The Right Water for Formula Preparation

There is some disagreement as to whether or not boiling the water to mix with formula is necessary. It was once generally believed to be necessary, but the recommendation has come and gone in the past few decades. Whether or not you should boil the water for your baby’s formula depends mainly on the quality of your tap water.

Fluoride in Tap Water

Fluoride is added to tap water in most locations, and while it is generally good for your teeth, too much fluoride can actually cause staining on a baby’s teeth. These white lines or spots on teeth are known as enamel fluorosis, and it occurs when baby teeth are exposed to too much fluoride while they are still in the gums. While it isn’t actually harmful to baby, the marks on the teeth can not be removed.

Boiling does not remove fluoride from tap water, so if you live in an area with a high level of fluoride in the water, you might want to consider using bottled water instead. There are some filtration systems available for home use that will remove the fluoride.

Other Problems With Tap Water

Tap water quality varies greatly from area to area. Some cities have very high quality tap water while other cities may not. Rural areas vary as to whether they receive water from a municipal source or from a well. The best thing to do when deciding whether or not to boil the water for your baby’s formula is to talk to your baby’s doctor.

If your baby has any kind of medical condition that weakens the immune system or is premature, it is a very good precaution to boil the tap water prior to using it. Babies with weakened immune systems may not be able to handle any potential bacteria found in your water source.

If you don’t plan to boil your tap water before use, you should take the precaution of running the water on cold for several minutes prior to using it to reduce levels of lead or other potential minerals contaminating the water.

How to Boil Tap Water

If your doctor recommends that you do boil the water, simply bring it to a boil on the stove top and let it cool. It isn’t necessary to let it boil for long. Before using it, let it cool, and then either use it right away or store it in sterilized bottles for future use. It should be kept in the fridge and tightly sealed to avoid recontamination.

Bottled Water

If you decide to use bottled water, use caution when selecting it. You want water that is sterile, and many bottled waters are not. Do not use spring water, which is exactly what it sounds like – water from a natural source. There is no way of knowing what could be in the water. Most other bottled waters are from the same municipal sources that provide our tap water, although they have been through further purification processes.

In order to be absolutely safe, choose water that is labeled for use in preparing formula. Many major supermarkets and also baby supply stores will carry this type of water. It is more expensive than using tap water of course, but will give you peace of mind and save you the time involved in boiling.

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