baby feeding

Tap water: can I give it to my baby?

Tap water: can I give it to my baby?

With: Dr Sylvie Dieu Osika, pediatrician

If we breastfeed our child, he is not not necessary to give him water: breast milk meets all his needs. On the other hand, if we give him the bottle, the question arises from birth: should I choose tap water or bottled water? And in this case, spring water or mineral water? A pediatrician answers our questions.

Can we give water to babies?

Before 6 months, the infant does not really need a fluid intake in addition to his bottles or breast milk. Whether you give him the breast or the bottle, he will meet his fluid needs with his milk. In summer, you can give him water in addition to his milk intake. You can give water to an infant, he will drink according to his needs. In winter, a baby does not need to drink water most of the time. In the summer, it’s hot, he goes to drink, and if he has a fever, if he’s sick, he’ll ask for it. The baby naturally, physiologically knows his needs “, according to Dr. Sylvie Dieu Osika, pediatrician.

If your child suffers from diarrhea (which causes the loss of a lot of water), fever (which causes increased sweating), or even vomiting, you can give him a small amount of water. Remember that this diarrhea, fever and vomiting should lead you to consult a doctor urgently. In addition to the medication delivered, you will also need to give him a drink often to avoid dehydration. The recommended doses are 30 to 50 ml every half hour. Oral rehydration solutions (ORS) will also be prescribed to compensate for mineral losses. To know: make the baby drink from a cup or a pipette if he has been at the breast for a short time, and is not yet used to the bottle.

When should you give it to him? How much water from 6 months?

After 6 months, giving water in addition to bottles is essential. Normally, your baby still drinks 500 ml of milk per day. Only his food diversification will come to modify his consumption: its water needs will begin to increase, to compensate for the drop in milk consumption. You can then add 200 to 500 ml of water to their bottles. He is given pure water, without the addition of sugary drinks or syrup. The infant must adapt from the beginning to the neutral taste of water, to promote good eating habits.

Is tap water safe for my baby?

Tap water is quite drinkable by your baby. In France, the regulations are very strict in terms of water, with more than 60 to 70 quality criteria, from its capture to its distribution. Tap water is one of the most controlled products in France. ANSES (National Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health Safety) states that tap water can be used for the preparation of baby bottles. There is therefore no health risk. However, you must be sure that your tap water is suitable for the preparation of baby bottles. Turn to your town hall, to your distribution network, or to the Departmental Directorate of Health and Social Affairs (Ddass), to check that your water is of good quality. ” Tap water in France is perfectly drinkable. You have to be careful sometimes in certain places where there may be pesticides or some nitrates. It’s on your water bill. It is especially necessary to be careful in old houses, where one can still find pipes with lead. In these cases we run the water a little longer, and in the slightest doubt, we take mineral water “says Dr. Sylvie Dieu Osika. The water circulating in these pipes can indeed cause lead poisoning, or lead poisoning, with significant harmful effects, especially in children.

Here are the recommendations for using tap water:

  • Let flow for a few minutes before use.
  • Only use cold water for drinking, because above 25°C, the water can be loaded with microorganisms (microbes) and mineral salts.
  • Regularly maintain the valve and piping.
  • In old habitats (before the construction date of 1948) there may be the presence of lead. In this case, prefer bottled water.
  • To find out the quality of your water, contact your town hall or the health-environment service of your Departmental Health and Social Affairs Department or the website You can also check the compliance of your water with the National Health Security Agency (ANSES).
  • If your tap water is not drinkable and you don’t have a water bottle, you can use boiled water to cool.

From what age can my baby drink tap water?

Since birth, the newborn can drink tap water. There is no risk if your water is drinkable. ” If the water is of good quality with the appropriate precautions, you can give it to your baby insists Dr. Sylvie Dieu Osika.

Is bottled mineral water better for baby’s health?

The answer may surprise you: not necessarily! It all depends on the type of bottled water you buy. If you prefer to give spring water or bottled mineral water, it is recommended to choose water bottles with the mention “suitable for infant feeding”. You can give spring water as well as mineral water. Pediatricians recommend water with low mineral content and low in nitrates, such as Mont Roucous, Evian, Thonon, Volvic… We do not give sparkling water Where high in sodium to a young child.

Here are some recommendations for using bottled water:

  • It is imperative to prepare the bottle with a bottle of water that bears the words “suitable for infant feeding”.
  • Bottled water must be low in mineral content: the dry residue at 180° must be less than 500 mg (this mention is made on the label).
  • Avoid using bottled water that has been open for more than 24 hours. Any opened bottle of water must be kept in the refrigerator.

What water to use for the bottle? Spring or tap water?

To prepare the bottleit is advisable to use low mineral water, less than 150 mg per litre. Tap water can be drunk by your baby unless it contains too much nitrates and sodium. In some French regions, the nitrate rate can exceed 50 mg per litre. For an infant, this rate should be below 10 mg per liter. Look carefully at your water bill, which must mention this information. If in doubt, use spring water or mineral water.

Filtered water is not to be avoided

For Dr. Sylvie Dieu Osika, the filter jug is not not contraindicated to children. It is quite possible to filter tap water and give it to your baby. The installation of an osmosis unit will rid the water of its impurities, through a high-performance filtration system. The water obtained will be purer, more neutral, both in taste and smell, low in mineral content and free of most pollutants (nitrates, heavy metals, etc.).

When to stop boiling tap water?

Use a saucepan or a kettle to boil the water you are going to use for the preparation of the bottle. The water should be boiling for at least a good minute, to eliminate all resistant elements and possible micro-organisms. After cooling, add the water to the powder. Test the mixture on your wrist before feeding baby.

And if my baby does not want to drink water, what should I do?

Don’t force it and do not give him sugary drinks. If your baby does not want to drink, he is simply not thirsty. Encourage him to drink whenever he wants, whether it’s tap or bottled water. In any case, follow your doctor’s recommendations.

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