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The dark art of timing sterilisation machine operation for expressing, bottle feeding etc.

(41 Posts)
hub2dee Wed 13-Jul-05 08:30:30

Hi all,

Well, we have our new baby home as of yesterday and things are going well.

As she was 4 weeks early, weighing 4lbs 4, we need to get lots of feeding in but can't breastfeed fulltime as it tires her out too much, and apparently she should conserve her energy for body temp / growth / fattening up rather than exhausting herself on the boob IYSWIM.

We are therefore putting her to the breast for a few sucks first so she 'keeps her hand in' so to speak at the beginning of every feed.

The thing that I find rather complicated, especially at odd hours of the night, is trying to figure out an efficient way to sterilise the breast pump, expressed containers, bottles and teats.

The machine instructions (Avent electric) say contents remain sterile for 3 hours if you don't take the lid off, but if you do take it off bottles need to be made up straight away.

Can anyone outline how they got their head round timing all this ? I just can't quite figure out how it is best done, whether the milk should be decanted into bottles immediately on expressing etc. etc. etc.

In hospital they were last feeding to a 4 hourly schedule, throwing away teats / bottles after each feed (SCBU), but they suggested it would be fine to demand feed at home. Feeds are every 2 - 4 1/2 hours, lasting 1/2 hour to 1 hour if that makes any difference. She takes between 40 and 70 ml. DW would like to express for all feeds if possible, building up enough supplies in the milk bank so I can feed gorgeous babby at night. DW's milk flow seems great, with 100ml expressed this morning for example.

Any insight into how people timed all this feeding / expressing / equipment sterilistaion would be appreciated !

Nik72 Wed 13-Jul-05 08:39:33

You can be less strict with sterility with EBM| compared to formula as it has anti bacterial properties. I used to be positively lax & sterilise all the expressing equipment & bottles in the mornings and that'd last me 24 hours but dd was 2 months old by then so more robust than a newborn. You could put the sterile bottles in the fridge then they'd "keep" for longer.

hub2dee Wed 13-Jul-05 09:33:14

Thanks Nik72. When you put the bottles etc. in the fridge, did you always have bottles with teat 'cover caps' - We have some Avent bottles like this, but we also have a pile of NUK teats without caps... not sure if they can sit like that in the fridge IYSWIM.

I think I'm inclined to generally be a little lax like yourself, but as dd came early, I'll probably 'stick to the rulebook' certainly for month or two.

Any other comments anyone ?

mummytosteven Wed 13-Jul-05 09:37:30

by teat cover caps do you mean those little circular ones you put between the bottle and the teat? if so, I never ever bothered to use those.

agree with Nik72 that you don't need to be as strict about sterilising the breastpump - think that you only need to sterilise it once a day. if you want to be more strict than this - which I wouldn't blame you with such a little baby, then why not get another breastpump to help your sanity in these early days. I have an old Avent hand express one if your wife would like to borrow that. If you are interested, could you please CAT me.

fqueenzebra Wed 13-Jul-05 10:23:51

Have pestered throckenholt for you, she expressed full time for her premie twins....

hub2dee Wed 13-Jul-05 10:29:02

Hi m2s !

Hope you're well.

No, by teat 'cover caps' I mean those domes of transparent plastic which sit atop a teat and help prevent germs from getting to it. Our NUK teats were given to us by the hospital (they're in sterile packs), but they have no 'teat covers' to protect them once they're out of the steriliser IYSWIM (unless one uses them straight out of the machine within 3 hours having not removed the lid.... I'm boring even myself now, LOL). The Avent bottles do have teat cover caps.

We do have some solid, and some 'doughnut' lids with caps (those flattish insert pieces which fill the doughnut hole) which fit the medela express milk collection bottles, and I presume I could use those, and just stick a sterile teat throught the doughnut disk when needed.

Thanks for the offer of the breastpump to have a second one, but I think we're OK. It looks like I've got to run the steriliser fairly often anyway, so it's not a problem... it's just you need to have a very clear head to figure out what to sterilise when, and it's all so confusing !!!

hub2dee Wed 13-Jul-05 10:42:02

thanks, fqueenzebra. I'll also post a pointer to this thread from another one I started to see if there are any scheduling genii lurking around !

Ruthiebaby Wed 13-Jul-05 10:44:05

I considered taking the microwave (or getting a second one) and putting it next to my bed, and then wake myself up with an alarm and turn it on !

popsycal Wed 13-Jul-05 10:47:02

i started a thread a while back about expressing and mears gave some good advice....
not sure if it would apply to a premmie newborn though....hold on

hub2dee Wed 13-Jul-05 10:48:27

LOL. I saw a wacky little gadget thingy on the Mothercare site which was something like a 'day and night' warmer / cooler unit. I appreciate it's not a steriliser, but it may be of interest !


I do some stuff in the 'smarthome' space - intelligent buildings etc. all this heating / cooling / sterilising malarkey could probably be nicely enhanced with a bit of computer control !

hub2dee Wed 13-Jul-05 10:49:43

popsycal - she's a gem, isn't she ! Hope she's having a fab holiday.

I scanned through the feeding topic titles looking for sterilisation info, but didn't think to read those on expressing. I may go surf when I have some time.

popsycal Wed 13-Jul-05 10:49:54

that is one of them...if you search my name in breast and bottle feeding you will find lots

popsycal Wed 13-Jul-05 10:50:25

also i thought of using one of those timer thingys that you put on lamps when you go away for the weekend.....will start the sterilising any time you like!

popsycal Wed 13-Jul-05 10:51:10

there is also a hgood link for hand exressing..i am stil tryng to perfect the art

hub2dee Wed 13-Jul-05 10:52:24

That would be very easy to do popsycal.

The Avent one is funy in that it boils as soon as it has power (ie. without user needing to press the button).

Thanks for the link. Will go and stalk and learn....

PS - Are you and your computer OK now on your broadband ? Did everything work out ?

vicdubya Wed 13-Jul-05 10:58:02

Yes getting this all sorted seems like a marathon doesn't it.

A another doubling up option could be to buy two sterilisers - the steam in the microwave ones are not too expensive, or borrow one. Use one for the bottles, teats etc and one for the pump.

DW pumps as & when. Save BM in fridge.

When you have say, half a days' / a day's worth of milk, sterilise & make up bottles & put back in fridge. Use teat covers or put rings & caps on & then use sterilised teats as you need them.

Meanwhile wash & sterilise pump after each use in the other steriliser. You could sterilise a couple of teats at the same time, each time too.

Wash bottles, teats, empty BM containers, etc & resterilise, ready for next batch.

Does that make sense?

SoupDragon Wed 13-Jul-05 11:04:25

One thing to bear in mind is that although the steriliser says "sterile for 3 hours" don't forget that as soon as you have the items out in the open, they're not sterile. IMO, it won't make any differene to the safety of the bottles/pump if they are washed thoroughly (dishwasher is creat) sterilised and then le=ft somewhere clean. Your baby isn't in a sterile environment and neither are your DWs nipples sterile (unless she's doing something to them that makes me wince!! )

Too much is made of sterilising IMO - any milky bacteria will have been killed off by a thorough wash and sterilising and anything else will be naturally occurring in your DDs environment.

Does that help?

RTKangaMummy Wed 13-Jul-05 11:05:42

As many of you already know

My DTs were born at 27 weeks and spent 3 months in NNU

We were told not to sterilize when we got home

We were told to wash everything in hot soapy water and leave out to air dry on kitchen roll

The hospital microbiologists advised that this was the best way to clean everything

And considering how ill DS was, in NNU, we followed this advice and he never had an upset tummy as a baby and was completley fine

So my advice to everyone is to not worry too much about it, wash it in HOT SOAPY WATER AND AIR DRY {washing up liquid}

popsycal Wed 13-Jul-05 11:08:29

broadband is fine
it was norton being rubbish and a new microfilter that did the trick is brill for breastfedding and expressing advice

popsycal Wed 13-Jul-05 11:09:29

and mothercare do lindam sterilsing get 3 and each can be used 15 times in microwave...sterlises in 3 mins

hub2dee Wed 13-Jul-05 11:33:35

That's interesting RTKM. Were your dts born in the UK ? I only ask because I know there are national differences in 'best practice' wrt sterilisation etc. It is much less practiced in the US for example. (Kateandthegirls posted a few sample links on this).

The 'wash carefully' and air dry has a certain 'reasonable' appeal.

BTW, how is Kangadaddy ? Is he still dealing with odd, unexplained pain ? Did any 'alternative' treatement strategies help at all ?

RTKangaMummy Wed 13-Jul-05 11:56:28

They were born in LONDON,

Really do think that after hearing this from the microbiologists that if they advise that for babies who have been very very very ill

Then for regular babies or babies who are healthy this advice should be fine.

Also you should make sure all the milk bits come from all the little areas IYSWIM

IMHO the sterilization is a con from the manufactuers

Our parents never had them and would have just boiled etc.

RTKangaMummy Wed 13-Jul-05 12:00:57

BTW was going to buy a sterilizer before we had been given this advice.

So it is not that I am against them

JUst now I think there is no point in going through all that hasssle

if you give a baby a toy teddy it is not sterilized, now I know that won't have any milk on. But they will still put them in their mouths.

BTW KangaDaddy is just about back to normal now thanks.

Chuffed Wed 13-Jul-05 12:50:09

We used the steriliser but were a 'little' relaxed about the 3hrly lid off rule in that we would put the steriliser on when we went back to sleep with everything in it that we needed for the next feed plus pump then when it would be time for feeding when you dd is having a little nipple action you would just put things together straight from the steriliser. Pop the teat through the donut seal on the expressed milk and you have a pretty much sterile bottle for next express straight from the steriliser and after 2hrs it is cold so no burnt hands. If you get to the 4hrs then we would still apply this as the lid wouldn't have been opened or touched. Hope this makes sense.

popsycal Wed 13-Jul-05 12:51:59

chuffed - update your nappy thread

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