Choosing Drinking Water for Infants

11 July 2011

Let's start from the beginning shall we. At my first visit to the pediatrician, I asked about giving the girls bottled water and he nixed that idea and recommended "distilled water". My sister (who happens to be a pediatrician too - shout out sis, muaaah!) also talked up nursery water. That's how I found myself lugging  gallons of distilled water every other day from store to car and up the stairs to house. I have since used the following brands - Nursery water, Gerber and Walmart's. As the girls are clocking 8 months, I've been considering making a switch to boiled and filtered tap water but I'd also heard some rumblings about fluoride so I need to put on my researcher's cap.

Fluoride in baby's drinking water
Do babies need fluoride in their drinking water? Not before 6 months
What if the drinking water has fluoride? According to the dentists and pediatricians, it increases the risk of enamel fluorosis. This applies to babies taking their formula in the form of powder plus water.

Here's the kicker - Nursery water has added fluoride but Gerber and Walmart's Great Value water do not. What does this mean to me? Well, if there was an issue with fluoride supplemented water for babies under 6 months old, I've already passed that stage and yes my girls have had a LOT of Nursery water. I am going to have faith that if it was a big deal, the FDA would have said something right? I hope so.

Running the numbers
Nursery water states that their water has 0.7ppm or less of fluoride
0.7ppm = 0.7mg of fluoride in 1 liter of water
For a baby taking formula made with 30oz of nursery water daily, that's 0.62mg of fluoride being injested daily
The CDC recommendation is a tolerable daily upper limit of 0.7mg of fluoride for babies under 16lbs/6months.
Skating the edge a little wouldn't you say? 

The summary? 1-I am switching to filtered and boiled tap water after I check the stats on my county's water supply. 2-An educated parent is a child's second most valuable safety net (the first of course is the covering grace of God). 3-I ain't a doctor.

Further Reading and Resources
Clinical study from the ADA (Really long and techie)

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