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Should You Sterilize Your Baby's Bottles?

Reviewed by Amita Shroff, MD on November 30, 2022
Bottle of milk are washing

In the old days when water supplies were not reliably clean, it made sense to sterilize baby bottles. But now, sterilizing bottles, nipples, and water is mostly unnecessary.

Unless your water supply is suspected to harbor contaminated bacteria, it is as safe for your baby as it is for you. There is no reason to sterilize what is already safe. For newborns who are formula-fed, however, you may want to boil the water for 1 minute and then let it cool for 30 minutes before preparing the bottle. 

Sterilizing the bottles and nipples is also unwarranted. Thorough cleaning with soap and water gets rid of almost all germs. And once on the bottle, the nipple begins to pick up all the germs in the environment, so a "sterile" nipple and bottle is just a pipe dream , anyway.The 

If you drink well water, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends checking the nitrite level every 3 months in the water.