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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 (free from bacteria) and may contain too much salt (sodium) or sulphate.

Check the levels of sodium and sulphate

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

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)
  • less than 250mg a litre of sulphate (also written as SO4)

Boil water to make up formula feeds

As bottled water is not usually sterile, it'll still need to be boiled, like tap water, before you prepare the feed.

Always use boiled water at a temperature of at least 70C to make up a feed. Remember to let it cool before you give it to your baby.

See a step-by-step guide to preparing a formula feed

Further information

Page last reviewed: 20 May 2019
Next review due: 20 May 2022