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Bottlefeeding, Sterilizing Bottles

My teenage daughter lives at home with her seven-week-old baby. Do you recommend sterilizing bottles? Angela in Dallas, TX

Our Mommy MD Guide’s reply: Congratulations on becoming a grandma!

The good news is that all those rules about sterilizing baby bottles have changed a bit since we gave birth to our babies seventeen years ago. Before you use new bottles, nipples and rings for the very first time, you should sterilize them, because there’s no telling what kind of germs they’ve picked up during the manufacturing process. You can do this by submerging them in a pot of boiling water for at least five minutes, then allowing them to dry on a clean towel. Then you can just send them through the dishwasher, and they’re ready to use. As long as you have water from a municipal supply, it’s fine to wash them in the dishwasher after each use from there on out. But if you have well water at your home in Georgia, it’s a good idea to continue to sterilize them in boiling water after each use. If you haven’t seen them yet, there are some great inventions to help you keep the nipples, rings, and bottle covers together in the dishwasher. You’ve probably got plenty to do without fishing around in the dishwasher for lost bottle parts and pieces.

Good luck, Grandma! Give that baby a hug for me!

Rallie McAllister, MD, MPH, a mom of three sons, a family physician, and the coauthor of The Mommy MD Guide to Pregnancy and Birth, The Mommy MD Guide to Your Baby’s First Year, and The Mommy MD Guide to the Toddler  Years

The information on MommyMDGuides.com is not intended to replace the diagnosis, treatment, and services of a physician. Always consult your physician or child care expert if you have any questions concerning your family's health. For severe or life-threatening conditions, seek immediate medical attention.