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Sterilizing bottles is a huge part of caring for a baby. Moms have to sterilize the bottles before use, after using them and then again once they are done being used.
When can you stop this? It’s important to know when it is safe to stop sterilizing your baby’s bottles. This post will tell you just that!
Let’s get started!
When can you stop sterilising baby bottles?
When you stop sterilising baby bottles is when the task has run its course. Some experts recommend 12 months old baby is to stop sterlising. Don’t wait until they are old enough to ask for drinks at the table, start early so they get used to drinking from an open cup.
If you do wait, you will have to sterilise everything again that they drink from – cups, glasses, plates etc. This can take a long time and I would rather just have to sterilise the bottles once.
You may feel that you are putting your child at risk if they get sick from not being fully sterilised, but there is conflicting evidence about what effect this may really have on them.
Why is sterilising so important in the first place?
Sterilization is extremely important, as babies can die from any number of infections they may pick up. It’s not just about stopping the spread of germs and such between babies either, people who care for babies may need to be sterilized as well.
The simplest method is to use a bottle of antiseptic which you apply upon your hands, or anything that will touch the baby with by using a spray top. You then leave it for twenty seconds and rinse with clean water and dry off on some fresh towels provided.
If you’re still wearing clothes that were worn before they should be changed into something else if possible and washed in hot water after being worn. Sterilizing also removes odors which could be detected by your baby. Be sure to use fresh towels to dry any things that were used, and if you’re not using pre-sterilized clothes then be sure to sterilize them yourself before use too.
The nursery should also be cleaned regularly with a basic spray bottle of anti-septic. If possible use a separate room for the nursery from other rooms in the house as it is easier to clean, but more on that later.
You’ll need to know what NOT TO DO, some things may sound funny or harmless but they really will make a difference when it comes down to it:
Never feed your baby food before sterilizing them! Just because you’ve eaten off of it doesn’t mean they can!
Throwing a food item into a microwave is NOT sterilizing it! FOODS ARE EVIL! Do not feed your baby from the same utensil as yourself, warm or cold. This can be devastating as babies are very susceptible to gastric problems and eating from the same spoon as someone else could lead to all sorts of stomach issues which you do not want.
What are some alternatives to using a microwave for heating up milk?
Instead of microwaving, some alternative methods for heating up milk for babies include:
1. Placing the baby formula in a bottle and submerging the bottle in hot water until it reaches baby’s feeding temperature. This can be dangerous because if the baby formula was not prepared properly and does not have the correct amount of water used this method could burn baby or cause scalding which can result in serious injuries.
2. Brewed instant/freshly brewed hot tea (without any added sugar) may also be used to warm up infant’s bottles.
3. Using a bottle warmer that is made specially to heat up baby bottles.
How much water should be heated at one time?
Babies need to have water boiled. After the water has been boiled, it should be cooled before giving it to a baby. Water can also be stored in a thermos for up to 24 hours after being boiled, so if you need to mix an older baby’s formula and the water isn’t sterile (bottled water), you must boil your own potable water before mixing formula.
You can make your own bottled water if you are worried about the quality of tap water in your area, or you can use boiled tap water.
For babies under 6 months old, start with a few drops in one’s mouth to see if they react well to it. If they do, then start adding more and more water slowly over time until the baby has finished feeding from that bottle. Never give an infant less than 4 oz at once even if that is all he/she wishes for at the time.
If you are giving your baby formula, then there is no need to mix the water with it. The formula will be flavoured enough since babies can’t tell us how much they like (or don’t like).
How long does water take to heat up in the microwave?
Depending upon the quantity of water and starting temperature, a microwave oven heats up a cup of cold tap water from 55 to 65 degrees in 1.5 to 3 minutes.
This short time is due to microwaves penetrating the surface of the liquid and agitating its molecules at the most efficient rate possible.
In order for this process to be most efficient, make sure there are no obstructions between you and your microwave oven’s wave generator (magnetron), which you can find behind your metal mesh door on some models or located underneath. If you have a glass turntable, then it must turn for uniform heating.
When can you start giving your child solid foods?
This is a question which annoys me to no end. There are people that think you shouldn’t start until 6 months and others that say 3 or 4 months.
A solid food diet is not better than a breast-milk/formula diet and neither of them should be looked at as different “stages” of the same system.
Giving your child solids isn’t just an extra source of nutrition, it’s also training them to eat food other than breast milk or formula! It’s for this reason that I don’t like the idea of starting solids before they show signs of readiness (more on these later).
If you start solids too early, the baby will be “trained” to eat food before they naturally would, and this can lead to eating problems as they get older.
When Can You Stop Sterilising Baby Bottles?
When you feel like your little one is old enough to handle the responsibility of a sippy cup, then it may be time to stop sterilising their bottles.
There are many reasons why sterilisation is important in the first place and we’ve covered them all here! We hope that these tips will help you decide when it’s finally safe for baby to start eating solid foods.
You should always consult with a pediatrician before making any changes though – make sure they’re on board with the new plan too!