A baby’s immune system is not yet fully developed, and babies are more susceptible to infection and illness than an older child or adult. Cleanliness is therefore very important when preparing your baby’s bottles.
What is sterilization?
Sterilising is the process of killing any harmful germs that may be clinging to surfaces of the bottles and other equipment.
It is important to sterilise baby bottles before each use, for at least the first 12 months of your baby’s life. This applies whether you are bottle feeding with infant formula or with expressed breast milk.
How do I sterilise my baby’s equipment?
Baby’s bottles can be sterilised in the following ways
- Electric steam sterilising
- Cold-water sterilising
How long should I continue sterilising?
You should sterilise for at least 1 year. This way baby will have built up his immunity. If you continue to sterilize even longer, that is good.
Why do I need to sterilise my baby’s bottles?
During the first 12 months of your baby’s life, he is very susceptible to illnesses. If bottles aren’t sterilised correctly, viruses, bacteria, and parasites can gather and make your baby ill.
Germs are prevalent everywhere, and spread easily between children and when things are not properly cleaned. Sterilisation is the process of killing germs – one should try to sterilise the most important things in a baby’s day to day life – like bottles, teets, pacifiers and toys. One should also sterilise nappies if cloth nappies are used.
How do I clean and sterilise bottles?
Start by cleaning the used bottles thoroughly. Wash the bottles in clean soapy water, along with the teats, retaining rings, caps, and the manufacturer’s scoop that comes with the tin of formula. This way, every trace of milk is removed.
Clean the equipment as soon as possible after a feed, before the milk has had a chance to dry on. Use clean, hot, soapy water and a clean bottle brush. Take extra care when washing the teats to make sure any stubborn milk curds come off, as these can survive the sterilising process.
To clean the teats fully, wash the inside of the teat by turning it inside-out. When you’ve washed everything, carefully rinse off all the detergent.
Check teats and bottles carefully and throw out any that are badly scratched, split, or cracked. Bacteria can stay in damaged surfaces and survive the cleaning and sterilising process.