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7 Questions and Answers Every Mom Has About Sterilizing Baby Bottles

If you are bottle feeding your baby,  you are probably quickly realizing that sterilizing baby bottles can require a lot of time and effort.  You may even have some questions about how to sterilize bottles and how often they should be cleaned.  I’ve put together some frequently asked questions along with answers about sterilizing baby bottles.  I hope that this makes cleaning your baby bottles a bit easier for you.

How Often Should Baby Bottles Be Cleaned?


Baby bottles need to be washed after every feeding.  The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that bottles be washed with hot soap and water.  It’s important to allow them to dry thoroughly so that moisture doesn’t build up and promote bacteria growth.  Bacteria will thrive and grow if any leftover milk is left in the bottles.  That is why it’s so important to clean the bottles well.  An ounce of prevention will go a long way down the road for keeping your baby healthy.

Do I Need To Boil Baby Bottles Every Time I Wash Them? baby bottles

You may have grown up watching those like your mother or grandmother boil baby bottles every day.   The experts including doctors now say that this is no longer necessary.  If you are using water that is clean and safe enough to drink, then there is no need to boil it when cleaning your baby bottles.  Simple hot water and soap, and then a thorough rinse, and left to dry on a clean rack or towel will do the trick.

Can I Wash My Baby’s Bottles In The Dishwasher?


To some people who have dishwashers, they will testify that dishwashers are one of the greatest modern inventions.  Dishwashers take out the grunt work of an everyday task.  And just as important, they save you time.  So, can you also wash bottles the same way that you wash dirty dishes and eating utensils in a dishwasher?  The answer is yes; you can use a dishwasher to wash your baby’s bottles.  They can also be washed by hand if you prefer or don’t have a dishwasher.  Make sure that the bottles that you are using are dishwasher safe.

How Do I Clean The Nipples Of The Bottles?

baby bottles

Use a nipple brush to wash the nipples and nipple holes.  Then squeeze hot and soapy water through the nipple hole to wash out any milk that may be trapped in there.  You should be able to buy a nipple brush at the baby section of your grocery store.  You can also go and buy them online.   Nipple brushes have soft bristles and a durable sponge tip that will help you to clean out the holes and the inner nipple sections.  Most are made to clean out a wide range of brands of nipples.  The nipple brushes can also be used to clean out the hard to reach places on bottles.

Can I Use A Microwave To Sterilize A Baby Bottle?


A microwave sterilizer is something that may be of value to you if you don’t have a dishwasher.  In as little as 90 seconds, a microwave sterilizer can do the job.  You will still want to wash the bottles, nipples, and rings in hot, soapy water.  Rinse them out to remove all traces of soap.  Then fill the microwave sterilizer base with water according to the directions.  The amount of water needed will vary depending on the brand of sterilizer that you buy.  Simply place the bottles, nipples, and rings in the water, close the sterilizer and then place the unit in the microwave.  Again, make sure to follow the manufacturer’s directions.

Most microwave sterilizers will require you to microwave on high for 2 to 4 minutes.  You will want to make sure that the water is boiling.  That’s about the gist of it.  Take the bottles, nipples, and rings out and let them air dry on a clean towel.

Why Do I Need To Clean My Baby’s Bottles?

baby bottles

Infants are most at risk for contracting viruses.  This is even truer if your baby is drinking formula as opposed to breast milk.  It’s important to kill bacteria that can live on bottles, nipples, and bottle rings so that it does not cause harm to your baby’s system.  A little extra time taken in preventing your baby from becoming sick from drinking out of a dirty bottle will be worth it.

Do I Need To Use A Particular Kind Of Bottle To Sterilize It In The Microwave?


Making sure that your bottles are BPA-free is important.  BPA (also known as Bisphenol) is a chemical found in most hard plastic containers.  The US Food and Drug Administration decided in 2010 to change its position on BPA.  They now believe and state that BPA can have harmful effects on the brain, behavior, and prostate glands in fetuses and young children.  When sterilizing a bottle in the microwave, it is essential to make sure that it is free of BPA.  The microwave heating process can bring out harmful chemicals if you use BPA plastic.  Never use BPA with any plastic that your baby may drink from.  This rule should hold true even if you aren’t microwaving the baby bottles to clean them.

Final Thoughts

Cleaning baby bottles doesn’t have to take hours on end.  If you have the right equipment and set aside time to do it, you may even get into a simple routine that is as painless as brushing your own teeth.  Make sure to take the time to do it right so that your baby doesn’t ingest harmful bacteria the first year of life when the immune system is still extra vulnerable.  I hope that these questions and answers about how to sterilize your baby bottles help.  A little time, hot water, and soap now will go a long ways to help prevent problems down the line for your precious one.


For more information, check out our reviews of the Top 10 Baby Bottles Of 2018.


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