Sterilizing Bottles…? Seriously?

posted 3 years ago in Babies
  • poll: Did you sterilize your baby's bottles?
    Yes, in boiling water : (11 votes)
    20 %
    Yes, in the dishwasher : (15 votes)
    27 %
    Yes, Other : (11 votes)
    20 %
    No, I just washed them by hand : (19 votes)
    34 %
  • Post # 3
    1472 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: August 2011

    Eh, I didn’t sterilize bottles for my guy (not that he took them, but that’s another story). We used drop-in liners for awhile, but by the time we were using other bottles (~4 months), I didn’t think it was necessary. I sterilized them right after I bought them, otherwise, I washed with soap and water. 

    Post # 4
    1343 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: October 2013

    I guess we’ll do whatever it takes to ensure that our baby isn’t getting unneeded bacteria, so yes we will sterilize. 

    I know with my neice, we hand wash her bottles/nipples and then put them in a sterilizer with water that goes in the microwave. I think the dishwasher can still harbor germs and such even though it gets really hot. 

    That’s what it looks like. It’s really easy to use. 


    Post # 5
    1395 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: November 2011

    You do need to sterilize bottles when you first get them as there are all sorts of bacteria that can be on them from the factory, etc. However, according to the Mayo clinic and Web MD, it’s okay to wash with hot soapy water thereafter. This is what we do. We were actually told this first by the NICU nurses regarding pumping equipment. They didn’t have a steriliser because equipment got cleaner with elbow grease, soap, and hot water than it did when people sterilised stuff and got lazy about old fashioned cleaning.

    “Sterilize bottles, nipples, caps and rings before using them for the first time:

    • Boil the bottle and accessories in water for five minutes. Use a pot that’s large enough to hold all of the pieces and cover them completely with water.
    • Remove the pieces from the water using a clean set of tongs.
    • Allow the pieces to air-dry.

    After the first use, there’s no need to sterilize your bottle and accessories. Simply wash these items with soap and water and allow them to air-dry. Bottle and nipple brushes can help you clean nooks and crannies. You can also use the dishwasher. If you do so, consider getting a dishwasher-safe basket to hold your utensils.”

    “In the old days when water supplies were not reliably clean, it made sense to sterilize baby bottles. But now, sterilizing bottles, nipples, and water is mostly unnecessary.

    Unless your water supply is suspected to harbor contaminated bacteria, it is as safe for your baby as it is for you. There is no reason to sterilize what is already safe.

    Sterilizing the bottles and nipples is also unwarranted. Thorough cleaning with soap and water gets rid of almost all germs. And once on the bottle, the nipple begins to pick up all the germs in the environment, so a “sterile” nipple and bottle is just a pipe dream anyway.”

    Post # 6
    42089 posts
    Honey Beekeeper
    • Wedding: November 1999

    @Stephville:  Routinely sterilizing bottles is not generally recommended anymore, unless the household uses well water.Sterilize them well when you first get them home.

    After that, washing everything well with hot soapy water and rinsing with clear water is sufficient. If the baby is premature or immune suppressed, or if the water quality is in question due to flooding etc, a doctor may make a different recomendation.

    Add this to the list of questions to ask the doctor or public health nurse beore tha baby is born.


    Post # 7
    3500 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: October 2010

    When you first get them (before using), yes, you have to sterilize. 

    I know of people who sterilize every day, but I don’t do that. I do my best to sterilize – by boiling –  all my baby’s bottles once a week (but sometimes I don’t get to it for 2 weeks). 

    In between then, I just wash with hot soapy water.

    Post # 8
    6631 posts
    Bee Keeper
    • Wedding: June 2011

    @Stephville:  I am surprised you didn’t know this. I thought this was a well known fact.  We routinely just throw ours in the dishwasher.  

    Post # 9
    2884 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: March 2013

    we don’t have a dish washer so cant do that and the tap water isnt drinkable (i live in mexico) so i bought an electric steriliser. i figure if i wouldnt drink it i dont want to wash my baby’s bottles in it!

    if i lived in UK i might not worry about it

    Post # 10
    953 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: May 2011

    I think I might just be OCD, but as of now I sterilize my 12 week old’s bottles and pacifiers most days. I’ve heard different things… my mom said that was unheard of when I was a baby. She said she sterilized in boiling water before first use, but rarely sterilized anything after that. Who knows.

    Post # 11
    1167 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: October 2014

    @Stephville:  Dont have a baby, but my routine will look something like this:

    Sterilize well in boiling water when bought.

    Wash in normal hot soapy water after that.

    Once a month sterilise again. – Just to be sure no nooks or cranny’s are harbouring some crusty bits 😉


    I like simple upkeep mixed with occasional deep cleaning on most things 🙂

    Post # 12
    1229 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: April 2012 - Chateau Briand

    I plan on sterilizing before the first use and maybe once every few weeks afterwards. i definitely don’t plan on doing it all the time though 

    Post # 13
    2831 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: September 2014

    @lolita39:  this is what my aunt and uncle had. they have twins, who were born extremely premature (3 months early). it’s a nice thing to have, actually.

    OP, you have to sterilize the bottles when you first buy them. after that, they can go through the dishwasher on a hot wash/hot dry cycle. the heat kills the bacteria, in my opinion.

    Post # 14
    1170 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: July 2002

    @Stephville:  I used the drop in playtex liners.  The nipples, caps, and rings got hand washed.  The only thing I sterilized were pacifiers because they ended up in crazy places (public restroom floor-gag).


    Post # 15
    1414 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: June 2012

    I bought an electric sterlizer before I got pregnant because it was on sale for half price. Now that I think about it though, I probably won’t actually need it (Sometimes I am guilty of buying things simply because they are on sale…anyone else? Tongue Out).

    I am hoping to breastfeed so as long as that goes well, we shouldn’t have many bottles to sterilize. Fortunately if I don’t end up using the sterilizer I should be able to sell it for what I paid. There is a chance it *could* come in handy if we end up using a lot of bottles because we don’t have a dishwasher so it’ll save trying to scrub the bottles by hand.

    Post # 16
    8677 posts
    Bumble Beekeeper
    • Wedding: December 2012

    No joke. Just asked my mom about this.

    She kind of chuckled and went, “No.” In a fashion akin to, “Like we were supposed to?” (In reference to my own upbringing.)

    I grew up on well water. As long as it is tested regularly, well water is no more a threat than a municipal source.

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