How to Choose a Baby Sterilizer – An Important Decision For New Mums and Dads

For all parents keeping your baby safe from harm is the most important thing in the world.  At times this can seem like a significant worry as babies have an undeveloped immune system and are therefore particularly vulnerable to infection.  Having access to a good baby sterilizer to ensure that all feeding equipment is adequately sterilized is very important for all new mums and dads.

Baby milk (human or formula) is full of energy and nutrients to help your baby grow and develop.  However, almost paradoxically this creates a wonderful environment for harmful bacteria to grow and replicate.  If you are not careful baby bottles and teats can easily become contaminated with pathogens which, if passed on to your baby can result in unpleasant and potentially dangerous infections.

Baby sterilizers are designed to kill off harmful bacteria in baby feeding equipment before use and to maintain them in a sterile environment before use.  There are a wide variety of different products available on the market and it can often seem difficult to choose between them.  However, it’s not as difficult as it first seems as all devices can be divided into one of three categories.

The electric steam sterilizer is an excellent option.  It works by heating up water to generate hot steam.  The sterilization cycle ensures that microorganisms are exposed to high temperature for long enough to guarantee that at the end of the sterilization cycle they are no longer viable.  Electric steam sterilizers are stand alone devices and contain their own heating element.  This means that they can be used anywhere that you have access to a small amount of tap water and an electrical socket.  They are however quite bulky and, because of the advanced technology, can be more expensive than other alternatives.

The microwave steam sterilizer is the second option.  They work much like an electric steam sterilizer but do not have a heating element.  To generate hot steam you again add water to the device and then place it inside a household microwave for the prescribed time.  These tend to be cheaper than the electric alternatives.  The big disadvantage is the requirement to have access to a microwave which can be a problem if you are cooking or are traveling away from home.

The final option is the chemical sterilizer which involve soaking the feeding bottles in synthetic chemicals (a bit like disinfectant) for the required amount of time.  These are the simplest devices and often the cheapest although you do need to continually buy the chemicals that you need to operate the device.  Although regulated some parents have issues with using chemical sterilizers on their baby products for fear of exposing their baby to harmful substances.