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Is a steriliser a necessity (currently BF a newborn but thinking of the future)

(29 Posts)
orchidee Mon 30-May-11 21:53:37

I seem to have picked up different opinions on this area and would appreciate some information on when it is necessary to sterilise.

E.g. - when I begin weaning (4-6m?) will I need a steriliser then for spoons, bowls etc?
Or are sterilisers only required if bottles of milk are given after 6m?
For those of you who BF, is it virtually inevitable that expressing milk will happen at some point (though let's forget about returning to work for now) so I'll likely need/want a steriliser and expressing equipment?

Sorry if this is a bit rambling... just wondering if I should spend some MC gift card ££ on this or their over-priced baby clothes smile

LilRedWG Mon 30-May-11 21:57:00

Hmmm, I sterilised bottles/dummies religiously with DD until she was 10 months old.

DS is breastfed with the occassional expressed bottle and to be honest I more often than not do not sterilise. I wash thoroughly in hot soapy water, rinse and air dry or bung in the dishwasher.

I never have nor will sterilise plates, spoons etc as by that age their hands are on the floor and in and out of their mouths all the time.

RitaMorgan Mon 30-May-11 21:57:53

I don't express milk, though have given formula if necessary. You don't need to sterilise bowls and spoons, I never sterilised bottles after 4 months either, just washed them well - opinion is divided on whether sterilising is ever necessary, and some countries don't do it at all.

Instead of using a steriliser you can always put bottles in the dishwasher, boil them, or use sterilising tablets instead.

gapants Mon 30-May-11 22:00:19

don't buy a steriliser, total waste of money. IMO

You can steam sterilise in the microwave in a tupperware box.

You can cold water sterilise with milton tablets.

My DS is 2.5 do check with your HV, but all feeding equipment should be sterilised for the 1st year.

You may want to express and see if your baby will take it from a bottle, or you may want expressed milk to add to rice porridge etc when weaning.

orchidee Mon 30-May-11 22:04:08

Thanks for your replies. It sounds like it's a bit of a judgement call. Okay so I'll think about what else to spend the MC vouchers on... smile

VeronicaCake Mon 30-May-11 22:05:47

I did express the odd bottle of milk and used sterilising tablets to sterilise those bottles and the pump parts. £1.99 on a pack of tablets in Boots and we still have most of them in the cupboard. We didn't sterilise plates and cups ever and we stopped sterilising bottles after 6m too. I'd save your money for now.

MadamDeathstare Mon 30-May-11 22:08:35

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

LaWeasel Mon 30-May-11 22:14:02

I had a big old avent steralizer which was a pain in the bum, so have ditched it for dc2 (who's also going to be mixed fed) and will be getting a microwave one or using the dishwasher. Haven't quite decided yet.

VeronicaCake Tue 31-May-11 10:06:40

The advice on what to sterilise and when to seems a bit confusing. I've just had a look, the DH guidance on making up bottle feeds says how to sterilise but not how long for. Their weaning guidance says plates and bowls should be cleaned in hot soapy water but doesn't mention sterilising them. Lots of websites say the DH says to sterilise everything up to the first year but I can't find any official DH resource which actually says that.

Like MadameDeathstare I struggled to see the point of sterilising after DD began crawling and licking everything, which was at 6m in her case. But that can't be logical since that would mean you can stop sterilising when your baby starts moving which could be any time between 6 and 10m and is not in any way correlated with how mature their immune system is.

Anyway this is off topic, I'm sure there are much better things for you to spend your MC vouchers on (shame they don't sell chocolate for breastfeeding mothers).

BooBearBoo Tue 31-May-11 10:14:14

We stopped sterilising bottles at 6m. We weaned at 4m and never sterilised plates/bowls/spoons etc.

He's NEVER been ill.

bessie26 Tue 31-May-11 12:57:22

I got a steriliser & pump when DD1 was born because she was in SCBU & I had to express for 3 weeks. I used them non stop for those 3 weeks & only a handful of times since. Save your vouchers to spend on something else & just get the sterilising bags for occasional use.

cobweb1979 Tue 31-May-11 13:05:33

It does depend how much you will use it. I ended up bottle-feeding (EBM at first anf now mostly formula). We started cold-water sterilising, but it takes 30mins and was making my hands really sore. Bought an electric one and OMG best thing EVER! I would not be without it! But our microwave is too small and we don't have a dishwasher so I might be a special case.

Never really understood why you'd sterilise bowls etc... thought the bottle thing was because milk is such a good breeding ground for bugs. Bowls etc are easier to clean and not as fertile ground anyway.

PurveyorOfBaloney Tue 31-May-11 13:06:19

I followed a number of similar threads to this when I first joined MN, with some very knowledgeable ladies and some very interesting links. The upshot of that was that I never sterilised anything, apart from boiling any new bought bottles etc. Kids were mostly BF anyway, but I did do some expressing. Everything got washed in very hot soapy water, rinsed and left to air dry. Same with weaning kit - does seem laughable to sterilise those when they are licking the pram wheels.

As someone pointed out, many other countries you can't even buy sterilisers. Even in the US they mostly use the dishwasher. I have seen some people over-reliant on sterilisers and not even clean the bottles/teats properly first. Also the minute things come out of the steriliser they are no longer sterile.

Sterlisers just seem to be yet another way of fleecing poor paranoid first time parents of their money.

BooBearBoo Tue 31-May-11 13:23:52

I agree with you purveyor. My neice is almost 15m and her mum still sterilises EVERYTHING. Every time she tries to stop her daughter gets ill... mmmm I wonder why!!!

mousymouse Tue 31-May-11 13:26:52

if you have a dishwasher - that will sterilise the bottles, plates, spoons enough.
alternatively just boil or steam on the hob. I only boiled the bottle + pump before first use and then used the d/w.

orchidee Tue 31-May-11 13:38:04

Brilliant responses - thanks everyone for your time on this one.
I'm sure others will find this useful too.

MadamDeathstare Tue 31-May-11 14:07:34

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

worldgonecrazy Tue 31-May-11 14:15:38

If you are feeding expressed breastmilk you don't need to sterilise anything - just wash well in hot soapy water and rinse.

MadamDeathstare Tue 31-May-11 14:21:24

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

RitaMorgan Tue 31-May-11 14:30:24

I think it's something to do with breastmilk being "live" and having anti-bacterial properties, whereas formula is a better breeding ground for bacteria.

worldgonecrazy Tue 31-May-11 14:38:12

madamdeathstare no, it's because formula is not sterile nor a bacteriacide, whereas breastmilk has some amazing sterilisation/bacteriacidal properties.

MoonFaceMamaaaaargh Tue 31-May-11 15:47:54

yes to agree with others i believe there is no need to sterilise for bm. I used to express for the bank and for them would boil the pump as obv the babies are poorly

You may find you have no or little use for bottles etc so i would definatly save your gift card!

Personaly i haven't used ff but i would sterilise everything if i did. The powder contains bacteria. It doesn't kill nasty things like bm does and apparently all the extra iron in it helps bacteria grow. Sorry if this sounds negative, it,s just the science as i understand it.That said apparently some hospitals don't sterilise but you must be absolutly perfect in your bottle washing. I am a slattern.

Have never sterillised plates etc. Never heard that i should. confused

Have to say i think the not sterillising bottles when the are putting stuff in their mouth thing, is a red herring. Few things breed bacteria in the way milk does.

MadamDeathstare Tue 31-May-11 19:12:10

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

TheMitfordsMaid Tue 31-May-11 21:03:24

I sterilised everything and anything with DS1 but didn't sterilise a thing with DS2. He was breastfed so didn't really have bottles but I used a pump, which would go quite happily in the dishwasher. He is 2 and has the constitution of an ox.

SpeedyGonzalez Tue 31-May-11 21:10:01

We hardly used bottles, but when we did we never sterilised for DD. She is a very healthy 13 mo! I took the view that unless I was going to steam sterilise my breasts and her/ my fingers before feeding/ suckling, there was no point in sterilising bottles either.

The one precaution I would take is to make sure you wash AND rinse properly. IME most Brits don't rinse (which is rank, IMO!), which means they'll be eating off dishes with dried dirty water. Not nice for anyone, least of all a wee baby.

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