If you’ve become a new mom recently, you might be worried or anxious about how to feed your baby formula. The good news is you’re not alone. New moms experience anxiety about feeding their baby formula, often concerned by the safety of tap or bottled water.
We’ve outlined two types of water: tap and bottled. There are also several types of bottled water, but we will stick with two types: distilled and spring (artesian).
Can I use tap water for my baby’s formula? While tap water is considered safe by the CDC, The American Dental Association (ADA) has expressed concerns about water that contains higher concentrations of fluoride (greater than 0.7mg/l). While fluoride can be protective for dental health, higher levels can cause fluorosis on developing teeth.
While fluorosis is not considered a tooth disease, it does appear as discoloration on a baby’s developing teeth, specifically as white spots or streaks on the enamel. Keep in mind that this imperfection of coloration develops on your baby’s permanent teeth while still forming in the gums.
The majority of powdered infant formulas contain fluoride. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) suggest that if an infant is only drinking infant formula reconstituted with fluoridated water, parents should use de-fluoridated bottled water part of the time, reducing the risk of too much fluoride, leading to fluorosis.
Can I use bottled water for my baby’s formula? The answer is similar to the above explanation. You can use bottled water to reconstitute (mix) powdered or liquid concentrate infant formulas, be mindful that fluoride content in bottled water varies.
Suppose your child is exclusively consuming infant formula reconstituted with water that contains fluoride. In that case, there may be a higher likelihood for mild dental fluorosis (again a change in the appearance of the teeth enamel, creating barely visible white markings). To lessen the possibility, parents may choose to use low-fluoride bottled water some of the time to mix infant formula.
So while it is safe to use bottled or tap water, it is best to vary the types of water and be mindful of the fluoride content. Water with fluoride protects teeth from tooth decay, but it is important to know how much fluoride is in the water. Visit My Water’s Fluoride at the CDC for more information. Again, be mindful of higher concentrations of fluoride (greater than 0.7mg/l).
Finally, regarding bottled water, there are usually two types: distilled and spring (artesian) water.
Distilled water is acceptable to mix in baby formula, but it shouldn’t be the only water your baby drinks. Distilled water is purified and, as a result, doesn’t have the benefits that mineral water contains.
While drinking distilled water is not dangerous to your toddler, consider balancing it with a nutritious diet.
Spring (Artesian) Water
Spring or artesian water is like well water, coming from a much deeper reservoir. It’s not like the water you get in a tap. People buy spring water in bottles or jugs.
However, spring (artesian) water, which has been purified and is up to FDA standards, is safe to use although experts advise boiling it.
For more information, visit the Infant Formula of the CDC and Moms Love Best.