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Anything we give our babies contributes to their health and happiness, even water. As parents, you might be wondering whether it is safe to give bottled water to your baby. Read on to find out the types of water, what you can give your infant and things to consider before giving it to them.
Can Infants Drink Bottled Water?
You can give bottled water to your little cutie only if she is above 6 months of age. Giving water too early can result in water intoxication. This is because baby’s kidneys are still tiny and developing meaning that they cannot handle the load. Never replace breast milk or formula with bottled water during this time.
Types of Bottled Water
Here are the three types of bottled water:
1. Packaged Drinking Water
Bottled water is made with water which is sourced from lakes, rivers or public taps. It is purified using UV rays, and all the inorganic ions, bacteria, gases which are harmful, and any other impurities are removed from them. Once this process is complete, bottled water acquires a distinct flavour.
2. Mineral Water
You might be wondering is mineral water safe for babies? Mineral water has higher amounts of dissolved minerals, and it is usually extracted from groundwater or from underground spring water. Mineral water for babies is fine as long as the level of dissolved minerals (such as sodium and fluoride) are low.
3. Distilled Water
The purest form of water, this one does not contain any minerals or gases. It is not used for consumption and is usually used in industrial outfits.
Which Bottled Water is Safe for Babies?
Bottled water is packaged by different companies, some of which are Bisleri, Kinley, Himalayan Water and Kingfisher. The way it is collected, its purification process and constituent elements are different, meaning that there can be vast differences between them. Some of the important criteria that make bottled water safe for babies include:
- Many bottled water companies add fluoride to the water. In limited quantities, fluoride is good for your toddler’s teeth and gums. However, high levels of fluoride can be very harmful to your baby as it can cause ‘enamel fluorosis’ which can show on your baby’s teeth as white spots while they are still growing.
- Opt for those brands which have had reverse osmosis or ion exchange as part of the purification process. This is because there are many places in the country which have arsenic in the water. The above-mentioned processes help remove arsenic which cannot be done through boiling.
- Studies have shown that large amounts of sodium in drinking water leads to high blood pressure. Hence, low sodium bottled water for babies is the best alternative.
Is Boiled Bottled Water Good for Babies?
Plain bottled water may seem good, but studies have shown that over seventy per cent of the samples had high levels of bacteria. This study was conducted in the United Kingdom and given the poor quality of water India; the risk is even higher over here.
Boiling bottled water is added protection and is the preferred method as it eliminates any lingering bacteria that may be present. If you are travelling, buy some mineral water beforehand and boil it at home. Only if there is no provision for heating, should bottled water without boiling be given.
Baby Water vs Bottled Water
Nursery water or baby water as its popularly called is made for babies which means it contains low sodium, no sulphate and low fluoride. This gives baby water an edge over bottled water.
Is It Ok to Use Bottled Water for Baby Formula?
If you are making formula using bottled water, it should contain less than 200 milligrams a litre of sodium. Read the labels of any bottled water to make sure you check for this. Also, make sure that you boil the bottled water as well as a final precaution.
Can You Replace Bottled Water with Tap Water?
The tap water quality in the country is terrible in many parts of the country. Even the capital of the country, New Delhi, has seventy per cent contamination in its water. In addition, places like West Bengal and Bihar have large amounts of arsenic which even boiling cant remove. Hence, while tap water may work in some places abroad, the dismal quality of water in the country makes it a poor alternative for your little one.
Unless you have a water purifier at home, boiled bottle water is the next best alternative for your baby. It acts as a minimum deterrence to the number of deadly diseases such as diarrhoea and jaundice that can affect your baby.
Also Read: Gripe water for Babies