The first thing you must do is sterilize all of your bottles so that they are ready for first time use. Sterilizing bottles is quite easy, and contrary to popular belief, you must do it only once””before you use them the first time. You will need a few items to get started:
1. All of the bottles you are going to sterilize.
2. A large pot filled ½ to ¾ of the way with water.
3. Dish soap.
4. Warm water.
5. A bottle brush.
6. A set of tongs or something similar to remove the bottles from the boiling water.
7. Dish strainer.
First, put a large pot of water (filled ½ to ¾ of the way full) on your stove to boil. While you are waiting for the water to boil, gather all of your bottles together. Put some dish soap in your kitchen sink, and run some warm water in it until there is enough soapy water to wash your bottles in. Be sure to wash them thoroughly. Don’t forget to wash the nipples, collars (the round parts that screw onto the bottles), as well as all caps. If you don’t want to do this all by hand it is also acceptable to wash them in a dishwasher.
When you are done washing the bottles check your pot of water. If it is boiling, then you are ready to sterilize your bottles. Drop two or three bottles, nipples, and collars into the water at a time””if you have well-water or non-chlorinated water leave them in the water for five to ten minutes to boil. Then remove them with your tongs, and place them in your dish strainer to dry.
Now you have clean sterilized bottles that are ready for your baby to use. Of course, there are also a few other things to keep in mind if you will be bottle feeding your baby.
1. When your baby is done with his bottle, rinse it out immediately with cool water, and fill it up to soak if you won’t be washing it right away.
2. When washing them always be sure to get in all the crevices. Use your bottle brush to reach all the way to the bottom. Don’t neglect the collars. They tend to harbor a lot of bacteria where they thread onto the bottle.
3. Never warm your bottles in a microwave. Milk heats unevenly in a microwave, causing “hot spots” that could seriously burn your baby’s mouth. Instead, run it under warm tap water, or sit it in a pan of hot water until it is the right temperature.
4. Always test your baby’s milk on your wrist to make sure it is not too hot.
Of course, if you are like most mothers, you don’t always remember to rinse your bottles immediately after use. Sometimes, they get left in the diaper bag, or put in the refrigerator to be cleaned at a later time. This can cause a layer of sticky formula to remain at the bottom that is hard to remove with a bottle brush. There is a very simple solution for this. Simply put about two tablespoons of uncooked rice in the bottle. Fill it about ¼ to ½ of the way full with soapy water. Shake it vigorously until the formula stain is gone. Be sure to rinse the bottle well, and your bottle should be as good as new.
Now that your baby’s bottles are properly sterilized and cleaned you may move on to feeding which is often a time of bonding for most parents and their infants. Happy feeding!