Before sterilising, all equipment should be washed thoroughly in hot, soapy water, with bottles scrubbed inside and out with a bottle brush. Teats should be scrubbed and cleaned with a teat brush and water squirted through them to remove all traces of milk. For mums who are expressing breast milk, the parts of the breast pump that come into contact with milk (e.g. suction cup) will also need to be sterilised before use. All of the equipment should be rinsed thoroughly under running water before sterilising.
If sterilised bottles are not being used immediately, they should be fully assembled and used within 24 hours to prevent contamination.
There are three main methods of sterilising: cold water, electric steam and microwave.
Before sterilising, all equipment should be washed thoroughly in hot, soapy water, with bottles scrubbed inside and out with a bottle brush
These are the fastest methods of sterilising and require no tablets, liquid or rinsing of items. They are more expensive to buy and may require regular de-scaling. Some microwave sterilisers don’t hold as many bottles as electric versions.
1 Wash hands thoroughly and wash the feeding equipment in hot, soapy water. Scrub the insides and outsides of the bottles using a bottle brush. Scrub the teats with a teat brush and squirt water through them to help remove all traces of milk. Rinse all equipment thoroughly under the tap.
2 Add the require amount of water to the steriliser (see manufacturer’s instructions).
3 Load the steriliser with the equipment, including the teat tongs (making sure that no items are facing upwards/able to fill with water). Put the lid on the steriliser and either switch it on or put it in the microwave on the required power and time setting (see manufacturer’s instructions).
4 When it has finished, the steriliser will usually turn itself off. Keep the lid on the steriliser and allow the contents to cool slightly before opening.
5 Always assemble the bottles using the sterilised teat tongs to avoid contaminating the sterile equipment. If not being used immediately, bottles should be fully assembled with teats and lids in place. Use bottles within 24 hours (see manufacturer’s instructions, as this may vary).