Traveling with your baby and keeping your gear sterilized properly can present new challenges that you don’t face at home. However, with the right preparation beforehand and the knowledge of what to expect, you can easily keep your baby gear safe and your mind at ease.
There’s a lot to remember, and preparing in advance helps keep you sane. I want to walk you through some steps to keeping your bottles sterile while you are travelling.
If you are travelling abroad, this sterilization thing gets even trickier. There are several ways to do it, and we can walk through each one together.
Best sterilization options
If you are bottle feeding your baby, you’ll need to come up with ways to keep your bottles sterile on your flight as well as at the hotel.
Here are some options for safe and relatively convenient bottle sterilizing while you are away from home.
- Bottle Liners – I highly recommend these bottles with pre-sterilized bottle liners. They pack easily, and you can dump the liner once baby is finished. If you haven’t used them before, you might make sure that your baby till drink from them before you leave home.
- Pack your own Pre-Sterilized Bottles – I recommend packing enough of your own pre-sterilized bottles with boiled water inside. You can use insulated bottle bag to keep a few bottles warm for hours. You can also bring empty sterilized bottles to add water to later. Airline staff will provide you with the hot water you need. Request it in advance, so it has time to cool.
- Buy Pre-Sterilized Bottles – Buy disposable, sterilized bottles and nipples, like those available through Steri-Bottle. These bottles are 100% recyclable and BPA free, which I like. It takes the stress off of sterilizing, but it ensures your baby is safe to drink while travelling.
- Pack a Travel Sterilizer – If you are near a washing up area on the flight, you can use the Milton travel sterilizer and tablets. It can sterilize a single bottle in the microwave in two minutes or in cold water after fifteen minutes.
- Pack a Disposable Sterilizing Bag – You could otherwise look into purchasing these disposable sterilizing bags for all of your plane bottles after use. They hold up to 4 bottles, come with a sterilizing tablet, and use cold water. They do get heavy, so make sure you can store it near you without getting kicked.
How to sterilize baby bottles in hotel sink
You can store your used bottles in your carry-on and then sterilize them once you arrive at the hotel.
If this is part of your plan, first, see if your hotel room comes with a microwave or kitchenette for boiling water. If so, you can use these convenient and affordable microwavable sterilizing bags and life is good.
In the rare situations where this is not available, be sure to pack a travel kettle, a travel-sized container of dish soap, a bottle brush, and some baby tongs for grabbing the bottle pieces out of the hot water.
- Heat up water in your travel kettle
- Rinse the bathroom sink and plug with hot water
- Fill the sink with hot, soapy water
- Clean your bottles thoroughly
- Rinse the items with hot water and let them air dry on a clean towel.
This is easy if your baby is down to only a few bottles per day, as havebabywilltravel.com explains:
I did this in the evening once my daughter was down for the night. It took about 20min, but I was only doing two bottles per day. If I was doing it for an exclusively bottle-fed infant, I’d probably switch to the pre-sterilized drop in liners, so all you had to wash would be the nipples and caps. In that case, it may well be worth it to buy and drag along an actual sterilizer.
In our trip to Japan Teddy was drinking about 6 bottles per day, which was a bit much for cleaning in the hotel sink. It was do-able, but life got a lot easy once we switched to our accommodation in Kyoto which had a kitchenette.
Can you use local water for making babies bottle?
If you are travelling abroad, you will need to research the water quality in the country you are visiting. In most cases, your tap water will be fine, and you will just need to make sure it is boiled before a feeding.
Bottled water is generally not recommended because it has not been sterilized, and you have to be aware of the sodium content. However, in some countries where tap water is not suitable, you will need to use bottled water, but you will just need to be sure to check the sodium levels and boil it before using it.
The NHS also recomends:
- Be sure that it has less than 200 mg of sodium per liter
- No more than 250 milligrams of sulphate per liter
With both tap water or bottled water, you will still need to boil the water before feeding time just to be safe.
If you are travelling and have concerns about formula feeding and keeping bottles safe and sterilized, just remember to prepare beforehand. This is your most crucial step. There are plenty of ways to sterilize the bottles on the go, and you can find water for boiling before your feed times.
Having a plan in place before you head to the airport will help ease your worries more than anything.
Do you have other tips for keeping baby gear sterilized while on the go? We would love to hear your ideas in the comments. Please share this to any of your friends about to travel with their baby!