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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!!!


FirstTimeForEverything Wed 21-Nov-12 14:15:31

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

havingastress Wed 21-Nov-12 14:36:03 it wasn't a totally daft new mum question then!!! Seems there is a lot of confusion over this matter!

Just back from my walk out..hmmm...Right...I think I'm going to take the bottles out of the steriliser and put them together and get a flask! Totally now understand that the reason for the hot water is because of the powder, so cool boiled water won't work.

Will defo be using ready made stuff out of the little cartons if I'm out and about I think! (presume then given that the bottle is sterilised, I can just pour the ready made stuff into it and feed to baby?!)

JackThePumpkinKing Wed 21-Nov-12 16:28:16

Sounds v sensible havingastress

This topic is much argued on MN - there was an epic long thread on it once IIRC - it all got very heated!

VisualiseAHorse Wed 21-Nov-12 17:42:17

Here's what I do:

- Boil kettle
- Pour required amount into 4 bottles (that's how many my baby has during the day, a younger baby may need 6)
- Wait for them to cool to 70 degrees. Because they are in bottles, not kettle they will cool faster than 30 minutes.
- Add formula
- Shake bottles well
- Put all bottles into very very very cold iced water
- Once cold (take about 5 mins) straight into fridge.

I don't warm my bottles, but if I did, I would just stick them into a bowl of hot water for a couple of minutes, just to bring them to room temperature. I wouldn't use a microwave

I use cartons when out.

havingastress Wed 21-Nov-12 19:39:03

thank you visualise...your routine makes sense! I can do that!!!

VisualiseAHorse Wed 21-Nov-12 20:45:14

Just make sure they're not warm at all when they go into the fridge, this will help breed bacteria.

I do think it's a good idea to make sure your baby can take milk at room temp since it's not always easy to make it warm (especially if you're out etc).

Just make sure you always have icecubes! So as soon as you've taken them out of the cold water, add more ice cubes to the freezer.

FirstTimeForEverything Wed 21-Nov-12 20:55:35

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

VisualiseAHorse Wed 21-Nov-12 21:08:16

I know, I was never even ASKED if I knew how to make a bottle up, luckily I learnt through my mum.

Oh, forgot to add - don't keep a feed for any longer than 24 hours - I actually prefer to use them within 12 hours. So if I was bottle feeding at night as well as the day, I would get up in the morning, make 4 bottles for the day, then before bed make another 2 or 3 smaller ones for over night.

If baby feeds from a bottle, but takes only half or so, you must throw the feed away within 2 hours.

JackThePumpkinKing Wed 21-Nov-12 22:13:38

FirstTime smile

It's terrifying how so many health professionals don't have a clue about this sort if thing. My HV woukdnt give me any advice because she wasn't allowed to, so I asked on here.

loveisagirlnameddaisy Wed 21-Nov-12 22:22:19

FWIW, I put the made up bottles straight into the fridge. Haven't had any problems doing this with my now 4 month old.

JackThePumpkinKing Wed 21-Nov-12 22:23:50

Much better to cool them first. It minimises the amount of time they spend at the temp that bacteria can multiply. It really is better to get them down to less than 5C asap.

RightUpMyRue Wed 21-Nov-12 22:25:24

Super simple guide to making up a formula feed

Start for Life guide to bottle feeding

Anyone who says anything different to these guidlines is wrong, don't listen to them.

HTH smile

MadhouseMama Wed 21-Nov-12 22:32:07

I used to keep a jug of pre boiled water in the fridge and then when I needed to make a feed boil the kettle, use a small amount of the hot water to sterilise and dissolve the formula and then top up with the cooled water to give a perfect temp bottle for screaming baby who isn't interested in waiting for bottle to cool down!

Always keep some ready made cartons around the house and one in nappy bag.

Poor DS2 hardly had anything sterilised, all went in dishwasher and that seemed to do the job just fine.
Like above, as long as you use hot water on the powder to sterilise I think everything else will be just fine wink

JackThePumpkinKing Wed 21-Nov-12 22:53:43

If you keep bottles in the fridge you need to sterilise.

If you're making them up fresh each time then there really is no need to bother. Dishwasher is great, good wash in hot soapy water and air dried also fine.

But if you're keeping bottles in thd fridge, please do sterilise (yes, I said it twice)

JackThePumpkinKing Wed 21-Nov-12 22:57:27

RightUpMyRue - the trouble is that people just don't follow that advice. It's impossible to follow when you have a screaming child demanding feeds at 3am. It's about finding the safest alternative if you don't think you can follow those guidelines.

VisualiseAHorse Thu 22-Nov-12 11:37:16

Also, rinse bottles with cold tap water as soon as they've finished!

Fairylea Thu 22-Nov-12 11:39:13

I do the same as visualise. Have done with my two dc.

RightUpMyRue Thu 22-Nov-12 16:35:26

JackThePumpkinKing - The answer to that is to use ready mixed cartons at 3am when hungry child demands.

JackThePumpkinKing Thu 22-Nov-12 18:26:13

Yes, I know that. I'm just saying that if you ARE going to use an alternative method, then the more you know about risks etc the better smile

If people are going to make up bottles in advance, as they may well decide to do, then there are ways to make it safer. Obviously the ideal is that they make up on demand, or they use cartons. Clearly not everybody is going to follow that advice to the letter or there wouldn't be so many threads about it.

RightUpMyRue Thu 22-Nov-12 18:37:31

Have you read the Start for Life leaflet? It says it's permissible to store made up bottles for up to 24 hours in the back of the fridge, if you must, but it's preferable to make them up as needed.

"A feed should be freshly made up when it is needed to reduce the risk of infection that can make your baby ill. If you have no choice and need to store a feed, it should always be stored at the back of the fridge and for no longer than 24 hours.
Any infant formula left in the bottle after a feed should be thrown away. Infant formula that has not been used and has been kept at room temperature must be thrown away within two hours. Bacteria multiply very fast at room temperature. Even if a feed is kept in a fridge, bacteria can still survive and multiply, although they do this more slowly. The risk of infection increases over time so that is why it is important to make up the feed each time your baby needs it.

• If made-up formula is stored in a fridge: use within 24 hours
• If made-up formula is stored in a cool bag with an ice pack:use within 4 hours
• If made-up formula is stored at room temperature: use within 2 hours"

This is a relatively new leaflet though. Hopefully it's clear enough and full of enough information to make it easier for parents (and professionals!) to understand and follow.

JackThePumpkinKing Thu 22-Nov-12 18:44:35

But that's what people are saying confused

RightUpMyRue Thu 22-Nov-12 18:52:25

The guidance is clear enough to not have to listen to any anecdotal advice that is always bandied about on all and any thread about infant nutrition:

"I did X,Y and Z with my kids and they're fine" for example.

Much better for the OP and anyone else reading subsequently to have the evidence based research and guidance given by the DOH.

raininginbaltimore Thu 22-Nov-12 20:11:11

My daughter is on neocate, so there are no ready made cartons.

JackThePumpkinKing Thu 22-Nov-12 20:18:55

Yes Right. I know!

Emmie412 Fri 23-Nov-12 08:21:30

I struggled with the same but ended up using cartons rather than powder all the way. The cartons are sterile to start with so no need to faff so much. More expensive for sure but at the end of the day I wanted it to be as safe and easy as possible.

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