Isn’t washing a baby milk bottle just basic soaping and rinsing? Yes, but it’s a little more in-depth than that. This is because milk residue can get trapped in tiny and narrow corners of the bottle and if it’s not washed away, it can lead to microbial growth which will cause the baby to fall ill. Also, a child’s immune system isn’t as strong as an adult’s yet, making them more susceptible to diseases.
Here are a few things to take note of the next time you wash milk bottles!
1. Thoroughly disassemble the milk bottle
Parts of the bottle such as the cap, nipple, sealing rings or valves should be completely taken apart to better clean it. This is to make sure any milk or formula that are trapped can be removed to prevent bacterial growth.
2. Don’t need to sterilize the bottles over and over
A paediatric emergency physician, Elizabeth Murray, explains that the milk bottles don’t need to sterilize the bottles repeatedly. The bottles need to be sterilized for the first month or two but sterilizing can stop after that.
However, if the baby develops thrush, the nipples and pacifiers have to be sterilized because sometimes soap and water aren’t enough to get rid of the yeast.
3. Bottles should be cleaned immediately and by hand
Milk can curdle in the bottle which will make washing harder. Residue in the bottle can lead to bacterial growth which will harm the baby. Plastic bottles that are discoloured may indicate baked milk fats from insufficient rinsing, water or soap spots. Sometimes it’s also due to heat damage from the dishwasher thus, washing bottles by hand is recommended.
4. Use a bottle brush and special drying mat
A brush just for cleaning bottles is much more hygienic than using the house dish sponge. This is to avoid transferring grease and residue from the sponge to the bottle. A grass drying rack is handy to keep the bottle and bottle parts in place as it dries.
If you don’t have a special drying rack, just make sure there are lots of air movement to reduce the chance of microbial growth thus, keeping your babies safe!
5. Wash your hands!
The CDC and the American Academy of Paediatrics recommend parents to wash their hands before making up a bottle, before cleaning the bottle and before putting the bottle away. This is to prevent cross-contamination.