There is nothing quite like having a premature baby to show you the importance of sterilizing your little one’s bottles and other feeding equipment. My fellow NICU moms will vouch for the stringent hygiene routine you had to undergo each time you wanted to visit your baby, and as much as you don’t particularly enjoy it – the habit follows you home (just in case).
You do not have to be the mom of a premature baby to want the best for your child, or to be a little extra when it comes to keeping them safe. It is in every fibre of our being to want to protect these tiny little human beings from everything that can possibly harm them, but sometimes they need to be protected from what the eye cannot see.
A lot of people say that you will just know what to do when you have your baby, that it is like a light that suddenly switches on and it all comes naturally. That was not me… I had questions. A lot of questions. Are they sleeping too much or too little? Should I wake them for feeds or let them sleep? How often do I need to change their diaper? How much should they eat? Do I have to sterilize their bottles and my breast pump after every use?
Well if you have any of the following, the answer is always YES to the last question!
- Unreliable or possibly contaminated water supply
- Brand new bottles, pacifiers, etc.
- a premature baby
- a baby under 3 months of age
- a baby with a weakened immune system
Whether you are using expressed breast milk or formula, sterilizing is an important part of keeping your little one safe and healthy. Sterilizing is a method of killing germs on the bottles and other feeding items to keep those potentially dangerous microbes out of your little one’s mouth and tummy. Harmful bacteria can develop in milk, so keeping things clean and sterile helps to give their tiny immune system time to develop.
Clean before sterilising…
It might sound odd but while sterilising kills bacteria, it doesn’t actually clean. This means it’s best to wash all bottles, teats, soothers, bottle tops and washable breast pump parts in hot water with dishwashing liquid first. Remember to give everything a final rinse under the cold tap before sterilising, just to get rid of any residue.
Different sterilization methods…
There are three ways to sterilize: by using a cold water sterilizing solution, by steam sterilizing or by boiling. I personally prefer steam sterilizers, like the Tommee Tippee Closer To Nature Steam Sterilizer. I find them easier to use, less time consuming and more reliable. Steam sterilisers use heat from steam to kill bacteria. They’re super-quick to use, but once you’ve taken the lid off the unit you’ll either need to use the items right away or re-sterilise. Alternatively, microwavable sterilisers are ideal for travelling and only take a few minutes. These are also great value for money – what’s not to love?
The thing is, when you search the internet for answers, you will get many conflicting ones. Some people may argue that it is not necessary to sterilize baby bottles every time before you use them – but why take risk? If it only takes an extra 5 minutes – why not rather be safe than sorry?
The Tommee Tippee Closer to Nature Electric Sterilizer makes it so easy and fuss free. It can hold up to 5 bottles. The sterilized items stay sterile for a full 24 hours if the lid stays closed – so you can place your bottles etc. in the sterilizer at bedtime and use them in the morning. It is also a great, chemical free solution. I am not fond of the idea of dishwasher residue or submerging my baby’s bottles in a sterilizing solution. It works on a 5-minute cycle so it is also really quick, and easy as 1,2,3.
- Pour 80ml cold water into the base
- Load up to 5 bottles, nipples, tops, pacifiers, etc
- Switch on to start the 5 minute cycle.
You can find Tommee Tippee products at these retailers: www.tommeetippee.co.za/stockists
*Please note, not all retailers stock the full product range
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This article is sponsored by Tommee Tippee SA
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