When do you stop sterilising bottles?

Jenny - posted on 02/14/2010 ( 33 moms have responded )

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My daughter is 9 mths old and has been on solids for 4-5 months, she eats whatever we have and her bowls etc aren't sterilised or her drinking cup and she drinks water from tap. I still sterilise her bottles but was wondering when to stop this? Normally use microwave steriliser but it's broke and cold water sterilising smell puts her off. Is dishwasher ok?

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Attesora - posted on 12/05/2012

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hello. The problem is not that the bottles have bacteria. it is the type of bacteria. all baby formula is made from protein powders, that is why if you look at the back of the containers in the ingredients list you will find casiens and whey protein powders. essentially the same that are found in body building protein shakes. they are a form of bioavailable pre-digested protein, that are technically considered a type of raw meat. i find it hard to believe that on all the containers of formula that i have used have failed to mention that you should not even get the product inside moist. it is a living powder that needs to be prepped like raw meat. that is why you need to sterilize. my daughter is 7 months old and i am pretty liberal about hygene. i understand that she puts everything in her mouth but we are not tallking about general household bacteria, we are talking about salmonella and other bacteria along that line. i think for as long as your using formula you should be sterilizing those items. it has nothing to do with babies immune system. you can not fight these type of pathogens off. not even adults can.

Kristen - posted on 02/17/2010

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We used the dishwasher to clean my kids' bottles. They even sell little baskets for the dishwasher that you can put the nipples in, etc. I don't think sterilizing is necessary other than the first few months personally! We did however boil the bottles, nipples & pacifiers every month or so to ensure they were staying good & clean! Always sterilize anything new though!

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You have to thoroughly wash and sterilse any container or bottle that has been used for milk up until the baby is a year old. The reason is because bacteria can grow in unseen milk residue and if the bottles are not cleaned and sterilsed properly it can lead to food poisoning (listeria I think but not 100%) anyway, babies immune systems are so immature that it can have a far more serious effect than on an older child or an adult.

Michelle - posted on 02/14/2010

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bottles should be sterlised up til your child id at least 12 months because there immune systems take a year to fully develop and stopping early increases the chance of your baby being constantly sick. i stopped sterlising on my daughters 1st birthday ad a few weeks later she developed oral thrush caused by the dummy so i was recommended to sterlise her dummy fr a few more months (she wasa few weeks premature...dont know if that makes a difference) Id recommend you at least use boiling hot water in your basin to sterlise your bottles or buy the sterlising tabets and sterlse them i cold water then rinse them with boiling water to get rid of the smell :)

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33 Comments

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Jo - posted on 07/27/2011

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I am also wondering this? My son is nearly 6 months and is eating solids. The bowls are not sterilised, so should we still be sterilising bottles?

LaCi - posted on 01/07/2011

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after he was about 6 months old, I only sterilized the bottles that went "missing" for a week and got all gross ;x

Keirran - posted on 01/07/2011

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Our parenting class midwife said there is no need to sterilize (we live in australia) as long as you wash well in hot soapy water, i still have though and she is now 3 months i find it more peace of mind just incase we have missed something when washing them, even if you choose not to i would for the first use just in case. we will continue to until she is either 6 or 12 months probably only 6 though because as previous posters have mentioned they put everything in their mouth anyway!

Janet - posted on 02/19/2010

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Only necessary for first use. Other than that, soap and water and good brushing is efficient. Of course, unless, you live in a developing country, you might want to continue sterilizing.

Kathryn - posted on 02/17/2010

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With my first 2 I sterilised bottles/dummies until about 6 months, but still used boiled water for another few months. With my last, who is now nearly 8 months, My mother in law told me & my sister in law (who's first is the same age as my last) if we were washing the bottles in the dishwasher there was no need to sterilize them after a few months - I think he was around 3 months - made things soooo much easier! And he's not been sick since stopping the sterilizing. I do still use boiled water though.

Krista - posted on 02/17/2010

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I never sterilized anything for any of my children when they were babies, ever. Drove my mother in law crazy for sure. It's not really necesssary if you know how to wash things so they are clean and a few germs here and there are actually beneficial to a growing immune system. When was it that we all became such germiphobes on behalf of our children anyhow?

Annette - posted on 02/17/2010

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A close friend said to me that it's time to stop sterilizing when they start putting toys and their fingers and everything else into their mouths. I only sterilize when I need to buy new nipples and that's only the one time.

Leslie - posted on 02/17/2010

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i really can thelp u because i sterillsed eveything and my is now 3 years old but i think the dishwasher would be fine

Kim - posted on 02/17/2010

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my son is 20 months and i dont sterilise his bottles all theat about 8 months once he was eating all our food time i do it once a week i stopped steriling his bottles after every use

Bilyana - posted on 02/17/2010

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With the first one I stopped after the 6th month; with the second one - after the second. How do you sterilise the baby's hands? When they turn 6 months old, they touch everything so there's no sense in sterilising anymore,

Kate - posted on 02/16/2010

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With my first two children l sterilized their bottles and water for about 4 months. Now, 25 years later with my last 3, l sterilized their bottles about 2x. And l use tap water to mix their formula. These last 3 children, now ages alomst 3 and twins at 6 1/2 months, have never had an ear infection and have rarely had a cold. We aren't aware of any allergies either. Why sterilize bottles when they put everything in their mouth they can touch? And they eat from spoons and bowls that have never been sterilized, unless run in the dishwasher.
l do wash their all the parts of their bottles and their bowls and spoons before l wash anything else in the water.

Bea - posted on 02/15/2010

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we did for 1year in the microwave steriliser....now we are using the dishwasher for bottles but I still handwash the nipples + other accessories with totally todler dish soap.

Shannon - posted on 02/15/2010

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Hi Jenny, my partner and I have four children between us and only sterilized for our first two babies up until they were six months old. Our last two have never had anything sterilized, we just washed bottles etc in the sink with hot soapy water but make sure to take off the teat and wash well. I probably wouldn't use a dishwasher though. Good luck x

Melissa - posted on 02/15/2010

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I never boiled water or sterilized bottles for my twins. We have city water which we had tested and was safe. I just washed the bottles and parts by hand with really warm soapy water or ran them in the dishwasher. I'd say you can stop.

Julie - posted on 02/15/2010

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I sterilized until 11 months ... then realized I had been doing it WAY too long. I called my pediatrician and they said they recommend until 4 months or something. ha ha. Oh well, it didn't hurt anything to sterilize them.

Bosede - posted on 02/15/2010

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I stopped when my 15month old clocked 1 year because he had started eating and drinking from all of us and we were not so careful with our drink the way I was with his. If you are not sure, just start on a trainer's cup and throw out those teats.

Lauren - posted on 02/15/2010

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my son is 14 months and have been giving him tap water from the age of 6 months.. and stopped sterilising bottles soon after. he's been fine, and not been ill from it!

Claire - posted on 02/14/2010

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Honestly, I stopped sterilizing when I stopped nursing/pumping. After that, there really was no point because everything the kids eat and drink has been in contact with someone or something else.
If it bothers her to not have her bottles sterilized, maybe it's time to switch her entirely to cups and sippies.

Kimberly - posted on 02/14/2010

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Never did sterilize bottles--and she's never once been sick at all in 14 months...

Janelle - posted on 02/14/2010

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Hi there I think its safe to stop sterislising if you're comfortable with it. I mean seriously once they start crawling around they are putting all sorts of weird things in their mouths, and eat and drink from unsterilised cups/bowls/spoons.. common sense should prevail over the parent guide of what to do and what not to do that i apparently missed out on lol

My daughter is now 10 months old, predominantly breastfed with one bottle of formula a day - I wash her bottle in the dishwasher, and at first sterilising it once a week but have now phased that out as well.. I still boil her water though I just feel like I need to, its completely up to you what you do.

I started doing this i think around 8 months old, my daughter has never been sick, no tummy bugs not so much as a snuffly nose - over to you. Good luck

Kerry - posted on 02/14/2010

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The good thing about sterilising bottles even after they "don't need it" is they tend to get a bit smelly and yukky with just washing in hot soapy water. I think the dishwasher is best and maybe sterilise in a large pot of boiling water every week or so to get rid of the build up. (you need to boil for 10 minutes and check that the bottles are ok to be boiled)

Ann-Sofie - posted on 02/14/2010

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If she drinks and eats from cups and bowls that are not sterilised you can probably stop sterilising the bottles too unless unless your water doesn't come from city-regulated sources.

Tarsha - posted on 02/14/2010

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hello, here in australia we sterlise to 12months and same with tap water 12months...my bubs is 7months and we make sure everything is sterlised (bowls, spoons, cups etc) he is crawling and getting into things but its still good to make sure the things are sterlised.

Something u can do is put in a pot on the stove and boil for 5min, im not sure about dishwashers (not lucky enough to have one) though it should say on cup, bowls, bottles etc

goodluck

K.C. - posted on 02/14/2010

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Personally I think when bubs is drinking normal water and normal drinks then sterilising isn't necessary. If you're not srerilisin the normal drinking cuos then I don't see the point in sterilising milk bottles. Just make sure you take the teat off and wash it properly. I used to wash my daughters milk botles in a sink by themselves then rinse with water. If you are using plastic bottles I probably wouldn't put them in the dishwasher just in case of BPA leakage....

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