Posted by: Sharifa | 2006/07/18


Making baby formula bottle

I believe that the water used to make a babies bottle with formula should be boiled, but i have recently been challenged as to why this should be so. What are risks if you make up a bottle using half boiling water and half cold tap water that has passed thru a H20 water purification system? is it okay to use water heated to about 80 degrees celsius (also thru a h20 sytem)? Please advise

Expert's Reply



With good quality tap water as found in most SA cities, the risk of infection is very low indeed. However the quality of water may not always be as good in some of the smaller centres or villages.Using a filtration system will add to the safety of the water.Boiling water certainly can be relied on to kill off any possibility of E. Coli or other nasty bacteria which may be in ordinary tap water.

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user comments


Posted by: Sharifa | 2006/07/19

thank you

Reply to Sharifa
Posted by: Mick | 2006/07/19

Hi Purple

Thanks a lot for your response, you've helped a lot of us.

Reply to Mick
Posted by: Purple | 2006/07/19

Boiling gets rid of all bacteria and any other germs present in the water.

When a baby is very young, thier little system can't fight off germs very well. Also, diarhea can be fatal in a small baby because of the fluid and electrolyte loss.
The boiling minimises the chances of baby getting diarhea from any lurking bacteria.

In SA our tap water is of a very high quality but you still need to boil it. You should not use bottled water, as there are no set quality standards and its not purified - so it might come from a great source and be as pure as tap water, but it might not - it might come from a source downstream from a farm that sprays with DDT for example (DDT has been legalised for use in serious malaria areas for a limited time period to bring anopholes mosquito populations under control again).

Once baby is on solids and sipping water to drink, it should be cooled boiled water.

Once baby reaches about a year old or older if you prefer, you can stop boiling the water and use filtered water or plain tap water. Baby is not quite so vulnerable anymore.

You also need to wash bottles and teats in cold water (hot water doesn't break down the milk properly apparently), and rub the teats in salt. Then you need to sterilise the bottles and teats either in a chemichal solution or in the microwave, or by boiling on the stove for five minutes.

Breastfeeding on the other hand requires no boilng of water or sterilising. It provides antibodies for baby or toddler for the entire duration of the time that you breastfeed. If baby picks up a tummy bug the breastmilk has a protective effect making the bug run its course faster. Also, sick babies are usually still happy to breastfeed for the comfort reasons so run a far lesser risk of dehydration.

Reply to Purple

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