Sterilising bottles and equipment

Sterilising bottles and equipment

Expressed breast milk and bottle feeding

To ensure that your baby is protected from bugs and bacteria when feeding, it is important to always follow these procedures:


Start by washing your hands before expressing breast milk or preparing infant formula. All equipment used in preparation and feeding must be sterilised before use in the first three months of the baby’s life.

If you are using formula, make it up directly before feeding it to your baby. Be sure to heat the milk just prior to feeding.

After the feed

Use the contents of the bottle within one hour, and discard any leftovers. Infant formula powder should not be frozen, as there is the potential for moisture to cause spoilage. Thoroughly clean the equipment used for preparation and feeding.

How do I sterilise bottles and equipment properly?

Young babies have not had a chance to build up a resistance to bacteria. That’s why it is essential that any bottles and other equipment used to feed your baby is properly sterilised.

Sterilising is the only safe way to make sure that the bottles and equipment you use for bottle feedings are free from harmful bugs and bacteria.

Some important points about sterilising:

  1. Clean bottles, teats and utensils inside and out using warm water and detergent. Make sure you rinse all residual milk off before sterilising.
  2. Rinse the equipment in running water, then sterilise it using either the sterilising solution method, or the boiling method.

Sterilising solution method:

This method of sterilisation involves using a sterilising solution, such as Karicare sterilising tablets.

Prepare the sterilising solution according to manufacturer’s instructions. Completely submerge bottles, teats and utensils for the time specified (this is 30 minutes for Karicare sterilising tablets). Drain bottles and teats, but do not rinse them. The small amount of residue left in the bottle will not harm your baby. Discard and replace the sterilising solution as per the manufacturer’s instructions.

Boiling method:

Completely submerge all feeding equipment in boiling water and leave it to boil for 5 minutes.

How do I store my sterilised bottles?

You can leave the bottles in the sterilising solution until you are ready to use them. Remember to change the sterilising solution after use as per manufacturer’s instructions. Karicare sterilising solution needs to be changed every 24 hours. Store the sterilised bottles on the bench with the teat inverted, or covered with protective cap, until ready to be used.

Once sterilised, bottles can be filled with expressed breast milk or cooled boiled water and stored in the fridge until ready to use for a feed. Make up each feed fresh as needed, and do not store made-up formula for later use, as bacteria can contaminate the feed and make you baby very ill.

Sterilising equipment for expressing breast milk

When expressing milk, make sure that the breast pump is also sterilised. You can use one of the two methods recommended above. It is important that the container the expressed milk is stored in is also sterile.

For further information, see the Safe Bottle Feeding Guide&gt,

About Eleanor Harris

Hi, there. It's my blog about nutritional solutions. I post the most helpful content in this topic ❤️ I got master degree 4 years ago at University of Otago in Dunedin, New Zealand. Now i work for Danone as Nutrition Executive

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