Fill in the blank:
Nests are to birds as nurseries are to _____________.
Common sense informs us the answer is babies.
(Well, I guess you could have said plants, but this is a blog about babies, so…)
Evidently, these people struggle with that riddle because their product, “Nursery Water,” is actually NOT RECOMMENDED for babies.
Yeah, I was too.
Liar Liar Pants on Fire
Nursery Water is purified water with extra fluoride added.
Fluoride is an element (remember your Chemistry class? F on the Periodic Table.) A man-made version of Fluroide is created in laboratories and then added to urban drinking water to help prevent tooth decay.
So, like most everything in the world, fluoride is a good thing, but too much of a good thing, even if it’s vitamins and minerals, can be harmful. That’s the problem with Nursery Water.
It’s “fixing” a problem that usually doesn’t exist. Even worse, by “fixing” it, it can create a NEW problem: fluorosis.
There is a huge online debate regarding fluoride, with many people stating fluoride is a poison and should be taken out of drinking water, etc. I’ve done a lot of reading on this subject, and although I see a lot of “medical research shows” comments, none of those comments actually link to the scientific research, which is a bummer because I would love to read it. Looking through the JAMA and AAP online abstracts, I wasn’t able to find anything in that vein. I DID however, find a lot of medical research that warns against overdosing on fluoride. If you know of or have found scientific research on the dangers of using fluoride at ALL, please list it in the comments! I’d love to hear about it!
How much Fluoride is too much?
I’m not going to bore you with the teeny tiny numbers of how much fluoride your baby should have. (This abstract can tell you that.)
So let me give you the Cliff Notes.
Babies under 6 months are getting enough naturally, and should not receive any “supplements” of fluoride (like in Nursery Water).
Babies older than 6 months probably don’t need extra fluoride.
If you drink city water, the fluoride is added. So mixing infant formula (which has fluoride) with tap water should cover your baby’s needs. Using Nursery Water with your formula can lead to fluorosis or, for sensitive tummies, a lot of vomiting and spitting up.
My research indicated that European countries no longer fluoridate water there, so parents living outside the US should consider and talk to your doctor/dentist about whether you should add fluoride as a supplement.
If you drink well water you will need to get it tested. Anything less than <0.3 ppm (3 µg/L) fluoride will mean you can supplement with Nursery Water without worrying about overdosing. *Huzzah! Finally a market for Nursery Water!*
The Take-Away Truth about Nursery Water
Okay, let’s sum up and review.
- Do not use Nursery Water for babies younger than 6 months.
- If you use city water in the US, don’t use Nursery Water.
- If you use well water, get your water tested to determine whether using Nursery Water would be a good idea.
- If you live overseas, discuss with your doctor about whether you should consider using Nursery Water.
- Regardless, never use Nursery Water to mix formula. If you’re going to use it, give it to your baby through a sippy cup.
Citations – See? I Didn’t Make This Up!
Drinking Water From Private Wells and Risks to Children (PEDIATRICS Vol. 123 No. 6 June 2009, pp. e1123-e1137)’