If you chose to bottle feed your baby, sterilizing baby bottles is essential in keeping your baby healthy and free from infections caused by unsterilized bottles. Moreover, as new parents, you might want to know how to sterilize baby bottles properly and avoid damage to the bottles while cleaning them thoroughly. Let’s find out in this article.
How to Sterilize Baby Bottles?
As a new parent, cleaning baby bottles is not rocket science. But, there are many ways to do it. Moreover, you want the best for your baby, so you might want to opt for the appropriate sterilization process for your baby’s bottles.
Besides, keeping your baby healthy and free from diseases can save you a lot of money. When it comes to your baby’s health prevention is better than cure. So you may start by sterilizing your baby’s bottles properly.
Sterilizing Baby Bottles in the Dishwasher
The dishwasher can effectively clean your baby’s bottles. However, you have to pick baby bottles that are dishwasher safe. Also, not all bottle nipples are dishwasher safe, so if you plan to sterilize your baby bottles in the dishwasher, make sure that you choose the right brand that is dishwasher safe to prevent damaging the bottles once you put them in the dishwasher.
If your dishwasher uses hot water for cleaning the dishes and baby bottles, it may be enough to sterilize your baby bottles. Also, some dishwashers have a heated drying cycle which may kill harmful germs in the bottles. Afterward, it may be enough to sanitize your bottle and to prevent diseases that may be caused by pathogens in the bottle.
Sanitizing Baby Bottles with Hot Water
The easiest way to sanitize baby bottles is by cleaning it by hand with dish soap, then using hot water to sanitize the bottles. This does not use harsh chemicals and the heat of the water used for the final rinse of the bottle is enough to kill viruses and bacteria that might be on the surface of the bottle. Besides, preparing hot water is very easy and it is enough to sanitize your baby’s bottles effectively.
There are various types of baby bottles and most of the baby bottles available in the market today can safely be cleaned with hot water. Moreover, you just have to soak the bottles in hot water for about 5 minutes or so and it is enough to kill the harmful bacteria that may thrive in the bottle.
It is probably the easiest way to clean your bottle without the use of bottle sterilizers, dishwashers and others. So, you may do this on the go or when you travel with your baby and a dishwasher or bottle sterilizer may not always be available.
Do you Need to Get a Baby Bottle Sterilizer?
A baby bottle sterilizer may be a good idea, but it is not always essential. It works the same way as soaking the bottles in hot or boiling water for several minutes. However, if you want to have a separate bottle sterilizer exclusively for your baby’s bottles then you may get a bottle sterilizer since you can use it for as long as your baby uses bottles.
Moreover, it can effectively sterilize nipples, too. Getting a baby bottle isn’t a necessity since there are other ways to sterilize a baby bottle. But, it is convenient in cleaning your baby bottles and it keeps dishes and baby bottles organized.
How to Sterilize Bottle Nipples?
Most baby bottle nipples can safely be sterilized together with the bottles that they come in. However, some baby bottle nipples may get damaged with extended heat exposure. Depending on your baby bottle’s nipple type, you may also clean it separately with a different method, such as using a microwave or bleach.
Feeding bottle nipples may have various holes depending on whether it is a slow feeding bottle or a fast feeding bottle. So, the holes may vary. Nevertheless, the holes of the nipples have to be cleaned thoroughly since bacteria may thrive in the nipple holes and may cause illnesses to your baby if it is not cleaned properly. Here are some ways on how you can sterilize baby bottle nipples effectively:
- Soak in bleach for 2-5 minutes and press the nipples with tongs while soaking to allow the bleach to pass through the nipples
- Steam feeding bottle nipples for 5-10 minutes using a steamer or microwave
- Boil feeding bottle nipples for at least 5 minutes
- Clean with antibacterial dish soap and nipple brush
How Often do You Need to Sterilize Baby Bottles?
Sterilizing feeding bottles regularly is important in keeping your baby healthy. However, there are times when you need to sterilize your baby’s feeding bottles more frequently, depending on the age of your baby. For newborns, due to their on-demand feeding schedule, you may want to sterilize bottles every after feeding to prevent spoiled milk from sticking to the bottles for a long time.
For babies below 3 months, sterilizing a feeding bottle after use may prevent bacterial contamination. On the other hand, you may reduce the frequency of sterilizing feeding bottles for babies 4 months old and up since your baby’s immune system may already be strong enough to fight off pathogens by that time. Nevertheless, sterilizing the frequency of feeding bottles may be reduced as your baby grows, but it is essential in preventing some diseases.
This guide on how to sterilize baby bottles has provided you with information that most parents need to know about the importance of sterilization in your baby’s feeding bottles. Besides, cleanliness may keep your baby healthy as his or her immune system is still developing.