Totally confused about sterilising bottles - HELP!

(54 Posts)
havingastress Wed 21-Nov-12 13:22:32

Ok - so I have checked through back threads, and tbh, that's just confused me further!

Baby is 3 weeks old. Have just stopped bf'ing (upsetting, but just couldn't continue, health issues) so am onto bottles sadly.

We have a tommy tippee steriliser. It says once you open the steriliser the bottles are no longer sterile! Sooo....what are you supposed to do?

This whole boiling the kettle half an hour before the feed is not conduicive to feeding a hungry tiny 3 week old baby.

Can I take ALL of the bottles out of the steriliser, make the bottles up, fill up with cooled boiled water, leave on the side and simply ADD the powder as and when we need them?

OR do we make up all the bottles into milk, leave to cool and then store the bottles in the fridge?

OR do I simply sterilise a bottle at a time and make up just for that feed?

BF'ing was definitely less confusing!!!

HELP PLEASE KNOWLEDGEABLE MUMSNETTERS!!!

ginmakesitallok Wed 21-Nov-12 13:25:27

It's the bugs that might be in any left over milk that need to be killed - so once they are sterilized once they are OK to use. Once out of the sterilizer they are no longer clinically "sterile", but the harmful bugs will have been killed.

Remember that you are boiling the water so that it kills the harmful bugs in the formula powder. You are not boiling the water to sterilise the water.

I think you can make up bottles with the hot water and formula and cool them, but definitely do not make up formula with water that is under 70 degrees centigrade. It's a rare risk, but babies have died, even in Western society, due to contaminated powder.

CMOTDibbler Wed 21-Nov-12 13:30:59

If you assemble the bottles when you take them out of the steriliser they'll be fine.

You need to make the bottles up fresh each time - it is important that the powder is added to water over 70'. This does not mean you need to leave the kettle for half an hour though - you can make up the bottle straight away then run it under the cold tap, or use a wine chiller sleeve to reduce the temperaturee

FirstTimeForEverything Wed 21-Nov-12 13:36:10

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

JackThePumpkinKing Wed 21-Nov-12 13:37:23

Yes, take the bottles out of the steriliser when they are finished and put them together. Just don't touch the teats with bare hands (you should have tongs). We used to take them out when they were still hot (asbestos hands developed v quickly!) and it was fine.

FIll up a thermos at the beginning of the day with fresh boiled water - then you don't need to wait for the kettle. You'll have hot water ready to go. Just make sure it's still steaming hot and it'll be hot enough to safely make up formula.

Use cartons for out and about though - SO Much easier.

JackThePumpkinKing Wed 21-Nov-12 13:38:10

Do NOT add formula to cool or slightly warm water though.

DuelingFanjo Wed 21-Nov-12 13:45:47

FirstTimeForEverything - I think that you're supposed to pour the hot water (no less than 70 degrees) onto the formula.
If you put it in the fridge it cools and is no longer hot enough to kill the bacteria in the formula so not a safe way to make bottles up.

I think it's ok to put the hot water onto the powder then cool it down and store in the fridge for a while? But putting cold water (Even if it has been previously boiled) is not safe.

FirstTimeForEverything Wed 21-Nov-12 13:46:40

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Firsttime Can I just ask why you're bothering to boil the water at all if you're going to let it cool completely before adding formula?

DuelingFanjo Wed 21-Nov-12 13:47:28

"I take out one of the bottles from the fridge and put in a jug of hot tap water for about 5 mins to warm up a bit"

sorry - this bit. Are you sure that's safe?
Your midwife said to do this?

Marrow Wed 21-Nov-12 13:49:47

Firstyimeforeverything - Your midwives should not have confirmed that this is the correct method. The water needs to be at least 70degrees when you add the formula to kill any bugs in the formula. The safest way to make up bottles is as they are needed with water that is at least 70 degrees. The next safest is to make them all in advance ( again with hot water) cool rapidly and store in the back of the fridge. The way you are doing them is the riskiest as it sounds like you are adding formula to lukewarm water.

The problem these days is that most HCPs aren't given training on making up bottles as they can't seem to be promoting bottle feeding. It makes me mad that mums then go to seek their advice and are given dangerous, outdated information.

Spiritedwolf Wed 21-Nov-12 13:49:48

BF is less confusing once you get the hang of it, but I guess you'll get into the swing of bottles too. The thing about asking on MN is that people do different things and not all of them would be reccomended.

I believe official advice is: make up each feed when you need it, always use boiled water cooled to no less than 70 degrees to mix with the powder and put the water in first (so that the volume is accurate).

I'm not bottle feeding, so I don't know all the best practical tips. I have heard of mums putting the hot water into a thermos for night feeds so that they don't have to wait for the kettle to boil, I suppose you could use a thermometer to check the temp of the water to see if it would work, and then add a pre measured out amount of powder. But it still needs to cool down obviously to drinking temperature - cold tap?. In this case you may as well just sterilise what you'll need for the next feed and when you take out your bottle put the next lot on to be sterilised.

The reason why you need to mix the powder with 70 degree plus water is because the Powder is not sterile. So using cool boiled water won't work.

Mums have different opinions on the sterilisation of bottles and premaking feeds. I don't know the ins and outs of these aspects.

Not an expert, just didn't want to leave you hanging. Hope you and your baby are well with regards to the medical issues. Congratulations on your new baby.

FirstTimeForEverything Wed 21-Nov-12 13:50:19

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

DuelingFanjo Wed 21-Nov-12 13:51:17

"You can add formula to steralised warm water as I do abovd, I called the maternity unit to check this recently and HV also said it was fine last week. I called them after the last debate on here about this a few weeks ago. If you can't make up each bottle from scratch then they said what I do is a safe alternative, they keep cooled water bottles in the fridge on the ward"

I might be a bit confused then. I have checked the NHS guidelines and you add the formula to the water.

is the water still 70 degrees or above when you remove it from the fridge to add the formula?

NHS guidelines here

FirstTimeForEverything Wed 21-Nov-12 13:52:20

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

DuelingFanjo Wed 21-Nov-12 13:53:25

maybe read them the NHS guidelines?

Marrow Wed 21-Nov-12 13:55:30

First - if you look at the box of formula or in your birth to five book it gives all the correct guidelines there. As I said a lot of HCPs are giving outdated advice and have not been trained in the new guidelines which have changed in the last few years.

raininginbaltimore Wed 21-Nov-12 13:55:51

Firsttime the water must be above 70 degrees. You can make formula in advance if you make with hot water, flash cool (i use ice cubes) and store at back of fridge. Must be used within 24 hours.

The thing I do when out and about is fill bottle with 3oz cold water and take flask of hot. I pour cold water into lid of flask, then 2oz of hot water in bottle. Add powder, shake and then add cold water. You must measure the cold water out first though.

DuelingFanjo Wed 21-Nov-12 13:58:11

beware of Hipp though giving bad advice against health guidelines.

firsttime I know we are supposed to trust healthcare professionals, but time and time again on Mumsnet we have seen instances of poor and/or dangerous advice. I'm really sorry but the nurses are telling you the wrong thing and I would ask them why they are giving out advice like this in direct opposition to World Health Organisation guidelines. (though I suspect they will mutter something about WHO guidelines only being relevant to countries which don't have clean water - thereby displaying their gross ignorance of the issue.)

The World Health Organisation believe that formula contamination is a big enough issue to have specific guidelines written on how to prepare it safely:

WHO guidelines

There is separate research here about how widespread bugs in formula are.

Research into formula contamination

Marrow Wed 21-Nov-12 14:01:48

How can Hipp get away with that?!

FirstTimeForEverything Wed 21-Nov-12 14:03:27

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

FirstTimeForEverything Wed 21-Nov-12 14:06:50

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Startail Wed 21-Nov-12 14:07:03

Like raining I'd work out with a thermometer once how much cold boiled water and how much boiling water I needed to end up at 70 0C in the size of bottles I was using.

Life is too short to l waiting for kettles to cool.

I would then cool them stick them in the fridge and microwave carefully when needed. Purist can shoot me, I am not faffing about with boiling water at 3am.

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