FAQs – Consumer Questions

Bottles & Teats

CAN I PUT BOTTLE AND TEATS IN THE DISHWASHER?

Yes you can, we advise them to be placed on the top shelf, on the hottest setting. Try not to put them in with heavily stained dishes as food particles can transfer. We also advise that you sterilise the bottles & teats in a closer to nature® steriliser after washing and rinsing thoroughly

I'VE CLEANED MY BOTTLES IN THE DISHWASHER AND THEY ARE NOW DISCOULOURED IN AN ORANGE COLOUR?

The only time we have come across the bottles staining is if they have been washed in the dishwasher with other items which have residues of strong coloured sauces e.g. tomato or carrot.

HOW DO I CLEAN AND STERILISE MILK POWDER DISPENSERS?

Milk powder dispensers should be washed and sterilised just like your bottles. You can then leave them to air dry, or use a clean piece of kitchen paper or a clean tea towel. Formula feeds should always be prepared fresh shortly before feeding your baby.

DO MILK POWDER DISPENSERS FIT INTO THE 150ML BOTTLE?

Although they physically fit the 150ml bottle, we recommend to use milk powder dispensers with 260ml as they are big enough to fit the dispenser as well as sufficient water to make up the feed. If you put the dispenser in the 150ml bottle you won't be able to take enough water to mix the powder with.

DO TOMMEE TIPPEE® BOTTLES CONTAIN BPA?

Our best-selling, award-winning closer to nature® range is BPA free, with all bottles in the range now made in top quality polypropylene. This material is still light to hold, easy to clean and gives great results but contains no bisphenol A.

WHAT TEATS CAN I USE WITH THICKER FORMULA?

We now have a closer to nature™ Thick Feed teat, which has a Y-cut in the teat rather than a hole. The teat allows thicker feeds to flow through easily. It is suitable for babies from 6 months.

WHAT TEATS CAN I USE WITH THICKER FORMULA?

We now have a closer to nature™ Thick Feed teat, which has a Y-cut in the teat rather than a hole. The teat allows thicker feeds to flow through easily. It is suitable for babies from 6 months.

WHERE SHOULD THE EASI-VENT™ VALVE BE WHEN FEEDING MY BABY?

We recommend the valve goes at the top, under your baby's nose.

WHY IS THE TEAT COLLAPSING WHEN MY BABY IS FEEDING?

The closer to nature teats are very sensitive as they are made of specially designed silicone material which can sometimes stick to itself when not in use, this is perfectly natural. You can reopen the slit at the tip of the valve by gently rubbing it between your finger and thumb until you see it pop open. This allows the air to flow into the bottle and prevent the teat collapsing.

If your baby frequently falls asleep before a feed is finished it could be that the hole is not delivering the feed fast enough and your baby is too tired to finish the feed. It may be time then to change to the next flow rate or try a variflow teat.

CAN I USE THE MICROWAVE TO HEAT UP THE BOTTLE?

No, we strongly recommend that you do not heat milk in a microwave as this produces localised hot spots. You should also never heat or defrost expressed breast milk in the microwave as this destroys valuable nutrients in the milk.

CAN I STORE BREAST MILK IN THE BOTTLES?

You can store breast milk in the bottles the fridge or freezer. You can store breast milk in your closer to nature™ bottle in the fridge (not in the fridge door) for up to 5 days. In a freezer breast milk will keep for up to six months. Use our Milk Storage Lids to store milk directly in the bottles or use our specially designed Milk Storage Pots.

You may gently warm the milk through before use by standing the bottle or pot in a jug of hot water for a few minutes. Alternatively, use our electric Bottle Warmer. You should never heat the milk in a microwave as it creates localised hot spots and destroys valuable nutrients in the milk.

ARE THE CLOSER TO NATURE® BOTTLES RECYCLABLE?

Yes, the closer to nature® bottles can be recycled

HOW DO I KNOW WHEN TO MOVE ON TO THE NEXT BIGGER TEAT?

If your baby frequently falls asleep before a feed is finished it could be that the hole is not delivering the feed fast enough and your baby is too tired to finish the feed. It may be time then to change to the next flow rate or try a variflow teat.

HOW OFTEN DO I NEED TO REPLACE THE TEATS?

We recommend this happens every four weeks but teats should be closely inspected before and after each feed for signs of wear and tear of damage, especially when your baby has teeth.

BPA

What is BPA?

BPA is one of the 50 most-produced chemicals in the world. It is used in the manufacture of numerous household articles, from plastic water jugs to take-out containers, sports equipment, canned food liners and baby formula cans. This widespread use of polycarbonate feeding bottles is due to the exceptional combination of properties that the material gives, including safety, toughness, durability, lightweight, glass-like appearance and its suitability for all common household methods of sterilization.

WHY HAS BPA BECOME SUCH A HOT TOPIC?

In recent months many environmental groups have expressed concerns that the BPA contained in baby feeding bottles could 'leach' or leak out into a baby's milk from the plastic when heated under certain conditions, or when bottles were cracked or scratched. This, they claimed, could result in health concerns for babies and children.

Bisphenol A has been intensively scrutinized for a long period of time and no credible scientific evidence has yet been found as to whether BPA is damaging to humans. The Department of Health and the Food Standards Agency are among many national and international bodies to publicly state that polycarbonate is safe to use and Tommee Tippee has followed all advice while closely monitoring all available information about the issue.

SO WHY HAVE WE CHANGED TO BPA-FREE MATERIALS?

As a leading and responsible manufacturer with 50 years of experience, we decided that we should do whatever we could to minimize the confusion for parents in order to provide the total reassurance they have come to expect from us.

Our best-selling award-winning Closer to Nature range is now BPA free, with all bottles in the range now made in top quality polypropylene. This material is still light to hold, easy to clean and gives great results but contains no Bisphenol A.

Cleaning & Sterilizing

CAN I STERILIZE CUPS, BOWLS, PLATES AND SPOONS?

Yes they are fine to be sterilized.

We recommend that everything that goes into your baby's mouth is sterilised for the first 6 months before every feed. This is particularly important for bottles and teats as leftover milk deposits can produce bacteria which could make your baby sick. After 6 months we still recommend to sterilise bottles and teats and everything that comes into contact with milk, after every third feed.

CAN THE BOTTLES GO IN THE DISHWASHER?

Yes, we recommend them to go on the top shelf of your dishwasher. Make sure you put your dishwasher on the hot setting (at least 65°C).

CAN MY EXPLORA CUP BE STERILIZED?

Yes, all explora cups can be sterilised.

CAN I DISHWASH THE EXPLORA CUPS?

The Explora cups can be used in a dishwasher on the top shelf.

When reassembing please ensure the valve is pushed through the white retainer. Please refer to the assembly instructions that come with your cup.

HOW DO I CLEAN MY CLOSER TO NATURE SOOTHER?

You should wash the soother in warm, soapy water, then rinse it with clear water. We would them recommend you sterilize the soother in your sterilizer.

I HAVE STERILIZED MY BOTTLES, WHY HAVE THEY STILL GOT MARKS ON THEM?

The bottles are still required to be washed before sterilizing. Your electric steriliser may need descaling, which we recommend every 4 weeks. Descale your electric steriliser with a special descaler suitable for sterilisers (not all descalers are suitable for sterilisers so please check the label)

Explora Cups

ARE THE CUPS AND BEAKERS DISHWASHER SAFE?

The whole range can be cleaned in the dishwasher in the top basket.

MY EXPLORA CUP IS NOT SPILL PROOF ANYMORE. HAVE I DONE SOMETHING WRONG?

The silicon valve may not have been assembled correctly, ensure the valve is pushed through the white retainer. Please refer to the assembly instructions that come with your cup.

WHY HAS THE CUP STAINED AN ORANGE COLOUR?

The only time we have come across the cups staining is if they have been washed in the dishwasher with other items which have residues of strong coloured sauces e.g. tomato or carrot. Too strong dilution of orange juice may also result in staining.

WHAT SHOULD I GIVE MY BABY TO DRINK FROM EXPLORA CUPS?

We recommend milk or water. Juice, even pure fruit juice, should always be diluted one part juice to ten parts water, to avoid early tooth decay.

ARE SPARE SPOUTS AVAILABLE?

Unfortunately we are not supplied with spare spouts for these, however the spout will last for however long the child should need them unless they are chewing or biting on the silicone.

If this is the case we would recommend a different style of cup with a harder more robust spout.

WHY IS THE WHITE VALVE RETAINER FALLING OFF?

The valve may not be assembled correctly, ensure the silicon valve is pushed all the way through the white retainer. Please see the attached assembly instructions

CAN HOT AND CARBONATED DRINKS BE USED IN EXPLORA CUPS?

Tommee Tippee Explora cups not are suitable for hot or fizzy (carbonated) drinks but Tommee Tippee recommends giving your child milk or water.

CAN MY EXPLORA CUP BE STERILIZED?

The following Explora cups can be sterilized. Truly Spill proof Trainer Cup, Sippy cup and water bottle. All other Explora cups are not suitable for sterilization.

Soothers

HOW DO THE NEW CLOSER TO NATURE SOOTHERS DIFFER FROM OTHERS?

The new Closer to Nature soothers (Pure, C-air, and Style) were created by a bio-medical engineer and a paediatric dentist. They studied the way that the tongue functions and the way that infants suck, and wanted to develop a soother to be more natural and fit more naturally in the mouth.

When a baby sucks on a soother, they build up internal pressure in their mouth, the tongue is low and the cheek muscles push inwards on the palate. Our new soother is designed to have a natural fit in the mouth and gently expands in an umbrella-like fashion to support the palate and maintain its natural shape.

There are a lot of orthodontic shaped soothers on the market today, but what we have developed is a soother that provides an orthodontic function.

This soother promotes safe and healthy oral development because of its natural fit and unique attributes in the design of the teat.

HOW DO I CLEAN MY CLOSER TO NATURE SOOTHER?

You should wash the soother in warm, soapy water then rise it with clear water. We would them recommend you sterilize the soother in your sterilizer.

HOW OFTEN SHOULD I CHANGE MY CHILD'S SOOTHER?

We recommend that you should change your child's soother every month. We also recommend you follow the age stage guidance shown on the soother packaging. The age guide is important as the size and scale of the teat on the soother changes as the child grows and develops.

When soothers are not in use, they should be kept in a dry, covered container.

CAN I DIP THE SOOTHER IS SUGAR AS A TREAT FOR MY BABY?

Never dip a soother in any sweet or sugary substance as this will lead to tooth decay.

Sterilizers

IS AN ELECTRIC STERILISER BETTER THAN A MICROWAVE STERILISER? DO THEY WORK IN DIFFERENT WAYS?

This is a lifestyle choice as both sterilisers work the same way: both simply hat up cold water to make steam and the steam then sterilises the bottles. Both take approximately the same amount of time to sterilise. The electric steriliser takes up to six bottles + accessories, the microwave steriliser takes up to four bottles + accessories.

HOW OFTEN SHOULD I STERILISE MY BOTTLES AND TEATS?

We recommend sterilising your bottles and teats at least for the first six months before every feed. After six months we recommend to continue to sterilise your bottles and teats regularly, at least after every third use.

HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO STERILISE MY BOTTLES?

The electric steriliser takes five minutes to sterilise and three minutes to cool down before using the bottles. The microwave steriliser takes four to eight minutes to sterilise (depending on the power of your microwave oven). Again, you should allow for three minutes cooling time before using the bottles.

HOW DO I SET MY ELECTRIC STERILIZER UP FOR THE FIRST TIME?

It is important that you set your sterilizer up according the instructions for use BEFORE connecting your sterilizer to the power.

When you then connect your sterilizer to the power for the first time the start switch should come on automatically. If it does not, please press the start switch and the amber light should come on to show sterilizing has begun.

It will switch off automatically when the cycle has completed.

This amber switch is a start button only. The sterilizer is designed to switch itself off automatically once the cycle is finished.

WHEN I PLUGGED MY STERILIZER IN FOR THE FIRST TIME, IT AUTOMATICALLY STARTED AND I WAS UNABLE TO SWITCH IT OFF?

The amber button on the sterilizer is a start button only (not a stop button). The product is designed this way so that once the sterilizing cycle begins it cannot be switched off mid-cycle.

This is a deliberate feature to remove any risk of the sterilizer be accidentally switched off mid-cycle, which could mean that the contents are not yet fully sterilized.

The sterilizer will switch off automatically once the cycle has completed.

It is important to refer to our instructions for use when setting up your sterilizer for the first time.

HOW DO I DESCALE MY STERILIZER?

We recommend that you use a descaler specifically designed for electric sterilizers.

We no longer recommend using citric acid for descaling, as it is difficult to find, varies in strengths and does not come with instructions.

WHY SHOULD I DESCALE MY STERILIZER?

By descaling the sterilizer you remove the build up of lime scale on the electric element within the sterilizer. The long term build up of lime scale can cause the element to stop working. If you don't descale the electric sterilizer then this could affect your warranty.

I HAVE STERILIZED MY BOTTLES, WHY HAVE THEY STILL GOT MARKS ON THEM?

The bottles are still required to be washed before sterilizing. Your sterilizer may need descaling, we recommend descaling every 4 weeks.

TIPS FOR USING YOUR MICROWAVE STERILIZER

Make sure the turntable of your microwave is clean. Food residues can overheat and may cause the base of your sterilizer to melt.

If you have a combination microwave, make sure the grill is turned off. Otherwise you risk melting the lid of your sterilizer.

WHY HAS THE ELEMENT IN THE BOTTOM OF MY STERILIZER CHANGED TO A BROWN COLOUR?

Your steriliser needs discaling, we recommend to do this approximately every 4-6 weeks.

HOW MUCH WATER SHOULD I USE IN MY STERILIZER?

You should use 200ml in the Closer to Nature microwave sterilizer and 80ml in the Closer to Nature Electric sterilizer. The 80ml mark is highlighted as a dotted line (……) on the Closer to Nature bottles.

Electric sterilizer quick-start guide

BEFORE USING YOUR ELECTRIC STERILIZER FOR THE VERY FIRST TIME YOU NEED TO DO ALL OF THE FOLLOWING BEFORE CONNECTING THE POWER

  • Empty the free contents from inside
  • Fill the steriliser base with exactly 80ml water (your closer to nature bottles have a handy measure)
  • Assemble the lower tray, central stem, and upper tray and place in the sterilizer base
  • Add the lid

YOU CAN NOW PLUG THE ELECTRIC CORD INTO YOUR ELECTRIC OUTLET

  • The start switch should come on automatically. If it does not, please press the button and the amber light should come on to show sterilizing has begun
  • It will switch off automatically when the cycle has completed
  • Allow to cool for 3 minutes before unplugging
  • Remove lower tray, central stem and upper tray. Pour away any remaining water and wipe dry. Your sterilizer is now ready to use.

*More detailed instructions (with diagrams) can also be downloaded from our advice centre

Breast Feeding

HOW QUICKLY AFTER BIRTH CAN I START EXPRESSING MY MILK WITH A BREAST PUMP?

Check with your health professional or midwife but we recommend waiting a few weeks to allow your breastfeeding routine to become established.

IS AN ELECTRIC BREAST PUMP BETTER THAN A MANUAL ONE?

This is a lifestyle choice and may depend on your budget to spend, how much milk you have, how often you want to express ect.

WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF THE CTN MANUAL BREAST PUMP?

It only has three parts and is very easy to assemble and dismantle for sterilising. It is very reasonable prices and gives excellent results.

WHAT'S THE BEST TIME TO USE A BREAT PUMP?

This may depend on many factors such as time of day, whether your baby has already had a feed or whether you are tired or well rested. You will soon discover which are the best times for you.

I AM BREAST FEEDING BUT WANT TO INTRODUCE THE BOTTLE TO ALLOW MY PARTNER TO FEED OUR BABY. WHAT IS THE BEST WAY TO DO THIS?

Closer to nature bottles are proven to help your baby switch from breast to bottle and more importantly back again. If your partner is planning to help out then ideally you should not be in close proximity initially as your baby will smell your milk and want you instead of the bottle.

I WANT TO FEED MY BABY WITH EXPRESSED BREAST MILK. WHAT ARE THE BEST WAYS TO DO THIS WITH AND WITHOUT USING A BOTTLE?

If you don't want to feed your baby with a bottle you can use a spoon or use our Milk Storage pots as sippy cups. If your baby is over 6 months old you can also try our Explora Weaning Bottle or First Sips cup which both have a soft spout and which are designed for an easy transition from breast/bottle to cup.

BREASTFEEDING REALLY HURTS! AM I DOING IT RIGHT?

If your baby's position isn't quite right, your nipples can become cracked and sore. Try to feed before your baby starts chomping too hungrily, and make sure she opens her mouth really wide to take in as much of your breast as she can rather than just pulling on the nipple. Help them heal by rubbing on a little breast milk – simple but effective!

We are also delighted to introduce our new healing and cooling breads ideal for soothing sore and cracked nipples.

Check with your midwife or health visitor that the soreness isn't due to thrush – if it is, this will require treatment.

Don't use soap when you wash your breasts as this can dry out their natural protective substances. Instead, allow your nipples to dry out between feeds, using good stay-dry breast pads, specially designed breast shells– although don't use the latter continuously as this could damage the delicate milk ducts around the nipple. Going topless as much as possible helps too – just pretend you're on a tropical beach!

I'VE GOT A LUMP IN MY BREAST

You might have blocked milk duct – a common cause is a bra that's too tight. Massage towards the nipple, apply a warm flannel and feed your baby from the lumpy side to help ease the blockage. You need to get things flowing again to prevent mastitis.

MY BREASTS ARE SO MASSIVE AND HARD MY BABY CAN'T LATCH ON

Sometimes when your milk first comes in or you haven't fed your baby for a while your breasts get engorged – so full they get hard and swollen – and it becomes hard for your baby to latch on. The answer is to keep feeding your baby frequently – express some milk first by hand or with a breast pump to soften your breasts. A shower, bath or warm flannels can help, as can wrapped ice packs and even putting chilled cabbage leaves in your bra! And don't panic, it usually gets better in 24 hours.

PART OF MY BREAST IS RED AND SORE, AND I FEEL LIKE I'VE GOT THE FLU

These are symptoms of mastitis, which is inflammation of the breast. If they happen to you, keep feeding your baby from that side first and see your midwife or doctor as you may need antibiotics. Don't worry it's fine to keep on feeding throughout – the antibiotics prescribed for mastitis won't harm your baby. Just take good care of yourself, eat well, rest and drink plenty of fluids.

ARE INVERTED NIPPLES A PROBLEM?

There can be more problems getting the baby latched on in the early days but these can be overcome with expert help from your midwife or health visitor – don't hesitate to ask for as much help as you need.

WHAT IF I'VE HAD BREAST SURGERY OF ANY KIND?

Tell your midwife before your baby's born if you've had any surgery, so you can discuss the possibilities and be prepared. It doesn't necessarily mean you won't be able to feed.

SHOULD I AVOID CERTAIN FOODS WHILE I'M BREASTFEEDING?

Generally, you can eat anything you like, even things avoided in pregnancy, although you may find that large amounts of acidic fruit or some veg like onions, cabbage or sprouts can make your baby a bit windy and unsettled at first. It's important to eat a varied diet with plenty of fresh foods. Different flavours get through to your baby in your milk, which is thought to make weaning easier.

HOW WOULD HAVING A CAESARIAN SECTION AFFECT BREASTFEEDING?

There's no reason why you can't successfully breastfeed after a caesarean, but you may need more help in getting comfortable and your milk could take a little longer to come in than after a natural delivery. You may well be more tired and need more help in the early days, but otherwise all the usual principles apply.

WHAT ABOUT MATERNITY BRAS?

You don't have to wear a maternity bra but any bra you wear must fit properly. Your breasts should be well supported but not restricted as this can lead to blocked ducts and even mastitis. Get yourself properly measured and fitted during the last three weeks of your pregnancy or soon after the baby is born.

IF I DECIDE TO STOP BREASTFEEDING, HOW DO I DO IT?

Slowly! Giving up too suddenly can lead to painful engorged breasts, so try dropping 2 feeds a day and your milk will gradually reduce. You should be able to stop in 2 to 3 weeks.

CAN I DRINK ALCOHOL?

It's fine to have a drink, but as a tiny amount does get through in your milk, you should keep it to a minimum.