Giving Bottled Water for Babies : How Safe It Is?

Is It Safe to Give Bottled Water to Babies?

Medically Reviewed By
Dr. Arti Sharma (Paediatrician)
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If you are a new parent, you would be curious to find out what all you can introduce to your baby once she turns six months of age. While you continue to breastfeed your little one, you will want to know if you can give her bottled water along with other healthy mashed food and fruit purees. New parents, we’re here to answer you. Read this article to know if it is safe to give bottled water to your baby or not. Also, learn about the different types of water and whether they would be a safe option for your little one.

Can Infants Drink Bottled Water?

A baby drinking water through a bottle

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 the baby’s kidneys are still tiny and developing meaning that she 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, distilled water 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 water sold by various companies. The way it is collected, its purification process and constituent elements are different, meaning that there can be vast differences among the bottled water of different companies. 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.
  • The bottled water which has had reverse osmosis or ion exchange as part of the purification process is usually safe for babies. 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?

We usually drink plain bottled water without giving it a second thought. But it may not be exactly safe for babies as it may still contain bacteria. But if you do have to give bottled water at some point to your baby like when you’re travelling, you can buy bottled water and if possible boil it before giving it to your baby. Boiling bottled water offers added protection and is the preferred method as it eliminates any lingering bacteria that may be present. If you are planning to travel, you should carry enough water with yourself. You can also buy 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 may not be up to the mark in various parts of the country. The tap water we get maybe contaminated water. In several parts of the country, tap water has large amounts of arsenic in it, which is not removed even after boiling it. Hence, it is best avoided for little ones and even adults.

Boiled bottled water is the next best alternative to water from water purifier 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. Hence be very careful about the water you give to your baby. It’s best that you give boiled water to your little one and keep him healthy and safe.

Also Read: Gripe water for Babies

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