A bottle sterilizer may seem like a frivolous gift to add to a baby shower registry, but newborns can definitely benefit from using a bottle sterilizer. They make it easier to sanitize bottles, bottle nipples, toys, and anything the baby may put into their mouth. Household germs and those from people around the baby can be harmful to little ones with weaker immune systems. This is especially true for premature babies, babies less than 3 months old, or babies who have been recently sick.
The best bottle sterilizers use steam to treat baby items. Some families choose to use the dishwasher, microwave, or hot soapy water to clean items. However, using a sterilizer will kill bacteria and keep everything safe for newborns.
Bottle Sterilizer Basics
There’s a difference between a clean bottle and a sterilized bottle. It is important to understand this so that you can make the right choice for you and your family!
Why Choose a Sterilizer Over Other Methods?
Using hot soapy water can clean bottles, but it isn’t a guaranteed way to kill germs and bacteria.
The dishwasher is another alternative as it uses hotter water for a longer time to clean bottles. Keep in mind, it also isn’t guaranteed to kill all germs that the baby can find tough to fight off. Without a bottle sterilizer, you can still sterilize bottles by placing them in boiling water for five minutes. Another method is to use the dishwasher if it has a sanitize cycle.
I actually think it’s more convenient to use a bottle sterilizer than running the dishwasher or using a pot of water. A bottle sterilizer is a countertop device that you place bottles, bottle parts, pacifiers, and other small items inside. You can even put your breast pump parts in the sterilizer! Then you just run the cycle which treats the items with steam killing all germs and bacteria.
Types of Bottle Sterilizers
Most bottle sterilizers use electric steam to sanitize but there are also microwave steam sterilizers that you can use in the microwave. The last type of bottle sterilizer uses UV light which uses light to kill germs, just like they use in hospitals and dentist offices. This method is great because it reduces the mess steam sterilizers can create.
There are a variety of bottle sterilizers on the market, which can make it difficult to choose. When selecting your sterilizer consider how many bottles you’ll want to clean at once, how much counter space you have, and if it would be easier to have an all-in-one device that dries and stores, or a simple unit that fits in the microwave when you need things cleaned.
Best 5 Bottle Sterilizers
This is a great all-in-one bottle sterilizer because it sterilizes with high heated steam, dries your items, and is a great rectangular size to keep clean bottles stored in right on the counter. It’s also a great item for families with a newborn because it can sterilize breast pump items, bottle pieces, and pacifiers, almost like a tiny dishwasher for your baby items. In addition to these great features, it also has one dial with simple settings. There is no real need for instructions, simply place your items in, set it, and go about your day.
Electric sterilizers are also a good choice because they often have more than one function. As in the previous electric sterilizer that dried the items as well as cleaning, this sterilizer also has a bottle warmer. The sterilizer compartment can hold 6 bottles at once, or four bottles with the accessory tray for toys and pacifiers. The bottle warmer has several functions to warm slowly or quickly, and with everything in one unit it saves counter space. This is a great all around bottle sterilizer because of its design, function, and quality.
Microwave sterilizers are a good option for something simple and easy to use, without needing a separate appliance. They all have a similar design, a clear dome top with a tray for holding the bottles and the water. This one by Philips holds four bottles at once, either standard neck or wide neck. Items can be sterilized in as little as two minutes and are considered sterile for up to 24 hours if you don’t open the lid after sterilizing. Families often use this as a quick travel option for sterilizing on the go.
Another great microwave sterilizer is this one by Dr. Brown. It has a simple design and fits four Dr. Brown bottles, but is compatible with other brands. The tray steams the bottles and is also useful for small objects like pacifiers. This specific sterilizer comes with a set of plastic tongs and is a solid, simple, microwave option. Microwave sterilizers are also a good beginner sterilizer, as their price point and design make it easy to navigate bottle sterilization for first-time parents.
UV bottle sterilizers are a bit more expensive, as they’re more high-tech than the steam sterilizers on this list. The most recommended UV sterilizer is this one by Wabi Baby. The unit sterilizes, dries, and stores bottles which is great for counter space and keeping track of which bottles have been washed and are ready for use. The simple square design and touchscreen buttons give this a futuristic look. Choosing a UV sterilizer could be a good option for the family overall, as this unit can be used to sterilize pretty much anything, which makes it useful beyond bottles to clean cups, toys, and even devices like cell phones.
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Have questions about sterilizing baby bottles or any other baby questions feel free to leave them in the comments.
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