Sometimes preparing to interact with your baby can fell a lot like prepping for surgery. Here you have this perfect little person, innocent, pure…and oh-so susceptible to germs. A mother’s first instinct?
Whether it’s wiping down the blocks you took to the park, throwing blankie in the wash, or handling your feeding gadgets with care, cleanliness is always the top priority and sometimes the cause of mild paranoia.
When we talk about germ free babies and keeping clean, a popular discussion point can be found right under your baby’s nose….the bottle and the nipple.
Since the beginning of baby’s and bottles, mankind has debated theories, created gizmos, crafted techniques, and published “how-to’s” on the BEST way to sterilize bottles and nipples.
We’ve tried it all.
Here are some tips and best practices for germ-free feeding and a little more peace of mind:
1) In general, sterilization is unnecessary.
WHAT?! Are you serious??
As WebMD puts it, safe water makes for safe bottles and nipples and sometimes the best thing for ridding of germs is a good ole sudsy soak in water and soap. Taking a page from the same book, Parents.com recommends that the only additional sterilizing that may need to happen would be after baby is sick…get out of here germs. Go somewhere else. Far, far away.
2) Sterilizing before first time use is a good idea.
That’s right. You can still get your supermom, germ-busting fix.
Before breaking in a new bottle and nipple you may want to try some conventional cleaning techniques like running them once through the dishwasher or giving them a good scrub.
For Mason Bottle families, you could also pay homage to the mason jar by boiling the bottle in hot water for 5 minutes. (A cleansing technique that canning aficionados will be familiar with!)**
3) Don’t buy another sterilizing product.
Whether you choose to rinse, wash, soak, boil, or scrub, you’ll only need two magic ingredients.
Water and soap (even then, only sometimes).
The special bottle sterilizers and the microwave steam bags will only result in more money spent and more STUFF. If cost and stuff reduction sounds like a good time to you, then trust me on this…your baby will still be happy, healthy and squeaky clean.
Above all, finding the right sterilization technique is about identifying what works best for you. Just remember that it isn’t a matter of life or death, it may just be a first time thing, and it only takes a little clean water.
**CAUTION: If you opt for nipple and bottle boiling, it’s best to never leave your brew unattended.
Founder, Laura’s, mom may have learned this the hard way when her bubbling pot of baby bottle nipples set off the fire alarm! All was fine and they live to tell the tale, but screaming “MY NIPPLES ARE BURNING!” to a fireman over the phone may have sent her into a sterilizing boycott and her story around the fire station for years after.