I'm seeking advice on making up bottles. With my son five years ago we made up feeds in advance but I see from here and other sites that this isn't recommended now.
So we are adding formula when we feed. But once bottles are sterilised we had been putting empty sterilised bottles in the fridge ready for the feed. Is that ok? I assume they remain sterile? I know they are sterile in the steriliser but if you open the lid to get a bottle out then surely you have to then re sterilise everything else again!
What I used to do was to sterilise in batches for the daytime bottles and then again for the evening and nighttime bottles, then with clean, freshly washed hands, put the bottle together and seal them up and leave them on the table. Putting them in the fridge I suppose is the same, but I personally never bothered with that. The concerns with sterilisation are less to do with bacteria floating around in the air or on your hands, and more to do with the sort of bacteria that grow in milk, so on the bottles from the formula itself. This is why you should make formula with boiled, hot water, to kill the bacteria in the formula when you mix it rather than to boil to kill any bacteria in the water itself. So then when bottles sit around after, even if you rinse them out immediately, the residual fats from the milk still cling to things and can foster bacterial growth. You sterilise between uses to kill these bacteria that might be growing since the last feed. Obviously, you can also have bacteria on your hands if they are dirty and you are handling the bottles, but that's likely to be the same sort of bacteria in your house and on your hands anyway. Babies put loads of that in their mouths already and it rarely causes any harm. So yes, you can sterilise bottles in batches and close them up and use later. I didn't personally put them in the fridge as they should be clean enough already that it won't matter too much, but there's no harm in doing it assuming your fridge is clean (a dirty fridge might actually expose them to more bacteria than just leaving them out on a table, as you'll them touch them with your hands again when you make the bottle). But then it's good motivation to keep the fridge clean too.
That said, making up bottles in advance has never really been recommended, but most people still do it. I made up most of the daytime ones fresh, but the nighttime and first thing in the morning ones were always made in advance and refrigerated. As long as you do it properly with hot water and cool quickly to place in the fridge, it's generally considered safe to do, though it's not the ideal. But really the formula companies just have to say that for liability issues, in case something ever was to happen.
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