Baby Sterilizer Option #2: Microwave Steamer
A microwave steamer is very similar to an electric steamer, except it uses the common kitchen appliance to heat the water and create a steamy environment. Use this in the same way as an electric steamer, placing the bottles in with their openings facing down, and ensuring bottles are assembled as soon as they have been exposed to the air.
Baby Sterilizer Option #3: Dishwasher
If you have a dishwasher, this can be used as both a cleaner and a baby sterilizer. It’s important, however, that you ensure that the feeding equipment you have is suitable for dishwashing (use the top shelf if necessary), and you will also need to use a very hot program of over 80 degrees. Many new parents find the dishwashing method to be too much hassle, as it tends to damage bottles and equipment quicker than some other methods, and there is a chance of teats flipping over with the pressure of the water, which means they accumulate dirty water and need to be washed and sterilized again.
Baby Sterilizer Option #4: Boiling
It’s also possible to sterilize baby bottles using a regular pan on the stove. You don’t need any special equipment, but teats and pump tubes can become damaged quicker using this technique:
- Fill a large pan with cold water and place the feeding equipment in, ensuring that all items are completely covered by the water and they are no air traps.
- Use a heavy plate or bowl to place on top of the pan, almost in contact with the water. This will keep all items below the surface of the water.
- Bring the pan of water to a rolling boil, and continue to do so for 10 minutes.
- If you leave the lid on, bottles can stay in the pan for up to 6 hours, though it’s better to assemble them once they’ve cooled enough. Assembled bottles can typically be left for 24 hours before needing to be re-sterilized.
Baby Sterilizer Option #5: Cold Sterilisation
Cold sterilisation is perfect for parents who frequently need to use a baby bottle Sterilizer on the move, or while out and about without access to electricity or boiling water.
- Using a clean plastic tub or bucket, a sterilising solution or tablet (available from supermarkets) can be added to water, and the baby items placed in.
- Ensure all items stay under the water for at least 30 minutes – preferably longer.
- The water and solution can be reused as needed, but should be changed after 24 hours.
How Do I Choose a Baby Bottle Sterilizer?
Your choice of baby sterilizer will really depend on your individual circumstances and preferences. Parents that have the time and are looking for inexpensive options might go with boiling on the hob, while those with little time to spare may prefer a quick electric or microwave steamer. Cold sterilisation is equally as good, but many prefer to keep their sterilising methods natural and prefer to avoid sterilising tablets and solutions.
How Long Should I Keep Sterilising Baby Bottles for?
You’ll be glad to hear that once your baby reaches 12 months of age, their immune system is usually strong enough to fight off most everyday germs and bacteria, so you can stop sterilising baby equipment at around the one-year mark. It’s still a good idea to continue to wash bottles and other equipment thoroughly and do so immediately after use, when the milk or formula is still fresh, as it’s much harder to get items properly clean once any liquids have dried.