What to know before giving baby water


Can we give water to an infant, breastfed or not?

Your baby does not need water while you are breastfeeding him. Indeed, breast milk is mostly water. Breast milk provides all the protein baby needs for development. During a heat wave, If you are worried that your baby is lacking water, you can breastfeed more often.

The same applies when your child is bottle-fed with infant milk: the preparation being diluted in water, this provides the water needs necessary for your child. During a heat wave, however, you can givewater to your baby more often, if you are concerned about dehydration.

At what age can we give my baby water?

It is not recommended that your baby drink water before he is 6 months old. As long as he does not eat solid food, his water needs are met by breast milk (consisting mainly of water) or infant milk. After your baby is 6 months old, you can give him some water to drink.

As a reminder: giving water to a baby under 6 months old can create a risk of diarrhea and malnutrition.

What water to use to prepare a bottle?

Your child may as well drink spring water, mineral water, or tap water. However, you must pay attention to certain rules: indeed, if you choose to prepare your little one’s bottle with tap water, certain precautions are necessary.

Instructions for preparing a bottle with tap water:

  • Use only cold water (above 25 ° C, the water may be more loaded with microbes and mineral salts).
  • No water having undergone filtration, that is to say in a filtering carafe or by means of a softener, the filtration favoring the multiplication of germs.
  • If you haven’t used your tap for several hours, let the water run for a minute or two before filling the bottle. Otherwise, three seconds is enough.
  • Do not put the neck of the bottle in contact with the tap, and clean the head of the latter regularly.
  • In addition, if your tap is equipped with a diffuser, consider descaling it regularly. To do this, unscrew the diffuser and place it in a glass of white vinegar. Leave on for a few hours, then rinse well.

In addition, if you live in a old building built before 1948, the water pipes may still be lead, and increase the risk of lead poisoning. In this case, to find out if the water in your home can be used in baby bottles, find out:

– either at your town hall,

– or with your Departmental Directorate for the Protection of Populations.

If you use a spring water or a mineral water, natural in the bottle, make sure that it is weakly mineralized, non-carbonated, and bears the mention “Suitable for the preparation of foods for infants”.

A trip abroad? In the absence of potable or bottled water, boil water for at least 1 minute, and let it cool before preparing the bottle. 

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