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Sterilizing Baby Bottles and Other Baby Goods – What You Need To Know

Baby being bottle fed

A baby’s immune system is not yet fully developed, which means he does not have sufficient antibodies to combat infections. This makes him especially vulnerable to illnesses such as dangerous gastroenteritis which causes diarrhoea, vomiting, and dehydration. Sterilizing baby bottles, weaning and feeding equipment is the best way to keep baby safe.

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What Baby Items Must Be Sterilized?

Bottles and teats

Bottles and teats must be sterilized throughout your baby’s first year until his immune system is more equipped for fighting off germs. You might wonder if it is necessary since you baby places almost everything he can find into his mouth. However, even the smallest milk residue could be the ideal breeding ground for nasty bacterial critters. Wash baby items with a small bottle brush shortly after a feed and pay special attention to the teats. Be sure to turn them inside out and make sure they are clean. Rinse everything before sterilizing. 


Babies drop their pacifiers on the ground all the time, therefore it is vital to sterilize them for six months at least. After six months you can wash them in hot soapy water and rinse afterwards. Be sure to squeeze out any water that is trapped inside.

Sippy cups

As per official guidelines, sippy cups should also be sterilized for six months after which only hand washing, or dishwasher cleaning is necessary. However, if your child is given milk in a sippy cup, it is a good idea to sterilize the lids.

Nipple shields and breast pumps

If you are nursing and expressing milk, all the equipment you are using must be sterilized as well until your baby reaches one year of age.

Feeding bowls and other weaning items

If you start introducing your little one to solids before six months, it is necessary to sterilize spoons, bowl, and other items. From six months, hot soapy washes will suffice.

Food containers

The containers that you use for storing your breastmilk must also be sterilized. Containers that are used for storing food only need a thorough wash once your baby reaches six months of age. 

What are baby feeding items?

Baby feeding items include bottles, teats, rings, caps, and nipple shields. Some babies are fed with a medicine cup, syringe or spoon. Some baby bottles might have membranes or valves. All of these are considered baby feeding items and must be sterilized.

What does sterilizing baby bottles entail?

It is essential to sterilize all baby feeding items, including baby bottles, nipple shields, and teats for at least a year. This protects your baby against harmful bacteria and germs that cause diarrhoea, vomiting and dehydration. 

Cleaning And Sterilizing Of  Baby Equipment

Cleaning baby bottles by hand

Cleaning feeding equipment in the dishwasher

Why is sanitizing necessary after washing baby equipment?

Just bear in mind, that washing alone is not a fool proof way for ensuring all feeding items are entirely germ-free. That is why sterilization is necessary afterwards.

Note: If the dishwasher has hot water and heated drying (or sanitizing) options for cleaning baby’s feeding items, separate sanitizing is not needed. For added protection, sanitize all feeding equipment at least once a day. Sanitizing is incredibly essential during the first three months of a baby’s life. Before sanitizing, ensure all items were cleaned. Everything must be sanitized, even the bottle brush and basin. Here are the different methods of sanitizing you can consider.

Why Is Sterilizing Baby Bottles Necessary?

Sterilizing baby bottles is a process that entails killing any germs that might be clinging onto bottles and other baby items that might be potentially harmful to your baby. 

There are several different methods of sterilizing baby bottles, lids, teats, and other feeding objects. Make sure all lids, bottles, teats and feeding utensils are thoroughly cleaned prior to sterilizing. 

4 Methods Of Sterilizing Baby Feeding Items


Boiling is effective through elevating the temperature to kill any bacteria that might be lingering after cleaning. 

Using chemicals to sterilize baby items

Chemical baby sterilizers are disinfectant emulsions are available in tablet or liquid forms that are diluted in water. 

Using microwave or electric sterilizers to steam baby items

Similar to boiling, steaming is where the temperature is hot enough in order to kill any bacteria. There are various types of sterilizers to choose from. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions when using.

Bleaching (if boiling, steaming, or using a dishwasher cannot be used)

Safety Tips For Sterilizing Baby Items

Cleaning A Breast Pump When You Are Breastfeeding

This article offers general guidelines for cleaning a breast pump. However, we highly recommend checking the manufacturer’s recommended guidelines for cleaning the pump. 

Washing breast pump components

Washing electrical units of powered breast pumps


We hope you have found this post helpful and that we have answered all your questions relating to cleaning and sterilizing baby bottles and other feeding items. Be sure to use our guide as reference to keep your baby safe against harmful bacteria and germs. 

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