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Sterilising bottles - stupid question(12 Posts)
My DD is almost 6 months old and I'm moving on to formula feeding from breastfeeding. I've got a (possibly stupid) question about sterilising bottles:
I've got a Tommee Tippee electric steam steriliser so my current process is to wash used bottles/teats etc with hot soapy water before putting them in the steriliser. They then stay in there with the lid shut until I'm ready to use one for a feed. Tommee Tippee says with the lid closed, contents remain sterile for 24 hours.
My question is, do I need to use a freshly sterilised bottle for each feed or is a bottle that has been sterilised since a feed but has since been taken out of the steriliser OK to use? Can I take the bits out when they've been sterilised, dry them and put them away until I need one for a feed? It's a bit of a faff to put the steriliser on every time before a feed. I'm building up to three formula feeds in 24 hours now and it would be easier just to get a clean bottle out of the cupboard if safe to do so.
Is the sterilisation process simply to kill off any milk bacteria after milk has been in the bottle? DD puts everything in her mouth anyway so if I'm sterilising them fresh each time just to kill off anything else (not milk bugs) on there it seems a bit pointless. I'm currently storing bottles in the steriliser and so they are being done multiple times before I come to use them. Once I've taken the lid off to take one out, do I really need to sterilise the remaining contents again immediately before using because I've broken the sterile seal so to speak?
Bottle feeding pros please help me!
Id not bother putting them away unless you also put the steriliser away. Just open the lid, take out what you need and close it again til next time.
It is also perfectly safe to take them all out, make the three feeds, chill them and store in the back of the fridge until needed. Any left unopened after 24 hours bin.
I second what NapQueen says, and also point out that if your DD is approaching 6 months, you're presumably about to start solids - which are not sterile, and you're hardly going to sterilise toast before giving it to her. My point is that you can relax slightly with an older child anyway - fairly soon she'll be crawling over to things and putting them in her mouth; not ideal but rarely harmful.
I’m prepared to be corrected but I understood it that you put the bottles in the steriliser then use the bottles within 24 hours taking them from the steriliser each time as I think drying them would make them non sterile but as they end up with water in and on them you can’t just put them away as they are, also they don’t stay sterile forever . But it’s also true that once your baby gets older they’re having food and crawling around, putting stuff in their mouth - non of which are sterile
I just keep mine in the steriliser because I'm lazy usually I just make batch feeds though. When she was first born I was sterilising them again everytime I took a bottle out as that's what the instructions tell you Not even PFBI soon got fed up after a week or so and MW advised I didn't have to do this.
We sterilised the bottles in one go, and put them together and stored them that way after the steriliser had finished and cooled down. DC was absolutely fine.
I take them out and assemble them - I'd read that if you do that they're good for 24 hours (no idea where I read that or if it was a reputable source...). You shouldn't be drying them though.
Don't dry them, whatever you are using wouldn't be sterile. They don't need drying. Once the steriliser has finished you can assemble them all and they will remain 'sterile' for 24 hrs officially. It is definitely 'milk bugs' that you are trying to kill with steralisation, doesn't matter what your LO is putting into her mouth or licking, she won't develop immunity from the bugs in formula powder. It's not related to whether or not you will 'sterilise toast' because toast doesn't contain any nasty bugs...
I asked about 4 midwives what to do with bottles once the steriliser had finished as I didn't know if I should put them together and put them in the cupboard or keep them in the steriliser. They all said to put them together and not to dry them, the water inside the bottles is sterile so it's safe and you'll use your bottles so often there wouldn't be chance for bacteria to grow.
I was also told you could leave the bottles in the steriliser if you wasn't opening it a lot, so if you sterilise 6 bottles at a time it may be best to put them together so your not opening the steriliser 6 times.
This is all what midwives and health visitors told me from when dd was born
Thanks everyone for your replies. It's really helpful to hear what you all do.
I'm going to go ahead and just keep the bottles in the steriliser, taking one out to use when I need it and not stress about freshly sterilising them immediately before using. I won't mess about taking the lid off the steriliser repeatedly so should be OK.
I'm not at all precious about DD and germs. I chuck her dummies in the steriliser but of course don't sterilise her toys (which all go in her mouth). It was just the bottles and milk germs I am cautious about. Thanks again for your advice
By the time ds was six months old I was bunging his bottles and dummies in the dishwasher. He was eating baby food out of bowls and spoons not sterilized so did the same with his bottles!
I just put them together and sealed them and used when the next feed was.
But at 6 months I’d be less fussy, mine often went in the dishwasher instead (it’s bloody hot in there!) and also I know much of continental Europe don’t routinely sterilise beyond 6m.
Also they are eating by that stage which is not remotely sterile
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