View Full Version : to sterilise, or not to sterilise
just wondering if any other mumma's or soon-to -be-mumma's have heard this, not sterilising bottles, dummies etc after feeding, only washing with very hot soapy water or dishwashing???. I was at a wedding on the weekend and the lady i was sitting next to me mentioned that her daughter, who was at ante-natal classes, had been told this. Aparently under the theory that kids need to be exposed to germs to build up resistance and lessen the chances of asthma and allergies later in life.
what do you guys think of this???
has anyone else been told this, or is it just a new 'idea' that the experts put out
mumma to jarrah (6.1.05)
When I had my son at the Mater Private at Redlands (south of Brisbane) in Jan 03, I was told that I did not really need to sterilise anything. He was mainly breastfeed, but not to even bother with the breastpump or bottles etc.
I am now having another bub there in September and they are still saying the same thing. BUT I know someone having a bub in the Public Hospital at Redlands which is right next door and she tells me that they are telling her to sterilise everything!!!!!!!! Go figure.
I know with my first I sterlised absolutely everything included toys and tooth brush etc for about 12 months.
Sorry I can't help more, just get ready for heaps of conflicting advice with everything you do from now on!!!!!!!!
The hospitals I have been to for both my daughters recommended sterilising but the lactation consultant I saw said that it was a waste of time. She has a background in microbiology and says that the only way to properly sterilize is to use an industrial autoclave, which most of us can't afford to install in our homes. She said any of the sterilizing we do at home is pretty ineffective, and just rinsing, using hot soapy water and hot water rinsing then completely air drying is just as effective as any sterilising products etc we might buy, or as effective as boiling, but less degrading to the plastic. She said that the trick is complete air drying as any micro-organisms will live in the water droplets. So - nothing to do with exposing kids to germs, more just being realistic about what you can actually do in a home environment where there are germs in the air anyway.
I was also told by midwives at hospital to sterilise everything, but my lactation consultant said that a dishwasher (ie v hot water) is fine if you are usign bottles for expressed breast milk. Breast milk actually actively fights and kills bacteria. She quoted a study in Africa (or somewhere where daytime temps were 40 C plus). They took freshly expressed breast milk and split it into two samples. They measured the bad bacteria in the first one straight away and left one on the counter at room temp for 8 hours. Then they measured the bad bacteria in that one AND THERE WAS LESS THAN THE FRESH ONE. Seems bizarre I know, but I suppose this is why its good for cracked nipples and the scratches that baby makes on her face. The requirement for sterilisation may be different for formula though.
I stopped sterilising stuff for both my girls when they were about 6 months old - by which time they're crawling around and shoving all sorts of delightful (unsterile) things in their mouths anyway.
I've been wondering the same thing! I noticed in the bad mummys thread that Willsmum said she hasn't sterilised anything for bub 2? (don't mean to dob you in wills mum!!! ;) ) if she's out there maybe she can fill us in? Like xkwzit I'm wondering if now that she's over 6 months and EVERYTHING ends up in her mouth anyway maybe sterilisation isn't as important? We are trying a straw cup at the moment and it can't be sterilised so I guess I'll find out soon enough!!! :eek:
I'm also wondering when I can just give my 8month old water from the tap without having to boil it first? anyone know?
I think it's important to "sterilize" (although I realise all we really achieve is a good disinfectant) for small babies, until they start on solids and / or are putting everything in their mouth anyway. Then a good hot wash, scrub and airdry with clean storage is enough.
I intend to keep the sterilizing going for about 5-6 months - I figure better to be safe then sorry.
I stopped using boiled water at the same time I stopped sterilising everything - around 6 months. I just couldn't see that there'd be anything in normal town water worse than what they'll pick up on the floor.
BTW friend of mine's CHN said that our normal auto-shutoff kettles don't boil water for long enough to it to be sterilised (3-5 minutes). MAkes you wonder whether we should have all bothered at all :confused: or are there mummies out there who boil water for babies in the saucepan for 5 minutes? (frankly I've NEVER heard of anyone doing that)
Yes, as Jessica points out, I'm a bad mum cos I've never sterilised anything for no2. All her stuff goes on the top shelf of the dishwasher. Mind you she has never had bottles, so maybe they would need to be treated differently.
She is now 8 months old and has only ever been sick once (with conjunctivitis) but her brother (for whom everything was boiled to death and Milton-ed) got colds, gastro, ear infections etc. So who knows. Could be a coincidence.
As for straw cups we use those cheapo Dinkee (sp??) cups from Coles (about $1.30 each - find them near the lunchbox section) and you can take out the hard plastic straws and use a disposable straw in them.
And I have to agree, once they're up and about eating dust bunnies and dead flies :eek: (no comments on my housekeeping please!) then sterilising a cup seems a bit stupid really.
I REALLY hope you don't think I was trying to say you were a bad mum!!!!!! Sounds to me like youv'e got your mummy side under control!! :D
As for dust bunnies - you aint seen anything!! Feel FREE to comment on my LACK of housekeeping skills!! I prefer to spend my time eating and sleeping!!
I am a fan of sterilising but I only did so once my dd went onto formula (didn't see the need to steam my nipples!! :D) and once we switched to cows milk I stopped. Formula is so sticky that I felt washing the bottles alone wasn't enough (no matter how hot the water). I always rinsed in cold water and then used a steam steriliser and will do again for number 2.
I think actually soaking bottles in a sterilising solution is worse than not sterilising at all as it is essentially coating the bottles in chemicals no matter how harmless they are meant to be!!
Each to their own. I think there is enough pollution in our world these days that sterilising a bottle is not going to make or break your childs existence.
Just an afterthought, how many of us actually wash our hands in hospital grade antibacterial soap and wear totally sterile gloves while preparing bottles etc anyway!!
Absolutely nooffence taken. I know where my priorities lie and it sure ain't in keeping my house spotless. It's clean enough to be hygenic, but not obsessive!
I'd rather play with the kids, or cook, or read than vacuum.
Taa, sometimes writing things can be very impersonal and taken the wrong way! thanks! :D
I sterilised breast pumps, bottles and everything for making up formula to about 5 months. I did get told by my child health nurse & lactation consultant that it wasn't necessary but we didn't have a dishwasher and have 2 dogs in the house, so figured I might as well be extra careful. For bottles I used a microwave steriliser, 8 minutes, very easy.
I quit sterilising when Chloe started sitting up and moving around enough that she was getting dirty off the floor.
With my first child I steralized EVERYTHING. But with my second I only steralise bottles.I use to use the Milton solution until when my son was in a childrens hospital at 3 weeks and the nurses there told me they no longer use Milton because it can cause thrush. Just an added bit of info to consider
When I had my bub in October 04 I was first told in my ante-natal class by the midwife that sterilisation was no longer necessary and that washing bottles etc with hot soapy water, rinsing with hot water and than air drying was just as effective. I asked again at the hospital when DS was born and was told the same thing, so that is what I did.
He is breastfed so I wasn't using bottles everyday but when he did have a bottle or I used my breastpump that is how I washed them and at 6.5 months he hasn't had a day sick yet (touch wood) :)
my bub is 1yro and she won't hold her bottle. It's getting a bit frustrating cos I have to sit with her everytime she feeds and i can't get anything done and when we are in the car I have to hold her bottle from the front sit and its quite painful. Is not like she doesn't know how to hold her bottle but when she is hungry she usually grabs it and hands it over to me and if I refuse to hold it for her she cries. I also tried giving her milk in a beacker but if its not water she won't drink it. does anyone know how I can solve that problem???
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