Distilled water can play an important role in creating a safe and healthy diet for your baby and is the best kind of water for mixing formula.
I started babysitting at the age of twelve and I’ve probably changed more diapers than some parents. Not that I’m counting…
Either way, I can honestly say I’ve learned a few things about taking care of babies.
Becoming a parent opens up a whole new world of “dos” and “don’ts” when it comes to taking care of your little bundle of joy! What and how to feed your baby should be some of the most important things on any parent’s radar.
So why is distilled water better than other types of water for your baby? Let’s find out.
Why Distilled Water is Safe for Babies
Unlike other types of purified water, distilled water is always safe. It is always the same quality and always free from all the stuff you don’t want, including extra minerals, hazardous germs, and other contaminants.
In other words, it is exactly what parents are looking for when it comes to drinking water for babies! Here is a closer look at each of these great benefits for babies drinking distilled water.
1. It has Consistent Quality
The consistent and high quality of distilled water makes it a safe and reliable water source for babies to drink. No matter what’s in the water to begin with, distillation removes 99.9% of the minerals, harmful bacteria, and contaminants.
Other types of water, including purified water, nursery water, or tap water, are all processed differently. Each type leaves behind varying levels of minerals, chemicals, and other bad stuff.
Distillation is different. It consists of evaporating and recondensing the water into a pure state. It is a standard process and produces virtually identical water every time, so you never have to question the quality.
2. It Reduces Exposure to Bacteria
At some point in your life, you’ve probably experienced a nasty stomach bug or virus that left you down for the count. It’s not exactly a fun experience as an adult, but it can be much worse for a baby.
Bacteria and other germs can be especially harmful to babies and can cause all kinds of unpleasant reactions. These can include discomfort, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.
The last thing a parent wants to see is their young baby suffering from these symptoms. Using distilled water is a great way to play it safe and prevent water-borne bacteria from making their way into your baby’s tummy.
Distilled water is boiled first, killing all kinds of bacteria, viruses, and fungi. This leaves you with clean water and peace of mind for you and your baby!
3. It Eliminates Contaminants
Common contaminants such as pesticides, heavy metals, and other toxic materials can all be present in regular tap water. These can cause long-term health problems for your baby as they develop, including damage to their brain and nervous system.
Between modern farming practices and spraying lawns for weed control, many chemicals make their way into the soil. When it rains, these contaminants then hitch a ride on the drops of rainwater, travel deep into the ground, and end up in the natural water supply.
With this being the case, chemicals can be present in your water even if you are on a private well system.
Unlike tap water, distilled water is free from these contaminants and totally safe for your baby to drink. Whether you are buying distilled water for your baby from the store or even making your own at home, you can rest assured that these contaminants are long gone by the time your baby takes a sip.
4. It is Great for Babies with Mineral-Related Health Conditions
If your baby has a health condition that makes them sensitive to the amount of minerals they consume, then distilled water is an ideal choice for your baby.
Other kinds of purified water all contain trace amounts of minerals like potassium, calcium, sodium, and magnesium. Even if you boil your water, the minerals don’t all disappear. This can be a challenge for parents who need to limit the amount of these minerals their baby consumes.
Distilled water is the perfect solution! As you already know, the mineral content in distilled water is as low as possible. In other words, distilled water is a “clean slate” for parents to work with.
How to Give Distilled Water to Babies
Breast milk is hands-down the best thing for your baby to drink. But, if you are in a situation where breast milk or any other healthy alternatives are unavailable, then baby formula may be your only choice.
If you are using the formula, distilled water is the best thing to use when mixing formula for babies of any age.
It is not safe for babies under six months old to consume straight distilled water or any other kind of water. Babies can start drinking distilled water at six months after eating solid food.
Let’s dive deeper into all the specifics of how to safely give distilled water to your baby.
Distilled Water for Babies Under 6 Months
One thing that scared me as a young babysitter was that I didn’t know all the rules when it came to feeding young babies. Thankfully, I always had clear instructions from their parents to keep me on track.
But something I found strange was that I never had to give a young baby water to drink. Now I know why. Drinking even small amounts of plain water, including distilled water, can be dangerous for babies during the first six months of their life.
If a baby under six months old drinks enough plain water, it can cause mineral imbalances in the body. This can lead to severe health consequences ranging from water intoxication to seizures and even death.
To play it safe, only use distilled water in the formula for babies under six months old.
Distilled Water for Babies 6 Months and Older
Distilled Water for Babies 6 Months and Older
Once your baby is six months old, you can start incorporating solid food into their diet. At this point, it is safe for them to drink between 2-8 fluid ounces of plain distilled water daily.
How much water you can give your baby will depend on how much solid food they are eating. The best bet is to start off small and work your way up slowly over time.
Always keep a close eye on your baby’s hydration level. Drinking too much water can disrupt the balance and absorption of critical nutrients in their body. As long as your baby is not producing more or less than 4-6 wet diapers per day, you are doing just fine!
More Important Facts You Need to Know About Distilled Water for Babies
As we discussed earlier, distilled water is a very safe choice of drinking water for your baby. However, as with any type of drinking water, there are some facts and tips to be aware of before your baby starts drinking distilled water.
Distilled Water is Not a Source of Critical Nutrients
Distilled water is stripped of almost all the minerals that were originally present. This means it doesn’t supply any vital nutrients for your baby.
This is not a bad thing, because a baby’s diet consists of much more than just plain old water!
Your baby has plenty of other opportunities to consume the vitamins and minerals they need through breast milk and other foods. As long as you are feeding your baby a healthy diet, you shouldn’t need to rely on the water they drink to supply them with critical nutrients.
You Don’t Have to Boil Distilled Water
Usually, any water or baby formula should be boiled for several minutes and then cooled before your baby drinks it. Boiling is part of the distillation process, so you don’t need to boil distilled water again before you use it.
The primary purpose of boiling water or baby formula is to kill off any lurking germs or bacteria. If you use distilled water instead, you don’t need to worry about any bacteria or other harmful substances. They are already gone!
In this case, you can save a lot of time by heating up the water or formula until it’s warm. Any parent out there would agree that less work for you and a faster drink for your baby is a win-win all around!
Distilled Water Can Produce Safer Breast Milk
The best and most natural thing for babies of all ages to consume is breast milk.
Anything a mother eats or drinks gets passed on to her baby through her breast milk. Unfortunately, that also includes the germs, chemicals, and other contaminants that may be in the water she’s drinking.
Moms that stick to drinking distilled water don’t have to worry about any of these hazards contaminating their breast milk.
Drinking healthier water doesn’t only help babies. It helps the rest of us too! The healthier a mother’s body is, the better she can care for her growing baby.
A healthy body is best for moms and babies. Drinking distilled water is a great choice to support a healthier body for both!
To sum it all up, babies can drink distilled water, but it depends on how old they are and how they drink it.
Babies under six months old can drink distilled water only in baby formula. Babies over six months old who are eating solid food can drink small amounts of straight distilled water.
If you stick to these basic rules, then you can take advantage of all the great benefits that distilled water has to offer for your baby!