Can I use bottled water to make up baby formula (infant formula)?

Bottled 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.

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:

Page last reviewed: 22/06/2014

Next review due: 21/06/2016