I am a purely breastfeeding mum, but at times when I need to go out for errands, I leave my baby at home. That is why I express milk through bottles.
Now I would like to know how to sterilize bottles the proper way and how to store it after sterilizing.
I know a lot of people do not sterilize bottles and I cannot guarantee this is THE way to do it, but this is what I have always done.
When I get a new back of bottles, a new dummy, or teething rings- anything that is going to go in the baby's mouth. I wash them well with hot, soapy water as soon as they come out of the package. I then place them into a stockpot full of water and boil them for about five minutes. After they have boiled, I take them out with a pair of tongues and place them on the drying rack, allowing them to cool and air dry.
With my first baby I did this every time I washed her bottles and then I stored them in refrigerator (my cousin told me to do this but I really do not know why-lol). I did the same thing for my cousin's baby who I watched at the time while his mom worked.
Since that time I have taken a bit more of a relaxed view, after all baby's put everything in their mouth anyway. I go through this routine when I first get new stuff, to kill anything that might have accompanied the product home from the factory. However, after that initial boiling I just run them through the dishwasher for subsequent washes and then store them in the cabinet with everything else.
As Mon2many mentioned one option for sterilising bottles is to wash them with warm soapy water using a bottle brush then you can boil them in water in a large pot for approximately 5 minutes to make sure all bacteria has been destroyed. You can also boil the caps/lids and then once everything is cool and dry re assemble the bottle with lids and store safely in a cupboard.
There are multiple steam sterilising units on the market, some are less expensive than others. These have water placed inside a receptacle area and are usually placed in a microwave or alternatively are electric and you simply plug them in and operate them for the required time. The important thing to note when purchasing a steam sterilising unit is that is it compatible with your bottle shape and size.
You can also buy sterilising solution, such as Milton and other similar brands, which are added to a volume of cold water and you soak the bottles for the specified amount of time.
None of these options is any better than the other really, it's whatever you find you prefer. Sterilising solutions are available at most grocery/convenience stores, steam sterilisers are available at any place that sells bottles.
Hope this helps!
Thank you Holly and mom2many!
I really appreciate the insights that you gave me. As a mum, I am very meticulous with cleanliness that is why I want to give the best for my children. But as you said, babies put anything on their mouth anyway. But it is still important to consider cleanliness and hygiene of babies so as to avoid gastrointestinal problems such as diarrhea and vomiting.
So after sterilizing, is it necessary to cool the bottles first before storing in the fridge? Or it can be placed immediately for storage?
If you use milton you can sterilise the bottles in cold water (so there will be no need to cool them). It's also good to know that breastmilk has special properties which protect it from bacterial contamination so you don't need to worry about sterilising as much as if your baby was formula fed (although I can completely understand why you still want to be very careful about storing the breastmilk).
If you do use heat to sterilise your bottles then I used to use a cooled bottle to put the breastmilk in. You could also use milk storage bags as these are designed with breastmilk in mind. There was some breastmilk storage guidelines that stated that it was best not to store any breastmilk in a glass container in the fridge as some of the white cells in the milk are likely to stick to the glass but this was not an extensive study.
I hope this is useful.
Thank you for the insight ljmarsden. I use the Avent Sterilizer with my bottles. It is microwavable so I no longer use stockpots. However there are times that I use pots since it is just the same with the microwavable ones. Is the water source for sterilizing needs to be distilled? Since our water supply comes from the deep well, sometimes there are discoloration seen in the water and I think it is not safe to use for sterilizing.
If you have any concern about using the well water for sterilization, then go ahead and use distilled. I would think that the boiling of the water (for 5 minutes) would kill all contaminants, but I'm truly not sure and have never had a situation where I was drinking/using "discolored" water for my family.
Hi Charibelle_925 - I would consider using either distilled or filtered water instead of the well water. Interesting sterilising only came about as we all used to drink water drawn from wells. With clean town water sterilising is not as important as it used to be.
Thank you Kate and Jane! We only use the well water for baths and for cooking food. I only tried it once to use it for sterilizing bottles, and I think it is still better to use distilled water most especially my baby is the one using these bottles.