundreds-thousands of dollars on formula well past 1yr or our kids are doomed.