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Do you really have to give your baby "nursery water"?

Updated on October 22, 2011

You can begin giving your baby drinks of water around six months old and shouldn't give an excess of eight ounces per day until after eleven months old. Then you can offer the baby some water throughout the day as needed but still be cautious not to give too much.

By twelve months old, your baby will be having a variety of fluids every day (milk, water and juice) but none should be in excess. Too many liquids can cause a lot of discomfort in your small baby's body.

From the time of birth however, you are still going to need to use water to mix with powdered formula if you use it supplemental to breastfeeding or instead of breastfeeding.

Should you use a specific type of water? When you see the bottles of "nursery water" on the supermarket shelves, with the picture of the baby on the bottle, do you wonder if giving your baby that water is really the best thing? Does it matter?

Recently, many pediatricians have been recommending that nursery water is not necessary but rather than using an all natural spring water like Poland Spring or Deer Park, it might be best to use municipal tap water as an alternative to the nursery water. This is because the municipal water can offer the proper amount of fluoridation for the baby's developing teeth, as the nursery water would.

The thing about this is that if you offer your baby municipal tap water and report this to the baby's pediatrician when asked it is possible that the baby will then need a finger prick to test his or her blood for lead. Therefore, with this precaution needed there is still some albeit small risk of lead getting into the baby's system from the tap water.

In my opinion, you should either stick with the store bought nursery water or be sure to use a filtration/ water purification system on your tap even if you live in a city or county that reports that the municipal water is safe to drink without having to use a filtration system.

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    • justmesuzanne profile image

      justmesuzanne 5 years ago from Texas

      Britta removes metals - including lead...

    • Journey * profile image
      Author

      Nyesha Pagnou MPH 5 years ago from USA

      Susan Starts Now, Tina TrueLove,& justmesuzanne, thank you for sharing such thoughtful comments.

      I appreciate learning all of your opinions and knowledge on this subject.

      justmesuzanne, I know many people that are passionate about stopping the use of bottled water, especially in plastic bottles. Thank you for sharing your wisdom. This is something I need to be more attentive to myself.

      Tina Truelove, I've never used fluoride drops but the water in my area is fluoridated. Thanks for so generously sharing the information you know. I appreciate that.

      Susan Starts Now, I do live in the U.S. but I have been a bit wary of the way a baby's blood needs to be tested for lead in my area (if the baby drinks the tap water). I will definitely take under consideration the advice all three of you have given me. Thanks again!

    • justmesuzanne profile image

      justmesuzanne 5 years ago from Texas

      ALL bottled water is a scam! Tap water is tested and safe. People who don't like the taste can and should use a Britta or Pur pitcher or other filtration system to filter out chemicals and minerals. People who are concerned about bacteria should boil the purified water and then pour it from a height of 3 feet into a clean glass or stainless steel container to aerate it and take out the "flat" taste.

      Bottled water production is bad for the environment, and most bottled water does not test as well as average tap water. There are no regulations on the purity of bottled water. It should be avoided in each and every circumstance.

    • profile image

      Tina Truelove 5 years ago

      My children are 13, 16, and 18. They are very happy, active, and healthy. I have never purchased a single bottle of nursery water. However, like Susan Starts Now, we had flouride in our local water, except for the few years we lived in Arizona where flouride was not added to the water. I did boil the tap water while we lived there and our pediatrician gave us flouride drops. Flouride drops are not the best for the baby's teeth though. I recommend you check to see if your local water contains flouride. If so, then I think tap water is fine. If not, you might want to use nursery water that has added flouride as opposed to the flouride drops. I hope I have helped answer your question, rather than confuse you even more.

    • Susan Starts Now profile image

      Susan Starts Now 5 years ago from California

      Journey- I have 4 children (who are all no longer babies) and have not heard of nursery water before. Our pediatrician always said it was fine to mix their formula with tap water. We were told the benefit of using tap water was the kids would also benefit from the fluoride in our local water. I was thinking maybe this is a new recommendation or that maybe you don't live in the US? Interesting information - thanks for sharing.