Tips for Bottle Feeding and Sterilising

Your baby is most vulnerable in their first year of life as they are developing quickly and their immune system is weakest. Make sure you properly sterilise your breastfeeding equipment and baby feeding accessories: breast pump part, baby bottles, soothers, teething rings, small plastic toys, plastic cutlery and weaning bowls to prevent harmful bacteria growing.

Make sure you discuss what type formula to use with your healthcare provider, all formula sold in Australia has to be approved by the Australian Infant Formula Standard. Make sure the products you use are BPA free and sterilise all baby equipment. 

Here are some tried and tested methods for sterilising:


Put enough water to cover the bottle and the teats and separate all the parts
Wash bottles with mild dishwashing liquid.
Keep a separate pot, for baby's bottles
Place all the bottles and parts in the boiling water, make sure they are submerged and leave them to soak for 10 minutes
Use metal tongs to remove and dry on the draining rack (There are special drying racks available, we like the Boon Grass rack
If you are not using the bottles immediately, put lids back on and store in a covered place to stop the insides from becoming contaminated

The heat from the dishwasher is sufficient to clean the bottles, although, unlike boiling, it does not get rid of all the bacteria. Again, if you are not using the bottles immediately, put lids back on and store in a covered place to stop the insides from becoming contaminated

Cold Water Solution

Wash bottles with mild dishwashing liquid
Wash hands
Buy specially formulated sterilising solution, soak bottles for 30 minutes before use, and then rinse when ready to use. Leave other bottles in the solution until needed, change solution once in 24 hours.
There are special containers that hold the bottles and keep them submerged. We like the Milton Sterilising Unit

Wash bottles with mild dishwashing liquid.
Clean microwave with hot soapy water.
Wash hands
Place bottles in Microwave bottle steriliser, and follow the instructions.
If you don't have a special unit, fill the bottles halfway with water, take the lids off and put them with the teats in a bowl filled with water.
Microwave for 2 minutes then allow them to sit in the microwave for 5 minutes before removing. Cover and use as needed
Preparing formula

Make sure you are working on a clean surface
Always wash your hands thoroughly before making up a bottle
Inspect bottles before and after every feed for wear and tear
Don't put boiling water straight from the kettle into the bottle, allow to cool first for around 30 minutes
It is recommended that you make bottles up one at a time. You can store the cooled, previously boiled water in sealed bottles in the refrigerator
Should you make up extra bottles, store them near the back of the fridge, not in the door section because every time the door opens, the temperature changes
Check expiry dates on formula
Read instructions carefully and always add formula to water, not the other way around
Use the scoop provided with the formula, to make sure that the amount you add is accurate
Screw the lid or teat on tightly and shake until formula has dissolved completely

Warming up bottles in the microwave is not advisable because the heat will be uneven, meaning you risk burning baby and also destroy nutrients in the formula
Squirt a few drops of milk on the inside of your wrist to make sure it is body temperature, not warm or cold. It may feel lukewarm, but babies like it that way
Keep cooled off water in a flask and formula in a container for when you need a bottle in a hurry, or for the night feed, just heat up
Use your nursing pillow and be comfortable (see Nursery Essentials)
Hold your baby at a 45° angle, so their bottom is on your lap, this will help them not to swallow air. The teat should be full with milk, not air (see burping baby)
Never leave baby unattended with the bottle, even when they are older
Feeding is a special time of bonding with baby
Should you have any concerns, or if your baby is not feeding properly, contact your healthcare provider immediately.


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