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How do you keep bottles sterile??

Once they have been in the sterilser it keeps them sterile for 3 hours. After that I take the bottles out, put the teat and lid on and leave them on the side until Lily wants a bottle. Then I put hot water out of a flask in the bottle, put the formula in and cool down in cold water. Is it ok leaving the empty bottles on the side in the kitchen? Or should I leave them in the sterliser after the 3 hours is up? Also do you rinse your bottles out once they come out of the steriliser as I have read conflicting things about this!

Thank you.



  • hi louise!

    with a steam & microwave steriliser you def dont need to rinse - i'm almost sure you dont need to with cold water & milton either, but maybe someone else could help there.........!

    as for leaving them out - with mine, ive sterilised, put in cooler boiled water (usually bout 45mins old), and left on the side for 24hrs (apart from using them if you know what i mean!!)

    i have also taken them out, assembled them, then left them like that, and added cartoned milk to them when needed (this only on journeys / planes as i really didnt like steri bottles). fortunately, i've never had ill kids!!!

    someone may correct me here, but as such, there isnt a big problem until you add the powder and it is the bacteria in milk that causes the problems!
  • What I do is sterilise my bottles, add the boiling water, put them in a pan of cold water to cool them down then leave them on the side. I add the milk powder as and when I need it. Its sooo much easier as there's no cooling down to do. It's how the midwife in hospital advised me to do it xx
  • Thanks! Hubby was paniking about them not being sterile!.

    Tiger Lily - we started doing it that way but then HV suggested the way we do it now. Although when we go out we still do them the way you do, much easier isn't it!

  • i'm interested to know why the HV told you not to - only as with exception of cooling them down, i do it the same way as tiger lily. i ask this as i am a midwife and both me and my colleagues advise women to make the water up for 24 hrs, then add powder as and when needed!

    did she give you a reason for not doing it like this?
  • Hi

    No she didn't give me a reason (she made me feel a bit thick actually!) She asked how we were doing it and said we were boiling the water, filling the bottles, leaving them to cool then adding the powder when Lily was hungry and then dunking them in hot water to warm them a little. She said not to do this and to boil the kettle, put the water in and add powder then cool them down and do it as and when she needed them.

    The midwives in the hospital didn't tell me how to do it at all, they just left me once I'd had her (even tho I had to stay in cos of being taken to theatre after having her). They didn't show or tell me anything. My own midwife thought what we were doing was fine, but the HV said otherwise.

    They now think she has reflux anyway and I have to try her on SMA staydown and if that dosn't work then the doctor will give her gaviscon. But the instructions on the staydown milk tin tell you to make it up the way we were doing it in the beginning! It's all so confusing.

  • i'll see if i can find anything that says the first way was wrong - my kids have never been ill and that is always the way i've done it!

    i'll let you know if i find anything......................

    have a look at this to see if it helps! it doesnt actually say that anyway is wrong!
  • The reason some HVs say the first way isn't right is because the milk should (apparently) be added to the water when its still hot (not boiling though...cooled for 30 mins) so it kills bugs in the milk powder. HOWEVER...neither should it be made like this and put in fridge, as then bacteria builds up! This is what making as you go means...

    It's utterly ridiculous and I reckon cooling down bottles all the time is dangerous...what if your lo was screaming to be fed, you got all flustered and forgot to check the temp??

    Louise, do it the easy way! Either make up in the fridge or leave on the side then add powder!
  • Thanks for that link!

    Tiger Lily - I am now using SMA staydown and I have to make up the water like you do, keep in fridge and just add the powder as and when we want a bottle. It's much easier like this isn't it!

  • This was a real issue with us and our HV also. I was doing it the way you have mostly mentioned (putting in slightly cooled boiled water then adding powder when needed then heat up in jug hot water) as was advised this by midwife in hospital and by all friends. Then HV called and asked how I was doing it. I told her and she nearly made me cry as basically said that was totally wrong and there had been 2 fatalities doing it this way as the water was not hot when powder added and therefore bugs in milk powder not killed off by hot enough water! It was awful. I was so worried and made to feel utterly stupid and irresponsible. As a result of this, my friends came round on her next visit to question her as they were all doing it the way I was. She then produced an article detailing the concerns and guidelines of how it should be done. I said that wasnt practical (making up as go along as like you say tigerlilly, a screaming baby wont wait for you to prepare and cool down a bottle) so then I was advised to do it the old fashioned way by making up all bottles in advance, leave in fridge (no longer than 24 hrs) then warm up when needed. We have done it this way since lo 3 weeks old and no problems.

    HV said she was going to speak to midwives at our hospital to address the issue as she said all new mums were coming away with the wrong info! Nightmare.....especially as new mums...

    Hope that hasnt confused the matter. I think as long as babies ok with the method you are using, continue. I was emotional at the beginning so changed as made to feel I could be doing harm.
  • Hope you dont mind i have gatecrashed from Due jan 09. I have two boys already ages 5 1/2 and 4 and was interested in this thread. with my first i made up a whole days worth of milk in the evening and stored them in the fridge. with my second i filled the bottles with water in the evening then added the powder as need and didnt heat the milk. He drank it at room temp. Seems so confusing that advice seems to have changed again yet all midwives and health visitors seem to be suggesting different things.
    Just to add both of my children have always been really healthy and never got tummy bugs from milk prepared in advance.
  • My mw told me that the reason the guidlines had changed from making up 24 hours worth of bottles is that a few babies got e-coli. but that this could of been because the formula wasnt made up correctly. ie too much or too little formula.
    I make up 3 bottles of cooled boiled water in a morning, refridgerate then warm and add powder to as needed. i then do the same at night so i always have 3 bottles in the fridge. mw said this was fine. my friend does the same but instead of refridgerating she leaves the bottles out asd just adds powder at room temp, her mw also said this was fine. Trust your instincts, try not to worry. sometimes the more people you ask, the more conflicting advice you get and the more you doubt yourselves! (me included)
    x x
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