Use boiled and cooled tap water to make your baby's formula. Test the formula's temperature 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!
To lessen this chance, parents can use low-fluoride bottled water some of the time to mix infant formula; these bottled waters are labeled as de-ionized, purified, demineralized, or distilled, and without any fluoride added after purification treatment.
Boil the water when needed.
For infants under 3 months of age, those who were born prematurely and those who have a weakened immune system, hot water should be used to prepare formula to kill any microbes. To do this, boil the water and let it cool for about 5 minutes.
Distilled or purified water can be used without boiling it. All other water should be boiled then cooled as described below. This includes all other bottled water and all tap water. Do NOT use well water.
Do not use artificially softened water or water that has been boiled before. Leave the water to cool in the kettle for no more than 30 minutes. Then it will stay at a temperature of at least 70C. Water at this temperature will kill any harmful bacteria.
Boiled water can be kept in sterilized, properly sealed containers in the refrigerator for 3 days or for 24 hours if kept at room temperature out of direct sunlight.
According to Health Canada, any water you give a baby under four months of age should be brought to a rolling boil for two minutes and then cooled to make sure it is sterile and will not make your baby sick.
Parents have multiple safe options when choosing water for formula mixing. The two safest options are boiled tap water that has been cooled to room temperature, or any type of bottled water. If tap water is going to be the primary water source for formula, use bottled water occasionally to reduce fluoride exposure.
Using distilled water for baby formula will protect your baby from fluorosis. If your tap water contains fluoride and your baby's main source of food comes from mixing a power or liquid-concentrate formula with water, then you might run the risk of your child developing faint white lines or streaks on their teeth.
You can use any type of clean water — tap or bottled — to prepare liquid-concentrate or powdered formula. If you're concerned about the purity of your water supply, talk to your baby's doctor or your water provider. Many public water systems will test drinking water upon request.
If you are in a situation where you do not want to or cannot use tap water (whether at home or in public), the other option is to buy bottled water. You'll find some "nursery water" products that are marketed specifically for babies, but these are not necessary.
Nursery Water is purified bottled water, marketed exclusively for babies. However, it isn't your only option. Many of these options contain fluoride which is not necessary until 6 months of age.
You can start giving your baby bottled water after six months, though. Mineral water for babies is fine as long as the level of dissolved minerals (such as sodium and fluoride) in it are low. The key thing to remember is that you should boil water that you've collected from a safe source when you mix infant formula.
Doctors recommend giving distilled water to babies because they will be getting all the minerals they need from the baby formula. If tap water or spring water is used, then it is much harder for caregivers to control the amount of minerals baby is getting.
It's no secret that distilled water is the best water to use when reconstituting formula. Pediatricians and formula makers recommend using distilled water for baby formula because it is clean and free of possible contaminants like lead, pesticides, bacteria, viruses, nitrates, and more.
Once the water entirely vaporizes, that vapor is put into a clean container where it condenses back into pure water. So merely boiling the water will not distill it, it will only potentially remove few toxins.
The historical evolution of infant feeding includes wet nursing, the feeding bottle, and formula use. Before the invention of bottles and formula, wet nursing was the safest and most common alternative to the natural mother's breastmilk.
Boil water, even if it is bottled water. Let the water cool (for no more than 30 minutes) and pour it into a cleaned and sterilized bottle. Add the exact recommended amount of powdered formula to the water. Assemble the bottle and mix the powdered formula thoroughly.
For formula, it has been shown that you should use distilled water. Boil your water and let it cool to 70 C, then add the formula mixture. According to Health Canada, any water you give a baby under four months of age should be brought to a boil for two minutes and then cooled to make sure it is sterile.
From 0 to 6 months
If you're bottle feeding, as well as their usual milk feeds, you can give your baby a little cooled boiled water. If your baby wakes at night, they'll probably want milk. If they have had their usual milk feeds, try cooled boiled water as well.
Fully breastfed babies do not need any water until they've started eating solid foods. During hot weather they may want to breastfeed more than usual. Formula fed babies under 6 months of age may need small amounts of cooled boiled water during hot weather as well as their usual milk feeds.
0 to 6 months
Breastfed babies get all the nourishment they need from your milk. They do not need any other drinks. These would reduce the amount of breastmilk they take. If you are formula feeding your baby, you can give them cooled boiled water.
Boiling kills microorganisms like viruses, bacteria and parasites. The water should boil for a minute. A kettle will usually bring the water to the boil before switching itself off and this is sufficient. If using a microwave oven, make sure that the water is boiling.
Many organisms cannot survive when water reaches its boiling point of 212 F. In fact, if the temperature of the water is above 160 F, any organism in the water will not survive longer than 30 minutes.
Turn on tap water and make sure it runs until it is cold. In a large pot, bring the water you will be using to prepare formula to a rolling boil. Sterilize the water by letting it boil for two minutes. Do not use a kettle that shuts off before the water has boiled for two minutes.