How to Sterilize and Clean Baby Bottles - What You Need to Know

6 months ago
This article was written by a member of the SheKnows Community. It has not been edited, vetted or reviewed by our editorial staff, and any opinions expressed herein are the writer’s own.
It is not difficult to understand why newborns are more vulnerable to diseases than we adults. And thus, we, as parents, need to be extra careful to protect them from illness. Sterilizing and cleaning your baby’s feeding bottles are one of the most important things you need to do in order to save your baby from potential health risks.
Not just bottles, but all feeding equipment like rings, discs and even nipples should be cleaned with soap and lukewarm water. Germs can contaminate the milk in the bottle and cause health issues to your babies such as stomach pain, vomiting, and diarrhea. Cleaning and sterilizing your infant’s bottles and other feeding equipment until they are 12 months old will help you keep your newborn healthy.
 
The process of cleaning and sterilizing baby bottles
  • Take warm soap water in a wide utensil and dip all bottles into it. Use a clean bottle brush to manually clean the inside and outside of the bottle, particularly the rim area of the bottle which gets in contact with your baby’s mouth.
  • Make use of a good-quality nipple brush to clean both sides of nipples effectively. If milk residues are firmly attached to the surface, you can use salt to remove them.
  • Wash bottles, caps and other feeding equipment in warm and clean water. Allow water to pass through nipples to check if the holes’ size is intact.
  • There are several methods to sterilize baby bottles; boiling water and use of a sterilizer rack are two most commonly used methods. In boiling water process, put all bottles in a utensil with water and boil water for about 15 minutes. Let the water pot cool down for a while before you take out the bottles and put them on a clean towel. Wait till the bottles are dry. If you have a sterilizer rack, arrange the bottle in upside down manner on the rack. Add water in the steam chamber and put the rack holding bottles into it. Close it with the lid and turn on the switch. The sterilizer will turn off automatically once the bottles are uncontaminated.
Avoid these safety mistakes while sterilizing bottles
  • It’s not recommended to keep breast milk stored in bottles for a long time. Instead, you need to fill up the bottle just before you are going to feed the baby. If a certain amount of milk is left in the bottle, throw it away.
  • Don’t overheat plastic bottles, particularly when they are filled with breast milk or powder formula. Plastic bottles may contain BPA and other chemicals that can release in a very small yet impactful percentile when you overheat the bottles during a sterilization process. It is even better to use BPA free bottles for your newborn. Alternatively, you can prefer using glass bottles for feeding your young one.
  • Don’t warm milk in the microwave as it doesn’t heat all milk particles evenly and thus may cause heat burns in your baby’s mouth. Instead, you can put milk bottle in a pot of warm water several minutes before you feed the baby. The milk doesn’t have to be too cold or too hot. Newborns like lukewarm milk as they find it similar to breast milk.
  • With increasing months, your baby’s appetite will also increase significantly and thus you may need to enlarge the hole of the nipple or replace it at a certain interval.
  • If you are thinking that brand new baby bottles can be used straightaway, you are wrong. They too need to undergo sterilization process before you start using them.

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