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Lisa Scholl

Lisa Scholl


The best thing for the baby: When breastfeeding, mothers pass on valuable nutrients to their child before gradually accustoming their offspring to complementary foods and later to the family diet. And with the third complementary feeding, the child's thirst often grows. The first sips of water follow. But which water is suitable for babies? Can parents prepare baby food with tap or filtered water in good conscience? What is baby water and is it normal if the baby takes only a few sips of water per day in the beginning? This article provides answers!

Which water is suitable for preparing baby food?

For parents, the health of their offspring is a top priority. For this reason, many are wondering what water to prepare baby food. After all, we keep hearing about contaminated drinking water due to rusted, old pipes and lead in drinking water. Many mineral waters are also rated negatively in tests.

But despite all the uproar, one thing is true: German drinking water meets the highest hygiene standards and is regularly tested. But be careful: The controls are based on values that are oriented to the health of an adult. The guideline values for water for baby food differ from the conventional limits for drinking water.

According to the German Drinking Water Ordinance, the following pollutant limits apply:

  • Arsenic: 0.01 milligrams per liter
  • Lead: 0.01 milligrams per liter
  • Chromium: 0.05 milligrams per liter
  • Cadmium: 0003 milligrams per liter
  • Fluoride: 1.5 milligrams per liter
  • Cyanide: 0.05 milligrams per liter
  • Nitrate: 50 milligrams per liter
  • Nickel: 0.02 milligrams per liter
  • Nitrite: 0.5 milligrams per liter
  • PAH: 0.0001 milligrams per liter
  • Mercury: 0.001 milligrams per liter
  • Chlorine: 0.01 milligrams per liter

Values below the specified limits do not harm healthy adults. But babies and toddlers are still in the developmental phase. In them, the absorption and elimination functions are not yet fully developed.

In addition, contaminants in water for baby food can cause the offspring to react sensitively. This is because, compared to adults , small levels of minerals, heavy metals and chemical compounds can promote health conditions that accompany the child throughout his or her life.

So if you use water from the tap, you can’t be 100 percent sure that the liquid doesn’t contain pollutants and germs or is additionally contaminated by old pipes in the house.

For this reason, it is advisable to offer a child boiled tap water until he or she is 6 years old. Alternatively, the water quality can be tested by analysis.

The water is suitable for the preparation of baby food only if the following limits are observed:

  • Sodium: 20 milligrams per liter
  • Nitrate: 10 milligrams per liter
  • Nitrite: 0.02 milligrams per liter
  • Sulfate: 240 milligrams per liter
  • Fluoride: 0.7 milligrams per liter
  • Manganese: 0.05 milligrams per liter
  • Arsenic: 0.005 milligrams per liter
  • Uranium: 2 micrograms per liter
  • Radium-126: 125 mega decquerels per liter
  • Radium-128: 20 mega decquerels per liter

In addition, the following applies: water from lead pipes must not be used for the preparation of infant food and as a beverage for babies and young children. Copper pipes can also pose a health risk to your offspring if you use the water to feed your child. This is because if the pH value drops, copper dissolves out of the pipes.

Check with your landlord ahead of time to find out what pipes have been installed in your residential property. You can also determine the pH value of the water with a professional test set.

In addition, it is of importance not to use standing water from the tap. Germs and bacteria can form here despite the specifications of the Drinking Water Ordinance. Let the water run for a few minutes first. This gives you access to cooler, fresh running water.

In addition, to boil the tap water should not use a kettle. Instead, grab a saucepan and heat the liquid on the stove. The reason: the kettle goes off as soon as the water boils. However, to kill all germs, this must boil for at least four minutes .

You do not want to take the risk? Then you have the opportunity to use mineral water for babies. The products are labeled “Suitable for the preparation of infant formula”. They are subject to strict limits imposed by the Mineral and Table Water Ordinance.

Store an opened bottle in the refrigerator. Before any further use, the mineral water from the open bottle should then be boiled.

Should you filter the water?

Properly clean the water: Water filters are popular. Depending on the model, these practical helpers filter limescale, odors and flavors, pesticides, drug residues and bacteria from tap water.

For babies, lead, pesticides and uranium in particular, but also sodium and sulfate should be filtered out of the water. This is because sulfate can have a laxative effect and cause diarrhea, causing the child to lose fluid.

In addition, kidney functions are not yet fully developed in babies and young children. Sodium can thus not be removed or only to a small extent.

However, many common household filters carry the risk of germs multiplying quickly. Therefore, you should not prepare food for your offspring with water from a conventional filter.

So be sure to use a high-quality water filter whose manufacturer certifies that it is suitable for infant formula – or boil the water.

What is baby water?

No germs, no bacteria and no pollutants: The practical waters for babies are waiting for us on the supermarket shelf. It should be noted that baby water is always labeled as such.

The water does not need to be boiled, but is available immediately. Thus, the product is suitable for all mothers and fathers who have little time.

In addition, the treated water for babies contains very low levels of sodium, sulfate and nitrate. So baby water does not burden the small kidneys of your child. Another advantage: While tap water contains salt in the form of sodium, you can feed your child almost salt-free with baby water in the first year of life.

Furthermore, baby water can be worthwhile if you are traveling or planning a trip. Because here you rarely have an opportunity to boil the water before each use.

So baby waters convince with the following advantages:

  • The water is germ-free .
  • It is almost salt-free.
  • It contains hardly any nitrate, which your baby would convert to nitrite, which is dangerous to health.
  • Water for babies contains hardly any sulfate. This way, your offspring’s kidneys will not be stressed.
  • The use of baby water can prevent secondary diseases.
  • The water is convenient when you are on the road.

Although the water for baby food convinces with the mentioned advantages, it can also only be used boiled after the first use. This raises the question of whether a product that costs on average three times more than normal mineral water is worth its price. Compared to tap water, the price difference is even higher.

Thus, the following disadvantages of baby water:

  • This particular water is highly priced .
  • After opening the bottle, the water must be boiled, causing as much work as tap water.
  • Powdered milk does not dissolve in baby water until it is heated.

Tip: Clean, best drinking water for your baby with our SOLO SUPERPURE high-performance water filter.

Use boiled mineral water as baby water?

Specially treated baby water can come at a high cost. Alternatively, you can simply boil mineral water. Since you also have to do this after opening the bottle with baby water, the process does not involve any increased effort.

Again, parents are best to use a saucepan to heat the still mineral water. Let it simmer for at least four minutes .

At what age can babies drink water?

Until 6 months of age, babies do not usually need water to quench their thirst. Breast milk not only contains lactose, fats, proteins, iron, calcium and vitamins, but also consists mostly of water . In this way, your child receives all the nutrients it needs.

At the same time, hydration is ensured. This is also the case if your baby is bottle-fed.

As a rule of thumb, water can be offered as a drink from the third complementary feeding. Start with a small amount of water and increase gradually. From the 7th month of life, babies become increasingly thirsty. It is best to use a sippy cup here.

If the child switches to family food, 600 to 700 milliliters of water is sufficient. The following applies: On particularly hot days or in the event of diarrhea, the baby loses water. Thus, if necessary, the recommended amount of water can be exceeded to prevent the child from becoming dehydrated.

Symptoms of dehydration in babies include the following:

  • Fatigue
  • Nervousness
  • Dry diapers
  • Dry mouth
  • A soft spot on the baby head


In a test, checked 95 waters for baby food. Öko Test rated the following products as “very good”: Schloss Quelle Naturelle, Rhön Sprudel Naturell, Elisabethen Quelle Pur, Christinen Carat Naturelle and Landpark Bio-Quelle Naturell. They are suitable for the preparation of baby food.

Specially prepared baby water can be found in free trade, for example in supermarkets. Make sure that the package specifically states that the product is suitable for infant feeding.

Water for baby food should always be boiled, because your baby’s organ functions are not yet mature and so germs, pollutants and minerals can cause your baby to react physically to the water or even suffer consequential damage.

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