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Is Purified Water the Same as Distilled Water for Baby Formula?

When it comes to feeding your baby, you naturally may have a lot of questions. Will you breastfeed or bottle-feed? If you breastfeed, will you need a pump? If bottle-feeding, then what formula do you choose for your baby? Since most baby formulas are mixed with water, is it best to use tap, purified, or distilled water? What’s the difference? We break it all down below.

Purified Water vs Distilled Water

The questions merit some thought. There are implications to think about in regards to the water you use to mix with the formula. Likely, assuming your baby is otherwise healthy, the biggest concern will be about fluoride. Really? Well, yes, really. Before we get to the fluoride issue, let’s first examine if purified water is the same as distilled water. After some thought there we can look at what it means to use purified, distilled, or tap water in your baby’s formula. Not only will we look at it, but we will discuss the benefits and weaknesses of each. Let’s get started. 

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Purified Water 

Purified water is processed through some kind of filter. Reverse Osmosis (RO) is a kind of purification that pushes water through a semipermeable membrane to filter out the impurities. These are often used in residential homes and the tap water is filtered through the RO system to further purify the water. This is one of several methods to purify water. Tap water is technically a type of purified water based on the definition of filter usage, so keep that in mind. However, for this article, when I discuss purified water, I mean purification beyond your home’s tap water supply. The obvious benefits are that there are fewer dissolved solids in your water such as chloride, copper, sodium, sulfate, asbestos, radium, and many others. 

Much of the purified water on the market today also filters out fluoride. Not getting enough fluoride can do permanent harm to a baby’s teeth before they ever poke through their gums. We will discuss more the benefits of tap water and the need for fluoride at the end.

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Distilled Water

Distilled water is a type of purification, but it doesn’t use a filter. Instead, the purification happens through steaming or boiling. As the heat intensifies, the water condenses. The condensed water is collected and bottled. The remaining impurities are left in the source of the water, now in a more concentrated state. So, there is definitely a decrease in the impurities found in this water, however, there is still the issue of the fluoride no longer remaining in the water. It seems that the longer one drinks distilled water and purified water the more likely they are to develop mineral deficiencies in their body. Mineral deficiencies are difficult to impossible to fix. The best treatment for mineral deficiencies is to prevent them before they get started. 

So, distilled water is a kind of purified water, but not all purified waters are distilled. There are several ways to obtain purified water, distilling being one of them. Their benefits to the body are that they absorb toxins from the body more easily, but fluoride is also not coming into the body to strengthen the teeth. There are also sources that discuss too much fluoride entering a baby’s body. Too much fluoride can indeed create a condition called fluorosis. Fluorosis is white streaks that develop on the teeth from ingesting too much fluoride in infancy.

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Final Word

As far as purified water and distilled water being the same? Not the same, but they are both purified water after having gone through different techniques. Purified water tends to absorb toxins in your body. However, it prevents other minerals from entering your body that you actually need. Moms are often great at figuring out the right balance for their little ones.


  1. Can you drink distilled water safely?, www.medicalnewstoday.com
  2. Infant formula: Is tap or bottled water better?, www.mayoclinic.org

Kimberly Kandel

I am a So Cal girl who decided to go to college in the Midwest, where I met my husband and lived for 8 years after getting married. We then brought 2 little boys to the Middle East, where we had two more little guys, to work in business and community development for 10 years. We jetted back to the MidWest (with much older young men) for a short stint and then went to the Deep South where we would like to hang our hats for a spell.

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