We all know how important it is to sterilise all baby’s feeding equipment, including bottles and teats, preferably until they are at least 12 months old so that they are protected against infections such as diarrhoea and vomiting. This article aims to give you some advice and ideas on how to achieve this.
Before sterilising, you need to:
- Clean bottles, teats and other feeding equipment in hot, soapy water as soon as possible after feeds.
- Use a clean bottle brush to clean bottles (only use this brush for cleaning bottles), and a small teat brush to clean the inside of teats. You can also turn teats inside out and wash in hot soapy water. Don’t be tempted to use salt to clean teats, this can be dangerous for your baby.
- You can put your baby’s feeding equipment in the dishwasher to clean it if you prefer. (Putting feeding equipment through the dishwasher cleans it but does not sterilise it.) Make sure bottles, lids and teats are facing downwards. You may prefer to wash teats separately by hand to make sure they are completely clean.
- Rinse all your equipment in clean, cold running water before sterilising.
The advice above applies to all your baby’s feeding equipment, regardless of whether you are using expressed breasts milk or formula milk.
How to sterilise baby feeding equipment
There are several ways you can sterilise your baby’s feeding equipment. These include:
- cold water sterilising solution
- steam sterilising
Cold water sterilising solution
- Follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
- Leave feeding equipment in the sterilising solution for at least 30 minutes.
- Change the sterilising solution every 24 hours.
- Make sure there are no air bubbles trapped in the bottles or teats when putting them in the sterilising solution.
- Your steriliser should have a floating cover or a plunger to keep all the equipment under the solution.
Steam sterilising (electric steriliser or microwave)
- It’s important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions, as there are several different types of sterilisers.
- Make sure the openings of the bottles and teats are facing downwards in the steriliser.
- Manufacturers will give guidelines on how long you can leave equipment in the steriliser before it needs to be sterilised again.
Sterilising by boiling
- Make sure that whatever you want to sterilise in this way is safe to boil.
- Boil the feeding equipment in a large pan of water for at least 10 minutes, making sure it all stays under the surface.
- Set a timer so you don’t forget to turn the heat off.
- Remember that teats tend to get damaged faster with this method. Regularly check that teats and bottles are not torn, cracked or damaged and replace them as necessary.
After you’ve finished sterilising
- It’s best to leave bottles and teats in the steriliser or pan until you need them.
- If you do take them out, put the teats and lids on the bottles straightaway.
- Wash and dry your hands before handling sterilised equipment. Better still, use some sterile tongs.
- Assemble the bottles on a clean, disinfected surface or the upturned lid of the steriliser.
- Never leave hot or boiling liquids unattended or within reach of children
- Be aware that steam can burn or scald you just as badly as boiling water
- Keep chemicals and chemical solutions out of reach of children
- Always wash your hands thoroughly before handling equipment that has been sterilised
We hope this article has given you some useful information about cleaning and sterilizing but if you have any unanswered questions related to this topic then please consult your healthcare practitioner.
This article was kindly brought to you today by MAM Cyprus. For more details about their cleaning and sterilising products please visit the MAM Baby website. For any other queries please contact them through their Facebook page.