As babies do not have fully developed immune systems it is important to thoroughly sterilise all of their feeding equipment (including bottles, teats, beakers and pumps) to protect them against infection. This is especially important for babies who are predominantly bottle fed with formula milk as they do not receive the enhanced immunity provided by breast milk and so are more susceptible to infection.
Before sterilising your baby's feeding equipment you need to wash it thoroughly in hot soapy water. You should use a bottle brush to clean off any remnants of milk and ensure that the teats are clean by washing both sides and then running water through the hole.
It is possible to clean feeding equipment in the dishwasher however this should always be on the hottest setting (teats are more likely to wear if frequently washed in this manner). Whether you clean your baby's feeding equipment in the dishwasher or by hand you should check to ensure all traces of milk and detergent have been removed before sterilising.
Methods of sterilising
After you remove your baby's feeding equipment from your chosen sterilisation container you should fill it with milk as soon as possible to avoid contamination.
Current guidelines suggest that you continue sterilising your baby's bottle feeding equipment until they reach 1 year of age.