During the first year of your baby's life, he's at his most vulnerable to illnesses. If you don't sterilise your baby's bottles, viruses, bacteria and parasites can gather on his bottle and in his milk and make him ill. |
You can also use a dishwasher to wash your baby's bottles, as long as the bottles are suitable for this. You may want to wash the teats separately, though, to be sure they're totally clean.
Check teats and bottles carefully and throw out any which are badly scratched, split or cracked. Bacteria can stay in damaged surfaces and survive the cleaning and sterilising process (DH 2009).
When you need to make a feed, clean and disinfect the work surface you're going to use. Then wash and dry your hands. Take a sterilised bottle from the steriliser and put it on the clean surface. Use sterilised tongs to place the teat, lid, retaining ring and cap out ready, preferably on the upturned lid of the steriliser (DH 2009).
Make sure you don't leave the sterilised empty bottles out for long, as they will quickly lose their sterility. This is not usually a problem when sterilisers have built-in storage facilities and bottles can be removed when required. If you can't do this, re-sterilise any equipment that you've taken out and haven't used straight away (DH 2009).
By the time your baby is one year old he'll have started to produce his own antibodies and be more resistant to harmful germs. However, it's a good idea to carry on sterilising bottles, dummies and teats until your baby stops using them.
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