Your baby’s immune system is still developing so keeping your baby’s feeding equipment clean and sterile is of paramount importance.
The National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) recommend that all infant feeding equipment be sterilised until the infant is at least 12 months old. Bottles and teats should be sterilised after each use and stored safely for as long as you use them.
There are several safe and reliable ways to sterilise infant feeding equipment.
First wash the feeding equipment in hot water with a bottle or teat brush before sterilisation to ensure no traces of milk or milk residue remain, rinse with hot water and air dry, or alternatively dry with a clean paper towel.
Fully submerge all infant feeding equipment in boiling water for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Wash hands before removing the feeding equipment. Dry and store in a clean and dry location.
Ensure that all feeding equipment is dry and free from residual water before placing in the steam steriliser with teat and bottle openings facing down. Use the steriliser according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Wash hands before removing all items and store safely in a clean and dry location.
Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for preparing the solution, combining the correct amount of sterilising solution or tablet with the correct volume of water in a clean, plastic container. It is important that you fully immerse the bottles and teats in the container and ensure that no air bubbles are trapped inside them. Leave the bottles and teats in the solution for the required amount of time. Wash your hands before removing the infant feeding equipment from the solution. Do not rinse off the sterilising solution or there will be a risk of re-contamination. Drain the bottles and teats well on a clean dry surface. Bottles and teats can stay sterilised in the sterilising solution until needed for up to 24 hours.
Breastfeeding is best for babies and provides the optimal balance of nutrition and protection during growth and development.
Good maternal nutrition is important in preparation for and during breastfeeding. If you are considering bottle feeding, always seek professional advice as introducing bottle feeding, either partially or exclusively, may adversely affect breastfeeding by reducing the amount of your own breast milk supply and may be difficult to reverse should you change your mind. Consider the financial and social implications when deciding on a feeding method for your baby.
Improper or unnecessary use of infant formula may affect the health of your baby, therefore, always prepare and use as per the manufacturer’s instructions.
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