Boil water for babies under 4 months

Essential information to rememberIf you give your baby water before she is 4 months old, make sure it has boiled thoroughly for 1 minute, whether it comes from a municipal system, private well, bulk container, or bottle.

Photo: Pascale Turcotte

All water given to babies under 4 months must be boiled, whether it comes from a municipal system, private well, bulk container or bottle. You should also sterilize the containers in which you store boiled water, as well as 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 boiled water by placing the pot in cold water.
  • Transfer the boiled 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 2 to 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.