Sterilising baby bottles is just another small job we have to do as new parents, all whilst juggling baby, other children, pets and everything else that goes in the family home.
So when can you stop sterilising baby bottles and other feeding equipment?
It is important to keep sterilising all of your babies feeding equipment until they are at least 12 months old. This will protect baby against bacteria that could cause infections, diarrhoea and vomiting.
How to prepare bottles for sterilising
Before sterilising, you need to clean the bottles, teats and other feeding equipment in hot water with soap as soon as possible after they have been emptied.
To clean by hand, you can use a gadget called a bottle brush, they are specially designed to get into all the crevices of the baby bottle. The other end of the bottle brush usually has a teat brush, which is a miniature bottle brush, specifically designed for cleaning teats.
(You may have heard of the tradition of using salt to clean baby bottle teats, but this should be avoided as it can be dangerous for your baby.)
If you have a dishwasher, you can also use this to clean the bottles if you prefer. (Washing the teats by hand is usually easier and means you can do a better job of making sure they are completely clean.)
(You will still need to sterilise the bottles and teats, even if they have been washed in the dishwasher.)
Once the bottles and teats have been washed, rinse them in cold water to wash any soap residue from them, ready to sterilise.
How to sterilise baby bottles and teats
There are a number of ways to sterilise bottles and teats, including a cold water sterilising solution (this is ideal for feeding baby on the go when you do not have you steriliser to hand.)
You can also sterilise bottles and teats by using a steriliser, this is a piece of equipment designed with one specific purpose – it uses water that is turned to steam to sterilise items placed into the container.
The other option to sterilise is to use boiling water – this is a more old fashioned way that is more time consuming, but uses things that you most likely already have in the house (a pan, some water and a way of heating it such as a cooker hob.)
Which is the best way to sterilise baby feeding equipment?
Steam Sterilising – (Using a purported built steriliser or microwave.)
This is the most popular way for people to sterilise feeding equipment nowadays. A steriliser machine is relatively inexpensive and can be used again and again. It also gives you peace of mind that you have properly sterilised the bottles and teats.
Using a steriliser or microwave option is the quickest and most convenient way to sterilise feeding equipment, perfect for busy lifestyles when you don’t want to be boiling pans of water multiple times a day.
This is also the safest way to stylise bottles.
Sterilising By Boiling
If you plan to use boiling water to sterilise bottles and teats, first check that they are safe to be placed into boiling water.
The bottles and teats will need to be boiled in a large pan for at least 10 minutes. Set a timer to make sure you don’t forget about them!
Using boiling water to sterilise feeding equipment is the most damaging to the plastics and silicone that is used to make them. Check the bottles and teats regularly to make sure they have not cracked or split.
Cold Water Sterilising Solution
- Ideal for sterilising baby bottles when travelling where you may not have access to heat.
- The solution is added to water and the bottles should be left in the steriliser water for at least 30 minutes.
- The bottles, teats and feeding equipment need to stay immersed in the water for the sterilisation to work correctly. This is a simple and effective way to rid bottles and teats of bacteria.
- The sterilising solution will not work for longer than 24 hours, so you will need plenty of supplies if this is your chosen method.