The 10 Best Bottle Sterilizers
This wiki has been updated 15 times since it was first published in September of 2016. How on Earth did busy parents cope in the days before modern technology? Thankfully, we now have a whole host of things that make taking care of babies so much quicker and easier, such as these super-efficient bottle sterilizers. The only question now is, When will someone invent a machine that changes diapers automatically? When users buy our independently chosen editorial recommendations, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki. Skip to the best bottle sterilizer on Amazon.
Why You Need A Bottle Sterilizer
However, you should know that many dishwashers are perfectly capable of sterilizing bottles, so you're not a monstrous parent if you decide not to get one.
There are many things you're prepared for before you have a baby — sleepless nights, lack of a social life, and completely abandoning all your favorite TV shows. One thing many people aren't prepared for, however, is just how much stuff you need to raise a child.
Nasal aspirators? Wipe warmers? Bottle sterilizers?
Wait — hold up on that last one. In case you weren't already aware, keeping bottles and nipples clean is incredibly important for newborns. That's because their little immune systems haven't fully developed yet, and so they're at higher risk for infections and illnesses in the first few years of their lives.
This is why many people have recommended boiling or steaming bottles over the years. The high heat kills off parasites and bacteria, giving your baby the cleanest drinking surface possible.
And while you can still boil all your equipment if you prefer, there are certainly advantages to using a sterilizer instead.
The primary benefit, of course, is that it's much easier. Boiling all that water is time-consuming and creates a mess in the kitchen. It's also wasteful to fill up an entire pot, whereas most sterilizers use only a cup or so of water. And speaking of messes, sterilizers can double as a storage place for all of your bottles and nipples when they're not in use.
However, you should know that many dishwashers are perfectly capable of sterilizing bottles, so you're not a monstrous parent if you decide not to get one. And since most drinking water these days is chlorinated, there's less chance that there's any bacteria in there in the first place (you should still sterilize if you use well water or other unreliable sources, however).
Also, keeping anything completely sterile is basically impossible, so don't trick yourself into thinking those bottles will be immaculate. Still, it's worth trying to make things as clean as you can.
Of course, when you have a baby, "keeping things as clean as you can" is often nothing more than a pipe dream, anyway.
The Dangers Of Using Dirty Bottles
You'd do anything to make sure that your child is safe and healthy, so the idea of using bottles that aren't squeaky-clean might be completely unfathomable to you. Just in case you're having any doubts, though, here are a few reasons why you should definitely sterilize those bottles to the best of your ability.
They can cause everything from blood infections to meningitis, with the latter being especially likely for infants.
The most likely danger you'll encounter is digestive troubles, such as gastroenteritis. This disease can cause diarrhea, cramping, and vomiting. You're probably thinking that a baby having diarrhea is hardly worth getting worked up about, but gastroenteritis can be fatal for infants, so don't take any chances.
Another major concern is the Cronobacter bacteria. This family of germs isn't very common, but they are disastrous, so it's worth taking every precaution to avoid them. They can cause everything from blood infections to meningitis, with the latter being especially likely for infants. Premature babies are at a higher risk, so definitely be careful with what you give them.
There are a whole host of other diseases that could potentially be caused by dirty bottles, such as hepatitis A and thrush, but we won't scare you with a full list here.
What we will say, however, is that you should worry far more about a wet bottle and nipple than a dry one. Make sure that any used bottles are cleaned, whether in your dishwasher or a committed sterilizer, and then dry them thoroughly. Also, never re-use a bottle or nipple without washing it first, as saliva and milk are incredible breeding grounds for nasty microorganisms.
Basically, if you take some common-sense precautions, there's little reason to worry about your baby getting sick from their bottle. However, be sure you take those precautions, because some of the possible illnesses can be pretty severe.
Other Ways To Keep Your Infant Safe
When you become a parent (especially if it's for the first time), it's amazing how dangerous the world suddenly appears. Every little thing — from bathtubs to blankets — starts to seem like an incredible hazard, just lying in wait to harm your child.
Fortunately, things aren't that dire, but nevertheless there are some things you should be aware of if you want to provide your baby with the safest environment possible.
While having a bath seat can help, it's no substitute for your attention, so don't turn your back even for a second.
Your primary area of concern should be the baby's sleeping space. This is the place where you'll be watching him the least, as you'll be asleep yourself (though you'll likely have a baby monitor to alert you to anything going awry).
To avoid SIDS, make sure your child sleeps on his back on a firm mattress, and keep any choking hazards — like cushy pillows, blankets, or plush toys — far away. Dress him in a warm, one-piece jumper instead of getting him a blanket, and avoid crib bumpers, as these can also restrict his breathing.
The changing table is another place where disaster can strike. If you're not careful, your baby can roll off while you're hands are full, and babies don't bounce very well. Safety straps are a must, so either buy a model that already has them, or add them to the table you currently own. Of course, you could always just change your baby on the floor as well.
Another risky environment — but one that's a little more obvious — is the bathtub. While having a bath seat can help, it's no substitute for your attention, so don't turn your back even for a second. Also, to prevent scalding him, consider getting a showerhead that indicates the water temperature.
The good news is that the world isn't as scary for a newborn as it may first appear. If you take the necessary precautions, there's no reason why your kid should ever be in any real danger.
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