Distilled Water for Baby Formula: What You Need to Know

Jun 30


Josue Urribarri

Josue Urribarri

  • Share this article on Facebook
  • Share this article on Twitter
  • Share this article on Linkedin

The delicate task of preparing baby formula requires careful attention to ensure the health and safety of our little ones. One crucial consideration is the type of water used in mixing the formula. An often discussed and debated choice is distilled water. While it is deemed the purest form of water, is it the safest choice for your baby?


The delicate task of preparing baby formula requires careful attention to ensure the health and safety of our little ones. One crucial consideration is the type of water used in mixing the formula. An often discussed and debated choice is distilled water. While it is deemed the purest form of water,Distilled Water for Baby Formula: What You Need to Know Articles is it the safest choice for your baby?

In this article, we will delve into the pros and cons of using distilled water for baby formula. We will explore the science behind its purity, evaluate the concerns regarding its mineral content, and provide expert advice to guide you through this critical decision-making process. So, whether you are a new parent, caregiver, or an expectant mom-to-be, this article will offer valuable insights to help you ensure your baby’s health and well-being.

Understanding the Basics of Distilled or Purified Wat

Water plays a pivotal role in the preparation of baby formula. However, the type of water you use – be it tap water, bottled water, distilled or purified water – can make a difference in the overall nutrition your baby receives. For new parents, this raises numerous questions: Can babies drink distilled water by itself? Is purified water the same as distilled water? Is baby water distilled or purified? To answer these queries, we need to delve into the fundamentals of water purification and distillation.

First, let’s explore the definition of distilled water. Distillation is a process that involves boiling water and collecting the steam, which is then condensed back into water. This method effectively removes contaminants, bacteria, and most minerals, resulting in very pure water. In contrast, purified water can be achieved through various purification methods like reverse osmosis, deionization, or carbon filtration, and is not necessarily free of minerals. Hence, the distinction between purified vs distilled water lies primarily in the process and the mineral content.

How does distillation differ from other water purification methods? The key difference is that distillation removes virtually all substances, including beneficial minerals, from the water. Other methods, like reverse osmosis or carbon filtration, can leave some minerals behind. However, whether you choose to use distilled water for babies or purified water for babies depends on the specific needs of your child.

Distilled water holds several advantages, particularly when it comes to preparing infant formula. Because it is devoid of any contaminants or excess minerals, it reduces the risk of introducing any potentially harmful substances into your baby’s formula. This is especially important when mixing baby formula, whether it’s liquid concentrate formula, powdered formula, or prepared formula.

Many parents often wonder about fluoridated tap water or regular bottled drinking water. While these are generally safe for older children and adults, they may contain too much fluoride for babies, which can lead to dental fluorosis. However, both distilled water and purified bottled water are free from fluoride, making them a better choice for infant formula preparation.

That said, it’s essential to note that while you do not need to boil distilled water before use, purified water should be boiled before mixing with formula to ensure it is free from any remaining microbes. This process of preparing infant formula adds an extra layer of safety for your little one.

In the distilled vs purified water for baby debate, the ‘best water for baby formula’ comes down to individual preference and specific circumstances. Some parents may prefer the absolute purity of distilled water, while others may opt for purified water to retain some mineral content.

Regardless of the choice made, the main goal is to ensure the water used is safe and suitable for your baby’s needs. It’s always a good idea to discuss your options with a healthcare provider to make the best decision for your baby.

The Role of Minerals in Water

When preparing your baby’s formula, the type of water you use can significantly affect the mineral content your baby consumes. Minerals in water, particularly tap water and some bottled water, provide essential nutrients needed for a baby’s growth and development. But can babies drink purified water or distilled water, and if so, how does it compare to mineral water? Let’s explore.

Presence of Minerals in Water

Most natural sources of water, including tap water and certain types of bottled water, contain minerals like calcium, magnesium, and trace amounts of others. These minerals are often present due to the water’s contact with rocks and soil, where it absorbs these beneficial elements. However, the mineral content can vary widely depending on the source. For instance, tap water mineral content will depend on your local water company’s water source and treatment process.

In contrast, distilled or purified water is processed to remove most, if not all, of these minerals. Distillation involves boiling water into steam and then condensing it back into liquid, leaving most minerals and contaminants behind. Other purification methods, such as reverse osmosis, also aim to eliminate these substances, albeit with varying degrees of efficiency.

The Function of Minerals for a Baby’s Health

Minerals play a vital role in your baby’s health. They contribute to the development of strong bones and teeth, nerve function, and overall growth. Breast milk naturally contains these minerals, but when making formula, the mineral content will be dictated by both the formula powder and the water used for mixing.

One critical mineral that has sparked discussion is fluoride. While it can help in developing strong teeth, too much of it can lead to dental fluorosis, a condition that affects the baby’s developing teeth. That’s why fluoridated water or even low-fluoride bottled water should be used with caution for mixing formula powder.

Comparison Between Distilled Water and Mineral Water

When it comes to baby’s formula, comparing distilled water vs. mineral water boils down to their mineral content. Distilled water, having gone through the distillation process, has had most minerals removed, leading to its purity. On the other hand, mineral water retains its naturally occurring minerals.

Some formula makers add minerals to their products, meaning a few drops of distilled or purified water for baby formula preparation would still lead to a mineral-rich meal for your baby. However, not all formulas are created equal, so it’s essential to read the label to ensure your baby gets the necessary nutrients.

While mineral water might seem like the best choice for providing extra nutrients, it’s crucial to keep in mind the risk of water intoxication in infants, which can happen when a baby consumes too much water in relation to their body weight. Distilled water, due to its purity, minimizes this risk.

Another critical factor to consider is bacterial contamination. Tap water, and to a lesser extent bottled water can contain harmful bacteria that could lead to food poisoning. Boiling water before using it in the formula can kill these bacteria, but this step is unnecessary with distilled water due to the nature of the distillation process.

In conclusion, whether choosing distilled or mineral water for mixing baby formula, it’s vital to consider the formula’s mineral content and your baby’s specific needs. Always consult your pediatrician or a dietitian for the best advice tailored to your baby’s needs.

Guidelines for Preparing Formula

Preparing baby formula is a daily ritual for many parents. Whether you’re mixing infant formula from a powdered mix or using a prepared formula, the water you choose plays a pivotal role. From purified vs distilled water to nursery water vs distilled, this task may seem overwhelming with all the choices available. However, with the right guidelines, you can ensure you’re making formula safely and nutritiously for your baby.

Choose Your Water Source Carefully

The type of water you choose depends on various factors, including your baby’s age and the quality of your local water supply. Most public water systems are regulated by standards that keep harmful contaminants at safe levels. However, it’s essential to contact your local water company to ensure the water quality is suitable for an infant.

If you have any doubts about your tap water’s safety, or if you have a private well, consider other options like bottled spring water or nursery water. Keep in mind that not all bottled water is the same; distilled or purified water for babies differs significantly from regular bottled drinking water. Distilled water is free from any possible contaminants, while purified water may still retain some minerals.

Pay Attention to Fluoride Content

One critical aspect to consider when preparing formula is the fluoride content in the water. Fluoride can help prevent tooth decay, but too much of it can lead to a condition called dental fluorosis, which can cause faint white lines or streaks on your child’s permanent teeth [1].

The American Dental Association recommends that if your local water supply is fluoridated, consider using low-fluoride bottled water some of the time to prepare your baby’s formula. Nursery water often comes with or without added fluoride, so check the label before purchasing.

Mixing Formulas

When making formula, always follow the manufacturer’s instructions to ensure proper nutrition. Use the scoop that comes with the formula container to measure the correct amount of formula powder. Add the water first into the bottle before adding the powder to ensure accurate measurement.

If you’re using tap water, boil it first to kill any bacteria, and then let it cool down before mixing the formula. However, if you opt for distilled or purified water, there’s no need to boil it, as the distilling process eliminates any bacteria.

Storage and Serving

Prepared formula can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours. If the formula isn’t consumed within an hour of preparation, be sure to store it immediately to prevent any bacterial contamination. Never add extra formula to a partially consumed bottle, as bacteria from the baby’s mouth can contaminate the mix.

Choosing the right water for your baby’s formula is an important decision. From the water source to the fluoride content, many factors can affect your baby’s health. Always consult with a healthcare provider if you have any doubts or questions. Remember, every baby is unique, and what works for one might not work for another.


In conclusion, distilled water, purified water, and even specially marked nursery water can all be safe choices for preparing baby formula, given that they are used properly. Each type of water carries its unique set of benefits and considerations, and the best choice will often depend on factors such as local water supply quality, the specific needs of your baby, and the type of formula being used.

When it comes to the debate over distilled vs purified water for baby formula, remember that both options are generally safe and offer their unique advantages. Distilled water provides the highest level of purity, whereas purified water may still retain some beneficial minerals. Therefore, parents asking, “Can babies drink purified water?” or “Can babies have distilled water?” should rest assured that both can be suitable choices.

However, one important aspect to remember is the potential impact of fluoride. While necessary for dental health in small amounts, excessive fluoride intake can lead to dental fluorosis. Therefore, it’s important to consider the fluoride content in the water used for formula preparation.

Always remember to follow the formula manufacturer’s instructions for preparation and consult with a healthcare provider if you’re unsure about the best water to use for your baby’s formula. Ultimately, the goal is to ensure that your baby receives a safe, nutritious feed that supports their growth and development. By equipping yourself with the necessary knowledge, you can make an informed decision that best suits your baby’s needs.

For more articles like this please visit Baby Water

Some formula makers add minerals to their products, meaning a few drops of distilled or purified water for baby formula preparation would still lead to a mineral-rich meal for your baby. However, not all formulas are created equal, so it’s essential to use premium formulas such as HiPP Dutch or Holle formula and read the label to ensure your baby gets the necessary nutrients.