When to Stop Sterilising?


Amelia turned 1, two weeks ago,and I’m finding it very hard to put away the steriliser! Yes I know this is crazy,as she is picking everything she can find off the floor and putting it in her mouth,and has been going to play groups & soft play since she was about 3 months,putting all the toys in her mouth for a good chew.
So why can’t I stop my daily ritual, of after breakfast,rinsing her bottles,pouring washing up liquid on the bottle brush,scrubbing the bottles,teeth and lids and popping them into the steriliser……I think it’s out of habit and knowing that if I missed any milk,that sterilising will kill off any potential bacteria.


A report published in 2007 from The World Health Organisation (WHO) suggested that sterilisation was no longer considered necessary and in fact was no longer recommended. The reason being that people weren’t sterilising properly in the first place and it was often leading to worse bacterial problems. Also, breasts and breast milk aren’t sterile – so it was a strange concept that we should be doing this with bottles, dummies. The recommendation for babies now is that a good wash with hot soapy water and a clean scrubbing brush and to then dry thoroughly. They also said that a rolling three min boil of items once a week followed by a proper dry was more than sufficient for those that wanted to be ‘extra vigiliant’.

Now while it all makes sense I wouldn’t 100% agree.While I do not think it is necessary to sterilise water cups spoons and feeding bowls when the weaning process starts (I’ll admit I did this for a few weeks!Crazy first time mum), I do believe that bottles,teeth and caps should be sterilised up to a year, or until you switch over to cows milk. I also sterilised all medicine syringes up to 6 months.

My reason for this continued sterilisation up to a year is because during the first year of your baby’s life, he/she is at their most vulnerable to illnesses. If you don’t sterilise your baby’s bottles, viruses, bacteria and parasites can gather on his/her bottle and in his milk and make your baby ill. Your baby could develop anything from mild thrush to a more serious bout of vomiting and diarrhoea.The problem is with milk,especially formula.
It’s not possible or practical to create a totally germ-free environment for your baby. But by sterilising your baby’s feeding equipment, you can reduce the risks while your baby is at its most vulnerable.

We are off to London this weekend,so it is time for my steriliser and I to say good bye,as we don’t need it anymore, this has been the excuse I need to break free.Warm soapy water,my trustee bottle brush and that will be it.
I will add, that even though I’m giving up on sterilising this weekend, we are away on holiday the end of May, and I will use these sterilising bags, just because I’m not sure how safe the countries water is.These Munchkin Steriliser Bags are ideal for nights/weekend and Holidays away,instead of lugging a steriliser with you. each bag can be used 20 times.Available from Amazon & Boots.


Click here for more details.

I think with sterilising,defiantly do it up to 6 months and them decide what is right for you. Another problem we face is that children now have more allergies and adverse reactions to food than ever before,and the question has to be put- are we over sanitising and not allowing our children to be open to the odd bug or two,which in turn will build their immune system.

What are your thoughts on sterilising?would love to hear what you have done?
T xx

One thought on “When to Stop Sterilising?

  1. Without sounding like a completly bad mother I have to say the more bugs they can tolerate the better! We stopped sterilising just after 6 months just used the dishwasher! I never used any sterile wipes like tommy tippee ones for dodos or teething toys either if they fell on the ground they fell on the ground they might or might not get a rinse under the tap! Apart from the sniffles twice my little man has never been sick! I also have a cat around the house! I also think animals are great in some way to have around to help build kids immunity! I know that sounds like I’m nuts but that’s just what I think!

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