Food & Hygiene

You want to avoid any infections when your baby comes home. There are a few areas where you can minimise the risk of infection.

Care of feeding equipment

Sterilising Methods

Water for babies

General guidelines

Care of feeding equipment

Even if you are breastfeeding, you may need bottles for expressed milk. It is important that all the items which come in contact with the milk are sterile.

If you are expressing milk, you will need

– A jug to express your milk into
– Feeding bottles
– Teat

Remember if you are using a soother, it must be sterilised aswell. Milk residue in the teat or bottles is a good breathing ground for bacteria. Therefore, teat and bottles need to be cleaned thoroughly and sterilised soon after a feed.

When cleaning the bottles, teat or soothers, they should be washed in hot soapy water.

– Use a bottle brush to remove any milk residue from them.
– Turn the teat inside out and remove any residue on it.
– Ensure that the hole in the teat is not blocked by squirting some water through it.
– Rinse both with clean water, sterilise and store in a sterile location.
– Always through away any teat which show signs of wear and tear.
– Teat should be replaced regularly anyway.

Sterilising Methods

Bottles should be cleaned as described above before they can be sterilised.
There are 4 mains ways sterilise equipment, they are described below –

  • Boiling:You will need a large covered saucepan to place the clean bottles in.
    Place the bottles in the saucepan and pour enough water into the saucepan to cover them.
    Boil the water and leave simmering for 10 mins. Leave the bottles in the covered saucepan until
    they are needed.
  • Chemical Sterilisation:You will need sterilising tablets of liquid and a special
    container. Follow the instructions on the sterilising tablets or fluid for making a solution.
    Make sure that the teat and bottles are completely covered by the solution. Check the sterilising
    materials instructions for the length of time needed for sterilisation. When the bottles are needed
    rinse then with cool, boiled water.
  • Steam Sterilisation:The bottles and teat are placed in a special steam generation unit.
    Water is added to the steam unit according to instructions.
  • Microwave Steam Sterilisation:This method is similar to Steam Sterilisation, but the
    teat and bottles are added to a special container which is placed in the microwave. Follow the instructions
    with the container for the time and level which the microwave should be set to.

Water for babies

Any water given to your baby or used in the preparation of feeds needs to be boiled and allowed to cool before being used. Water which is safe for adults and older children can contain bacteria which could be harmful to babies. Here are a few pointers –

  • Let the water flow for a few minutes so that you are not using water which
    was lying in the pipes for a long time.
  • Don’t use water from a water softening system.
  • Always use freshly boiled water, do not re-boil water.

General guidelines

When your baby is ready for solids, there are additional precautions which you should take when dealing with their baby food.

  1. Shop only where hygiene standards are upheld
  2. Always check “sell by” dates
  3. Be extra careful when choosing poultry, fish or meat
  4. Store raw meat on the bottom shelf of the fridge and
    never near cooked meat.
  5. Thaw out meat thoroughly before cooking.

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