Can I Use Bottled Water to Make Up Baby / Infant Formula?

baby with bottle in car seatBottled water is not recommended to make up infant formula feeds for your baby. This is because it’s not usually sterile and may contain too much salt (sodium) or sulphate (a.k.a. sulfate).

Checking the levels of sodium and sulphate

If you have to use bottled water to make up a feed, check the label to make sure the water contains:

  • less than 200 milligrams (mg) a litre of sodium (also written as Na)
  • no more than 250mg a litre of sulphate (also written as SO or SO4)

You may need to use bottled water to make up a feed if:

  • your drinking water has been contaminated because of flooding
  • you’re travelling abroad and drinking the local water is not recommended

Boiling water to make up formula feeds

As bottled water is not usually sterile, it will still need to be boiled, like tap water, before you prepare the feed.

Always use boiled water at a temperature of at least 70°C, but remember to let the feed cool before you give it to your baby.

Find out more about making up infant formula, including a step-by-step guide to preparing a formula feed.

Read the answers to more questions about children’s health.

Further information:

About the Author

NHS Choices ( is the UK’s biggest health website. It provides a comprehensive health information service to help put you in control of your healthcare.


5 Responses to “Can I Use Bottled Water to Make Up Baby / Infant Formula?”

  1. Shanti Green says:

    Thanks for the tips. I never knew that bottled water could pose problems for infants before.

    • Stefanie Zucker Stefanie Zucker says:

      You are most welcome! Thanks so much for stopping by! And please…drop by again! We love visitors 🙂

  2. Heather Rose says:

    I have been using bottled water for my baby’s formula. I think that I should stop doing it already. I will make sure now that I will boiled it first before I used it for a formula. Thanks for sharing this article.

    • Stefanie Zucker Stefanie Zucker says:

      You are welcome Heather Rose! Thanks for stopping by!…Please come back to see us, anytime 🙂

  3. Ennalund says:

    Before drinking bottled water first we have to boil it i agree wiith you.

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