If you give your baby water before she is 4 months old, make sure it has boiled thoroughly for 1 minute, no matter where it comes from, whether a municipal system, private well, bulk container, or bottle.
Photo: Pascale Turcotte
All water given to babies under 4 months old must be boiled no matter where it comes from, whether a municipal system, private well, bulk container, or bottle.
You must also sterilize the containers in which you store boiled water, the same way you do baby bottles (see Cleaning bottles, nipples and breast pumps).
How to prepare and store boiled water:
- Fill a pot with water.
- Boil at a full rolling boil for at least 1 minute.
- Cool the water before giving it to your baby (do not add ice cubes to boiling water to cool it).
- Transfer the boiled and cooled water into sterilized containers.
You can also use a kettle, but make sure it doesn’t have an automatic shutoff, because the water must boil for 1 full minute.
Boiled water can be kept in sterilized, properly sealed containers in the refrigerator for 3 days or for 24 hours if kept at room temperature out of direct sunlight.
From 4 months on, your baby can drink unboiled water.