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How to Store Baby Bottles and Sippy Cups

Medically Reviewed by Mary Sweeney, BSN, RN, CEN
These simple steps will bring you closer to your dream of having an organized kitchen.

Baby bottles come with so many pieces and parts — especially if you have more than one type of bottle. Then you have the drying rack, bottle brush, sterilizing equipment, and bottle warmer. And if you have older children, you probably have sippy cups and water bottles to deal with. It’s no wonder our kitchen cabinets are a disaster!

But don’t worry, we’ve consulted the organizing pros and have come up with a solution.

This guide will take you through our simple steps to organize and store your baby bottles, so you can get that mess under control.

Key Takeaways

  • Prepare by setting aside zones in your kitchen for bottle and sippy-cup-related tasks such as washing, sterilizing, and storing.
  • Sort, then store. Don’t buy any storage products until you figure out what items you need to store and how many you have.
  • Group like with like by keeping similar items together.
  • Try to stick to one brand of bottle and sippy cup. It’s especially convenient if your cups and bottles have interchangeable parts.
  • If you plan to have more babies, consider keeping your baby bottles for your next little one, but check all the bottles for deep scratches, cracks, or discoloration and ensure they are BPA-free.

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 replacement plan. Organizing is like buying new sheets — once you take them out of the package, they’re never going back in the same way.

If you need inspiration for your organized kitchen, this video shows great baby bottle organization tips and a 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 storing. Baby bottles and their many parts can easily take over without a specific drying spot. It’s worth it to invest in a good bottle drying rack, which you’ll want to keep near your sterilizer.
  • 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 items you’ll need to store and how many you have.
  • 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 have to sterilize once a day. For older children, limit it to enough sippy cups for one to two days. Most kids will only use their 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 your baby bottles for your next little one. Just be sure to check all the bottles for deep scratches, cracks, or discoloration.


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, making it more difficult for newborns to feed (1).

Organizing Baby Bottles And Sippy Cups

After you’ve gathered all the bottles or sippy cups from your cupboards and have gone through them and purged 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 organize these as best as possible, keeping 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 which items belonged together. Once grouped 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. It’s especially convenient if your cups and bottles have interchangeable parts.

Having multiples of the same types makes it easier to organize than having a range of sippy cups or bottle parts that 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 at most dollar stores, from styles designed especially for bottles to generic totes and bins.

If your cupboard space is limited, consider using rolling carts with drawers to store your cups and bottles and smaller shelves with drawers 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 to ensure they’ll fit inside your space and hold all your supplies. Keep the measurements handy while shopping.

3. Store Your Items

Now we’re ready for the most satisfying 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 items, consider how often you will use each item and the most sensible location for each. Place the most commonly used items at the front for accessibility.

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 masking tape to standard labels to personalized vinyl labels made with a craft label maker.

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

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


Do Baby Bottles Have to be Completely Dry Before Use?

Yes, your baby bottles must be dry before you use them. Damp baby bottles have a danger of harboring bacteria, which love to grow in wet environments.

If your baby bottles aren’t air drying fast enough, just take a clean towel and dry them off gently. Make sure all the little crevices are dry, because some of those are hard to reach!

Can You Premake Bottles and Put Them In the Fridge?

Technically, yes. You can pre-make bottles and put them in the fridge, but only 24 hours in advance. If your baby is formula fed, remember that formula will expire after being in the fridge for 24 hours. At room temperature, it expires after 2 hours.

Can You Store Bottles With Nipples Attached?

No, you shouldn’t store bottles with the nipples attached. The reason is those pesky bacteria again. The nipples provide bacteria with an easy breeding ground, so make sure to store your bottles and nipples separately.

We know it can be a pain to keep bottles fully sanitary, but it’s so worth it for the health of your child.

How Long Do Empty Baby Bottles Stay Sterile?

Empty baby bottles are only sterile for 24 hours after being washed. If the empty bottle you want to use was last washed two days ago, it’s time to give it another cleaning. When in doubt, it’s a good idea to give the bottle in question an extra disinfecting, just in case.

Why Do Baby Bottles Turn Yellow?

A few factors contribute to why your baby bottles are all turning yellow. One reason is fat deposits.

Breast milk and formula contain fats your baby needs, which interact with the container around them. Fats can give clear materials like plastic a yellowish hue. Another reason your bottles are turning yellow can be fluctuations in temperature, too.

What Is the Shelf Life of Baby Bottles?

Once you put a bottle into your baby’s rotation, it will probably last you for around six months. After the six-month mark, it’s important to get rid of the bottle and start fresh to prevent bacteria from cropping up.

New baby bottles that haven’t been used can last for several years in the packaging.

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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.