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There are several ways in which you can sterilise your baby’s feeding equipment, such as:

  • Using a cold-water sterilising solution.
  • Steam sterilising.
  • Sterilising by boiling.

The following instructions apply to all feeding equipment you use for your baby – whether you are using expressed breast milk or infant formula. Remember to first wash your hands well with soap and water and clean the work surfaces with hot soapy water.

Before sterilising, always clean and rinse. Clean the feeding bottle and teat in hot, soapy water as soon as possible after a feed, using a clean bottle brush. Then rinse all your equipment in clean, cold running water before sterilising.


All feeding items must be thoroughly washed and rinsed before they are sterilised. Dishwashers will clean bottle feeding equipment but will not sterilise it. This is because temperatures reached in a dishwasher are not high enough for sterilisation, so you need to both clean and sterilise the bottles.

Cold-water sterilising solution

  • Follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Change the sterilising solution every 24 hours.
  • Leave feeding equipment in the sterilising solution for at least 30 minutes.
  • Make sure that there is no air trapped in the bottles or teats when putting them in the sterilising solution.
  • Keep all the equipment under the solution with a floating cover.

Steam sterilising (electric steriliser or microwave)

  • As there are different types of steriliser it is important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Make sure the openings of the bottles and teats are facing down in the steriliser.
  • Manufacturers will give a guide as to how long you can leave equipment that you are not using straight after sterilising before it needs to be re-sterilised.

Sterilising by boiling 

  • When you use this method, you must take care to ensure safety and prevent scalds or burns. Never leave hot pans and liquids unattended, especially if children are present.
  • Make sure that whatever you sterilise in this way is safe to boil.
  • Boil the feeding equipment in water for at least 10 minutes, making sure that all items stay under the surface of the water.
  • Remember that teats tend to get damaged faster with this method.
  • Wash hands thoroughly. Clean and disinfect the surface where you will put together the bottle and teat.
  • It is best to remove the bottles just before they are used.
  • If you are not using the bottles immediately, put them together fully with the teat and lid in place to prevent the inside of the sterilised bottle and the inside and outside of the teat from being contaminated.

Visit @littlepeachlondon for more advice and support.

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