Which method should I use?
There are a number of safe ways to sterilise your baby’s bottles.
- Steam: Electric steamers sterilise bottles in 8 - 12 minutes. They leave no unpleasant smell or taste, but are not suitable for all equipment (breast-pumps, for example). Make sure the openings of the bottles and teats are facing downwards in the steriliser. You can now buy bottles that you simply place in the microwave and heat for 90 seconds. Or you can buy a steamer that fits in your microwave.
- Boiling: To sterilise a bottle by boiling takes 10 minutes. The pan you’re using must only ever be used for sterilising your baby’s feeding equipment, and be warned that teats wear out more quickly if boiled.
- Cold water: Using a non-toxic sterilisation tablet takes around 30 minutes and is highly effective; it can touch the skin and even be swallowed with no ill-effects. You can use a specially designed sterilisation unit or just a clean bucket or container, weighing the bottles down with a heavy plate to make sure they’re fully submerged. The bottles can stay sterilised in the water for up to 24 hours. Make sure there are no air bubbles in the bottles or teats and rinse them with pre-boiled water before making up feeds.
Tips for sterilisation
- Use a sterilised bottle, cap and teat for every feed.
- Before sterilising, wash bottles, rings and teats thoroughly with hot soapy water and a bottle brush to clean away any remaining milk. Turn teats inside out and make sure holes are not blocked.
- Once sterilised any equipment not used straight away should be re-sterilised before using.