There are a number of different methods you can choose from to sterilise your baby’s feeding equipment. These include boiling, using chemicals or a microwave and electrical steaming. Below is some information and things for you to consider about each type.
Sterilising By Boiling
- All you need is a large saucepan and tap water
- The National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) recommend boiling as the preferred option for sterilising as the results are reliable and consistent
- Once water is brought to the boil, equipment should remain in the rapidly boiling water for 5 minutes
- Sterilised equipment should be allowed to cool, then placed in a clean container in the fridge and repeat every after 24 hours
- Frequent boiling can wear out teats, so these may need to be replaced more often than with other methods of sterilisation
- Care needs to be taken to avoid scalds or burns, especially when children are around.
- Uses an antibacterial solution, in a liquid or tablet form
- You will need a large glass or plastic container to make up the solution
- Only suitable for plastic and glass equipment, as metal can corrode
- The chemical solution can be used for up to 24 hours. Equipment must be thoroughly cleaned with warm soapy water before making up a new solution
- Although non-toxic, the chemical smell can linger even after bottles have been rinsed
- Chemical tablets or solutions need to be stored out of the reach of children
- The NHMRC suggests this method will not be as effective as boiling unless bottles and other utensils are thoroughly cleaned prior to sterilising.
Microwave Steam Sterilising
- Sterilising units are available specifically to be used in a microwave oven
- Only requires tap water for boiling.
Metal and glass items cannot be sterilised in a microwave e.g. metal knives.
Electric Steam Sterilising
- These are automatic steamers that are plugged into a power point
- As with microwave steamers, they also only need tap water
- Requires cleaning once a day.