This last year has made us all take more steps to stay bacteria and virus free.
We may be using more hand sanitiser and disinfectant than ever before, but for babies, protection from germs has always been crucial.
This is because a little baby’s immune system is not as well developed as an adults and so they are more easily effected by germs that can cause illnesses like diarrhea and vomiting.
We all want to keep our babies healthy and happy and sterilising bottles and teats is the best way to get rid of any micro-organisms that could cause harm.
The NHS recommends sterilising all feeding equipment each time you use it for at least the first 12 months of your baby’s life.
Traditionally, sterilising was carried out using water; either by boiling, creating steam or by popping sterilizing tablets in cold water and leaving overnight. These methods are effective but can be complex and time-consuming. UV bottle sterilisers are the newest method on the market and provide an easier option for parents.
With many different choices available, it can be tough to know which to go for! Each method has it’s own pro’s and con’s. Read our overview and top tips below to find what might work best for you.
Always wash items in soapy water as soon as possible after feeds. You should also rinse the clean items in cold, clean running water before sterilising them.
Scientists and medical professionals have been using ultraviolet (UV) technology for over 100 years. If doctors rely on it, then we know we can too!
Over the last few years, other industries have cottoned on to the effectiveness and usefulness of UV sterilisation.
UV baby bottle sterilisers produce no heat, need no water or chemicals, can take just 3 minutes to sterilise and are great for when you’re out and about.
This makes it a simple one step process to eliminate 99.9% of bacteria. It cuts down on risk too – no boiling water means no chance of a spillage scalding!
Our UV Baby Bottle Steriliser is so simple to use – just pop your bottles into the compact unit, zip it up, press the button on the front to start a 3 minute UV cycle and you're good to go straight away - no need to wait for it to cool off as there's no heat used in the first place.
The button will light up and flash when the cycle is in progress and it'll be a solid light when the cycle completes.
There aren’t any hidden complicated steps like measuring water, making up a chemical sterilising solution or cleaning up mess afterwards either (yes that means no descaling!).
5* customer review: “This is an absolutely great product, which has saved so much time with sterilising! We don’t have to boil water and cool the bottles anymore, we can just put everything we need to sterilise in here and turn it on. Everything is ready to use as soon as it has finished sterilising. We’ve even sterilised teethers in here as well as bottles. It looks good too. It’s worth the money for the time saved and not having to mess around with boiling water or chemicals. Love it.”
There are two types of steam sterilisers you can use – microwave and electric - and they work by creating steam that is at a high enough temperature to kill any unfriendly bacteria.
The trusty microwave will become your best friend with this piece of kit.
With just three easy steps, simply pop 200ml of water into the base of this Microwave Steam Steriliser, load up your cleaned bottles and make sure the lid is closed before putting in the microwave for 4 mins. Et voila!
The handy little steriliser is also 100% chemical free.
5* customer review: “I’ve been using this for 2 weeks now and am very pleased. So easy and quick to use and clean, especially when you need to sterilise bottles in the early hours. As a first time mum didn’t know what was needed and this did the job!”
With this type, the water is heated electrically. Using natural steam sterilisation, this steriliser kills 99.9% of germs and can keep bottles and other feeding accessories sterile for 24 hours if the lid is kept closed.
All you need to do is add water, plug it in, load it up, switch to the cycle you want and you're off.
You can pick from three cycles; sterilising in 5 mins, sterilising and quick drying in 15 mins or sterilising & super drying in 30 mins.
5* customer review: “As a first time mam i was really paranoid about making sure everything was sterilised and this put my mind at ease plus went a step further & dried bottles too! Really simple to use and pick from 3 settings depending on what time you've got! One of my friends has it in white but i think black looks better in my kitchen so went for this one.”
Cold Water Sterilisation
You can use cold water with a sterilising solution to sterilise your items. You can buy tablets that dissolve in water or buy ready made sterilising solution.
Always read the instructions on your tablets or solutions, but expect to submerge items in the cold water with solution for around 30 minutes. Remember that items must be fully submerged and there should be no air bubbles.
When you take the items out, shake off any excess solution or rinse with cooled boiled water from the kettle.
If you have a large amount of equipment and a large container, this could be a good way to sterilise a lot of items in one go!
This is probably the oldest method of them all!
Bring a saucepan of water to the boil, submerge the items in the boiling water and pop the lid on so the items stay submerged. Boil for at least 10 minutes and remove the items just before use.
It’s a simple and effective method, although it does have a few setbacks including the risk of scalding, the limited size of pans and if you boil items regularly, they may become damaged by the heat.
Avoid leaving sterilised empty containers sitting out for too long as they can easily become contaminated again, and always wash your hands before handling sterilised equipment to avoid passing on germs.
For further support and information, visit www.nct.org.uk