Most adults drink bottled water, but is it recommended to allow babies to consume it? For babies and toddlers, drinking water is essential to their health and well-being. Do babies need water in addition to breast milk or formula? It all depends on the age of the baby and what type of bottled water they drink.
Types of Bottled Water
Spring water is natural water that comes from underground to the surface. Sparkling water is water that has been carbonated. Water that has had all of the contaminants removed is purified water. Mineral water is water which contains only the natural minerals from its underground source, but not less than 250 parts per million of dissolved solid material. Drinking water is just tap water. Artesian water is water from an underground natural reservoir.
What is the best type of bottled water for my baby?
Natural mineral water contain high levels of minerals, some of which can be dangerous for your baby or toddler. In addition, many natural mineral waters contain high sodium levels which are not recommended for babies. Mineral waters that are suitable for mixing with formula are properly labelled.
Spring water should also be avoided because currently, there is no legislation requiring the mineral content to be labelled.
Drinking water is safe for babies and you should treat this water the same way that you would treat normal tap water.
Infants (0-6 months)
It is not recommended to give infants under the age of 6 months straight tap water or any type of bottled water because it can cause intoxication and jaundice. When you use water to mix with formula, the American Dental Association recommends not using water that contains high levels of fluoride. In many areas, tap water contains high levels of fluoride which is why formula manufacturers recommend using only bottled water.
Infants (6-12 months)
Once your baby is 6 months old, it's OK to give him sips of straight bottled water when he's thirsty. Most experts agree once they are this age, babies need some fluoride in their water. If you are going to give your baby bottled water, purchase the type that has fluoride in it.
At this age most babies are still either breastfeeding or formula feeding. If formula feeding, continue to use non-fluoride bottled water for their bottles because you want to be sure your baby does not get too much fluoride. It is recommend that babies this age need 0.5 milligrams of fluoride a day. It is very important to read the label of the bottled water so you know how much fluoride is in each serving.
Toddlers (12 months +)
Once your baby reaches 12 months, the bulk of his diet is solid food. He may be having a bottle of formula or may be nursing only a few times a day. At this age, water containing fluoride is very important for their maturing teeth; therefore, only buy water containing fluoride for your child.