22/11/2009 07:05 GMT | Updated 22/05/2015 06:12 BST

When Should I Stop Sterilising Bottles?

I started weaning my son a couple weeks ago. Until then he was breastfed exclusively with only a few, unsuccessful attempts at getting him to take a bottle. Since he started eating food though he's taken to bottles with ease.

As I've been feeding him both mashed food and finger food, I've bought some formula to use to use in preparing his food. I've also been giving him a couple ounces of formula in a bottle or from a cup every day.

For the first time, I've had to think about sterilising. I quickly decided not to bother at all. He's not only eating food, but he's also sticking everything he can grab into his mouth. None of which is sterilised at all.

I attended a weaning group with my local health visitors the other day and one of the mothers asked when she could stop sterilising bottles. They said she should keep sterilising until the baby is a year old.

I raised my hand and said with my first son I stopped sterilising when he was 6 months old as he was eating food and sticking everything else into his mouth. I made sure everything was clean, of course, but no longer bothered with sterilising. He's always been incredibly healthy.I also told everyone that as this son has only just started using a bottle, I've never bothered sterilising anything at all. I do, however, put the bottles in the dishwasher to clean them. When washing the teats I pour table salt in and kind of squash it around in order to get rid of any dried bits of milk, then rinse them very thoroughly under hot running water. And I air dry them.

Another mother said her doctor told her she could stop sterilising now - her baby was 6 months old. The doctor said that the baby was going to be putting so many unsterilised thing in his mouth that sterilising was a bit futile.

Another said her doctor told her she could stop sterilising when her baby was 4 months old. She went onto say that sterilising became a big deal after the war when the safety of water couldn't be guaranteed.

Another mother said that a midwife at a local hospital told her they don't even sterilise bottles for newborns as detergents are strong enough to kill most things. So she never sterilised anything for her baby.

The health visitors just kept saying, 'Well, our advice is that you keep sterilising for the first year.'

Surely, we aren't the only mothers who don't sterilise, are we?