How to sterilize baby bottles

When feeding your newborn, don't assume that bottles and other items from their packages are clean. Always sterilize everything in water before use. This article will tell you how to sterilize your baby's bottles.

  1. Unwrap all bottles, nipples, and pacifiers from their packages and gather all items together. Separate the nipples from the nipple rings, if applicable; there's directions at the bottom for this.
  2. Place a pot, filled with water, on the stove and turn the heat on to high.
  3. Place items in the water, but be careful not to submerge more than the pot can hold. This can result in the water going over the top and bubbling over.
  4. Wait until the water boils for at least five minutes before taking anything out.
  5. Use a set of tongs to take out things from the hot water. Do not use your fingers or any other instrument. If you don't have tongs, use a fork to get out the nipples.
  6. Set the items onto a dish rack or paper towels for them to dry. Repeat the above steps for any items that didn't fit into the pot.
  7. Insert the items into a dishwasher or hand wash them with hot water for a good finish.
Removing Nipples from Rings
  1. Place your finger inside and have a grip on the ring part.
  2. Pull your finger out while having a grasp on the ring. The nipple should be detaching from the ring as you pull out.
  3. Hold the ring part as the pieces part from each other. To put back the pieces, stick the nipple part back in the ring and push down so that it "locks" into place again.
  • This does not have to be done every time, however, if you have well water, then it's best to do it more often[1].
  • Sterilize pacifiers on a regular basis to avoid bacteria spread, especially if the infant has a cold or the pacifier has been dropped on the ground.
  • Sterilizing bottles and nipples are recommended throughout the newborn stage; it's up to your baby's pediatrician to say how long the boiling should be for.
  • If using a fork to remove nipples from the water, be careful as to not puncture the nipple. You can also use a large plastic slotted spoon to remove the bottles and nipples as well, but make sure the spoon is sterilized as well by leaving it sit in the water with the bottles.
  • Sterile bottles are no good if your bottle rack is dirty. Make sure you clean it often, and sterilize the prongs the bottles and nipples sit on. If you don't have a bottle rack, a dish drainer or clean towel will suffice, but make sure it is clean!
  • Many companies also sell sterilizers for specifically this purpose. They work in a similar way (using water and high temperatures), but often have features that make them more convenient (timer, etc).

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Sources and Citations
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