If you are new to the world of parenthood, there is a high probability you are going to over-prepare and swamp yourself with a pool of misguided ideas.
Your concerns are completely understandable, of course. But by keeping in mind a few essential tips and suggestions, no matter how overwhelming the experience, you will find yourself adequately prepared for parenthood. One of the most important things to ensure the health and well-being of your child is sterilizing your child’s bottle.
There are a variety of sterilizers available, each for a different purpose. Sterilizers are completely safe equipment to use and are particularly useful for when your child has been ill or has a weak immune system. And while it is important to use a sterilizer, it is equally important that you pick the right one that does the job effectively.
Keep reading ahead to know more about sterilizers and the factors to consider for you to make the right pick for your baby’s gear.
Why is a Sterilizer Important?
Kids are vulnerable to catching a myriad of infections and diseases at the drop of a hat. As their immune systems and digestive tracts are still in the process of development, they are not as capable of fighting against bacteria or warding off diseases on their own as we are. That is why it is incredibly important to clean and disinfect anything that they are likely to put in their mouths.
For a newborn baby who has a compromised immune system, was born premature, or has a record of being sick, a high level of hygiene is necessary. And milk is an excellent medium for bacteria to grow in. Sterilization of baby bottles and feeding equipment reduces the chances of any harmful bacteria that may be present in or on the baby bottle from transmitting during feeding time, thus reducing the chances of your kid catching diseases.
Types of Sterilizers
There is a wide range of sterilizers available in the market today. As a parent, you need to check the benefits and drawbacks of each and every product, compare the different sterilizers you may be considering, and check which product works the best for your needs.
Let us have a look at the three basic types of sterilizers you can make your pick from.
#1. Cold Water Sterilizer
If you are always on the go, juggling multiple tasks at a time, or running out of time, but do not want to compromise your child’s hygiene, a cold water sterilizer is an ideal pick for you. For cold water sterilization, all you need to purchase is a specially-made sterilizing container that can hold up to 6-8 standard-sized milk bottles at once.
The container is filled with normal cold water up to a certain level. You then add sterilizing tablets to the container. Once the tablets are completely dissolved in the container, you can then use the water to clean the baby bottles, breast pumps, toys, teethers, and any other items that need a cleanse.
It only takes up to 15 minutes to sterilize these items. The water is supposed to be replaced after every 24 hours, so it is the perfect sterilizing tool to travel with.
#2. Microwave Sterilizer
Parenthood does not mean you have to put off necessary travel because of not being prepared to look after your child’s health and hygiene. A microwave sterilizer is a small tool that will barely take up any space in your luggage and is great to travel around with.
Microwave sterilizers are compact, portable, and an effective option for keeping any germs and infections at bay. You can use a microwave sterilizer to disinfect a baby bottle in as little as 2 minutes.
Each sterilizer is designed to fit various types of microwaves. The lids on the sterilizer are tight and secure so there is little to no water of spillage. One of the best things about using microwave sterilizers is that it does not involve any chemicals, making it a smart, healthy, and convenient choice for your baby.
#3. Electric Sterilizer
Were there times when you left your baby’s equipment to sterilize, got caught up with other work, and forgot to check? It is time you get introduced to electric sterilizers. They give the best results when it comes to cleaning your baby’s milk bottles and other feeding products.
The electric sterilizers release steam helps in eliminating bacteria and other harmful residues present on the bottles with the help of the heat. It takes only 15 minutes to sterilize an object, which remains infection-free for up to 24 hours.
There is no requirement of any tablets or soaps to get your baby items cleaned. All you need to do is put the product inside the sterilizer, switch the sterilizer on, and you’re good to go. Most sterilizers come with automatic on and off options, so after every cycle, the equipment will shut off on its own.
What to Look For While Buying a Sterilizer
There are three main types of sterilizers available — electric, cold water, and microwave sterilizer. Which one of these you decide to buy will depend significantly on each product’s pros and cons, your lifestyle, your budget, and your specific requirements.
A cold water sterilizer is the most economical option. It is ideal to take along while traveling and doesn’t require electricity to function.
A microwave sterilizer is a compact alternative that can easily fit inside any microwave. If you are looking for the smallest and the most portable option, a microwave sterilizer is the right choice.
An electric sterilizer releases stem to kill any bacteria and germs that may be present on your baby bottle. It is convenient to use and doesn’t require any additional products.
Consider the capacity of a sterilizer before you make a purchase. A cold water sterilizer can accommodate the maximum amount of equipment at once — anywhere up to 6 to 8 bottles. A microwave sterilizer is the smallest option and is capable of holding less amount in comparison to its counterparts.
It is easy to go overboard when you’re worried about your baby’s health. But sticking to a budget while buying your baby products is necessary. Although sterilizers are not the most glamorous and high-priced products out there, there is no need to spend extra bucks on something you can get for a more reasonable amount. A cold water sterilizer is your cheapest option whereas an electric sterilizer is the most expensive option available. Make your choice only based on what you need.
Time is of the essence when you are trying to disinfect something as crucial as a feeding bottle, which your kid might require any time of the day. Go for a sterilizer that does the job in a short period. A good sterilizer will typically take a maximum of 5 to 10 minutes to get your baby products clean and sterilized.
A sterilizer can serve various purposes. You can use it to clean baby bottles, the plates and cutlery your baby uses, the breast pumps, every toy that could go inside your child’s mouth, and different accessories that are supposed to remain clean and infection-free. Make sure to pick the right sterilizer that is compatible with most of the baby items that lie around your house.
There is no denying that baby products can take up a lot of storage and shelf space at home. So it’s recommended to look for products that occupy less space and can easily fit in any corner of the house. If storage is your concern, go for a microwave sterilizer as it can easily fit anywhere, is lightweight, and can be easily squeezed inside your luggage and cupboards.
Frequently Asked Questions
When is it Necessary to Use a Sterilizer?
Babies and newborns can easily fall prey to diseases and infections unless properly taken care of. It is vital to disinfect and clean all your baby’s equipment including baby bottles, teethers, toys, breast pumps, etc. until they turn a year old at the minimum.
How Much Will a Sterilizer Cost?
Different sterilizers come at different price points. For beginners, a cold water sterilizer is considered the best as it is the cheapest option available. Microwave sterilizers are costlier while electric sterilizers are at the higher end of the price range.
What Type of Products Can Be Sterilized?
Most of the products that are used to feed an infant can be sterilized and disinfected with the help of a sterilizer. From milk bottles and baby toys to teethers, breast pumps, and pacifiers, a good sterilizer will be compatible with all these items.
Which Sterilizer Configuration Should I Choose?
To choose the right sterilizer configuration, there are three main factors you should take into account:
- The capacity of the sterilizer.
- The material of the product has to be sterilized.
- The quantity of the products that are to be sterilized.
Just like you would ensure to put the cleanest and the freshest clothes on your child, you need to make sure that anything that goes in or even near their mouth should be clean, sanitized, and sterile. Baby products can host multiple bacteria and infections. Buy a good sterilizer today to say goodbye to all your parenting woes!