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The breastfeeding mum’s guide to sterilisation

Check this guide to sterilising baby bottles and other related equipment to ensure that your baby is protected from harmful microorganisms.

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It’s true – breastfeeding can be as convenient as plug-and-play. However, nursing mums sometimes need to use pumps, cups, bottles or bags, shields, and so on. If you use any of these, it’s important to go through this sterilising guide.

Sterilisation is done to remove harmful microorganisms. Newborns still need time to develop their immune systems until they’re about a year old. Past that, it’s still a great idea to sterilise items to prevent mold formation in cups, straws and valves. It takes just a few minutes but extends the life of your stuff.

Sterilise baby-feeding equipment before first use
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Breastfeeding equipment and accessories come in all shapes and sizes but there is one thing they all have in common: it is important to sterilise them before using any of them for the first time. Most mums prefer placing the items in boiling water for at least 5 minutes. Remember to be careful and don’t leave the items in boiling water for more than 20 minutes.

More than one way to clean a bottle

After that first soak, there’s actually no need to boil again – there are more convenient ways to do the trick: steam, UV or sterilising tablets.
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Steam and UV sterilisers, as their names suggest, uses steam and ultraviolet (UV) light to kill bacteria. Steam sterilisers can come in two forms: an electric appliance that generates steam or a special container that allows steam to sterilise items when popped in a microwave. Steam is still considered the gold standard when it comes to sterilizing objects.
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The cold-water method requires sterilising tablets– simply place 2 litres of water in a non-metallic container, add a tablet, immerse your bottles and accessories for at least 30 minutes like when you’re using Pureen Sterilising Tablet (1 tablet in 2 litres of water) and everything’s good to go. Because the tablets are made of just enough Sodium Dichloroisocynurate to be effective but still safe, there’s no need to rinse after soaking! Each solution is good for 24 hours so it’s very hassle-free.
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Before sterilising an equipment using any of the above methods, it’s still important to wash everything using warm and soapy water to remove any milk residue. Liquid cleansers specially formulated using plant-based ingredients are the safest for babies and can also be used to wash fruits and vegetables.

Disposable vs. reusable

Disposable items like breast pads should be used as soon as they’re opened. It’s important though to throw them away when they become damp. Yeast and bacteria thrive in warm, moist and sugary environments and you want to avoid that. On the other hand, reusable items are generally more durable than their disposable counterparts. They initially cost more but if you need a lot of disposables, the washable ones become more practical.
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A disposable option also exists when you need to store breast milk in a sterile container but find yourself running out of bottles or space in the freezer – milk bags! These were also sterilized and sealed before being sold so go ahead and use them straight away.

When your baby grows up (too quickly!)
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Although unnecessary, it’s still a great idea to sterilize items that are hard to clean like sippy cups and straws to prevent mould from growing. Teach your child that handwashing is still the best way to get rid of germs but it also wouldn’t hurt to keep a hand sanitiser and antibacterial wipes handy!

Use only trustworthy products
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Sterilising equipment only works when you use high quality products. A reliable brand with a wide range of reasonably priced breastfeeding equipment and accessories is Pureen. Whether you need breast pumps, feeding bottles, breast pads, bottle steamers, sterilising tablets, or all of the above, their product lineup is amazing. They even offer an antibacterial detergent (for your reusable breast pads!), liquid cleansers, hand sanitisers and antibacterial hygiene wipes.

Pureen is an Asian company so it knows what Asian parents need and has been living up to its mission, “Thinking of baby and you” for more than 35 years already. Their products can be conveniently purchased from Qoo10, Lazada and Shopee.