Importance of Sterilisation for Baby's Health
Babies are delicate beings and are prone to falling sick easily when their immune system is still at such an immature stage. This is why minimising contact of germs with baby is important. It is essential to ensure that all items used by mother and child are thoroughly sterilised, especially baby bottles, breast pump accessories, bibs, etc, anything which might contain food residue, which are perfect for bacteria to feed on. Milk is the perfect medium for bacteria to grow and this is why it’s important to sterilise all feeding equipment and keep formula cold to minimise bacteria growth until just before feeding your baby.
As such, you will need to clean and sterilise each bottle, teat and screw cap after every feed. It is recommended that you continue sterilising baby items until your baby is at least 12 months' old (Pregnancy & Birth, 2020). The purpose of cleaning and sterilising feeding equipment is to ensure that our babies stay healthy and to reduce the chances of them getting sick in the first place. Happy babies means happy mummies. This is why many mothers continue to sterilise their items beyond the recommended 12 months' as they know the importance of good hygiene and the health benefits it brings for their loved ones.
Cleaning baby feeding equipment
Clean and sterilise all bottle parts, teats and other feeding equipment by using hot water and dishwashing detergent after each feed. Use a bottle brush to clean all areas of the bottle including the thread (the part where the cap screws on) as this is where it is most often neglected. I am personally one culprit for this, and lesson well learnt. Use a smaller brush for cleaning the teats and other areas to remove any milk residue sitting in the teat. You can also turn the teat inside out and wash them with hot soapy water. Finally, make sure to rinse the bottles and feeding equipment thoroughly. If you are feeling tired or finding it too much of a hassle washing so many items, using a dishwasher can also achieve proper cleaning of bottles and equipment. Do remember to sterilise and store these items after wash.
Although bottles and teats may look clean after wash, they might still carry germs/bacteria which cannot be seen by the naked eye. It is essential to sterilise your feeding equipment in order to protect your baby.
Two of the most common sterilisation methods are steam sterilisation and UV sterilisation. Steam sterilisers use high energy steam generated from water to disinfect, whilst UV sterilisers use UV germicidal light kill germs/bacteria. I have created a comparison table below to highlight the pros and cons of each steriliser:
Although an UV steriliser might cost more at the start, the additional cost are defrayed by the lower maintenance and usage cost of running an UV steriliser. Furthermore, UV sterilisers comes with additional advantages such as its convenience of use, additional functions and larger capacity. As it does not operate using water, you can even sterilise common household items such as utensils, keys, toys and everything you can think of - as long as it fits inside the steriliser.
Here at Omababy Australia, we strongly believe that the time-saving and convenience are well worth the initial investment. This is especially so for busy families, as UV sterilisers will not only help save time, but also save you a lot of effort, allowing you to spend more time with your child instead of cleaning.
We are here to support all parents through their parenthood journeys. Do drop us an e-mail if you would like to find out more.
Signing off with Love,
From the mothers here at Omababy