Guide for cleaning & sterilising baby bottles
- After you have finished feeding the bottle of milk to baby, rinse out the bottle. Dismantle the lid and teat and also rinse these out thoroughly.
- Wash the bottles, teats, lids, caps (everything that comes into contact with milk) with hot soapy water and a bottle brush. There are soft bottle brushes available which are skinny enough to get through the rim of the bottle, but can reach down to reach all the walls. You must also wash out the teat and bottle neck with the brush to remove all milk traces.
- After you have finished scrubbing, rinse all the items with cold water.
- The next step is to sterilise all the equipment
Sterilising Baby Equipment
There are a couple of options for sterilising baby bottles and equipment.
- Boiling: place bottles, teats, caps, lids into a large saucepan and fill with water. Bring to the boil. The water must be boiling for 4 continuous minutes before the items are sterilised.
- Microwave Sterilisation: Special microwave sterilisers are available. Follow the instructions provided. Typically these require you to add all items of equipment upside down, add 200mL of water, and microwave on high for 4 minutes. Depending on the type of steriliser that you have, the contents may remain sterile for up to 24 hours while the lid remains on. *though please read the instructions for your device as this will vary*
- Electronic Sterilisation: There are electronic sterilisation devices available also, that sit on bench top.
- You can also purchase chemical sterilisation tablets, just make them up using the instructions on the packet.
If you are using glass bottles, the best way to sterilize these is by boiling in a saucepan, or you should check with the retailer. Glass bottles should not be sterilized in microwave or electronic sterilisers
What to do when the items are clean and sterile?
It is important to consider what you will do after your items have been cleaned and sterilised. Some people will remove items and store them in an airtight container, or others will assemble the bottle (without milk) and store the empty bottle in the fridge until required at feeding time.
The microwave sterilisers or electronic sterilisers, depending on the brand, will keep the contents sterile for x hours provided the lid is secured and is not opened.
It is also recommended that whenever you touch bottles and teats, you wash your hands first. In particular, try not to touch the tip of the teat.
At what age can you stop sterilising equipment?
It is suggested that you continue to sterilize all baby bottles etc until your baby reaches 6 months of age.
This information applies for all baby feeding equipment that comes into contact with milk, formula, & breast milk – including breast pump equipment.