How to safely sterilise baby bottles on holiday

When travelling with a baby who is breastfed or on formula, it can initially seem a little daunting the amount of equipment you need to pack. One of the first thoughts is how are you going to prepare and sterilise baby bottles when you are travelling.

The good news is there are lots of different options now to take away the hassle.

In this post, I have put together some of my top tips for sterilising on the go. Including the best bottle sterilising equipment to make travelling that little bit easier for new and experienced mums.

Some of the links in this post are affiliates – Which means I may earn a very small commission from your purchase, however, the price for you will be the same.

So… How do you sterilise baby bottles when you are travelling?

Firstly, you will need to do a little bit of research into where it is you are travelling. You will need to think about whether you’ll have access to things like a kettle or microwave. Are you staying in a hotel or a rental? And also if you are camping will you have access to electricity. If you’re not sure, don’t panic, there are still options that should have you covered.

When travelling my favourite pieces of sterilising equipment are:

  • self-sterilising baby bottles
  • microwave steam sterilisers
  • cold water sterilisers
  • sterilising bags

Depending on your access you can choose to take one or all of these things, they are easy to pack and cheaply accessible.

How to sterilise baby bottles in a hotel – with a microwave

Self-sterilising baby bottles

My all-time favourite bottles are the Mam self-sterilising bottles. I’ve used them on my youngest from day one, at home and abroad. They make sterilising a dream and mean that I don’t have to pack anything extra as the bottles were coming anyway. You will need to have access to a microwave though to use these.

Mam Self Sterilising Bottles

sterilise bottles when you are travelling  - mam bottles

Microwave Steam Sterilising

If you prefer a different bottle, you could also get a microwave steriliser. These take up less packing space than electric sterilisers and are great if you are staying at a rental where you know there is a microwave to hand.

Nuvita Microwave Bottle Steriliser

sterilise bottles when you are travelling  - microwave

The second option is Microwave sterilising bags. Again very handy if you know you will have access to a microwave. They are a lot more compact than the normal microwave sterilisers and take 3 minutes to complete. Each bag can be used multiple times which is fantastic for cost efficiency.

Tommee Tippee Microwave Bags

sterilise bottles when you are travelling  microwave steam bags

How to sterilise bottles in a hotel without a microwave

Cold water sterilisers

Cold water sterilising is a great option for anyone travelling more remote or camping. They work by adding a sterilising tablet or liquid to a bucket or container with cold water and then submerging the bottles.

The process of cold water sterilising usually takes about 30 minutes. and the product can be brought from most shops and pharmacies. I tend to use Milton tablets as they are easy to pack and individually wrapped.

Milton Sterilising Tablets

sterilise bottles when you are travelling - milton tablets

Cold water sterilising bags

Another less bulky option for travelling is bag sterilisers. You have two options for these and they depend on your travel circumstance.

Cold water sterilising bags are the same as traditional cold water sterilising, but the bags come with tablets inside. This means you don’t have to have access to a bowl, bucket or container. Again the cold options take 30 minutes to sterilise, however, they are a little more pricey than the tablets alone.

How to sterilise bottles on a plane

If your flight is fairly short, the best advice is to just carry enough sterilised bottles for the duration of your travel. Allow extra bottles and milk for any potential delays too. If you are travelling long haul or don’t have the space for multiple bottles then you may want an alternative option.

One option would be to travel with sterilising bags and Milton tablets (as listed above) and submerge the bottle in the bag with a sterilising tablet and water. Secondly, you can purchase pre-sterilised bottle liners which prevent the milk actually touching the bottles.

Lastly, and only for formula-fed babies. You can purchase ready-made bottles of their formula with teats already attached. They are one-time-use bottle which is disposed of after use.

How to sterilise baby bottles when camping

This will be dependent on the type of camping you are doing. Find out – are you wild camping or staying on a site? will you have access to electricity?

Wild camping – If you are going camping off the grid but need to sterilise baby bottles your best option will be cold water sterilising. You can opt for either the bags or using a bowl/bucket to submerge the bottles.

Campsite Holidays – If you are going to be staying on a campsite with access to electricity and don’t want to use the cold sterilising option. I would opt for taking a full bottle steriliser, they can be easily plugged in and compact ones are relatively cheap. You may also want to check the site’s facilities; do they have a microwave available?

If you enjoyed reading the blog post and need more tips for travelling with your baby or children, why not check out our Travel Essentials Page
How to safely sterilise baby bottles on holiday
Scroll to Top