Fluoride Action Network

Water for Formula: Which Type Should You Use?

Source: Healthline Parenthood (U.S.) | By Noreen Iftikhar, MD
Posted on July 8th, 2020
Industry type: Misinformation
Note from Fluoride Action Network:
The article states, “Boiling tap water doesn’t change how much fluoride is in it.” Incorrect. If water is boiled for a longer time fluoride will concentrate in it. For example, if you put 2 liters of fluoridated water (1.4 ppm fluoride) water in your kettle and most boils away, with only a thimbleful left, you will still have the same amount of fluoride, 1.4 ppm fluoride. The important take-away here is to always empty the water in your kettle after each use.

The article states, “Home water filters can’t remove fluoride either.” Incorrect. Reverse osmosis is the most common home water filter used to remove fluoride, and the percentage it removes is high. Only carbon filters don’t remove fluoride, eg, Brita filters.

Medically reviewed by Carissa Stephens, R.N., CCRN, CPN

You’ve chosen the best formula to feed your new little one and stocked up on plenty of baby bottles. Feeding your baby seems fairly simple — measure out the formula and add water, right? But — what kind of water?

Can you use tap water for formula? Does anyone even drink tap water these days? What’s the best kind of bottled water for your baby?

The good news is you can use tap water or bottled water to make your baby’s formula. But you might not be able to use the water straight out of the tap or use just any bottled water.

You actually need to become a bit of a water boiling expert and know about things you never thought of before, 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 simple! You can do it in your sleep (and you’ll have to). Here’s what you need to know.

Can you use tap water to make your baby’s formula?

Even though we’ve been sold bottled water for a very long time, tap water in most places — not all — in the United States is safe to drink. However, it is still best to boil tap water and let it cool before you use it to make your baby’s formula.

Boiling water kills any germs, like bacteria or viruses, that might get into the water. This can happen if pipes are old or leaky, if there’s heavy rain or flooding in your area, or if there are problems with the water main or reservoir in your town.

Using a home water distillation, purification or filtering system does not remove all the germs from the water. Boiling water makes it safe for you and your baby to drink.

To boil, simply:

  1. Fill a clean pot or kettle with water.
  2. Bring the water to a rolling, bubbling boil.
  3. Let it boil for at least a full minute.
  4. Remove it from the heat.
  5. Let the water cool to about body temperature — 98.6°F (37°C).

You can also use an electric kettle to boil water. Handle boiling water very carefully. You’ll need to use both hands while near a stove or hot kettle, so don’t hold your baby while you’re making the formula; keep them safely away.

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!

Fluoride and tap water

Another thing to know about tap water is that in the United States most community tap water has added fluoride. This mineral is added to drinking water because it helps to prevent cavities. Fluoride is found naturally in water and soil, but the levels are too low to have any benefit.

The American Dental Association supports the addition of fluoride to water at 0.7 parts per million to protect dental health. However, too much fluoride in the body can stain teeth with white lines, known as dental fluorosis.

Using tap water helps protect your little one’s budding teeth because it has added fluoride. But, because babies are tiny, they can sometimes get too much fluoride if you use tap water all the time.

Boiling tap water doesn’t change how much fluoride is in it. Home water filters can’t remove fluoride either. If you’re worried about your baby getting too much fluoride, alternate between using tap water and low-fluoride bottled water to make your baby’s formula.

Most bottled water comes from tap sources, so they can also have added fluoride in them. Low fluoride tap water might be labeled as “demineralized,” “purified,” distilled” or “deionized.” This means that some fluoride is removed.

You can also use liquid baby formula if you are worried about too much fluoride. These ready-to-feed baby formulas have less fluoride in them than using tap or regular bottled water.

Let your pediatrician know if you are using low fluoride water to make your baby’s formula or if you are feeding them ready-made formula. There is a possibility that your baby gets very low amounts of this mineral. Your doctor might recommend fluoride supplements for your baby when they’re 6 months old.

Can you use well water to make your baby’s formula?

In some parts of the United States, homes get their drinking water from wells. Many of these are private wells that aren’t checked by health inspectors. This means that sometimes they might have higher levels of minerals than are normally allowed.

Well water can also get contaminated with toxins from the dirt or water around it. In rare cases Trusted Source, the toxins can be so high that they can poison babies, children and even adults.

If your home gets its tap water from a well ask your local municipality to make sure it is tested regularly. If it’s a private well, you can seek testing yourself. If you’re not sure if the well water is tested or safe, avoid using it to make your baby’s formula. Use low fluoride bottled water for your baby instead.

*Original article online at https://www.healthline.com/health/baby/water-for-formula