The first year of your baby’s life is the most vulnerable, as the immune system is not fully developed. As a result, viruses and infections caused by bacteria and parasites can lead to anything from mild colds to serious conditions such as gastroenteritis, an illness resembling food poisoning with severe symptoms such as diarrhea, vomiting and dehydration. Before antibiotics were discovered people used to die from simple accidents as cuts which allowed bacteria to penetrate into the body. Before sterilization was a norm, infant deaths caused by this condition were by thousands. Fortunately, today we are aware of these preventable risks and can take proper measure to protect ourselves and our loved ones.
Wash Before Sterilizing
The proper way to sterilize baby’s bottles during the first year of life includes many practical methods that can fit everybody’s needs and budgets. Before sterilization, it is important to clean the bottles and various attachments thoroughly with clean, soapy water. This will remove the traces of milk left inside that attract bacteria. No matter if you use the microwave or dishwasher to sterilize your baby’s bottle, this step is important as it clens dried milk and curds that cannot be easily removed during the sterilization itself. Make sure you also check the nipples and bottles for splits, cracks or scratches where bacteria can gather and replace the equipment that is too damaged.
The Proper Way of Sanitizing Baby Bottles using Electric Steamers
Sanitizing feeding equipment using an electric steamer is fast and efficient, as it takes approximately 10 minutes. However, some parts of breast pumps cannot be safe to boil, so be careful what pieces you put in. The nipples and bottles must be places upside down to ensure proper sanitation. After the process is over, be careful how you remove the lid of the steamer as it can be very hot. If your sterilizer does not have a built-in storage for bottles avoid leaving them on work surfaces for too long as they will become unsterile.
The Proper Way of Sanitizing Baby Bottles using the Microwave
Microwaves are as common as a dishwasher is in modern households. If you are a new mom, you will appreciate this device as it can be used alone or together with a steam sterilizer to sanitize baby bottles. Just add water to the sterilizer, place your bottles, nipples and caps inside and put it in the microwave. If you don’t have a steam sterilizer, just half fill the baby bottles with clean water and microwave for one minute and a half. Make sure the bottles are placed in upright position inside the microwave.
The Proper Way of Sanitizing Baby Bottles using a Dishwasher
A dishwasher can be a good way to make sure your baby’s bottles are sanitized. However, make sure all the items are dishwasher safe, as some parts of the breast pump aren’t suitable for this machine. Small items can be places on a specially designed basket so they will stay in place. Some dishwashers have a baby cycle, but if you dishwasher doesn’t, use a hot program rather than an Eco-one or an anti-bacterial rinse or heat dry. Make sure the dishwasher is clean before use and do not put dirty dishes along with the feeding equipment.
The Proper Way of Sanitizing Baby Bottles by Boiling
This is one of the oldest methods used to sterilize feeding equipment. Just add water to a large, clean pot or pan and place the nipples and bottles inside. Weigh down the plastic items that float with something heavy and make sure there are no air bubbles inside the teats or bottles. Cover the pot and boil for a minimum of five minutes. Remove the items using a pair of tongs and place them on a drying rack. Examine the tets regularly as they could suffer damage from this method.
The Proper Way of Sanitizing Baby Bottles in Cold Water
A rather practical method, cold-water sterilization effectively kills bacteria from your baby’s feeding equipment. You can use a special sterilizing unit or just a plastic container with a lid. However, you cannot use the same container twice as the solution can make it unusable. Add the sterilization tablet to the cold water and completely submerge the bottles and other pieces of equipment, weighing down plastic items. Make sure there are no air bubbles trapped inside the bottles. Keep the items inside for minimum half an hour and when you are ready to use them take them out of the unit and rinse the solution off with boiled, cool water.