How to Sterilize Baby Bottles in Hotel Room Sinks

When my daughter was teeny, one of the things I couldn’t wrap my head around was how I would feed baby when traveling with her.

Would baby food explode in our suitcase?

Could I prepare formula with bottled water?

The answer to those questions is NO and YES.

NO, baby food will not explode but pack it in a zippered plastic bag just in case it leaks, and don’t you know how lucky you are to have those new squeezable foil pouches?!

And, YES, but make sure it’s not “mineral” water and that it has less than 20mg of sodium in it (most has less than 1mg).

But the one thing I simply could not fathom was how to sterilize baby bottles in hotel room sinks.

If your accommodation has a kitchenette or even just a microwave, you’re laughing. Just boil a pot of water, or drag your microwave sterilizer along (mine was pretty low profile). The new microwave sterilizing bags really make life easy (er) for parents on the road. But, our hotel room did not have a kitchenette or a microwave, so I had to figure it out. I had to figure out how to sterilize baby bottles in hotel room sinks.

We were traveling to Cuba where the tap water is potable but they do recommend bottled for more than just brushing your teeth…

Because I was a worrier, I still sterilized my daughter’s bottles even though she was already 11mos and down to just two bottles of formula per day. I purposely waited until she was finished nursing before we traveled. That was mostly due to my post-partum body issues more than nursing in public hangups. I learned with Bub that an exclusively breastfeeding infant is the easiest kind of baby to travel with, but you would never have convinced me of that as a first time mom.

But I digress…

Since Have Baby Will Travel was not invented then, I do not have any pictures of this process. If I was a little less lazy, I would re-enact it in my bathroom sink. But also my bathroom is in dire need of a reno, so I know you can figure this out!

How to sterilize baby bottles in hotel room sinks:

travel kettle
A Travel Kettle…

What to pack:

  • A small container of dish soap
  • A travel kettle (double check the voltage for your destination and/or your resort)
  • Bottle brush
  • Little bottle “tongs” (the ones I have came with my microwave sterilizer)

How to Sterilize Baby Bottles in Hotel Room Sinks
Step 1:

Fill travel kettle and set to boil. Wish out sink, stopper, and tongs with hot soapy water, and rinse.

Step 2:

Once kettle has boiled, rinse sink, stopper and tongs with boiling water. Refill kettle and set to boil.

Step 3:

Fill sink with hot soapy water and wash bottles, nipples, sippy cups, breast pump parts, pacifiers, and any feeding utensils you want sterilized. Rinse with hot tap water and drain the sink.

Step 4:

When the kettle has boiled for the 2nd time, pour over washed items and swish around. Carefully remove items using the bottle tongs, and place to air dry on a clean towel.

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.

If your baby is very young or very small or has any health issues, I’d make an effort to get a room with a kitchenette or microwave so there would be no room for error. Other than that, not only can you sterilize baby bottles in hotel room sinks, you can bathe your baby in them too!

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9 Responses to How to Sterilize Baby Bottles in Hotel Room Sinks

  1. Katie at #

    Hi, Great job for being so dedicated to cleanliness while traveling! I’ve been known to let a few things slide. We took a road trip when my daughter was 4 months and I didn’t sanitize her bottles at all. I can’t imagine all the germs from all those McDonald’s we stopped in! Thanks for providing the info.

  2. 10 points for resourcefulness! Depending on where you are traveling to, when booking your hotel you should be able to request a room with a microwave. If that isn’t possible, a lot of hotels will have a microwave in the breakfast area that you should be able to use.

  3. kathy at #

    there are also electric sterilizers from AVENT
    i did this and is easier
    i did the soapu water to eash the bottles nipples and pacifiers but i took a bowl from home so it wont touch any surface
    only God knows ehat happened on those bathrooms

  4. azsa at #

    We have a hygenie. Its a uv sterilizer that does pacifiers and bottles. It fits in our diaper bag.

  5. Dawn at #

    Just ordered this for my trip to Cuba so I can sterilize, portable uv sterilizer that is battery operated. Hope it works!

    • Corinne at #

      Oh that looks cool–will have to check it out!

  6. Mariy at #

    Hi Corinne,
    A few days ago I went with my baby. He was 11 months old. Sometimes it was necessary to give food. The accompanying baby bottle were dirty. So they had to use sterilizers to clean them. It’s good to see your tips that the next tour.

    Thank you for nice step to clean baby bottle

  7. Pamela at #

    Hi Corinne,

    I was searching online to learn how to clean the bottle. Your post is very good.
    Thanks for this guideline



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