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Old 07.04.2011, 17:28
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To sterilize or not to sterilize

It has been to my understanding that all utensils used by babies to eat and drink with (as well as breast pumping equipment) have to be sterilized for the first year of their lives.
I just received this months issue of the Migros Baby Club magazine and there is a little excerpt in there stating that it's not necessary. It is sufficient to wash with hot soapy water and rinse thoroughly.

Am I being too old school in feeling more comfortable with sterilizing the lot? (Or is my OCD just getting satisfied with it?)
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Old 07.04.2011, 17:32
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Re: To sterilize or not to sterilize

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It has been to my understanding that all utensils used by babies to eat and drink with (as well as breast pumping equipment) have to be sterilized for the first year of their lives.
I just received this months issue of the Migros Baby Club magazine and there is a little excerpt in there stating that it's not necessary. It is sufficient to wash with hot soapy water and rinse thoroughly.

Am I being too old school in feeling more comfortable with sterilizing the lot? (Or is my OCD just getting satisfied with it?)
Well, we survived without it for a long time. One school of thought says to let them catch whatever it is , to build up their immunity. Other than that, aren't breast fed babies still benefiting from Mother's antibodies ?
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Old 07.04.2011, 17:34
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Re: To sterilize or not to sterilize

With my first one, I used a bottle sterilizer ... with the 2nd I just did a basic wash. Not a very scientific conclusion but my 2nd son is heartier

I think people can over-worry. From what I've heard, I believe it better to let your child be exposed to a few germs. They have to build up their immune system.
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Old 07.04.2011, 17:43
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Well, we survived without it for a long time. One school of thought says to let them catch whatever it is , to build up their immunity. Other than that, aren't breast fed babies still benefiting from Mother's antibodies ?
Well apparently it's the bacteria from old milk that can be harmful for your baby. So if their stuff isn't washed properly they can get ill. I guess sterilizing was just to ensure that everything is properly clean. Oh, probably also a fat money making thing too.
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Old 07.04.2011, 17:49
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Well apparently it's the bacteria from old milk that can be harmful for your baby. So if their stuff isn't washed properly they can get ill. I guess sterilizing was just to ensure that everything is properly clean. Oh, probably also a fat money making thing too.
IMHO, babies , humans even, just aren't cut out for Cows Milk. It's best to avoid Cows Milk in the formative years. I assume you meant old Cows milk ?
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Old 07.04.2011, 17:55
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Re: To sterilize or not to sterilize

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IMHO, babies , humans even, just aren't cut out for Cows Milk. It's best to avoid Cows Milk in the formative years. I assume you meant old Cows milk ?
Not for long: Cows produce human breast milk


As to sterilizing, we were pretty good about it with bottles (for pumped breastmilk), but when Baby Mud expanded into spoons and such we just washed with soap.
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Old 07.04.2011, 18:10
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IMHO, babies , humans even, just aren't cut out for Cows Milk. It's best to avoid Cows Milk in the formative years. I assume you meant old Cows milk ?
No, I meant mothers milk.
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Old 07.04.2011, 18:20
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Re: To sterilize or not to sterilize

I think you tend to be overprotective with the first one, it was my case. and the second is as healthy as the first one and im more relax
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Old 07.04.2011, 18:41
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Re: To sterilize or not to sterilize

For formula and bottles, sterilising is a good idea.

A dishwasher is considered 'sterilising' too, if it holds the temperature high enough that the items are dry when the cycle is complete...
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Old 07.04.2011, 19:00
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Re: To sterilize or not to sterilize

We used to wash the bottles and teats in warm soapy water, then rinse them off thoroughly, then put them in a 4 litre tub with sterilising solution for the recommended time. Then rinse them off thoroughly, dry with a clean tea-towel, and put in the cupboard.

We did this for about the first six months, for each kid.
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Old 07.04.2011, 19:24
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Re: To sterilize or not to sterilize

Do you let them crawl around on the floor and put things in their mouths? Yeah, didn't think so. I'm pretty sure our moms didn't sterilze anything and we seemed to have turned out alright. Well....most of us. Hey, don't look at me like that.
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Old 07.04.2011, 19:44
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Re: To sterilize or not to sterilize

As far as I know you have to sterilize it, because the intestine is not developed. Especially milk - mothers and formula - can produce bacterias that do not fit the little ones.

The same is with cow milk, which should be avoided in the first year.

Cow milk cannot be digested properly in the beginning, plus if your baby is prone to allergies, it's better to wait. It's a protein that makes the trouble.
The same is valid for all other milk products like cheese, yoghurt etc.

My little one loved yoghurt and I gave it after 4 months.

But as mentioned by others, there are different philosophies and schools and best is what is best for the individual family.

PS: I sterilized everything for a year.
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Old 07.04.2011, 19:53
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Re: To sterilize or not to sterilize

We sterilized with the first one but not with the second. No difference. Well, actually our first one developed a temporary chlorine intolerance when he was about 9. I suspect it may have had something to do with sterilization tablets we used to sterilize his bottles when he was a baby....
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Old 07.04.2011, 19:58
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Re: To sterilize or not to sterilize

The guidelines for handling of expressed (human) milk have been updated recently, and the recommendations I was given is that you can wash with warm soapy water, and it's not necessary to sterilise after every time.

However, for formula, sterilising is still important.

The difference is that human milk contains antibodies and other 'active' ingredients that actually destroy bacteria, and it starts out 'clean' - whereas formula milk powder is not sterile anyway, once you add water, and so it grows bacteria very quickly.

I hope that makes sense...the warm soapy guidelines apply to breast pumps - if you are at work or travelling, a tip I was given is to (if possible) rinse everything and put it in a big plastic container (ice cream container) and then put it in the fridge until you can get to washing it with warm soapy water and leave to air dry.

Also, air drying is really important with the whole sterilising/cleaning process - and UV light is great for sterilising too...
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Old 07.04.2011, 20:09
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Re: To sterilize or not to sterilize

I would go with Swisspea's advice here. The advice I was given in the UK with my first 8 years ago was to sterlise until 3 months for breast and 6 months for formula bottle feeding. But as my Swiss midwife said, you don't sterilise your breast before feeding the baby (and baby's mouth certainly comes in plenty of contact there) so it would seem a little excessive to sterlise a container to put it in. But thorough washing with hot soapy water and a bottle brush for the nooks and crannies, a good rinse and air dry.


Given that food is now rarely given much before 6 months now, I would never (and did not with either of my children) bother sterlising anything to do with solid feeding - by the time they are on to spoon fed mush/bread sticks they are sticking everything in their mouth, so it always just seemed stupid from a common sense point of view to start madly sterlising chopping boards and knives etc.

Ahh .. those were the days! Have fun!
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Old 07.04.2011, 20:39
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Re: To sterilize or not to sterilize

Certainly one could find many arguments to support both sides. What is more important is that you do what you are most comfortable with! If putting a bit of extra effort into sterilizing assures you and you are willing to do so, you should do it just for the peace of mind it provides you. If you really feel sterilization is better, and yet you talk yourself out of it based upon others' experience and/or opinions, you might find yourself feeling an economy-sized load of "mother guilt" at the inevitable time that your little one gets ill. I am sure I speak for all moms in saying that none of us needs any extra guilt!
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Old 07.04.2011, 20:53
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Re: To sterilize or not to sterilize

We sterilised the breast pump attachment, bottles and even the dummies after washing with soapy water in one of the microwave sterilisers. This worked best for us.

Few minutes blast on high power and Bob's your Uncle.

We did this for the first 6 months. After he started daycare I decided there wasn't much point in obsessively sterilising everything when he was stuffing toys in his mouth covered in the snot and dribble of 5 other kids.
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Old 07.04.2011, 21:36
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Re: To sterilize or not to sterilize

Well I'm still sterilizing bottles for baby number 3, aged 7 months. And I will do so until 12 months.

I am all for exposure to a bit of dirt, but not so sure about old milk bacteria ... anyway makes me feel good ... and only takes a few mins with a microwave steriliser.

So each to their own ... but I will do anything to limit the good old vomiting bugs ...
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Old 07.04.2011, 22:00
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Re: To sterilize or not to sterilize

within reason! I BF for the first 9 months and sterilized bottles/pump and nuggis for the first 8 months or so.

Started to give him tap water to drink at 6 months so when he had formula at 9 months didn't go with the boil and let cool, just boil and mix with cold tap water til it's the right temp, much faster and easier when lo is screaming in your ear. Once we started feeding him solids I just put everything in the dishwasher and then once a week or so did a mass sterilization. Then it gradually got further and further apart and now I do everything only after he's been ill. I bought a new type of bottle top recently and did sterilize that before I gave it to him. Milk bottles I rinse immediately and put in the dishwasher.

I'm also a bit more wary of milk bacteria than of the odd bit of dust. Having said that, I wasn't impressed today when he decided to eat some ground from the garden!
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Old 07.04.2011, 22:02
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Re: To sterilize or not to sterilize

I live in the states still (moving to Switzerland in May), and the only time it is recommended to sterilize things for the babies here is when the bottles are brand new. Otherwise, I just use hot, soapy water. I guess I'm relieved about this because sterilizing seems like a lot of work!
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