Sterilizing bottles and making up feeds - very confused!

Hi All,

I am very new to this forum, I had my baby, Lily, at 33 weeks, 3 weeks ago. Everyone I know with a baby seems to sterilize a batch of bottles over night, fill them with boiled water in the morning and keep them in the fridge for the rest of the day until required when they add the powder to make up the feed as and when they need it.

I have now been told by the health visitor, nurse in special care, and a midwife that the water must be freshly boiled to make up a feed. So what they are saying is, that when Lily is crying for a feed I need to get a sterilized bottle, boil the kettle, add the boiled water, add the powder, then try and cool the feed down so she can have it. (luckily we have an ice make on our fridge otherwise I'm not sure how I would be coping!). They say this is because once opened a tin of powder is not sterile therefore it must be added to boiling water to kill an bacteria or bugs in the powder.

Now although this makes sense to me, it does seem to conflict with what everyone else does!!! Does anyone know anything about this and can advise. Now, we are also going to Bournemouth tomorrow so need to take some bottles with us. We have bought some cartons of SMA as it would be too much of a nightmare to try and get boiled water and ice every time we need to make up a feed, but the question I have is if I sterilize the bottles in an electric avent steam sterilizer and make up the bottles with teats and lids once sterilzed can I pop them in my bag (empty) and add the carton of milk as I need it, will they remain sterile for the day?

Phew...hope someone can help!

Clare x


  • I think that ideally you're supposed to sterilize the bottle and boil the water freshly every time HOWEVER i never did that!
    My little girl was also born at 33 weeks and due to complications i was unable to BF.
    The special care nurses told me it would be fine to sterilize a batch of bottles (4) and fill them with boiled water ready to use throughout the day.
    My little girl has never had any tummy bugs, i hope that helps x

  • well hun i do exactly as u said ,i sterilise 6 bottles fill with hot water and leave on side until needed...when needed i warm the water in the microwave for 20 secs ish then add powder and shake very well ....did this with jack who is now nearly 3 and do it with sophia and both have been fine ,there is no way i am freshly sterilising,boiling and making fresh feeds every time sophia needs feeding all i would succeed in doing then would be stressing myself and sophia out ..hth .... xxxxxxxxxxxx
  • I wudnt like to comment and go against wat mw have said coz my 2 werent on special care. But with both of myn i made the bottles up and sealed them properly and then just added the milk wen i needed, i didnt put them in the fridge coz then u have 2 warm it in the microwave, and both my babies have just had their milk at room temp, which is so much easier wen ur out and about. I cnt see a prob with making the water up in advance if u seal the bottles up properly coz everything is still gona be nice and clean and the water sterile. Maybe they are just been extra cautious coz ur LO was premmy but i think hun us mums have to use our intiatives sumtimes, coz sum advice given by health professionals sumtimes just isnt practical for busy mums, gud luck hun and congrats on ur little one xxx
  • I also used to make up bottles in advance, I used to buy pre sterilised disposable bottles occasionally for emergencys when i was out, seen them in the jojo maman bebe catalogue ??9 for 12 i think xx
  • Gabe is nearly 11 months now but I sterilise the bottles in the evening, add the boiled water then add powder as and when we need it. The midwife in the hospital told me to do this and Gabe's never had a problem with it. Again, I wouldn't like to comment about it really as your lo was prem and probably more vulnerable (Gabe was a bruiser) but I dont think it does babies any harm this way...

    Just a thought, is it worth calling up your hospital's SCBU, and asking one of the nurses advice on this?
  • I do the same as Lea-Pea for my 6 week old and haven't had any problems so far but again my LO wasn't prem. My MW said it was fine to do this as long as the bottles were stored at the back of the fridge. x
  • i have done the same with my 2 children as Lea-Pea and NatashaJ madeup bottles and kept in fridge, and i will be doing it again this time. theres no way you can steralise boil and cool down a bottle with a screaming baby. God imagine all that in the middle of the night.

  • My son was also born at 33 weeks. How is Lily doing?

    I made batches of ready to go bottles and he never had a tummy bug. I got a book when pg from my GP which was published in 2004 and that said "you can make bottles in advance for the next 24 hours". I didnt keep them that long but I always had a spare bottle in the fridge for over night feeds and the morning feed. I know guidelines have changed since then but making it the proper way just wasnt realistic for a very hungry and impatient baby.
  • Ahhh, we're just going onto formula (from EBM) and I wondered how everyone put up with the palaver of pre-empting a feed to boil the kettle 30 mins ahead! Must say it seems a lot easier to fill the bottles for a day in one go, will give it a try tomorrow!

    Sorry MrsAgate that I've got no advice but I've been meaning to post the same question! Thanks BE girls, useful as always image
  • my dd was born at 32 weeks and i have the tommee tippee powder dispensers which sit inside the bottle. ever since she came home from scbu i have made up 5 bottles (why the tommee tippee steriliser will take 6 bottles from other brands but only 5 of their own i will never know!!!). i add boiling water to the bottles, pop the dispenser in and put the top on. i have enough to last me the day. dd has never had a problem with an upset tummy. when the hv asked in the beginning if i was making fresh feeds each time i just said yes as i knew she would tell me of. i dont know anyone who has made up fresh bottles everytime.
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