Cleaning bottles, nipples  and breast pumps

Breast pumps and baby bottles need to be kept very clean when feeding your baby breast milk or commercial infant formula. Be sure to carefully wash bottles, nipples, breast pumps and other articles used for feeding. This will help prevent gastroenteritis and prevent fungal infections in your baby’s mouth.

Cleaning recommendations for bottles and nipples are slightly different depending on which milk you use. Breast milk contains white blood cells and other components that prevent bacteria from growing for a while. Commercial infant formulas contain no such components and may also have been contaminated during preparation.

Inspect the nipples regularly. They will wear out over time due to the effects of suction, heat, contact with milk and exposure to sunlight. Replace them before they become soft or sticky, and throw them away immediately if they have holes, are torn or change texture.

Disposable bags are too flimsy to be reused. Don’t pour hot milk into them either as they could burst.

Care and cleaning recommendations for baby bottles, nipples and breast pumps

Germs, particularly bacteria, may develop and survive in milk, so be sure to remove all traces of milk from bottles, nipples and breast pumps every time you use them. Cleaning is the most important step in caring for these items.

Cleaning

When?

  • After every feeding, clean everything thoroughly no matter what type of milk you use.

How?

  • Immediately after feeding, take everything apart.
  • Rinse the bottle, nipple and cap or breast pump in cold water. Be sure to run water through the hole in the nipple to remove surplus milk.
  • Use hot, soapy water and a nipple and bottle brush. Scrub the bottle and nipple well, inside and out. Make sure to thoroughly clean all grooves on both the plastic ring and the bottle.
  • Rinse in warm tap water.
  • Drain and cover with a clean towel.

Once the bottles and nipples are clean, you can disinfect them to reduce the number of remaining bacteria.

Disinfection (sterilization)

When?

  • Disinfect everything before using it for the first time, whether it’s for breast milk or commercial infant formula.
  • If you’re using commercial infant formula, disinfect your material after every feeding until your baby is 4 months old. You can disinfect all your bottles and nipples once a day if you have enough of them to use for a full day’s feeding.

How?

In boiling water

  • Take everything apart, clean all parts thoroughly and put them in a large saucepan.
  • Cover in water, taking care there are no bubbles trapped in the bottles.
  • Cover the saucepan to prevent too much water evaporating.
  • Bring the water to a boil and boil for at least 5 to 10 minutes.
  • Let cool and remove the items with clean hands.
  • Drain and cover with a clean towel.

In the dishwasher

To disinfect items in the dishwasher, your dishwasher must have a high-temperature washing and drying cycle.

  • Choose this cycle, not the energy-saving cycle.
  • Take everything apart and clean thoroughly.
  • Put bottles and rings on the upper rack. You can also put nipples in the dishwasher provided they are made of silicone. Latex (rubber) nipples must be sterilized in boiling water since they are not dishwasher safe.

With an appliance sold to disinfect baby bottles and nipples

  • Follow the manufacturer’s guidelines.