Sterilising Q&A – Christine Dugedre from Milton

Sterilising when it comes to weaning can be a confusing one. Christine Dugedre, mum of 3, Milton International Brand Manager and Sterilising Advisor answers some common questions here. What is sterilising? Sterilising is a special way of cleaning your baby’s feeding equipment including bottles, teats and breast pumps to ensure they are completely free from harmful germs that can make your baby ill. There are 2 ways to sterilise: – 1/ steaming (using an electric steriliser or by using the microwave) or – 2/ using cold water and a sterilising solution – such as sterilising tablets or sterilising fluid – this is the Milton Cold Water Method. The ‘Milton Method’ of cold water sterilising is so easy to use! You just use cold tap water and either a cap of Milton Sterilising Fluid or 1 Milton Sterilising tablet, inside a Milton Cold Water Steriliser – it really is that simple! What is the difference between sterilising and disinfecting? Disinfecting and sterilising are both decontamination processes. While disinfecting is the process of eliminating or reducing harmful microorganisms from inanimate objects and surfaces, sterilisation is the process of killing all micro-organisms that can cause ill health. Why is it important to sterilise baby equipment? During the first 12 months your baby’s immune system is still developing which means they are more vulnerable to germs than older children and adults. What do I need to sterilise and for how long? Any equipment that will come into contact with baby’s mouth should be sterilised. This includes feeding equipment, soothers, spoons, teethers and toys. You should certainly sterilise for the first year of a child’s life while their immune system is developing. Up until the age of 12 months a baby’s immune system is weaker, making them more vulnerable to catching infections. In fact, babies do not start to produce their own germ-fighting antibodies until around 6 months of age, which means that good hygiene habits, including sterilising baby-feeding equipment, is crucial. Added to that, milk is the perfect environment to grow bacteria, so infant feeding equipment that has not been properly cleaned can be a source of infection. By the age of 1 most babies have a stronger immune system, but it is still only around 15% of adult immunity. After this, you should continue to sterilise bottles and teats for as long as baby is using them. Do I need to sterilise my work surface and hands before sterilising bottles? With little ones around, it’s a good idea to regularly wipe surfaces, particularly those connected with feeding such as the tray of the high chair. A quick an easy way to do this is with an antibacterial surface spray and a clean cloth when at home or antibacterial surface wipes when out and about.   Milton has been a leading name in sterilising for over 65 years. Milton has a range of sterilising equipment from the Cold Water Steriliser well as the Solo Travel Steriliser for when parents are on the go and the Mini Portable Soother Steriliser to tackle the dropped soother. The range also includes Antibacterial Spray, hand gel and surface wipes. With thanks to Milton www.milton-tm.com

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