During the first year, Your Child’s immune system is still developing, and your baby may be at a higher risk of getting infections.
Sterilizing is the means of removing harmful germs that may be clinging to the surfaces of the bottles and other feeding tools. You need to sterilize baby bottles before each use for, at least, the first 12 months. This applies irrespective of what you are bottle-feeding the baby with — infant formula or with expressed breast milk. Sterilizing helps to protect Your Child from infections, especially diarrhea, and vomiting.
What to do before sterilizing?
- Wash bottles, teats, and other feeding tools with hot soapy water as soon as possible after feeds, and be sure to get rid of all traces of milk or formula left inside the bottles
- Use a clean bottlebrush (this brush must be used for cleaning bottles only) to wash the bottles and a small teat brush to clean the inside of the teats; you can also turn the teats inside out and wash them in hot soapy water
How to sterilize?
There are various ways to sterilize your baby’s bottles, teats, lids, and other feeding tools. Here are the two most common:
- Sterilization by boiling using your own pot: If you sterilize with boiling water, make sure to boil the feeding tools in a pot of water for at least 10 minutes, making sure it all stays under the surface. It’s better to set a timer, so you don’t forget to turn the heat off. Although this method is cheap, teats tend to get damaged faster, and it’s not as convenient as an electronic sterilizer.
- Sterilizing by steaming using an electric sterilizer: You may buy a special electronic sterilizer for baby products but make sure you follow the manufacturer’s instructions as there are different types of sterilizers. When you place the items inside, be sure that the openings of the bottles and teats are facing downwards in the sterilizer. It’s ideal to leave the bottles in the sterilizer until they are needed.
After you’ve finished sterilizing
Be sure to wash and dry your hands thoroughly anytime you want to handle tools that have been sterilized. It’s preferable to leave bottles and teats in the sterilizer or pan until you need them. But if you do bring them out, put the teats and lids on the bottles immediately.
Dr. Piyawut Kreetapirom, MD. (14 June 2019)