We don’t recommend using softened water for baby formula milk or baby food.
While softened water is healthy and safe for most children and adults to consume, there’s an exception for babies. The Drinking Water Inspectorate sets out a limit for infants of 200 mg sodium per litre in the Drinking Water Regulations. This limit was adopted to make sure that the total sodium levels in baby feeds, plus the water added, does not exceed 350 mg/l, which is considered a safe level for infants.
You can use softened water for baby feeds if the sodium concentration is below the 200 mg/l limit for sodium. In most cases, water softened by a Harvey water softener will have more than 200 mg/l of sodium. So, it isn’t recommended unless you are sure that the sodium concentration in your household’s softened water is below this level.
When we install a water softener, we include a natural water supply drinking water tap in the package. That means you will have a separate tap that provides unsoftened water to drink. You can safely use this water supply for making up baby formula and feeds. If you already have a water softener but no drinking water tap, please get in touch – we may be able to fit one for you.
The NHS provides some clear and helpful information about making up formula milk for babies, if you choose to use it. They recommend using drinking water from the tap and advise you not to use bottled water or artificially softened water for baby formula. You must boil the water first and allow it to cool for up to 30 minutes before mixing up the feed.