nav-left cat-right
cat-right

Sterilize This – Don’t Bother with a Steam Sterilizer

Background
When my wife and I were setting up our baby registry it was pretty clear that my pregnant wife was focussed on
getting in and out of Babies-R-Us as soon as possible.  So my job was to take the scanning gun and scan as much as
possible, in as timely a manner as possible.  I could not overly scrutinize my selections and I was using the guide
from Babies-R-Us as a checklist while we were navigating the various aisles.
Not thinking much of it, and associating “sterilizer” with “clean” and associating “clean” with “good for the baby”,
I scanned in one of the sterilizer from a popular brand.  Now, this particular sterilizer may be different than
others or may be the same, but I don’t mean to use this post as a forum to demean this particular sterilizer.
Instead, my goal is to elaborate on why, for our family and situation, any bottle sterilizer is a big waste of
money, time, and a cause for frustration.
I should point out in the beginning that if you do not have a dishwasher, you may want to skip this post.  I still
don’t think sterilizers are worth it if you are void of a dishwasher, but the posession of a dishwasher in your home
is certainly a primary argument I present for avoiding the purchase of the sterilizer.
My exerpience with the sterilizer began during a stressful time in my life – my wife and I just had our first child
and I procrastinated with setting up all of the baby gadgets in advance.  So, there I was, reading through a manual
for the bottle sterilizer on 3 hours of sleep, an empty stomach, and a mind racing with various ideas of how to keep
my newborn child comfortable, healthy, and well-fed.
Initially, I thought, “I need to setup this sterilizer so my baby is not drinking any milk laced with the harmful
bacteria that inhabit our household everyday!”  So, I assembled the sterilizer, studied the manual to learn the
effects of placing more water in the sterilizer, less water, how long the cycle should run, whether or not a
continuous cycle was optimal.  I became an expert, and in some ways that was the downfall of my relationship with
the sterilizer.
I started turning into a germ-phobe.  I was obsessed with sterilizing, thinking that as soon as I open the lid to
remove a bottle or nipple, I was then “dirtying” all of the cotents and I would need to run the sterilizer again!
Then there were times when I would run the sterilizer, but leave it closed, cycle complete, and condensation running
rampant inside of the closed apparatus.  Then my mind began to race about whether keeping nipples, valves, and
bottles in a closed, wet enivonrment was the best scenario – isn’t that the best ecosystem for mold to grow?  If I
take the contents out of the sterilizer and store it on a drying rack, then did I just contaminate the baby stuff?
There were too many quetsions, too much stress, and a clear alternative to this madness – the dishwasher.
My Main Points
Dishwashers Sterilize Too! – Ok, so really, the simplest point I have is that all baby “stuff” can go in the
dishwasher (obviously, check the labels for “dishwasher-safe”, but I’ve found this to be true).  Moreover,
dishwashers clean their entire contents thoroughly with really hot water, which will act as – everyone say it
together – “a sterilizer”.
Disparate Clearning & Sterilizing Processes – Anything going into a sterilizer must be clean – it is equipped to
drown the contents of the sterilizer with hot steam, thus killing any bacteria on the baby’s “stuff”.  For any baby
“stuff” that is dirty, you still need to either wash by hand or run through dishwasher first, hence my point to just
rely on the sterilizing effects of the dishwasher.
Bottom Line
Using a dishwasher as your primary cleaning and sterilizing device will save you time, money, and make your baby’s
bottles, nipples, valves, sippy cups, etc. very clearn and sterile without much work.  Sterilizers add un-needed
steps to the process, are a waste of money, and will be sitting in your attic, crawl-space, or closet within 6
months of purchase.  Spend the money somewhere else.

Background

When my wife and I were setting up our baby registry it was pretty clear that my pregnant wife was focused on getting in and out of Babies-R-Us as soon as possible.  So my job was to take the scanning gun and scan as much as possible, in as timely a manner as possible.  I could not overly scrutinize my selections and I was using the guide from Babies-R-Us as a checklist while we were navigating the various aisles.

Not thinking much of it, and associating “sterilizer” with “clean” and associating “clean” with “good for the baby”,  I scanned in one of the sterilizer from a popular brand.  Now, this particular sterilizer may be different than others or may be the same, but I don’t mean to use this post as a forum to demean this particular sterilizer.

Instead, my goal is to elaborate on why, for our family and situation, any bottle sterilizer is a big waste of money, time, and a cause for frustration.

I should point out in the beginning that if you do not have a dishwasher, you may want to skip this post.  I still don’t think sterilizers are worth it if you are void of a dishwasher, but the possession of a dishwasher in your home is certainly a primary argument I present for avoiding the purchase of the sterilizer.

My experience with the sterilizer began during a stressful time in my life – my wife and I just had our first child and I procrastinated with setting up all of the baby gadgets in advance.  So, there I was, reading through a manual for the bottle sterilizer on 3 hours of sleep, an empty stomach, and a mind racing with various ideas of how to keep my newborn child comfortable, healthy, and well-fed.

Initially, I thought, “I need to setup this sterilizer so my baby is not drinking any milk laced with the harmful bacteria that inhabit our household everyday!”  So, I assembled the sterilizer, studied the manual to learn the effects of placing more water in the sterilizer, less water, how long the cycle should run, whether or not a continuous cycle was optimal.  I became an expert, and in some ways that was the downfall of my relationship with the sterilizer.

I started turning into a germaphobe.  I was obsessed with sterilizing, thinking that as soon as I open the lid to remove a bottle or nipple, I was then “dirtying” all of the contents and I would need to run the sterilizer again!

Then there were times when I would run the sterilizer, but leave it closed, cycle complete, and condensation running rampant inside of the closed apparatus.  Then my mind began to race about whether keeping nipples, valves, and bottles in a closed, wet environment was the best scenario – isn’t that the best ecosystem for mold to grow?  If I take the contents out of the sterilizer and store it on a drying rack, then did I just contaminate the baby stuff?  There were too many questions, too much stress, and a clear alternative to this madness – the dishwasher.

My Main Points

Dishwashers Sterilize Too! – Ok, so really, the simplest point I have is that all baby “stuff” can go in the dishwasher (obviously, check the labels for “dishwasher-safe”, but I’ve found this to be true).  Moreover, dishwashers clean their entire contents thoroughly with really hot water, which will act as – everyone say it together – “a sterilizer”.

Disparate Cleaning & Sterilizing Processes – Anything going into a sterilizer must be clean – it is equipped to drown the contents of the sterilizer with hot steam, thus killing any bacteria on the baby’s “stuff”.  For any baby ”stuff” that is dirty, you still need to either wash by hand or run through dishwasher first, hence my point to just rely on the sterilizing effects of the dishwasher.

Bottom Line

Using a dishwasher as your primary cleaning and sterilizing device will save you time, money, and make your baby’s bottles, nipples, valves, sippy cups, etc. very clean and sterile without much work.  Sterilizers add un-needed steps to the process, are a waste of money, and will be sitting in your attic, crawl-space, or closet within 6 months of purchase.  Spend the money somewhere else.

4 Responses to “Sterilize This – Don’t Bother with a Steam Sterilizer”

  1. ikonakova says:

    I want to quote your post in my blog. It can?
    And you et an account on Twitter?

  2. ikonakova – no issue with reposting on your blog as long as there is a backtrack link to this site.

    Our Twitter account is: http://twitter.com/funfather/

  3. gee says:

    You hit the nail on the head…i threw mine out after struggling to sterilize bottles and nipples. Another thing that works well are the microwave bags. just toss the bottles in add a spoonful of water and microwave away. Medela has great ones that are included in some of their products.

  4. jo says:

    this is my third child i am without dishwasher but think as a soon to be family of five rather than spend £100 on a sterilizer i would be better putting that money into a dishwasher, but i am so confused “what dishwasher should i be buying” ??? do they all come with a sterilizing fuction ? do i use milton in it rather than dishwasher tablets ?

    please help dishwasher virgin x

Leave a Reply

This Internet site provides information of a general nature and is designed for educational purposes only. If you have any concerns about your own health or the health of your child, you should always consult with a physician or other health care professional. Please review the Terms of Use before using this site. Your use of the site indicates your agreement to be bound by the Terms of Use.