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HOW TO STERILISE BABY BOTTLES ABROAD

Formula feeding or expressing then bottle feeding – the practicalities are the same. You need to have clean equipment and able to react quickly when your baby lets you know they are hungry. When I began planning our first family trip to South East Asia, George was 10 weeks old. My main concerns revolved primarily around feeding. “How do I do it?” “What do I need?” and “How do I transport it?” In this post I’ll give you a step by step guide, on how to sterilise your feeding equipment. Followed by how to prepare your bottle feeds for the road.

Bottle feeding George at the top of the Empire State Building, NYC.

STERILISING YOUR FEEDING EQUIPMENT

What you will need:

  • Cold water sterilising tablets
  • Plastic container
  • Bottle brush
  • Antibacterial wipes
  • Washing up liquid (travel size)

PREPARATION

Use antibacterial wipes to clean the sink, surrounding surface and the inside of your plastic container.



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CLEAN EQUIPMENT

Use the hot water tap, washing up liquid and bottle brush to clean your bottles, teats and milk powder dispensers. Place upside down on a clean towel.

RINSE EQUIPMENT

Rinse the bottles, teats and milk powder dispensers with cold water from the tap. If you are in a country where you are advised to use bottled water to brush your teeth then you should use bottled water to clean your feeding equipment and for the sterilisation process.

STORE

Place the bottles, teats and milk powder dispensers in the plastic container and fill with cold tap water.

STERILISE

Drop in one or two cold water sterilising tablets (check the back of the box for the water to tablet ratio) and close the lid tight. Store in a safe place and leave for 15 minutes. Done!

Don’t open the box until you need the bottle/bottles or equipment. Either remove them all (if leaving your accommodation/resort for the day) or take a bottle as and when you need one. You know your baby best. Only you know when and how much they eat, so you can use the sterilising method and then it’s up to you how and when you want to use the bottles.

This method is cheap, quick and easy. There are plenty of devices available on the market but this one takes up minimum space in your luggage, as you can fill the plastic container with clothes, shoes or toiletries. It requires minimal effort and in total, takes no longer than 20 minutes.



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TOP TIP | Buy more tablets than you will need and pack one in your hand luggage and the others in your suitcase/backpack – this is one item you will not easily be able to purchase should a bag get lost!

Gemma bottle feeding George in Seattle
Feeding George, age 17 weeks below the Space Needle in Seattle.



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BOTTLE FEEDING YOUR BABY

This easy, stress free, method will get you prepared for a feed in less than 15 minutes. You can prepare several bottles at a time. Giving you the freedom to leave your accommodation for the day to explore. This method is adaptable to suit your needs.

What you will need:

  • Milk powder
  • Milk powder dispenser
  • Thermos flask
  • Kettle
  • Bottled water
  • Sterilised bottles

USE THE RIGHT WATER

Choose your bottled water. (If tap water is not safe for adult consumption then it isn’t safe for your baby). When buying bottled water, check the mineral content. Steer clear of bottled water with a high mineral content, and try to use still water that’s low in sodium. Check that the seal has not been tampered with. Also visually check that the water does not look dirty.

STERILISE WATER

Rinse the kettle out, then empty a small amount of bottled water and boil. Drain the water into a sink. Repeat but this time fill the kettle to the its maximum capacity. Boil. Prepare thermos flask – remove lid and fill with boiling water. Securely fasten the lid.

STERILISED BOTTLES

Remove sterilised bottles from plastic container. Fill with remaining boiling bottled water from the kettle. (Use only as much water as required for your babies feed – every baby eats a different amount).



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MILK POWDER DISPENSERS

Remove milk powder dispensers from sterilised plastic container. Fill with your baby powder (as many scoops as your baby needs). Close lid. If you are making a feed at your hotel or accommodation then put the milk powder directly into the sterilised bottle. You will also need to run the bottle under a cold water tap before feeding OR prepare bottles an hour in advance to avoid delay or giving your baby water that is too hot. Add baby milk formula. I would allow time for the water to cool down before adding the powder. Or take your bottles and flask with you and when your baby is hungry and ready to feed. Warm the water and then add the formula.

FEED ON THE GO

You can then transfer the thermos flask, bottles and milk powder dispensers to your travel bag/nursing bag. It is easier to keep multiple feeds and milk powder dispensers separate using a Ziploc bag. This avoids any spillage/damage and you can get your hands on them a lot quicker if your baby suddenly becomes hungry!

I really like the Tommee Tippee flask because it isn’t too big and you can use the lid to hold the boiling water and then place your bottle inside to warm up. You can use this anywhere! Once finished with the bottle, you can pour the water back into the flask and reuse.

Tommee Tippee flask, baby bottle and milk powder dispensers

We have used this method for all of our travels and have yet to encounter any problems. If you are out and need fresh hot water, go to the nearest restaurant or coffee shop and they will be than happy to refill your flask. Because we travel often, to avoid disrupting George, I use this method at home to keep things consistent. If you are worried whether your baby will take the water or struggle with the change – begin using this method a few days before you embark upon your trip. Or a week before to adapt the method should any issues arise.

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