For mothers, caregivers, and the infant, bottle-feeding can be a fantastic way to strengthen bonds. It’s crucial to disinfect the bottle before using it to feed your baby and to remove the lid just before feeding.
Cleaning baby’s feeding bottle
Before being used for bottle feeding, the feeding apparatus needs to be well cleaned and sanitized. Every bottle, teat, and screw cap needs to be cleaned and sanitized after every feeding. You must maintain a sterile and orderly environment until your child is 12 months old.
Babies’ immune systems are still developing, making them less capable of warding off certain illnesses. Lowering the likelihood that they may become ill in the first place is one of the most crucial stages in helping them keep their health.
The ideal environment for bacterial growth is milk. As a result, it’s crucial to keep all feeding supplies clean and the formula refrigerated until you’re ready to feed your kid.
Image from Shutterstock
How-to: Cleaning Feeding Bottle
All bottle components, including teats and screw caps, must be cleaned and sterilized.
- Remove the screw top from the teat and disassemble the entire bottle. Yes, Take the bottle apart from each other.
- Use dishwashing detergent and hot water.
- With a bottle brush, scrub the entire bottle, paying special attention to the thread where the cap attaches.
- Use a teat brush to remove any remaining milk from the teat or the hole.
- After rinsing the teat with hot, soapy water, repeat the process with clean water.
- Make sure to thoroughly rinse the bottles and tools.
Once the bristles start to fray, replace the bottle brush. They must be rigid enough to completely remove the milky buildup from the bottle’s interior.
Clean brushes and basins used to wash baby’s bottles
Brushes and basins can either be washed by hand in hot, soapy water or put in the dishwasher if they are dishwasher-safe. You can sterilize them by boiling, steaming, or soaking them in a bleach solution if the product’s manufacturer recommends it.
Should infant formula containers and scoops be cleaned
No studies have shown that contamination on the outside of a baby formula container has made newborns ill. Powdered infant formula is less likely to get contaminated if it remains dry. Avoid putting liquid cleaners on baby formula containers to help against contaminating the powdered formula within.
Clean the exterior of the formula container and the lid with a disinfectant wipe or paper towel dipped in disinfectant before opening it for the first time. The container must not be submerged or left in moving water. Allow the surfaces to completely dry before opening the container.
Don’t clean the formula scoop unless it becomes filthy in order to prevent liquids from getting near the powdered formula. Clean the scoop well, just like you would your baby’s bottles, if it was fallen on the floor or otherwise unclean, and let it air dry fully before putting it in the formula container.
How to sterilize baby bottles
Even though bottles may seem clean after washing them, they could still spread germs to your baby, therefore it’s critical to thoroughly sanitize your feeding equipment further by sterilizing them.
Here are ways how to sterilize baby bottles:
Image from Shutterstock
- Place the cleaned bottle in a large saucepan together with the teats.
- Pour running water over the equipment.
- Check to see that the bottles are completely submerged in the water and bubble-free.
- Bring the water to a boil.
- Boiling takes 5 minutes.
- Allow the feeding device to cool before removing it from the pot.
- Place a hygienic container with all of the feeding supplies inside the refrigerator. Make sure the container’s lid is firmly attached.
- Refrigerate everything for up to 24 hours.
How to sterilize baby bottles: Steaming method
Steam sterilizers are frequently used because they work quickly, cost little to operate, and are quite effective. The germs are eliminated by the steam created when the water boils. Some steam sterilizers have microwave capabilities incorporated into them.
- Combine the clean bottles and feeding supplies with the sterilizer.
- Make sure there is adequate room between each bottle, teat, and screw cap so that the steam may reach all surfaces.
- Follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for how much water to add.
- To start and turn it on, press the button. Put the microwave steriliser in the microwave and adjust the timing if necessary.
- Wait until the sterilizing cycle is complete and the light has gone out.
- The refrigerator should be used to store all sterile feeding supplies in a container with a fresh lid.
- Sterilize the equipment once more if it hasn’t been used in the last 24 hours.
- REMEMBER: Before handling sterile bottles, make sure to wash and dry your hands. Handling equipment with dirty and unsanitized hands makes it easy to infect it.
How to store sterilized baby bottles
Allow the clean bottle brushes, washbasins, and feeding equipment to thoroughly air dry before storage to aid in preventing the growth of bacteria and mildew.
Using a drying rack is definitely less hygienic than air-drying infant feeding utensils on a fresh dish towel or paper towel. Drying racks may be challenging to keep clean, hold onto moisture, and promote the development of mold and bacteria.
Use a drying rack just to dry the baby’s feeding supplies if you desire to do so. But be sure to wash, sanitize, and properly dry it every few days or at least every day if your kid is under 3 months old, was born preterm, or has a compromised immune system.
Once the components are entirely dry, reassemble them, and then store them in a clean, safe environment to prevent infection.
More tips on how to sterilize baby bottles and how to store sterilised baby bottles
- It is advised to store and keep sanitized bottles and teats until you actually use them.
- Wash and wipe your hands before touching sterile equipment. Better still, use some sterile tongs.
- Place the bottles side-by-side on the sterilizer’s cover or a clean, disinfected surface.
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How to bottle-feed your baby
Photo by Sarah Chai
If you plan to bottle-feed your baby with expressed breast milk or infant formula, these recommendations will help you feed them and ensure their health and safety.
- Bottle feeding offers an opportunity to get to know and connect with your baby. The baby will feel safer if the majority of the feeds are given by you, your spouse, or another key caregiver.
- Make sure you are sitting comfortably and that your child is nearby. Enjoy holding your infant, looking into their eyes, and talking to them as you feed them.
- Hold your infant relatively upright when giving them a bottle. Hold their head up so they can breathe and swallow freely.
- Brush the teat against your baby’s lips when their mouth opens wide and let them draw it in.
- Always give your baby plenty of time to nurse.
- When your baby is breastfeeding with a bottle propped up, never leave them unattended because they could suffocate on the milk.
- Place the baby’s mouth on the teat gently. Maintain the bottle’s upright position (just slightly tipped). Your infant won’t be able to take in air as a result, and the milk will flow continuously.
- Feed your child when they seem to be hungry, and don’t worry if they don’t finish the bottle.
- Your baby might need quick breaks and occasionally need to burp throughout a meal. After your baby has completed their milk, while you are holding them upright, gently massage or touch their back to help them release any wind.
- Discard any formula or breast milk left over after you’ve finished bottle-feeding your baby.
- If using a recipe, use the recommended amount of powder that is listed on the bottle.
- If you believe your child has a formula allergy or intolerance, go to your doctor.
Here are a few more tips on how to bottle feed a baby by parenting expert, Tammy Gold:
- Keep the baby’s head positioned higher than the rest of his body, so that the milk can go down easy.
- Hold the bottle and gently push it into the baby’s mouth.
- Sometimes young babies reject the bottle and do a thrusting out motion. In that case, shake the nipple a little bit around the baby’s mouth. Press the nipple on top of the baby’s mouth, and eventually, they will latch on.
- Make sure that the nipple is full of milk because if the milk level goes down there are chances that the baby will gulp more air leading to gas and even colic.
- You can also try different positions to hold the baby (see video).
- If your baby cried during the feeds, you must bring it up to the attention of your doctor.
Take a look at the video to better understand how to bottle-feed your baby:
Republished with permission from: theAsianParent Singapore
Updates by Margaux Dolores