{ "media_type": "text", "post_content": "FTM here and my baby will start daycare soon. Daycare asked us to prepare all the bottles on a daily basis. Between all the bottles and my pumping parts, it sounds like an absolute nightmare in terms of cleaning. Is there an easier way to do this besides running the dishwasher daily?", "post_id": "610579b3ab778e00206103fe", "reply_count": 43, "vote_count": 3, "bowl_id": "5a0c9a1f61b01a001937c406", "bowl_name": "Working Moms" }

FTM here and my baby will start daycare soon. Daycare asked us to prepare all the bottles on a daily basis. Between all the bottles and my pumping parts, it sounds like an absolute nightmare in terms of cleaning. Is there an easier way to do this besides running the dishwasher daily?

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I don’t use the dishwasher for bottles, that would be basically just as much work as hand washing anyway by the time you get it all disassembled and put in the dishwasher. Before my kids’ bedtime I put the bottles in the sink with hot water and soap and let it soak then after they’re asleep I clean the bottles and prep their bags and everything they need for the next day. Then I let them air dry on the counter and assemble them in the morning and put the milk in. It is what it is. Probably for me about 20 mins per night all said and done. 🤷‍♀️

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I hand washed pump parts and put bottles in the dishwasher. I had Dr. Brown bottles and used their little dishwasher cage that held all the parts in place. I just ran the dishwasher every night before I went to bed regardless of how full it was and it worked well for me! I have a pretty new dishwasher though. For hand washing, I have a huge farmhouse sink, so I had a small plastic tub that I washed the pump parts in so I didn’t have to use the whole sink. It worked well but it did live in my sink for a year. (I sometimes put it away for guests… 🙃).

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I had the dishwasher cage. They were still the worst!

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No... I didn't know there were people with babies who didn't run their dishwasher daily.🤣

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Sometimes it’s twice a day! 😂

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Dishwasher never got mine clean… We have to hand wash and then we throw them in the sanitizer each night mainly because it just dries them so quickly. 

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We ended up buying more bottles. But our dishwasher gets them clean - just have to hand wash some of the pump parts but also recommend having at least 2 sets of those.

Hated the bottle washing turn around for day care. I always hand washed bottles I don’t think the dishwasher can get the nipples clean and even if they say they are dishwasher safe I personally get nervous about the dishwasher causing bottle breakdown and could be safety concern. My advice is to get enough bottles for two days so that you can prep the next days bottles without washing the bottles.

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I did this and pumped into “tomorrow’s” bottles. On Fridays, those bottles went to the freezer for Monday.

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I hand washed because I didn’t like how my dishwasher washed them. It’s a PITA. Lots of washing. You just get used to it, I guess?

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But I run my dishwasher daily with kids anyways. Sometimes 2x/day. Lol life with kiddos

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It’s not environmentally friendly (parenting is survival mode and you can have a pass) but you can pump into the Kiinde bags that attach directly to a nipple. Then just send baby with the bags and a handful of nipples? Plus also saves a pump part to wash.

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I preferred preparing all of the next day’s bottles in advance. I cooled all of my pumped milk, combined in a very large mason jar with a pour spout, made the bottles and froze extra milk (exclusively pumped with an oversupply so froze a lot of milk). Each night, rinsed bottles and pump parts, hand washed silicones and soft plastics, dishwasher for everything else. Have enough pump parts and bottles for two days so you always have a dirty set and a clean set.

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I personally prefer silicone bottles for ease of heating, hand-feel, and easy venting for baby, but your experience may vary! I’ve had to rig a Comotomo nipple to a wide mouth mason jar and it works fine, but not something I’d choose regularly.

Preparing all the bottles for daycare is standard. We prepared them the night before. We had 8 bottles and brought 3-4 to daycare depending on how many she was drinking based on her age. At the end of each day, wash the dirty ones in the dishwasher. Nipples got a hand wash too after coming out of the dishwasher. We ran the dishwasher at least once a day and generally twice a day on the weekends. Our daughter just turned one and now she drinks regular milk and we don’t have to do it anymore!

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Are you using the EY/Limerick pump? I would pump directly into those bottles and then send them to daycare with empty clean comotomos for service. I guess that’s technically not preparing them? But they didn’t mind at all. You can order as many bottles as you want for your pump for free from EY to make that part easy, I think I had 12 or 16!

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That sounds likely! And that sounds EXHAUSTING. (Oregon here FWIW, but for all I know our old daycare was just YOLO-ing it.)

Running the dishwasher daily is the easiest thing you’ll do as a parent 😬🤪

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It’s insane how many bottles and pets there are to wash. I just got really fast at hand washing them all at the end of the night. Would try to take shortcuts here and there like rinsing pump parts and sticking them in the fridge between uses. Definitely prepared and labeled all the bottles for daycare the night before so we could grab and go in the morning.

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After you pump, put the parts in the fridge and reuse them. You can use them all day as long as you refrigerate them which cuts down on part washing. I bought 5 sets, and would just let them soak and then just wash/sterilized them on the weekends. I really liked the playtex drop in bottles. Everything but the nipples in the dishwasher or disposable—and we tried a lot of kinds. Whoever designed Dr. Brown was obviously not a working mom—horrid!

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Podcasts made it feel like “me time” for handwashing (um, when I remembered; I was a bit of a mess in those days). I really try to avoid plastic in the dishwasher, but most other things went right in (certainly the glass jars I stored the milk in). Yes to refrigerating parts during the day, yes to multiple sets of parts.

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Echoing the comments above: get a little tub and a drying rack for bottle parts, hand wash the nipples and rings, and try to find a system with wider-necked bottles that will do well in the dishwasher if you’ve got one. We don’t have a dishwasher, and it’s really not that bad hand-washing if you have enough bottles and parts to make it through an extra day in a pinch.

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I put the parts in a freezer bag in the fridge during the day and do a single hand wash of bottles and pump parts at night. If I really want to sanitize, I use the microwave steam bags. Medela makes a sanitizer spray you can use between pumping, too.

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Easiest way is to buy a lot of everything. Bottles - At the peak I had over 60 bottles so I didn’t have to keep washing dishes. Eventually I started using Kiinde, it is plastic but it eliminated me having to wash bottles that took up a lot of space. Pump parts - As for pump parts, I had a LOT too, I think at least 30 pump sets. Since pump parts have to be squeaky clean I would keep a big bowl of soap water in the refrigerator and dunk the parts in there until I had the time or energy to wash. Or you can also pop them into a ziploc and freeze it. Night feeding - also could not make it down to the kitchen to make bottles for my son, so I had formula and bottle sets prepared next to my bed so I can just add water and mix.

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We opted for glass bottles this time around and find that they are much easier to clean and we have received some very positive feedback from daycare about them as well as they said they heat up a lot faster. These in addition to the Dapple bottle soap have made hand washing a lot more tolerable.

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