Why should baby bottles by sterilized?
Infants and little baby’s are most vulnerable to diseases during their first year of life and if bottles or anything else that is going into their mouth is not sterilized, viruses, bacteria and parasites can get inside and make the baby fall sick since their immunity is not still well developed and they cannot fight diseases.
Infections can lead to various serious health conditions such as gastroenteritis so it is very important to protect your baby from all such infections.
Though we know that it is not really possible to make your baby’s environs 100% germ free we have to make all possible arrangements and one such essential job is to sterilize baby bottles to keep them healthy.
If you wish to learn of various ways in which you can sterilize the bottles please read on.
First thing to do before sterilizing the bottles
Before you can begin the process of sterilization you need to clean up the baby bottle with all its parts including the cap of the bottle in clean soapy water using a clean bottle brush and rinse thoroughly to ensure no traces of washing soap remains inside. Remember cleaning the bottle as soon as possible after a feed is easier since the milk remaining in it does not dry up or curdle which helps bacteria to grow inside easily.
How to sterilize baby bottles using different techniques?
There are various methods for sterilizing baby bottles and other feeding equipment and we shall see in brief about each one of them here.
The most popular methods are electric steam sterilization and microwave sterilization but when you have no access to electricity you need to follow the traditional methods such as boiling and cold water sterilization.
After sterilizing the bottles make sure that you don’t leave the empty bottle outside for long since they will lose their sterility very quickly. But if the sterilisers have built in storage facility and bottles can be removed only when need you have nothing to worry. But if you have no such facility you need to re sterilize things that you have taken out but have not used right away.
Now let us look at different methods of sterilizing baby bottles
How to sterilize baby bottles using electric steam
Electric steam sterilizers are fast and efficient too; in eight to twelve minutes your bottles get sterilized and the bottles are kept safe up to six hours if you leave them in the sterilizer closing the lid. In general the steam sterilizer can hold up to six bottles at a time.
How to sterilize baby bottles in a microwave
This is another quick and easy method for sterilizing individual bottles in just 90 seconds; don’t believe it, just try it. One thing you need to remember here is that the bottles have to be left unsealed to ensure that no pressure build up inside the bottle.
You can also use steamers which are microwave safe and they take about three to eight minutes to do the job.
Best thing about this method is that you have no smell or taste left after the sterilization is done and the bottle remains sterile for three hours if the sterilizer lid is kept closed.
How to sterilize baby bottles using boiling technique
This is an age old system and most cost efficient if your baby bottles are suited for boiling. All you need is a large pot with a lid. Fill the pot with water and dip the cleaned bottles and other parts into it, cover the pot with the lid and let the water boil for a minimum of 10 minutes.
Only drawback in boiling is that it can damage the teats more quickly than the other sterilization techniques.
How to sterilize baby bottles using cold water sterilizing
For this method you need to use a tablet or sterilising solution and dissolve it in cold water; this solution kills bacteria very effectively. You need to change the solution every day but.
For sterilizing baby bottles in this manner you need to use a clean bucket, a plastic container with a lid or buy a special sterilising unit for it. If you are not using a special container remember that you should not reuse the plastic container for sterilization.
keep the baby bottles submerged, ensuring that there are no air bubbles left inside the bottle, let them stay submerged for a minimum of 30 minutes for completing the sterilization process and your baby bottles are safe to use.
Follow the instructions of the manufacturer as to how much solution you need to use so that the bottles are properly sterilized.
When you need to use the bottles take them out and shake as you remove it, now rinse off the fluid with cool, boiled water.
For how long should the baby bottles continue to be sterilised?
The most vulnerable stage for the baby is the first year, as such continue to sterilize the bottles for at least one year definitely. By then the baby’s immune system would be better developed with the baby producing his/her own antibodies growing more resistant to harmful germs. But it is always good to continue sterilizing them till the baby stops using them. This way you can stay confident that your baby is protected since you are taking all possible measures to keep germs at bay.
If you wish to be extra safe you can sterilize the baby bottle by putting it into an autoclave which can sterilize the bottle real quickly.
There may be some who think normal cleaning is sufficient to keep the bottles clean but let me warn you it is not so; normal cleaning does not kill bacteria and your baby is put to risk. You need to sterilize the bottles in a proper manner to make them safe for the baby to take his/her feed in.
For maximum hygiene you can’t do anything better than this; sterilize the baby bottle in a microwave, then boil it and next put it into an autoclave!
Now it is up to you to decide how you wish to sterilize your baby’s bottle and which technique is convenient for you; but sterilize them and keep your baby safe from infections and diseases.