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Check with your local water supplier to find out if your tap water is safe to use for your baby's formula. If you do not have a local supplier, make sure to test your water supply before mixing formula. If your water is not safe or if you are not sure, you may use bottled water.
You must add cool, safe water to powders and concentrates. Be sure to follow the directions on the label and use the measuring device that comes with the product.
Canadian experts recommend boiling water—even bottled water—for infants. Heat the water until it reaches a rolling boil, and continue boiling for 2 minutes.footnote 1 Let the boiled water cool before mixing it into a powdered or concentrated formula.
It may help to have a routine every morning so that you boil enough water for the day's feedings.
If you know that you have lead in your water, there are several things you can do to reduce the amount of lead your baby is exposed to:footnote 2
You can also have any pipes, fittings, or faucets in your home replaced with newer materials.
If you know that you have fertilizer chemicals (such as nitrates) in your water, don't boil your water. As the water boils away, you'll have a smaller amount of water with the same amount of nitrates in it. So the water has a stronger "dose," or concentration, of chemical.footnote 3 You can use bottled water instead.
Many public water supplies have a safe level of natural or added fluoride, which helps prevent tooth decay before and after baby teeth come in. And some bottled waters contain a limited amount of fluoride.
Too much fluoride can stain children's teeth and may be toxic. If you have concerns about the amount of fluoride in your tap water, call your local water supplier to ask about the water fluoride level in your area. You can also have your water supply company test a sample of water if you are unsure of its purity. You can't remove the fluoride by boiling the water.
You can call local and provincial agencies to get more information on the safety of your drinking water.
Adaptation Date: 3/19/2021
Adapted By: Alberta Health Services
Adaptation Reviewed By: Alberta Health Services
CitationsHealth Canada, et al. (2012). Nutrition for healthy term infants: Recommendations from birth to six months. A joint statement of Health Canada, Canadian Paediatric Society, Dietitians of Canada, and Breastfeeding Committee for Canada. Available online: http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/fn-an/nutrition/infant-nourisson/recom/index-eng.php.Health Canada (2007). Minimizing exposure to lead from drinking water distribution systems. Available online: http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/ewh-semt/pubs/water-eau/lead-plomb-eng.php.U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (2009). Water on tap: What you need to know. Available online: http://water.epa.gov/drink/guide.
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