by midwife Simone Uth
Why do I have to sterilize the bottles, teat and co?
In the first year of life babies are still very vulnerable to viruses, bacteria and parasites. These can cause a mild infection, including severe gastrointestinal infections. The symptoms are quite similar to food poisoning, which includes: vomiting diarrhea, diarrhea and massive dehydration.
Earlier, when sterilizing bottle accessories was not standard, many babies died from such infections. Today, on the other hand, some young parents do too much of a good thing. But it is impossible - and not wise - to create a germ-free environment for your baby. However, you can minimize some risks so that your baby does not develop such infections during the first year of life.
Washing with soapy water alone is not enough. Of course, before the actual sterilization of the nipple and the bottle must be free of milk residues. Thoroughly rinse the bottles and nipples, making sure that the nipple hole is not clogged. Salt is no longer necessary to clean silicone vacuum cleaners - but with latex suckers already. To do this, sprinkle some salt into the nipple and rub it between your fingers. Then rinse it thoroughly. Constantly check your equipment for damage.
In the case of cracks and surface damage, throw away the bottle or the nipple, because in these places wonderful bacteria can settle.
Make sure the bottles are completely dry after sterilization and that there are no food left in the bottles.
More and more often, the dishwasher is used to clean bottles. However, to get them sterile, you must choose a hot program that heats up to over 70 ° C. Check the instruction manual of your dishwasher to see which program is the right one. Because only at a temperature of 70 ° C harmful bacteria are killed.
How is sterilized?
Microwaves and electric vaporisers (sterilizers) have gained in popularity in recent years. But sometimes there is no microwave or electrical connection, so it is helpful to know the alternative methods of cooking and cold water sterilization.
Electric steam sterilization is based on the same method used in the hospital - it is fast and safe. This type of sterilization takes about eight to twelve minutes plus cooling time. Note that you only use heat resistant equipment. For parts of breast pumps you have to be careful. Often these parts do not tolerate such high temperatures. Bottles, teats etc. must be placed with the opening facing down so that they are properly sterilized. There are also vaporizers for the microwave, but beware of metal parts! These take five to eight minutes plus cooling time.
Caution: Do not burn the hot steam when removing the lid. The big advantage of this type of sterilization is that the bottles remain sterile for up to three hours when you leave the lid on the sterilizer. It is also easy to transport and therefore ideal for traveling - provided that there is a microwave.
An alternative is the decoction of the bottles and teats. That takes about ten minutes. The pot you use for this purpose should be used exclusively for this purpose. One more note: In this method of sterilization, the nipples become unsightly and sticky.
Bottles for the microwave
A novelty worth mentioning is the bottle, which sterilizes itself in the microwave. Here the sterilization takes about 90 seconds. The bottles must not be placed in the microwave in a closed position as the pressure builds up due to the heating.
For this purpose, a harmless for humans cold water solution is used, but effective against bacteria. The solution is available from various companies in tablet form. It has to be prepared daily with boiled water.
You can buy special containers for this type of sterilization. It also works with any other container that has a lid and is big enough. It must be ensured that all parts to be sterilized are completely covered with water. Please check that there are no air bubbles in the bottles as they affect the sterilization. After about half an hour, the bottles and nipples are germ-free. They can now take you out of the solution. Make sure you have clean hands. Then the bottle should be rinsed with boiled water and used as quickly as possible.
Leave sterile bottles open, all work was free. Our environment is not germ-free and would contaminate the bottles again. To avoid this, there are special storage containers. In it you can store the bottles and remove them if necessary.
How long do I have to sterilize bottles?
During the first eight months it is necessary to sterilize the bottles - even if that sometimes seems superfluous. The immune system of an infant is not mature at the beginning and therefore particularly susceptible to infection. From the eighth month, when a baby starts to crawl and likes everything in the mouth, a meticulous disinfection is not so necessary anymore.
A thorough cleaning is still important, like in the dishwasher. In addition, you can make nipple and pacifier germ-free at regular intervals - either in the vaporizer or quite simply in an electric kettle.