You’re probably reading this article because your baby is older than 6 months and is in the process of being weaned off breast milk and onto formula. You’re also probably wondering what is the best way to provide safe water for your baby, now that he/she is starting to consume water.
Should you get Nursery Water? Install a water purifier? Buy bottled water?
You may be pondering over the different types of water purifier, types of bottled water… and what about those poor reviews you’ve been reading about Nursery water over the internet?
So many options, it’s confusing right? I mean your parents just gave you plain old tap water, so maybe that’s best?
Well, let’s settle the tap water debate first- Going against the FDA recommendations, I suggest you avoid it. I have good reason to say so because in many countries countries such as the US, tap water is fluoridated as well as chlorinated- two chemicals which you should keep babies away from, especially since the dosages aren’t meant for infants. Even boiling doesn’t remove these chemicals which is why I suggest not using tap water at all.
PS: You may like to read more about chlorine and chloramines in your water and how to remove them as well as more about fluoride in your water and what to do about it
As for the other options, let’s break these down one by one:
What Is Nursery Water?
Nursery water is a brand that makes processed water specially for infants. Their packaged water is run through 4 stages:
- Through an activated carbon filter to remove chlorine, VOCs and other organic compounds, as well as improve taste
- Next, the water is distilled, i.e: it is evaporated and then condensed in a separate container. This further removes dissolved contaminants in water.
- Next the water is ozonated which kills any remaining bacteria and viruses in the water.
- Finally, the water is run through 1 micron filter(good enough to remove any bacteria, cysts and cryptosporidium in water) before being bottled.
As you can see, there are a lot of redundancies in place for ensuring that water is absolutely purified.
What Are The Concerns With Nursery Water?
The main concern with Nursery water is that they add fluoride to the water. Multiple forums online are filled with parents’ complaining of this fact and talking about how they’ve stopped using nursery water because of this.
So, what’s the issue with fluoridated water exactly?
The practise of public water fluoridation was started in the 1950s in the US to improve dental health of the general population when it was found that fluoride, when applied topically(i.e on top or on the exterior) on the tooth, helps prevent decay.
A lot of countries, such as India(where I live) or even most European nations do not practise water fluoridation, because with the improved standards of oral care in the modern world, it isn’t really needed anymore.
However, fluoridation of public water is still practised in the US- so to be safe, you should talk to your baby’s doctor about the recommended fluoride intake for your child. This is because excess fluoride can cause:
- Enamel streaking- permanent discoloration of the teeth
- Skeletal fluorosis– brittle bones as excess fluoride gets deposited in the teeth and bones
The Solution For Nursery Water
Going through their website, I found that they offer two variants of water- one with added fluoride and one without. So, if you’re concerned about your baby’s fluoride intake, you can simply purchase the non-fluoridated version.
The great thing about Nursery water? It’s just 1-2$, and available at most local grocery stores in the US. This probably is one of the few products that are cheaper in retail than online, so I won’t link you to Amazon for this one.
What About Distilled Water?
Firstly- yes, water distillation will purify your water and make it baby safe. However, water distillation isn’t really practical at home because it takes a long time! According to the product details of this popular countertop distiller on Amazon, it takes 5 hours to purify 1 gallon(~4 L) of water.
Mostly, water distillers are used by preppers/ survivalists or those camping out in the open for days at end with no other way to get water. Why else would you waste so much time to get so little water?
And if having your water distilled is really important to you- remember that nursery water is distilled. Save some time, drive to a grocery store and buy that instead. It’ll be quicker than waiting for the water distiller.
Does Bottled Water Not Contain Fluoride?
No, bottled water does not contain fluoride because it is usually prepared by Reverse Osmosis(RO) filtration, which removes almost all minerals, chemicals and other contaminants from water.
So yeah, while you could use bottled water for your baby, it really won’t be affordable in the long run. Plus, recent news reports about microplastics finding their way into almost all major bottled waters in the market are even more concerning.
What Water Should You Use For Your Baby?
Firstly, as I suggested earlier, you should definitely consult a doctor about the fluoride intake for your child and start from there.
As for comparing Nursery water and distilled water- both are baby safe, but you should probably go with Nursery water, because distillation is just plain inconvenient.
However, these are short term options. So I’d say it makes even more sense to invest and get a filter the water for your home, instead continuously buying nursery water/ bottled water. The three main methods through which you can get baby-safe water at home are:
- Reverse Osmosis(RO) filters
- Ion Exchange Water Purifiers
- Water Distillation
I went into distillation in this post, but if you’d like to know more about RO and Ion exchange as well as regulations around fluoride, you may want to read another, more detailed post I wrote on this topic
Hope you found the article helpful, and don’t hesitate to jump into the comments below if you have any questions!