Baby Bottle Sterilizer Buying Guide
Having a child born is an event and a way of life that’ll bring joy, happiness and wonder to our lives. We fight so hard to protect our children against everything and we try and make sure that they have the best life that a parent could possibly give them. Parents protect their kids from what can be seen- like bullies, and there are some others that can’t be seen; some of these threats are microscopic in size and yet so dangerous none the less and that’s exactly where a sterilizer for baby bottles comes into the picture- to clean and sterilize the baby bottles of all sorts and sizes. Only the best baby bottle sterilizer will do for your little one because anything less is definitely putting a child’s health and safety in jeopardy! Some feel that a bottle sterilizer may not be mandatory. A research showed and some experts also disagree and are of the belief that the bottles must be sterilized before their first use; while others say that the bottles can be sterilized in the baby's first six months while some say not to sterilize at all.
But we feel otherwise. If you are breast feeding mother or even if its formula food, make sure that everything related to the baby feed and baby feeding process is sterile as well as clean. We know that milk is such a great breeding place for all types of bacteria and viruses. And babies can be so vulnerable to diseases! Therefore, it becomes so important that everything be sterilized until the baby reaches a year old- baby bottles, teats, breast pump parts, pacifiers and when the baby starts more than breastfeeding, then bowls, spoons and the like as well.
With so much advancement in technology, no one uses large pots and pans to sterilize baby products. You’ll find a sterilizer that matches your needs and is easy to use.
The trick to keeping the precious bundle of joy safe is dealing with the issue before it even becomes an issue; it’s known as preemptive strike and it’s done with a baby bottle sterilizer.
Our young babies are the most susceptible ones because their immune system isn’t yet fully developed and hence they don’t have the ability to fight off bacteria and disease as much as an adult, or for that matter, even a 5 year old can. A baby could be greatly affected by a seemingly harmless bacteria or virus to the point of fatality, whereas the same bacteria or virus could have caused nothing more than a stomach ache in an adult. Therefore it’s very critical to be sterilizing baby bottles.
One of the biggest area of threat for your baby getting sick is what the baby puts into their mouth. Most diseases and illnesses can very easily be transmitted through contact with the mucus membrane. This means that anything that a baby puts in its gullet could make it very ill. Now, you obviously can’t control everything that the baby puts in its mouth but one of the things that you can definitely control is the baby’s mealtime and the baby bottle that you use to feed your baby. The best way to control it is by using the baby bottle sterilizers that are out there.
Bottle Sterilizer Types
While the market is full of different kinds of sterilizers, the most famous is the bottle steam sterilizer. These are again classified into: electric bottle sterilizers and microwave sterilizers. Microwave bottle sterilizers will have you put bottles in a bowl that’s microwave proof and specifically designed to steam. Electric sterilizers on the other hand run on the electricity/power at home and are able to sterilize all parts of the bottle at once.
There are other options as well, like UV bottle sterilizers which use ultraviolet light (UV light-bulbs) to kill germs.
Electric- It works on the principle of using hot steam to kill germs in the bottles. These sterilizers not only work by sterilizing bottles but also dry and deodorize them! Most electric bottle sterilizers will be able to steam more multiple bottles at one time. This is particularly helpful if you go need a lot of bottles in a day. Electric steam sterilizers are pretty easy to use and does everything by themselves, as in you wouldn’t need any chemical or any rinsing to have them sterilized. All it takes is to plug and get them started! Sterilizing takes six to 15 minutes and based on the model, the items will remain sterile for close to 24 hours with the lid being closed.
Microwave - These work on the same principle as the electric ones and use high heat steam kill microbes. How do we use this? All you have to do is put your bottles in a microwavable container, pour water and set it in the microwave for the specified time (depending on the microwave wattage). Some of these are also designed to act as cold water sterilizers. Please ensure to not put your metal items in a microwave. Unfortunately, there’s no deodorizing or drying but there are other benefits like its low cost and are very fast and usually sterilize bottles in less than 5 minutes. Hence, these come to be simple and an absolutely effective way for sterilization.
UV / Portable Bottle Sterilizer - This is a fairly newer option which is immensely helpful while travelling. Unlike electric or microwave that use steam, the UV sterilizers use ultraviolet light to kill the microbes.These are the most portable, small and lightweight sterilizers. Because of the size being small, the bottle parts or anything that needs to be sterilized should be dismantled and sterilized independently. Even then, they are a good best option while travelling with a baby as you wouldn’t need any electric power (even for a microwave) these sterilizers are work well whenever you’re out of home for a considerable time. Even though they aren’t great while you’re trying to sterilize multiple things at one time, these are still popular with travelling parents as they consider that something is better than nothing!
Cold Water Sterilizers - You’ll find tablets available in the market that you need to immerse in the cold water and soak the bottles in it making sure that there are no air bubbles in the bottles. You should wash the feeding bottles before use though.
What’s a good size for a sterilizer?
Sterilizers come in varying capacity and you can pop in two to eight bottles at a time. Please note that the bottles that have a wider neck need more space than the standard ones. If you are fully formula-feeding your baby, a sterilizer will be used frequently. Such babies need upto six bottles a day, so you are going to need a sterilizer that will hold so many bottles in it. If you are breastfeeding, you would not be needing a sterilizer in the beginning. But, if you plan to use a breast pump to express, you will require a sterilizer for the pumps as well as the bottles. Sterilizers are also used for sterilizing dummies.
Sterilizers also come with some extra features like:
- tongs and bottle brushes
- an accessory tray
- an alarm that will let you know when the sterilization is complete
- bottles plus sippy cups - extra
- a signal informing that the sterilizer is hot
- a water filter that controls limescale
- automatic sterilization of contents every few hours, or after you have removed or added a bottle
Since Electric and Microwavable Sterilizers are the most popular ones, we’ll help you with the best features that these have to offer.
Electric Sterilizer Features
Compact — These have to be small enough to use up a small amount of your counter space but should also have enough room to fit various sizes and shapes of bottles- as some can be wide or tall.
Ease of use — Most of the popular sterilizer brands have parts that must be taken apart and put together after each use. Doesn’t this seem too complicated, I mean who wants to go through the same process of dismantling and putting back together the parts over and over again? Choose one that’s easy and won’t take up your patience for a ride.
Reasonable price — Electric bottle sterilizer’s price ranges from $140 to a $20 as well. The average price being $50.
Quick cycling — To put it simply, the more water you put, the more time it takes for the cycle to finish. These cycles vary from 6-12 minutes on an average, plus you need to wait for about 10 minutes post the cycle to cool off. In simple words, you don’t want to be waiting for the cycle to finish or for the cooling/ resting time while your baby is hungry.
Versatile — You should be able to use your sterilizer not only in the beginning months, but for a long time. In the beginning, you’ll be using it to sterilize the bottles and other parts like caps, nipples, pacifiers, breast pump parts, etc. However, when your baby grows up a little and moves out of breast feeding phase, the sterilizer should be able to sterilize spoons, cups, and bowls as well.
A few more features, for example, a beep at the end of the cycle or a cool-to-touch body will make your sterilizer a great one. Such features make tasks like sterilizing bottles seem easy and something that need not be on your to-do-list. All you need is to put the bottles in and then the sterilizer does the rest while you and your baby rest!
Microwave Sterilizer Features
Fit — Microwave sterilizers don't create any storing away hassles like the electric ones; but they have some of their own unique ones. Electric ones maybe able to hold multiple bottles and some other accessories at the same time, but can we find a microwave that has the same capability? Well, it’s not impossible but a difficult task!
Durability — Plastic is prone to become soft with use inside a microwave. A lot of injuries due to this have also been reported and thus choosing a microwave sterilizer that’s durable and sturdy is critical.
Ease of Use — Plastic is prone to become soft with use inside a microwave. A lot of injuries due to this have also been reported and thus choosing a microwave sterilizer that’s durable and sturdy is critical.
Reasonable price — On an average, a microwave sterilizer should cost you about $25, it shouldn’t cost a bomb, after all it does it boil water! Well, we’re not trying to put the value of a sterilizer down, but it would be a good idea to invest the same extra amount of money in something that’ll fetch you more!
Parents feel the need to know which steam sterilizer to use and which bottle warmer is the best and safe. Good thing is that the technology these days has given them a lot of top quality products that are dependable, easy and safe to use and most of all hygienic. While the world is debating over the need to sterilize bottles, it’s an established fact that the sterilizer technology does keep bottles very hygienic for long periods when compared to a dishwasher, is much than the other older ways of sterilization or cleaning. These are so convenient and make life easy for parents. You can never know what easy is until you get a hold of one of these, and then you’ll surely think how you could ever have lived not using these.
We’ll leave the decision to you as to which one would you like to choose for yourself, however, here’s our parting gift, recommendations for the Top 5 Best Sterilizers.
And our Top Pick is the Philips AVENT 3-in-1 Electric Steam Sterilizer.