How To Clean & Sanitize Baby Bottles (Simple Guide)

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Looking to learn how to properly clean and sanitize your baby bottle?

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Your baby is in his or her most vulnerable stage in the first 12 months of life.

Germs and bacteria are everywhere even in the area or tool inside your home you thought to be safest and cleanest for your baby.

Cleaning and sanitizing

And when it comes to feeding bottles, you need to make sure that it is well cleaned and sanitized before your baby uses them.

If unchecked, germs and bacteria can easily propagate and double their number in a matter of minutes. And your baby, with a weak and not fully developed immune system, is pretty much defenseless against all forms of infection.

As a parent, it is very important to make sure that your baby’s feeding bottle is thoroughly cleaned and sanitized after each use. And this guide will guide you through each critical step.

​Why Sterilize Baby Bottles In The First Place?

​Sterilizing baby bottles is that extra step every parent needs to take in order to make sure that every feeding bottle is germ and bacteria-free. In most cases, bacteria will still be clinging to the bottles even after some careful cleaning. 

Germs and bacteria thrive in water and milk leftover. Within 20 to 30 minutes, the number of germs inside or on the surface of your baby’s feeding bottle can easily double its number.

Furthermore, some germs are quite stubborn and clingy that a simple wash with soap and water may prove to be insufficient. Sterilizing helps kill any trace of bacteria leftover in your baby’s feeding bottle.

The need and frequency for sterilizing feeding bottles depend on various factors such as the age of your baby. This will be discussed later on in a particular section of this guide. 

baby bottle facts

​What Is The Best Way To Clean And Sterilize Your Baby Bottle?

​Washing dishes can be somewhat simple and easy. However, making sure that your baby’s feeding bottle is squeaky clean and germ-free is an entirely different case. 

If you are a first-time parent, bear in mind that sterilizing a feeding bottle at least once before using it is an imperative first step toward protecting your baby’s developing an immune system from stubborn germs.

Whether you are buying new feeding bottles, using second-hand feeding tools, or your baby has been sick, be sure to follow these essential steps prior to your little one’s feeding time and after each use:

Read Also: How do you keep a baby bottle warm?

Cleaning Baby Bottles

  • Wash your hands with clean water and soap.
  • Do a quick rinse on the bottle using warm water.
  • With a bottle brush and a detergent specially formulated for baby feeding tools, thoroughly clean all portions of the bottle particularly the sides, the bottom, and the neck corner part. Use the nipple brush for the rubber nipple.
  • Rinse with clean tap water.
  • You can use your dishwasher if the feeding bottle you have bought is labeled dishwasher-safe.
  • Air dry all the cleaned parts of the feeding bottle.

Sterilizing Baby Bottles

  • Place all washed parts of the feeding bottle on the saucepan filled with enough water to fully submerge the components of the said feeding equipment.
  • Turn on the stove and let the water come to a boil.
  • Let all the feeding bottle parts remain submerged in the boiling water for around five minutes.
  • ​Assemble the parts and secure the bottle in a clean bottle for later use.
  • Re-sterilize the bottle before using if it has been not used within the day.

The following video will give you more helpful tips in properly sterilizing your baby’s feeding bottles.

When Should You Stop Sterilizing Your Baby’s Bottle?

Basically, there’s no need to sterilize your baby’s feeding bottle all the time until your little one is ready to fully consume solid foods. However, it is important to consider your baby’s age in considering the need and frequency of sterilizing the feeding equipment.

From infancy to his or her first 12 months, your baby is at the most vulnerable stage to bacterial infection. Sterilizing is an effective way of protecting the baby’s still-developing immune system from germs and bacteria.

Some experts recommend sterilizing feeding bottles within the first six months of the baby. To be sure, some parents do it up until their babies’ 12th month. 

Read Also: Should you use glass baby bottles?

How Often Should You Clean & Sterilize Your Baby Bottles?

Baby bottles should be thoroughly cleaned immediately after every use. On the other hand, sterilization of the feeding equipment should be observed from a different perspective.

Whether you are buying a new feeding bottle or acquiring used feeding equipment from a friend or relative, it is important to have it sterilized at least once before using it. Sterilization can be done once in a while to make sure that your baby’s feeding bottle is bacteria and germ-free.

In the first three to six months of your baby, sterilization is often observed on a daily basis. Clean feeding bottles that haven’t been used within the day must be re-sterilized prior to using it again.

Moreover, it is also important to sterilize the bottles more often or before every use if your baby is sick to prevent the possibility of further bacterial infection. In fact, CDC recommends sterilization for babies who were born prematurely or with immune system problems.

​Should You Boil Your Baby Bottle?

Cleaning your baby’s feeding bottle is not 100% effective in eliminating germs and bacteria. ​Sterilization is that extra step toward making the bottle 100% germ and bacteria-free.

Boiling the bottle is just one of the ways of sterilization. You only need to soak the bottle and its parts in boiling water for about five minutes. Other ways of feeding bottle sterilization is through chemicals and steam sterilizer.

Looking For More Baby Guides?

Want more information on how to best care for your baby? Check out the below guides to get the most helpful baby tips and tricks on the internet. Powered by experienced mom’s and dad’s, Baby Schooling is here to help guide you through parenthood!

About The Author

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Review By Tamara May

Tamara is one of our many parents who contribute to She has years of experience with toddlers and babies. With her loving husband, she has 4 kiddos.
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