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  • "landi" started this thread
  • United Kingdom

Posts: 4,005

Reg: Aug 5th 2008

Children: One gorgeous son born on 28th May 2010

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Friday, March 6th 2009, 8:15pm

Sterilising Equipment & Bottle Milk Shelf Life


Why should I sterilise?

Sterilising is an important part of protecting your child from viruses and bacteria. A child is more susceptible to these when under 1 year old. The viruses and bacteria can lead to various illnesses in children.
Before sterilising any equipment they must be washed thoroughly in soapy water. Make sure that all traces of milk have been removed.
Whilst washing, if you notice any cracks or splits in bottles or teats it’s recommended you discard them, as viruses and bacteria can fester in these where there is any residual milk.

How do I do it?

There are many ways to sterilise your equipment and you need to chose one that works for you.
Here are guidelines for a few different ways:


You can buy these in so many places. It’s quick and effective. Most take no longer than 12 minutes (but always check manufacturer’s instructions before use).
Before sterilising any equipment make sure that they are suitable for sterilising. You may find that some parts of breast pumps are not suitable.
Place all the items upside down in the steamer – this will ensure that it is sterilised correctly.
Then add the instruct amount of water. Most come with a handy little plastic container to measure the water in. Put the lid on, press the button and leave for the required time.
When using a steamer be careful when you remove the lid as it can get really hot.
There are some steamers that can be placed in a microwave. You must always make sure that you do not place any metal inside them.
You can easily clean your steamer. Use 100ml (white) vinegar mixed with 200ml cold water. Allow to stand until the lime scale has cleared. Rinse thoroughly and wipe dry.


Make sure that the pan you use is solely for the purpose of sterilising. You need to give it at least 10 minutes to ensure that your equipment is fully sterilised.
Teats can get sticky by using this method and may mean they become unusable.

Cold Water

You can use sterilising tablets for this. Milton is also safe and come in a tablet form.
You need to make sure your container is big enough so that you can submerge all items to be sterilised.
Try to make sure that there aren’t any air bubbles in the bottle – this will help ensure that they are fully sterilised.
Once you have put all your equipment in the container it should take approximately 30 minutes to sterilise, however you can leave them in for up to 24 hours.
Sterilising solution must be changed daily. To be extra safe, rinse the container with boiled water which has been left to cool (this may take some time and I understand that time is precious when you have a child). A handy tip is to mark a line on the container at the right water level so that you don’t have to measure out the water each day.


Cleaning your baby's bottles in a dishwasher is also an option but the right temperature for sterilisation will only be reached on a hot programme of 80 degrees C or more. Bottles must then be filled with formula pretty much straightaway.

Microwave Sterilisers and Bags

Microwave sterilisers are a lightweight and compact alternative to electronic sterilisers. Although not suitable for any baby equipment with metal components, these sterilisers combine the convenience of a microwave with steam sterilisation.
These bottles can be sterilized on their own in the microwave. A single bottle approximately takes 90 seconds to get sterilized (you should always check manufacturer’s instructions). While microwaving the bottles must be kept open.
If you’re at out and about, microwave bag sterilisers provide a good solution when space is at a premium.

How long should I sterilise equipment for?

It’s recommended by health visitors that you sterilise all of your baby’s equipment until they are at least a year old. During the first year, a baby's immune system is still developing and susceptible to infection between 6 – 12 months. At about 1 year old your child will be starting to produce their own antibodies and are more resistant to harmful germs.
If using bowls, spoons and cups it’s recommended that they are sterilised until they are at least 6 months. You may not be able to keep an eye on everything they put in their mouth as babies suck on their hands, sheets, toys etc... You should also keep in mind that breastfeeding mums don't sterilise their breasts and some amount of bacteria is good for children as it builds a healthy immune system.

28.05.10 My miracle son Harry was born 5 weeks early, by c-section lurve



  • "landi" started this thread
  • United Kingdom

Posts: 4,005

Reg: Aug 5th 2008

Children: One gorgeous son born on 28th May 2010

  • Send private message


Saturday, March 7th 2009, 8:06pm

Storage and Bottle Shelf Life for Formula and Breast Milk

In order to make sure that any milk you give you child is safe from bacteria and contamination, the following guidelines are recommended.


Formula Milk
It is recomnmended that you make up bottles as you need them because the bacterial content continues to increase during storage. This increases the risk of infection for your baby.
However there may be occassions when you have to make up bottles in advance for nurseries etc.

Store all made up bottles at the back of the fridge, not in the door as it’s warmer. These can be stored for a maximum of 24 hours.

Department of Health recommend you throw away any milk not used within 48 hours due to the risk of contamination from the air.

Check the expiry date on formula containers and discard if out of date.

Breast Milk
Use fresh breast milk where possible.

Label each container with the time and date the milk was expressed.

Refrigerate within 1 hour of expressing.

Store breast milk at the back of the fridge, not in the door as its warmer.

You can freeze breast milk if you express more than you need.

Freeze immediately if you’re not going to use it in the next few days.

The shelf life of the milk if it’s in a freezer within the fridge is 2 weeks.

If you have a separate freezer with it’s own door it can be stored up to 3 months.

It can be stored in a deep freeze from 6 – 12 months.

Thaw breast milk in a fridge for a slow thaw for 24 hours.

Frozen breast milk that is thawed in the fridge (but not heated) will last 24 hours in the fridge and 4 hours at room temperature.

Out and about
If you are away from home, however, there are various methods and products available to help keep the milk safe from contamination and give you more flexibility.

There are many ready-to-feed formula milks available on the market that come mixed and sealed and are handy for instantly decanting into a sterilised feeding bottle. Alternatively you could use an easy-mix bottle carrier, with an additional small screw-on container holding the milk powder, to transport just-boiled water.

28.05.10 My miracle son Harry was born 5 weeks early, by c-section lurve