Whether you sterilise your baby’s bottles in the microwave, cold water steriliser, electric steriliser or boiling water, it can be a time consuming task. For example, when we sterilise our baby’s MAM bottles, it can take us up to half an hour each day in some cases. Therefore, you may be counting down the days until you can eventually stop sterilising.
At What Age Can You Stop Sterilising Baby Bottles?
The recommended age at that you can stop sterilising your baby’s bottles is 12 months (as stated by the NHS). The reason why you should wait 12 months to stop sterilising your baby’s bottles is because your baby is still vulnerable to germs and sterilising is the only way to ensure the bottles are free of any harmful bacteria.
Although some people may argue that putting their baby’s bottle through the dishwasher is very thorough, it’s simply not good enough (before the age of 12 months). This is because the harmful bacteria develops in all the “nooks and crannies” of the bottle such as in the teat or around the bottle’s collar.
At 12 months of age, your baby’s immune system would’ve matured and should now be able to fight off the most common bugs found in baby milks/formulas. Therefore, it’s for this reason why we, the NHS and most professionals recommend that you keep sterilising your baby’s bottles until they are at least 12 months of age.
What About Cups & Beakers?
As well as your baby’s bottles, you may be wondering when you should stop sterilising their cups and beakers. After all, from 6 months, your baby may have started to drink tap water from their cups and beakers.
In short, as long as the cups and beakers have only been used to hold water and don’t contain lots of “nooks and crannies”, they don’t need to be sterilised. However, you can sterilise them if you want for peace of mind.
Instead of sterilising, you can thoroughly wash the cups and beakers with warm soapy water or place them in the dishwasher, which we discuss below.
Can You Put Baby Bottles In The Dishwasher?
The big question that we get asked is whether you can put baby bottles in the dishwasher and the short answer is that it depends. For example, we use MAM bottles and the manufacturer states that they are dishwasher safe in the top rack.
However, depending upon the brand of baby bottle you use will determine if you can or can’t put them through the dishwasher. When rating and reviewing baby bottles, this was one of the main factors that we considered.
With regards to putting your baby’s bottles in the dishwasher, you’ll want to carefully stack them. This is because the smaller components such as the valves, collars and teats can move during the dishwasher’s cycle. Therefore, as shown in the photo below, you may want to loop them around the upward spikes or put them in between the bottles.
It’s important to note that the dishwasher doesn’t sterilise the baby’s bottles. Instead, it simply cleans them, which is perfectly fine if your baby is over the age of 12 months. However, if they are younger than the 12-month recommendation, you would still need to sterilize the bottles after they’ve been through the dishwasher.
To conclude, you should continue to sterilise your baby’s bottles up until they are 12 months of age. Once they’ve reached 12 months, you can stop sterilising and instead hand wash or put them in the dishwasher. However, before putting them in the dishwasher, you’ll want to double-check that the manufacturer states they are dishwasher safe.
Hopefully, our guide to stopping bottle sterilisation has answered all of your questions but if not, feel free to get in touch and we will try to help out where possible.