Equipment for bottle feeding

If you are planning to bottle feed with expressed breast milk or infant formula, these tips will help keep your baby safe and healthy.


Breast milk is the best and most natural food for your baby. If you decide to formula feed, it is important that you always prepare your baby's bottle feeds safely.

All equipment must be sterilised. Incorrect preparation or bad hygiene could make your baby seriously ill.


You must sterilise all bottles until your baby is at least 1 year old. An unsterilised bottle can make your baby sick.

How to sterilise equipment

Clean and sterilise all equipment before using it. Follow these steps:

  1. Wash your hands
  2. Wash the bottles, teats, discs, lids and tongs in warm soapy water
  3. Sterilise the bottles, teats, discs, lids and tongs, following the manufacturer's instructions
  4. Wash your hands before removing the bottles from the steriliser with the tongs
  5. Do not rinse out the bottles after they are sterilised

Once put together correctly, sterile bottles with tight-fitting caps or sealing discs are sterile for 24 hours as long as they remain unopened.


Dishwashers do not sterilise bottles or feeding equipment.

Page last reviewed: 15 March 2018
Next review due: 15 March 2021