Can I Use Reverse Osmosis Water for Baby Formula?

Can I Use Reverse Osmosis Water for Baby Formula?

We all love our children and want to choose the healthiest options for them. If you decide not to breastfeed, or aren’t able to, the next step is selecting the most beneficial water option for formula feeding. Reverse Osmosis (RO) water is safe for adults, but is it safe for preparing formula for an infant? Let’s look at the answer to this question in detail.

You can use reverse osmosis water to prepare baby formula because it is free from chemicals and contaminants. Baby formula already contains the required minerals, so it does not matter if RO water has low mineral content.

Reverse osmosis water is a safe drinking choice for the entire family, including its use in cooking and preparing baby food and formula. RO systems are installed in homes to ensure that tap water is filtered and free from all chemicals and contaminants. In this article, we’ll discuss in detail the benefits of using RO water for preparing baby formula.

Read my comprehensive article about reverse osmosis.

Why Should You Choose RO Water for Baby Formula?

As a parent, you want to ensure that your child gets the best nutrition from every source. So, when you consider what kind of water to prepare your baby’s formula with, you naturally want the best option.

An RO system uses a rigorous process to filter out most contaminants and chemicals like pesticides, chlorine, and fluoride from water. Here are some other compelling reasons for choosing RO water to prepare your baby’s formula:

1.   Allows control over fluoride quantity in water

Fluoride intake in babies has been a hot topic of debate for health associations like the Academy of General Dentistry and the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention. Excess of fluoride in water is bad for bone and teeth health and can cause other issues like a lowered IQ level and thyroid problems.

Most baby formulas have the required amount of fluoride added to them, so it is best to use water devoid of (or has a very low level of) fluoride. Most of the USA’s water sources have fluoride, so it is not safe to use tap water for baby formula.

The semi-permeable RO membrane filters out fluoride from your tap water so you can have complete control over the fluoride content your baby is drinking.

2. Lowers the risk of lead contamination

Lead is detrimental to a child’s health. It can cause:

  • Direct damage to the brain
  • Delays in a child’s overall behavioral development
  • Speech and hearing impairment
  • Delayed growth patterns

Reverse Osmosis filters remove harmful metals like lead from the water source, making RO water a safe water option for your baby’s formula.

3. Can add nutrients back in water

RO systems are designed to filter out up to 98% of the contaminants and the Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) from water. It is true that the resulting RO water is devoid of the most essential minerals that are required by the human body.

However, there are reverse osmosis systems that come with a mineralization filter. This filter adds all the essential minerals to the water before it comes out of your tap. This way, you will get mineral and nutrient-rich water without the contaminants and chemicals.

Read my article about remineralizing reverse osmosis treated water.

4. It does not require boiling

Boiling has been used as a water purification method for years, and although it can kill germs and pathogens, it cannot remove them entirely from the water. Boiling also can’t get rid of the contaminants and chemicals that have a higher boiling point than water. On top of all this, it requires a lot of time and energy, which are luxuries that new parents cannot afford.

Reverse osmosis treated water is readily available and completely removes the contaminants from water instead of just killing them or settling them down. This makes it a quick and always available water source safe for your baby’s formula.

5. Allows control over sodium content

In controlled amounts, sodium is suitable for children and their body’s development. However, if you live in a hard water area, chances are that your water contains high amounts of sodium, which can be harmful to your baby’s kidneys, as they cannot process sodium well.

Reverse osmosis treated water does filter out sodium, amongst other salts, so you can safely use it for making baby formula and food.

 6. It is affordable

If you’re thinking about getting bottled water for your baby’s formula needs, you may want to reconsider because it will be an expensive option.

RO water is safe, so once the system is installed, it will ensure that your entire family will have access to clean drinking water and not just the baby.

 7. It can be used to clean baby bottles

Safe formula feeding includes ensuring the baby bottles are washed and sterilized properly. Regular tap water can contain germs and contaminants which can make your baby sick. RO water can be used to wash baby bottles; since it is pollutant and germ-free, you can be assured that your baby’s bottles are squeaky clean.

Tips to Use RO Water for Baby Formula

By now, we’ve established that reverse osmosis water is a good and safe option for baby formula because it is free of all contaminants and harmful chemicals present in the majority of water sources. Here is how you can use RO water to prepare baby formula:

  • Use a washed and sterilized bottle
  • Add RO water, according to the measurements
  • Heat the water to boiling levels. This is done to ensure that any microbes in the formula are killed
  • Add baby formula
  • Remember to always add water first and the formula later
  • Shake well before giving it to baby
  • Make sure you discard the leftover formula because it can develop bacteria

Frequently Asked Questions

1.   Is infant formula sterile?

Powdered infant formula contains microbes and is not sterile, so it is essential to use water at high temperatures to kill these microbes.

2.   When can I stop sterilizing water for my baby?

Scientists recommend that you need to sterilize water for infants till they are four months old. After four months of age, infants begin putting non-sterile objects in their mouths, and it becomes impossible to protect them from germ exposure through sterilization.

3.   Can I use distilled water for baby formula?

It is the purest form of water. You can use distilled water for baby formula as it contains zero contaminants and TDS.

Final Thoughts

Reverse osmosis water is safe for use in baby formula because the RO process removes the majority of contaminants and chemicals. It is also an affordable option and is available for the entire family. We hope you find this article helpful in making the right choice for your baby.

Chief Guru

Richard Boch is a chemical engineer responsible for designing water filtration systems for industrial and residential customers. He has more than 20 years of experience with ion exchange, activated carbon, and reverse osmosis. Richard's expertise has made him a go-to source for municipalities and businesses looking to improve their water quality. When he's not working, Richard enjoys spending time with his wife and two young children. You can also follow him on LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook.

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