Which Type Should You Use?
You have chosen the best formula to feed your new little one and stocked up on lots of baby bottles. Feeding your baby seems pretty easy – measure the formula and add water, right? But – what kind of water?
Can you use tap water for the formula? Does anyone drink tap water these days? What is the Best Type of Mineral Water For Your Baby?
The good news is you can use tap water or bottled water to make your baby’s formula. However, you may not be able to use the water straight from the tap or only in bottles.
You actually need to get a bit of an expert on water boiling and know about things you’ve never thought of, like how much fluoride is in your water.
Don’t worry, drinking water is safe in most of the country. And once you get the hang of mixing your baby’s formula, it’s pretty easy! You can (and you must) do it in your sleep. Here’s what you need to know.
While we’ve been selling bottled water for a long time, tap water is safe to drink in most places – not all – in the United States. However, it’s still best to boil tap water and let it cool before using it to make your baby’s formula.
Boiling water kills all germs such as bacteria or viruses that could get into the water. This can happen if the pipes are old or leaking, if there is heavy rain or flooding in your area, or if there are problems with your city’s aqueduct or reservoir.
Using a domestic water distillation, cleaning or filter system will not remove all germs from the water. Boiling water allows you and your baby to drink safely.
For cooking simply:
- Fill a clean pot or kettle with water.
- Bring the water to a boil.
- Let cook for at least a full minute.
- Take off the stove.
- Let the water cool to around body temperature – 37 ° C.
You can also use a kettle to boil water. Be very careful with boiling water. You must use both hands while near an oven or hot kettle. So don’t hold your baby while you make the formula. Keep them safe away.
Use boiled and chilled tap water to make your baby’s formula. Test the temperature of the formula on your wrist before feeding your baby. Just sprinkle a few drops on the inside of your wrist. If it’s too hot for your wrist, it’s too hot to give to your baby!
Fluoride and tap water
Another thing to know about tap water is that in the United States, most of the community tap water has fluoride added to it. This mineral is added to drinking water as it helps prevent cavities. Fluoride occurs naturally in water and soil, but levels are too low to be of any use.
The American Dental Association supports adding 0.7 ppm fluoride to water to protect dental health. However, too much fluoride in the body can stain teeth with white lines in what is known as dental fluorosis.
Using tap water will protect your child’s budding teeth because it has added fluoride. But because babies are tiny, they can sometimes get too much fluoride from using tap water all the time.
Boiling tap water doesn’t change how much fluoride it contains. Household water filters also cannot remove fluoride. If you are concerned that your baby is getting too much fluoride, alternate using tap water and low-fluoride water to create your baby’s formula.
Most bottled water comes from tap sources, so it can contain fluoride as well. Low fluoride tap water can be referred to as “demineralized”, “purified”, “distilled” or “deionized”. This means that some fluoride is being removed.
You can also use liquid baby formula if you are concerned about too much fluoride. This ready-to-feed baby formula contains less fluoride than tap water or normal mineral water.
Let your pediatrician know if you are using low-fluoride water to make your baby’s formula, or if you are giving them a pre-made formula. There is a chance your baby will be receiving very small amounts of this mineral. Your doctor may recommend fluoride supplements to your baby when they are 6 months old.
In some parts of the United States, households get their drinking water from wells. Many of these are private wells that are not checked by health inspectors. This means that sometimes they have a higher mineral content than is normally allowed.
Well water can also be contaminated with toxins from the dirt or water around it. In rare cases, the toxins can be so high that they can poison babies, children, and even adults.
If your home draws tap water from a well, ask your local community to make sure it is tested regularly. If it is a private well, then you can try to test yourself. If you’re not sure whether the well water is tested or safe, avoid using it to make your baby’s formula. Instead, use low-fluoride water for your baby.
If you prefer to use bottled water to make your baby’s formula, you may be able to find bottled water that is sold only for babies. This means these companies have followed guidelines to ensure the water is sterilized by boiling before bottling.
However, these can be hard to find and are more expensive than regular bottled water. You can use any bottled water to make baby food.
Yes, you still have to cook it. While bottled water is safe to drink for adults, it may not be as safe for babies. Also, some bottled water may have been on the shelf for a while or contaminated. It’s best to be on the safe side and take the time to boil bottled water as well.
You can boil water ahead of time so it will be ready when your baby has the hungry cry. How you handle and store the water is just as important as preparing it by boiling it.
- The first step is to always wash your hands before touching anything (including your baby).
- Use sterile jars or jars with lids to hold boiled water. You can sterilize them by pouring boiling water into them and rinsing them with boiled water. Do not use tap water to rinse them out. You will then no longer be sterile!
- Also, remember to sterilize your baby’s bottles with tap water after washing and rinsing them.
You can even store some of this safe baby food after you’ve mixed it up. A bottle with a prepared formula can stand on the counter for about 2 hours. An unused mixed formula bottle can stay fresh in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours. That way you won’t stumble around in the middle of the night and mix up your baby’s problems!
If your child decides to sleep or play rather than feed in the middle of a bottle, dispense the rest of the formula within an hour. Do not refrigerate a partially used bottle or mix it with a new formula. It’s no longer sterile and can go bad faster than a fresh bottle of formula.
You can use both tap water and bottled water to make your baby’s formula. Either way, you will need to sterilize the water by bringing it to a boil – unless you can find bottled water made specifically for baby formula, but that’s just getting fancier!
If you are concerned about fluoride, check with your doctor about alternating tap water and low-fluoride water or just bottled water. If your home is getting well water, it is best to use bottled water.