Is it necessary to sterilize the baby's bottles?
When children are born, the first thing they tell us is that it is necessary to sterilize the baby's bottles. The process consists of disinfecting them, killing the pathogens that can harm the little ones. Different methods are used that include ultraviolet (UV) light and cold, although the most common is with water vapor.
Its importance lies in the fact that babies finish developing their immune system at 2 years of age, so they can more easily contract an infection from germs. They colonize the plastic or any material that your baby puts in his mouth.
So not only the bottles have to be sterilized, but also everything that comes into contact with the child's mouth. Among so many things, there are pacifiers, teethers and spoons.
In which cases is it necessary to sterilize the baby's bottles frequently?
At present, science assures that bacterial contamination is similar between washed and sterilized bottles. That is to say, sterilizing them doesn't make a significant difference.
This is because, in developed countries, there is enough confidence in the health system not to do so. The water is clean when you wash things with soap.
But there are cases in which it is necessary to do so. Even in countries with excellent water quality.
In cases of infants at high risk of having a gastrointestinal infection, such as premature infants, very low birth weight or immunosuppressed, it is advisable to sterilize the bottles. In fact, it should be done before the first use of each object.
Also read: Gastroenteritis in the baby: how should I act?
Ways to sterilize baby bottles
There are different ways to sterilize your baby's bottles. We explain some of them.
Ultraviolet (UV) Sterilizer
This disinfection medium eliminates the fungi, bacteria and viruses present in the nipples of the bottles and pacifiers in short periods of time. It is an ecological method that takes care of the useful life of the teats, since they are not deformed by so many sterilization processes. You don't need electrical power to do it; battery operated and portable.
Heat sterilization methods
With heat it can be done in 2 ways: boiling and steam. Boiling sterilization consists of a pot or basket with the objects to be disinfected. It is filled with water until submerged. Then it is boiled for 15 to 20 minutes and the objects are kept covered until they are going to be used.
In the case of steam, an electric kettle is used to transform the water into steam. You put the bottle or the objects in the basket and pour the water into the container. The lid is closed hermetically and it turns on. After 15 minutes it will be ready.
Cold or with chemical agents
This method is done with chemical agents. The objects to be sterilized are put in the container and the water is put up to the level indicated. The disinfectant substance is added and the baby's objects are immersed without leaving any air inside.
Then it is left to act for 30 to 90 minutes and they are extracted with forceps, without inserting the hands. Later use is without rinsing.
Microwave sterilization methods
This method is usually one of the simplest, because many people have a microwave oven. By purchasing a special container with a heat-resistant lid, the bottles and nipples are filled with a little water. Heats up for 4 to 8 minutes. Its effect lasts 3 hours.
Tips and useful products for the sterilization of baby's bottles
For correct sterilization you must follow some rules. This way you avoid unwanted contamination and take care of the health of your child. Here are the basic tips to consider.
1. Wash your hands
Before feeding your baby or preparing a bottle, wash your hands. It is much more important to do it after changing your diaper.
Hand washing is one of the most vital tools when it comes to preventing any contagion of viruses or bacteria.
Read also: Infections by Escherichia coli: How to recognize them?
2. Keep the nipples clean
Bottle nipples are a major source of contamination by germs. They must be changed every 3 months. They are cleaned with hot soapy water and then rinsed.
3. Wash supplies
Clean the formula container, the spoons, the containers in which you keep your child's things, the thermos of hot water and even the sterilizer that you decide to buy in the way in which the manufacturer indicates.
In this point You can use a commercial sterilizer that uses one of the methods that we indicate before. There is the UVI cube that works with ultraviolet rays; You can also use an electric steam sterilizer or the classic boiling water pot method.
And the pacifiers?
Pacifiers must also be sterilized because our children put them in their mouths. You can put them in any of the above methods.
Although, if you put it with boiled water, you must crush the nipple to remove any water that may remain inside and let it cool without giving it to the little one.
So which method do you like the most? If you think it is necessary to sterilize the baby's bottles, do it. Because as mothers, we always think that your well-being comes first.
The use of a pacifier and bottle may be necessary when the baby cannot be breastfed. It should not be prolonged beyond the first year of life. Read more "