When do I stop sterilising baby’s bottles?

The other day, as I scrubbed my breast pump and packed the steriliser full of baby bottles for the umpteenth time, I began to wonder how much longer I need to continue sterilising my little man’s bottles. A Google search brought up lots of forum threads about this but not a lot of authoritative sources.

Here’s the lowdown, based on the credible sources I could find (including government websites and popular parenting forums):

  • Bottles must be sterilised until your baby is at least 12 months (although some sources say stopping after 6 months is fine)
  • Babies are susceptible to bacteria that can cause diarrhoea and vomiting
  • Harmful bacteria can grow in old milk or formula residue if your baby’s bottle isn’t properly sterilised
  • Expressing equipment and dummies should also be sterilised between uses

(Sources: Queensland Department of Health; BabyCenter.com.au; Better Health Channel, VIC govt)

There are three ways to sterilise your baby’s feeding equipment:

  1. Steam
  2. Boiling
  3. Chemicals

Here are a few of places you can find instructions for the above methods of sterilising:

For tips on expressing breast milk and cleaning your pump, visit the Australian Breastfeeding Association website (this link is also useful for tips on storing expressed milk). Personally, I usually only use my pump once a day, and clean and sterilise it after each use – just to be safe!

Like all things “baby”, there is much debate about the best time to (and reasons why you should) stop sterilising your baby’s feeding equipment. Just take a look at this forum thread from Essential Baby, for example: When to stop sterilising bottles?

As you can see, there are many options for cleaning your baby’s feeding equipment. It is up to you to decide what you’re comfortable with and what you think is best for your baby (and, of course, seek recommendations from an appropriate professional, such as a feeding specialist). If you’re worried, it’s better to be safe than sorry!

Happy feeding!

Mini Mummi Blogger 🌺

About The Author

Mini Mummi Blogger

Mini Mummi Blogger is a first time mummy to a beautiful baby boy. Currently on maternity leave, she is looking to put her writing/publishing experience to good use through her blog, helping other mummies navigate through the wealth of often conflicting (and, sometimes, even discouraging) information out there about pregnancy and motherhood. She believes that every mummy knows what’s best for her own baby – even first time mums!

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