Washing your baby’s bottles is probably one of the most tedious tasks of parenting. It’s one of those tasks that seems to never end! It's like laundry, and it’s a chore that has to be done. Properly washing your baby’s bottles will prevent bacteria from growing and making your baby sick. So you shouldn't be taking any shortcuts!
Here are some simple steps to help you wash your baby’s bottles properly.
- Always wash your hands. Scrub your hands with warm water and soap for 20 seconds to remove bacteria before you wash the bottles. This is also a good practice before you feed your baby their bottle, as to avoid transferring germs to the nipple.
- Separate all bottle parts. There are many parts to a bottle including rings, nipples and caps. Bacteria can develop inside the ring under the edge of the nipple so it is important to separate the parts even if it seems tedious.
- Rinse the bottle parts under warm or cold running water. You can also save yourself some time and wash pacifiers and teething toys at this time too. This is also the perfect opportunity to wash your BlueSmart mia parts.
After you’ve done these initial steps you can follow the steps below for using a dishwasher or hand washing.
- Use a dishwasher basket or mesh laundry bag to store the little parts in to avoid losing them in the dishwasher filter. Put the bottles top-down in the top rack along with the basket. You can wash your BlueSmart mia smart sleeve in the dishwasher as well.
- Wash bottles with a hot wash and heated drying setting to sanitize the bottles. Your regular dishwashing detergent will do to wash your baby bottles, however if you prefer a natural option there are plenty of detergents on the market that are free of dyes and fragrances and that are biodegradable.
- Wash your hands again before you take the bottle parts out of the dishwasher. If they are still a bit wet you can dry them on a kitchen towel, paper towel or a drying rack. If using a drying rack just make sure to clean and sanitize it every few days.
- Designate a separate wash basin, bowl or container to only be used for washing bottles and other baby items. Your sink can hold many germs so it’s better to wash in a separate basin. Place the basin in your sink.
- Put all the items you want to hand wash in your basin. Remember that you can hand wash your BlueSmart mia indicator puck. Fill the container with hot, soapy water. Again, any dish soap will do, but there are many baby specific dish soaps on the market if you prefer to use one of those.
- Using a bottle scrubbing brush that is used only for baby items, thoroughly clean your bottles and parts. Squirt soapy water through the nipple to ensure it is clean.
- Rinse all the parts again either by running them under water or dipping them in another basin of clean water.
- Again, air dry the parts on a clean towel, paper towel or drying rack.
- Make sure to wash your brush and basin occasionally. You can also wash them in the dishwasher using the steps above.
It is recommended that bottles be sanitized after every use, particularly for babies under 3 months, premature babies and those that are immunocompromised. After 3 months bottles used for healthy babies do not need to be sanitized so often. Once a week is sufficient.
- In a large pot, submerge all washed baby items in water.
- Bring the water to a boil.
- Boil for 5 minutes.
- Use clean tongs to remove the items and dry as specified above.
- Countertop sterilizer: There are many countertop sterilizers on the market. There may even be one specifically for your preferred bottle brand. Follow the instruction manual for using these to steam sterilize your baby items. (Pacifiers and teething toys can also be sterilized occasionally.)
- Microwave - Manufactured microwave sterilizer: These are very simple and easy to use products for sterilizing in the microwave. Follow the product instructions for sterilizing.
- Microwave - Water method: After washing your bottles fill each bottle halfway with fresh water. For other parts put them in a microwave safe bowl filled with water. Place all items in a CLEAN microwave (I’m looking at you, mom with exploded spaghetti sauce inside your microwave!) and microwave for one and a half minutes.
Hopefully these guidelines will help you develop a bottle cleaning routine that works for your family! Happy cleaning!