What is better for preparing infant formula, tap or bottled water?
Generally speaking, either tap or bottled water can be used when preparing infant formula. To ease any concerns about using one or the other, consider the following:
- When using cold tap water, bring it to a boil for one to two minutes, or as directed on the label of the infant formula, and let it cool before mixing with the formula (this applies to using bottled water as well).
- If using tap water, let the water run for a few minutes if you have not used the faucet for more than several hours -- this helps reduce the amount of lead and contaminants. Proceed to boil and let cool down.
- When using tap water, contact your local water utility to check the fluoride level. Consistently using fluoridated tap water may result in fluorosis -- a cosmetic issue that creates white spotting or streaks on both baby and permanent teeth. Be aware that boiling water with high levels of fluoride concentrates it, in which case using distilled bottled water is an alternative.
- You can decrease your baby's exposure to fluoride with ready-to-feed formula.
- Finally, you can also consider alternating occasionally between tap water and non-fluoridated water (distilled, purified, or deionized) when preparing your baby's formula. A certain amount of fluoride during infancy helps to prevent tooth decay.
Of course, your pediatrician can always recommend which water you should use to prepare your infant's formula. And remember that if you travel abroad, you need to be careful with the tap water in some countries.
|Dr. Aliza A. Lifshitz, Editor in Chief and Principal of VidaySalud.com, is a renowned physician, author and health reporter. Dr. Lifshitz is the public face of the Univisión television network's Peabody Award-winning health initiative Entérate: Salúd es Vida. She also appears on the network's Primer Impacto, the top rated Spanish-language television news magazine. Her live call-in program, El Consultorio de la Dra. Aliza, airs weekly on the Univisión Radio network. Dr. Lifshitz writes regular monthly columns for People en Español and for Ser Padres. Her weekly column in La Opinión is syndicated in Spanish-language newspapers throughout the country. Her monthly column in the Vista bilingual supplement runs in 29 newspapers nationwide. She also authored the first bilingual guide to pregnancy and childbirth, Healthy Mother, Healthy Baby.|