Water for Formula - Which Type Should You Use?


One of the reasons why powdered infant formula is more affordable than ready-to-feed formula is that you have to prepare it yourself by adding water. Depending on your brand, it can be up to half of the price of ready-to-feed per ounce.

Powdered formula is easy to store and lasts longer after opening compared to ready-to-feed. However, it is not as convenient as ready-to-feed. Once you get used to the prep that goes into making a baby bottle using powdered formula, the convenience is not as great of an issue. What water to use for baby formula is up to you.

Should I Boil Water for Powdered Formula?

Babyformula preparation directions do not recommend what type of water to use for baby formula. What the manufacturers recommend is to boil the water before use. This step sterilizes the water no matter what source it comes from. That means that any bacteria or contaminant that may be in the water has been reduced and is less likely to impact a baby’s delicate immune system.

How to Boil Water for Powdered Formula

  1. Add water to a pot or kettle
  2. Bring the water to a boil
  3. Let boil for at least 60 seconds.
  4. Turn off the heat and let the water cool.

Once you have boiled the water, you do not have to boil it again for another bottle. Always test the temperature before serving.

Can You Use Tap Water for Powdered Formula?

The benefits of using tap water are part of the convenience. It is right there, ready to go. Of course, not all tap water is the same from location to location. Is it properly filtered? What kind of minerals are added to it by the public water systems? How old are the pipes in your own house? Do you use a water softener system?

A home filtration system can remove germs and some minerals like lead, but it doesn’t sterilize the water. Another concern with tap water is that it may have added fluoride for dental benefits to the general population. Water filters do not remove fluoride.

The balance of fluoride in a baby’s daily nutrition is important. Their baby teeth do not need the recommended 0.7 parts per million in their water. Too much fluoride stains baby teeth. The white lines on the baby teeth are called dental fluorosis. 

Another concern with tap water is the use of a water softener system. Many homes may use a water softener to remove minerals that leave a buildup on sinks and other water fixtures. Babies should not drink water that has been treated with a water softener system because of its high salt content.

Can You Use Well Water for Powdered Formula?

Well water is often privately owned, so it is not regulated by a municipal water system. Homeowners have to pay for their health inspections and testing. If there is any uncertainty with the water or you don’t drink your well water, consider using low-fluoride bottled water.

Can You Use Bottled Water for Powdered Formula?

Bottled water is easy to obtain for the home or on the go. However, most bottled water comes from community taps which contain minerals just like the tap in the home faucet. To ensure that you choose low-fluoride water, opt for bottled water labeled deionized, demineralized, distilled, or purified. 

You will also find “nursery water” in the baby department of many stores that sell baby food and babyformula. Look for water that does not add extra fluoride because it is not necessary at this time. Keep in mind that nursery water is purified, but not sterilized. You would have to boil it before preparing a bottle.

What is the best water to use for baby formula? You can use whichever type of water as long as you are confident that it is safe to drink. Follow the directions on the formula packaging to make it according to the manufacturer's instructions. 

Most importantly, use the scoop that comes in the container and prepare with the right measurements. The ratio of water-to-powder means that they get all of the calories and nutrients they need for each meal and just the right amount of hydration. So if the box says to add one leveled scoop to each ounce of water, do not heap and do not scoop too little. It is all that your baby needs.

You can find the formula preparation instructions and other information about our powdered organicformulas on our website.