By Katie Hilton – MAM Expert Midwife & Health Visitor
Katie Hilton is a dual qualified nurse, midwife and health visitor and the expert adviser for MAM UK. She is also a mu’ma herself to one cheeky little man.
Why Do I Need To Sterilise?
Once your baby is born, you’ll spend the next 12 months sterilising everything that comes into contact with their mouth. This includes feeding equipment, soothers, spoons, teethers and toys. During the first year, a baby is most vulnerable to illnesses. If bottles and feeding equipment aren’t sterilised, viruses and bacteria can gather and make your baby ill. They could develop anything from mild oral thrush to tummy upsets, known as gastroenteritis.
What Exactly is Sterilising?
Sterilising is a special way of cleaning your baby’s feeding equipment including bottles, teats and breast pump parts to ensure they are completely free from harmful germs that can make your baby ill.
There are 3 common methods of sterilisation:
- Microwave steaming using a steriliser in the microwave
- Electric steaming using an electric steam steriliser
- Cold water sterilisation using a sterilising solution – such as sterilising tablets or sterilising fluid and a container.
However, if you choose to use the MAM 6-in-1 Steriliser you’ll be able to quickly and easily switch between all three methods of sterilisation. You might want to use it as an electric steam steriliser when at home, a microwave steam steriliser when going away for the weekend or both the microwave and cold-water options when travelling overseas.
What Items Do I Need To Sterilise?
Any equipment that comes into contact with baby’s mouth should be sterilised. This includes feeding equipment, soothers, spoons, teethers and toys. You should certainly sterilise for the first year of your child’s life while their immune system is developing. After this, you should continue to sterilise bottles and teats for as long as your baby is using them.
How to Properly Sterilise safely?
Before sterilising any item it’s really important to wash thoroughly with hot soapy water to remove any food residue. Then place your items into the steriliser following the manufacturers instructions. The sterilisation process will take anywhere from 5-7 minutes dependent on which method you’re using.
How Often Should I Sterilise
Always be sure to wash and sterilise each feeding item after use and keep items in the steriliser until needed. Wash your hands and disinfect the surface before removing items and use the teat tongs to reassemble your bottle. It’s recommended to re-sterilise items left in the steriliser every 12 hours to ensure they’re always ready to use.
Did You Know?
The MAM Easy Start Bottles can be sterilised individually in the microwave. As with all items wash in hot soapy water first, then assemble using the instructions provided (DO NOT SCREW TOGETHER) and place in the microwave for 3 minutes. When sterilising multiple bottles with this method: increase the time by one minute for each additional bottle. You can sterilise up to 6 MAM Easy Start Bottles at a time. You might be wondering:
“why do I need a steriliser if the bottles self-sterilise?’’
Don’t forget all the other items I mentioned above, you will need to sterilise everything else you use and that might come into contact with your baby’s mouth.