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Can't get my head around the sterilising process....

(32 Posts)
Writerwannabe83 Sat 29-Mar-14 19:53:40

Hello everyone, I have an 8 day old baby (clueless first time mom) who is exclusively breast fed so sterilising stuff hasn't really been an issue as yet but now I'm expressing milk too I find myself lost and confused by sterilisation!

We have a cold water Milton tank where the tablets need changing every 24 hours and things are sterilised in 15 minutes.

1) - do things have to remain in the sterilising unit until they are used or can they be removed after 15 minutes and put in a cupboard?

2) - my DH has been taking things out the sterilising unit and then leaving them to drain on a tea towel.....but obviously the tea towel isn't sterile so doesn't that defeat the whole purpose?

3) - DH says that once the 24 hours are up on the tablet time limit, the items that are still within the solution remain sterile even if the water is not changed as they have already been sterilised. Does that sound right?

4) - can things be used if they still have Milton moisture on them or do we have to allow them to dry? I just used my breast pump which still had water droplets on it and inside the bottle etc and didn't consider if this was ok? Is the milk I expressed into this bottle still ok to use?

I'm confused!!!

RandomMess Sat 29-Mar-14 19:55:48

Sorry no idea, I used a microwave steam sterliser. As soon as the bottles were cool enough to handle I made them up (as empties) as they are pretty air tight and I thought they stayed sterile for 24 hours but kept them in the fridge.

PinkPepper Sat 29-Mar-14 19:59:26

They are sterile in the solution, they won't be out of it if touch anyhjng g else tea towel/work top/cupboard but it's mainly the teats id be worried about.
it's fine for them still to be wet with Milton

Theyaremysunshine Sat 29-Mar-14 20:03:38

1- leave them in the sterilising liquid
2- yes, defeats whole purpose
3- once 24hrs up change solution and if there were things left in then put them into the new solution
4- Milton doesn't have to be washed or dried off. Use clean hands take them I out, give a shake and use.


neversleepagain Sat 29-Mar-14 20:12:16

I wouldn't leave teats in the steriliser, they will wear more quickly if you do. Don't worry about the drops of Milton, they use it in the nicu for babies that are born at 24 weeks.

dannydyerismydad Sat 29-Mar-14 20:25:48

No need to sterilise at all if you're using breast milk - sterilisation is only necessary when formula feeding. Just wash in hot, soapy water and store in the cupboard.

The breast pump only needs to be washed once a day. In between times, just pop it in a ziplock bag or airtight container and store in the fridge.

Theyaremysunshine Sat 29-Mar-14 20:32:15

OMG danny, that is just awful advice and so untrue. Of course you need to sterilise equipment and bottle when expressing and bottle feeding shock

Seriously hope you're joking!

dannydyerismydad Sat 29-Mar-14 20:33:40

I meant to ask, is there a reason for expressing at 8 days? If feeding directly from the breast is going well, expressing on top can cause oversupply issues - you're best to wait until 6 weeks until your supply is established and stable.

If you're expressing because of issues, please make sure you get along to a drop in for real life help. Most things really are easily fixed.

Gerty1002 Sat 29-Mar-14 20:37:25

I've always thought you didn't need to sterilise when bf as it's the bacteria that lives in the formula that is the concern. However I probably would anyway when LO was very young, but wouldn't worry too much about them staying sterile once made up, as pp said they are pretty airtight and already sterile.

Theyaremysunshine Sat 29-Mar-14 20:41:19

Here for NHS guidance, which specifically states it's the same for FF and expressed BM.

whereisthewitch Sat 29-Mar-14 20:41:47

Ditch the tank and get a microwave steam steriliser. much quicker and no residue from milton tabs which makes the bottle teats all yukky.

RedRobin1 Sat 29-Mar-14 20:54:47

Just wash pump parts in hot water. Never sterilised pump parts. Dd is 12weeks old and not been ill yet so guess it didn't do her any harm.

I sterilised all bottles in Milton and leave them to dry on tea towel and use them next day or even the day after sometimes. Again dd is fine and not had any bugs yet.

Llareggub Sat 29-Mar-14 21:00:09

I never sterilised anything to do with bfing either. Just bunged it all in the dishwasher and couldn't be arsed to sterilise my nipples. grin

All jokes aside, there are lots of links on here if you search about pointless sterilising. I can't remember anything now that might help you search for it but 5 yrs or so ago there was lots of talk about it actually being recommended by a SCBU.

My unsterilised baby is now 5 and robust, and still breastfeeding.

Theyaremysunshine Sat 29-Mar-14 21:02:16

Please don't pass on the advice not to bother sterilising. If you've chosen that, knowing the risks, fair enough, but all breast pump parts and bottles should be sterilised for the safety of the baby.

Just because your baby has been ok so far doesn't make it right.

dannydyerismydad Sat 29-Mar-14 21:05:16

John Radcliffe Hospital hosts one of the leading milk banks in the country. Their advice is NOT to sterilise. That's good enough for me.

Llareggub Sat 29-Mar-14 21:05:29

That's why I advised searching out the links. My DCs are 7 and 5 now so I can't remember the sources but there were lots around the time I had my DCs.

Llareggub Sat 29-Mar-14 21:06:18

Crossed posts with Danny. That's one of them. I think Cardiff was another.

EverythingsDozy Sat 29-Mar-14 21:13:16

Putting things in the dishwasher sterilises them...
I used to put the bottles, teats and lids in the Milton and just leave them in there. If there were still things in after 24h I would replace the tablets and re-sterilise. Don't rinse or dry off the Milton, it doesn't need it.

1stMrsF Sat 29-Mar-14 21:13:46

The key thing is that items that have held milk, especially formula, as bacteria grow faster in formula than in breast milk, must be sterilised. They do not need to be sterile. In practise, it is easier to leave things in the water or microwave steriliser until you need to use them but if air dried, or dried with a clean tea towel they will stay clean. Also, the dishwasher is probably hot enough to remove bacteria. Looking to the future, as soon as they are sitting up on the floor or crawling, no point in sterilising, dishwasher fine.

5madthings Sat 29-Mar-14 21:18:23

O thought the advice fRom kellymom etc is that breast pumps etc don't need to be sterilized. I always just washed mine wEll in hot soapy water. Mine wouor never drink expressed milk anyway so I just used it in cooking!

AnythingNotEverything Sat 29-Mar-14 21:23:54

That's a really interesting point. Things have to be sterilised, but do not have to be sterile.

Have I read that right?

I understand that EBM has some pretty clever antibacterial properties and so you can be slightly more relaxed with EBM than formula, but to be honest, it's not really worth the risk. Small babies with sickness bugs can deteriorate rapidly and it's easily avoidable.

KellyMom has great info about how long you can keep EBM for (in and out of the fridge).

Also, I second the query about why you're expressing. If direct feeding is going well you're probably just creating a whole load of extra work for yourself and potentially increasing your supply unnecessarily.

5madthings Sat 29-Mar-14 21:24:21

Dr Sears says no need to sterilize, he gives ggood advice on bfeeding.

O guess it may depend on how long you are going to store the milk for?

fruitpastille Sat 29-Mar-14 21:25:25

1) I would have a clean box to storenthe sterile stuff but you can leave it in the solutionnif you want.
2)Maybe use kitchen towel or use a tray that you can wipe down with milton solution
3) I wouldn't worry about it, I kind of agree with your dh
4) Milton is fine butni prefer to rinse with some boiled water from the kettle as I don't like the smell or the idea of the chemical stuff being swallowed (I know this is a bit irrational).

But really, don't worry too much, just wash thoroughly to move milk and the sterilising will kill any remaining germs. I wouldn't mind too much about stuff on tea towel, hands, in air etc.

if you are going to use lots of bottles a microwave steam one is much easier. I only use mine for nipple shields. I wash, bung in bowl of milton for a while, rinse and keep in a tupperware till needed. If rushed I just scald with boiling water tbh.

sandiy Sat 29-Mar-14 21:26:12

If you are worried about bottles and teats pop along to Mothercare and get sterilising bags 3.5 mins in the micro wave so really convenient and used in neonatal units up and down the country.
You do not need to sterilise breast pump but it should be washed and either air dried or dried on clean paper towels between uses.
Breast milk can be frozen for 3 months or stored in the fridge for 48 hours.

AnythingNotEverything Sat 29-Mar-14 23:58:17

Breast milk can be stored in the fridge for up to a week according to KellyMom and other reputable sites.

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