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Sterilising Your Bottles & Equipment

A baby’s immune system is not as developed as an adult’s. So sterilising all your baby’s feeding equipment helps to protect them against illnesses & infections. It is recommended that all equipment used for collecting and storing formula milk is sterilised before use.

You might not think it but milk provides an ideal breeding ground for the bacteria that could give your baby an infection. Sterilising gets rid of any nasty bacteria that could cause harm to your baby.

  • There are a few different ways you can sterilise your babies feeding equipment. If using a product you have purchased, remember to always follow the manufacturers instructions to keep your baby as safe as possible.

    Cold water sterilising

    Cold water sterilisers use chemical tablets that dissolve in water to create a sterilising solution or they come as a ready-made sterilising solution. Items need to be submerged in cold water for at least 30 minutes before you use them. But once you’ve made up the solution, you can leave items in it for up to 24 hours as long as the lid is closed.

    Steam sterilising

    Many steam sterilisers can be used in a microwave while others plug into the mains. It’s possible to buy re-usable steriliser bags for use in the microwave. This might be a more convenient option when you’re travelling or if you don’t think you’ll need to sterilise equipment very often.


    Boiling items is a good way of sterilising if you don’t have a steam or cold-water steriliser.

    How to boil baby feeding equipment to sterilise it

    • Bring a saucepan of water to the boil.
    • Submerge the items to be sterilised in the boiling water for at least 10 minutes.
    • Remove items just before use.
  • Once you have sterilised your babies feeding equipment you should;

    • Leave bottles and teats in the steriliser or pan until you need them.
    • If you do take them out, put the teats and lids on the bottles straightaway.
    • Wash and dry your hands before handling sterilised equipment. Better still, use some sterile tongs.
    • Assemble the bottles on a clean, disinfected surface or the upturned lid of the steriliser.

    Its important that you do not contaminate the equipment after it has been sterilised.

  • It is recommended to sterilise all feeding equipment each time you use it for at least the first 12 months of your baby’s life

Who Can Help?

If your baby is less than 28 days old you can contact your local midwifery team or you can contact the Healthy Child Programme at any time following your baby's birth by calling Just One Number on 0300 300 0123 or texting Parentline on 07520631590.

Our opening hours are 8am-6pm Monday-Friday (excluding bank holidays) and 9am-1pm on Saturdays. Norfolk Healthy Child Programme has a team of infant feeding champions who can contact you by video call/telephone initially to discuss your questions and refer you to further help if required. All of our staff are trained to Unicef standards to provide you with the best possible feeding support and advice.

*Click here* to read the Essential Guide to Feeding & Caring for your Baby. 

If you would like to make connections with other parents please click on the links for our Just One Norfolk Community Forum; the Norfolk Community Directory and Early Childhood & Family Service (ECFS) below


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