Baby formula is the only food your baby will have for the first four to six months, so the formula you choose and the way you prepare it matters a lot. Although the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that mothers breastfeed when possible, bottle feeding can be a safe alternative when practiced carefully. Baby formula comes in three forms: ready-to-feed, concentrate and powder. Both concentrate and powder formulas must be mixed with water. Because tap water supplies can vary in quality, some parents prefer to use bottled water.
Choose the type of bottled water you want to use. Always use a reputable brand of bottled water. While there is little difference between bottled waters, some varieties do taste different than others. For taste reasons, you may want to use the same brand every time.
Read labels carefully. Water varieties with extra minerals may have unsafe levels of minerals for your baby. Fluoride is another controversial issue. The Environmental Working Group advises using fluoride-free water in mixing baby formula. The Centers for Disease Control also acknowledges that giving fluoridated water to infants can cause fluorosis, an erosion of tooth enamel.
Mix formula powder or concentrate with water according to the formula package directions. Once formula is mixed with water, KidsHealth.org says that it should be fed immediately or stored in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours.
Specially marketed "nursery water" is not necessary and may contain extra fluoride. You can use a reverse osmosis water filter, available in pitchers or in faucet-mount systems, to remove fluoride and impurities from your tap water.
Tap water is considered safe for mixing with formula and using bottled water will significantly increase the cost of bottle feeding.