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IMHO and the opinion of microbiologists there is no need to sterilize

(408 Posts)
RTKangaMummy Wed 13-Jul-05 17:04:00

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}

This was in LONDON btw.

When I was preggers I planned to sterilize bottles, teats, nipple shields, dummies etc.

But now, I think, thank goodness that we listened to the microbiologists at the hospital. And didn't waste all the money and time on it.

DT2 {DS} was very very very ill in NNU ITU etc.

IMHO if he can come out of hospital and not have everything sterilized and not have a tummy bug or vomiting/diarahea, then why an earth should healthy normal babies be at such a risk of being ill?

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.

If you wrap teats in cling film which is not sterile, then why bother?

IMHO it is all a con by the makers of sterilizing units to put fear into everyone

Saint George worked for a microbiologist and she says the same thing and that he said that as long as you were extremely clean, babies would be fine. And that all this sterilization has caused problems in maternity hospitals

So set yourself free BUT be very clean and use very hot soapy water and air dry.

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

What about parents who put their little finger into the babies mouth to sooth the baby

What about the ones who breastfeed they are not sterile, are they?

What about older brothers and sisters touching, coughing sneezing etc over the baby? {Although I do realise that is not milk related}


So if you want to give it up and feel that you must carry on then I am giving you an example of where it wasn't used and the outcome was fine.

BTW when DS came home he was with his corrected age 4 days old {not 3 months}

That was during a very hot summer too.


welshmum Wed 13-Jul-05 18:48:29

We were at UCH and had the same advice in their neo natal unit too. We didn't do it for dd and won't for ds either. No problems with dd at all.
Hard to do it on just someone else's experience though.

Flamesparrow Wed 13-Jul-05 18:50:41

Makes me feel a bit better about being a bit hit and miss with my sterilising

dejags Wed 13-Jul-05 18:52:42


I cold water sterilized everything for my boys until they were 6 months old. This was really easy and I wasn't evangelical about it. I was told that a hot cycle in the dishwasher is good enough and we haven't had any problems.

sweetkitty Wed 13-Jul-05 19:00:25

I'm a microbiologist although on the food side so I don't claim to be an expert on infant milk. I believe the reason people are told to sterilise bottles etc is that milk at room temperature is the perfect breeding ground for bacteria that cause stomach upsets etc

However I do believe hot soapy water or a dishwasher cycle is just as good providing people are very careful with washing etc I think problems arise when people are not hence the blanket sterilise everything. I did sterilise the odd bottle for my DD's EBM but stopped sterilising at 6 months when everything went in the dishwasher.

Flamesparrow Wed 13-Jul-05 19:03:59

<< eyes glaze over as she dreams of a dishwasher...>>

RTKangaMummy Wed 13-Jul-05 19:09:52


What happens if you sterilize but don't check that there isn't any milk in a crack?

ie It is sterile but not clean?

Is that possible?

spidermama Wed 13-Jul-05 19:11:10

I've never seen the point of sterlising anything. Babies put everything in their mouths anyway so what's the point?

PrincessPeaHead Wed 13-Jul-05 19:11:54

dishwasher is a big steam steriliser.
no-one in the US sterilises anything, all goes in the dishwasher. worked for my three too!

RTKangaMummy Wed 13-Jul-05 19:13:07

btw I am NOT saying that you should follow my example

I am just giving an example of an alternative and also our experience.

PrincessPeaHead Wed 13-Jul-05 19:14:30

and without a deffobrill in sight!

misdee Wed 13-Jul-05 19:15:58

i used to steralize everything with dd1+2. with dd3 i just put things in the dishwasher, when they are dry (either when i take them out the dioshawasher or leave them on the drainer to dry if the dishawasher doesnt dry them), put them together and pop them in the cupbard. and use when needed (over a week after being washed sometimes). is that ok?

RTKangaMummy Wed 13-Jul-05 19:16:16

tbh I thought it wasn't really appropiate PPH

Mamatoto Wed 13-Jul-05 19:17:34

i was told in the states they dont sterilise - at all

emmatmg Wed 13-Jul-05 19:21:01

After each child I produced I sterilised less and less and for a shorter time.

Ds3 only had his stuff done until about 5 months.

If we ever have any more(which isn't likely) I won't bother at all.

RTKangaMummy Wed 13-Jul-05 19:23:21

So why do mums and dads in UK get told they should then?

The HV was very anti our decision not to sterilize but I figured the microbiologists at the NNU knew more than the HV

{She didn't understand anything about preemies anyway}

And we were very very careful about washing everything by hand extremely well

chipmonkey Thu 14-Jul-05 10:59:35

Actually, in that program that was on recently, "Allergic to Everything" there was the suggestion that the increase in childhood allergieds is because of sterilising but not sure how true this is.

serah Thu 14-Jul-05 11:17:41

just back from dropping my steriliser in the bin.... yay! I have often wondered about this subject since reading an internet article on the very same. It was suggested that the only reason health professionals will not say "no need" is because you can guarantee the first person they say that to's baby will get gastro enteritis and sue (what a mess this country is getting itself into with litigation)

Now then.... just off to clean my windows with a cotton bud, as I don't know what else to do with all my new found free time

KiwiKate Thu 14-Jul-05 11:51:40

Here in New Zealand we are recommended to sterilise up to 3 months only.

Chipmonkey - DH is a microbiologist (with heaps of allergies to everything!) and has researched the subject of allergies (but not in the context of sterilising bottles, but just general living conditions). Studies show that there is a definate link to children who are kept in pristine (almost sterile conditions) and allergies (as DH was as a baby/kid). Kids that are not exposed to animals or any dirt at all are at a much higher risk of allergies. That is not to say live like a slob and stick your newborn in the mud, but we exposed DS to our cats (and put dog hair on him!) when he was a couple of days old. He has no allergies so far (2.2yo)

The microbiologists think this is because in the first weeks and months a baby's immune system is learning how to cope with germs. If they are not exposed to any germs (or only to very limited germs) their immune system does not develop properly and they cannot tell the difference between harmful germs and non-harmful ones. And when they do come into contact with animals or grass or seeds or other things that should not be harmful, the immune system freaks out and over-reacts causing an allergy.

I originate from Africa and see how kids there play in the dirt from very early on. None of them have allergies (although of course they have other disease problems!)

frogs Thu 14-Jul-05 12:00:51

Another UCH NNU graduate here!

I too had that leaflet, and reckoned that if that's what they were recommending for their vulnerable preemies, then it would be good enough for my 9lb porker. Never looked back. Since we've acquired a dishwasher I've just bunged it all in there (which, incidentally, is what all my GP friends do as well).

I've tried to post this before on here, but no-one ever believed me. RTKM obviously more eloquent than me!

nerdgirl Thu 14-Jul-05 12:10:19

Another mammy here who never sterilised and never had any tummy problems with my two DS's.

sweetkitty Thu 14-Jul-05 12:15:20

I agree babies and children are too clean these days. It has been suggested that children need to eat dirt to expose themselves to good bacteria in there.

alux Thu 14-Jul-05 12:18:48

whew! will have to show dh this thread. He is so pro sterilising. I am not but do it to keep him happy.

PeachyClair Thu 14-Jul-05 12:20:27

In the same line of thought, we had a family to stay last week. Mum is lovely but SO clean- even got kids to sterilise bottom of shoes with antibac wipes as they came in. Now, my house is clean and hygienic but I do the mop thing once a day with disinfectant, top ups etc are simply vacuumed. And I never, ever cleaned a shoe with antibac. Her kids though have severe eczma. I remember reading that no exposure to routine 'dirt' makes the body oversensitive, wonder if we're all going mad on the cleaning then?

jessicaandbumpsmummy Thu 14-Jul-05 12:21:11

i sterilised religiously for the first 2 months, then everything went in the dishwasher - and a 1st time mummy too.... oops! All will go in dishwasher this time round too - steriliser is at my dad's for when we visit as he doesnt have a dishwasher and he's crap at washing up!

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