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How to Store Baby Bottles & Sippy Cups

Medically Reviewed by Mary Sweeney, BSN, RN, CEN
Updated
Don't give up on your dream of a clutter-free kitchen! Start with these simple tips.

Do you daydream about magazine-worthy kitchens with glass front cabinets, matching dish sets and coordinating glassware?

Does your reality look entirely different from that stunningly organized kitchen?

If you’re anything like me, you snap out of that daydream and back to your reality kitchen cabinets which contain:

  • Sippy cups with mismatched lids for a variety of ages.
  • 16 different types of baby bottles because your baby rejected them all.
  • Water bottles with missing straws.
  • Lids with long lost cup partners you won’t throw away, just in case you find the cups.

I got tired of dealing with the avalanche of cups from my cabinet every time I opened the door and finally decided to organize them.

This may sound like a massive undertaking but I promise it’s not that difficult. I highly recommend tackling your bottle and sippy cup jumble while you’re at it. It’s worth the time investment because it’ll make your daily life easier and more organized.


Preparing For Kitchen Cupboard Clutter Rescue

If you’ve ever tried to organize and found yourself sitting in more of a mess than you started with, you probably didn’t prep beforehand.

You can’t just start pulling everything out without a plan for replacing them. Organizing is like sheets – once you take them out of the package, they’re never going back the same way.

If you need inspiration for your organized kitchen, this video shows great baby bottle organization tips and drool-worthy pantry arrangement.

Now that you’re inspired, here’s what you need to know before we get started:

  • Set aside zones: In addition to your cupboards, designate zones in your kitchen for bottle and sippy cup related functions. These include washing, sterilizing, and storage. Baby bottles and their many parts can easily take over without a specific drying spot. My family loves these adorable bottle drying racks, with cute nature-themed accessories to dry all the little bitty bottle parts.
  • Sort then store: To avoid wasting money on storage products you may not need, don’t buy anything for storing your bottles and sippy cups until you figure out what kinds of items you’ll need to store, and how many.
  • Assess your needs: Think about how often your child uses a bottle or sippy cup, and how often you’re willing to wash and sterilize. For babies still using bottles, plan to have enough bottles so you only sterilize once a day. For older children, limit it to enough sippy cups for one to two days, since you’re likely doing dishes anyway. Most kids only use the same favorites and the rest take up valuable space.
  • Be prepared to purge: If you want to tame your cupboard clutter, be ready to part ways with some items. They may be items you’ve been clinging to for sentimental reasons or holding on to, just in case (Hint: “just in case” usually means you’ll never need it).

One thing to note – if you plan to have more babies, consider keeping the baby bottles for your next little one. Just be sure to check all the bottles for deep scratches, cracks or discoloration.

Remember

Depending on how long you’ve had the bottles, also check that they are BPA free, as regulations may have changed since you purchased them. If in good condition, you can reuse them from baby to baby, but most experts recommend buying new nipples.

This is because, over time, the nipples degrade, changing the rate of flow of the formula/breast milk and making it more difficult for newborns to feed.

Organizing Baby Bottles And Sippy Cups

After you’ve gathered all the bottles or sippy cups from your cupboards, gone through them and purged the unnecessary, you’re ready to tackle what’s left.

1. Group Like with Like

If you have kids of multiple ages, there probably are sippy cups and bottles for different ages. Try to group these as best as possible, and keep similar items together.

When doing this in my kitchen, it was helpful to spread everything out across my dining room table to see the full “collection” at a glance. Then I could decide what items belonged together.

Once I grouped them into categories, I could see how much space I needed to store each type of item.

Take Note

Try to stick to one brand of bottle and sippy cup! Even if they are different styles of cups, the parts may still be interchangeable.

Having multiples of the same makes it easier to organize than seven different types of sippy cups or bottle parts which don’t coordinate.

2. Choose Your Storage Solutions

After grouping all the items, it’s easy to choose the best size of storage containers. There are a variety of available options, from styles designed especially for bottles to generic totes and bins at the dollar store.

Also consider using bigger bins like these to store your cups and bottles, alongside smaller drawers like these to organize small parts like lids, nipples, and straws.

Next, take stock of your cabinets and decide which items go where.

Life Saver

Measure your cabinets and bottles before buying storage containers, so they fit inside your space and hold all your supplies.

Then, bring a small tape measure, or keep the measurements handy while shopping online or in store.

3. Store Your Items

Now we’re ready for the exciting part – putting things where they belong! This is the point where you get to see the results of your hard work.

Take Note

When storing the items, consider how often each item will be used, and the most sensible location. Place the most commonly used items at the front for accessibility, and less frequently used items behind.

One exception to this rule is sterilized baby bottles. If you have the kitchen space and a zone for washing and sterilizing, it may be easiest to leave the sterilized bottle in the bottle sterilizer until the next feeding.

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4. Label Everything

Here’s where you get to express some creativity. You can use anything from standard labels to personalized vinyl labels made with a craft label maker.

Label each container by its contents, and face all labels outwards in your cupboards.

The best part of this tip is, it lets other people help you. Clear labels show other members of the family where to find things without tearing apart the whole cupboard. Hopefully, it also makes it easier for them to put items away.


Headshot of Mary Sweeney, BSN, RN, CEN

Medically Reviewed by

Mary Sweeney, BSN, RN, CEN

Mary Sweeney, BSN, RN, CEN is an oncology nurse navigator and freelance medical writer. Mary has 4 years of experience as an officer in the Navy Nurse Corps. including emergency/trauma, post-anesthesia, and deployment medicine.