How’s your rainy Wednesday, everyone? I always enjoy this kind of weather because it really feels good to cuddle up with my little Noa. Anyway, I was supposed to include this topic in my previous blog entry called, “On Being an Army Wife and Mom“ but I think this deserves a separate blog post.
To refresh your memory, my daughter and I went to visit my husband in military deployment over a week ago. Since Noa and I are into “mix-feeding” now (combination of breast milk and cow’s milk a.k.a. canned formula), the feeding part of our travel was still almost a breeze.
Mommies, I have always been a believer and an advocate of breastfeeding. But I also believe that formula milk is not at all evil. I exclusively breastfed Noa for 9 months and yes, my daughter is also taking formula at the same time now, as for the brand, please just send me an e-mail because I don’t really endorse giving formula milk. Breast is still undoubtedly the best! 🙂
Anyway, that is the back story for this post. Just imagine my daughter is 70% direct breastfeeding until now and at night time when I couldn’t come to her because of my online job, we give her the formula. I still have some other reasons for choosing mix-feeding today but maybe I would try to explain this in my future posts. And now for the real story:
Simple Equation: Canned Milk + Feeding Bottles = Sterilization. Yes, I brought 3 wide-neck feeding bottles in our Mindanao trip.
And so you might be thinking, how in the world were I be able to sterilize her bottles in the absence of an electronic sterilizer, gas stove, microwave oven + sterilizer and at the same time we are always on the go? Two words: COLD WATER STERILIZATION.
This method is also being used by parents in the US and Europe. I just don’t know if this is also popular in the Philippines. But as a first-time mom, this method sounds intimidating at first but it’s really easy.
For cold water sterilization, you would need the following:
- Sterilizing Solution (Chicco sells one in liquid form or in Mothercare, tablet form)
- Bottle Brush
- Bucket / Container (for submerging)
- Clean Tap Water
These are the steps that I practically followed according to BabyCenter:
- To cold water sterilize your baby’s bottle-feeding equipment, you can use a non-toxic solution, dissolved in cold water. It also comes in tablet form. The solution kills bacteria very effectively. You’ll need to change the solution every 24 hours.
- You can buy special sterilizing units for cold water sterilizing Or you can use a clean bucket or plastic container with a lid. If you use a bucket or container, use something, such as a heavy plate, to keep the bottles and other equipment completely under the solution. You need to check that there are no air bubbles left in the bottles, and keep everything submerged for at least 30 minutes to sterilize everything.
- Take out bottles and teats only when you need to use them. Give each item a shake as you take it out, or rinse off the fluid with cool, boiled water, if you prefer. However, your baby won’t come to any harm by feeding from bottles and teats that are taken straight from the sterilizing solution.
As you can see, I’ve submerged Noa’s feeding bottles together with its rings, caps and teats in this simple Tupperware container. Of course, you need to clean the container thoroughly before using it. Don’t also forget the star of the show, the sterilizing solution! For this cold water sterilization I’ve conducted, I used the Chicco Sterilizing Solution. 🙂
You can also use this method for longer international flights. But since our flight only lasted for 1.5 hours, I was able to practice this when we arrived at our temporary home. I think you would also need a bottle brush just to make sure that you clean the feeding bottles and teats thoroughly.
The Chicco Disinfectant Solution is also great for sterilizing toys, soothers, cutlery, teething rings, and other metal or plastic objects, which come into contact with our children. Don’t forget to pre-rinse the items before submerging them to remove excess formula milk on the bottles. In case you still want to be extra sure, you can bring a small packet of your baby bottle wash. I did that since it was my first-time to try this method of sterilization.
The amount of solution to be put on the running tap water depends on the water level in your bucket or container. As for me, I used 1 liter of water for sterilizing Noa’s feeding bottles. Don’t worry because there is a very brief and detailed guide on the label on how much sterilizing solution should be put in the clean tap water.
After submerging this for 30 minutes, I took them out from the bucket or container and rinsed them with hot water (this is just me, you can skip it and rinse it with cool drinking water if you want). And voila, the bottles are ready to use! 🙂
This method worked for us. It’s safe to say that this method worked well on Noa. For 1 week, this was my way of sterilizing her feeding bottles and I’m happy to say that she did not get sick or developed LBM.
I’d also like to include this paragraph that I read from BabyCenter that is really informative:
How long should I continue sterilizing?
“Continue to sterilize your baby’s bottle feeding equipment for at least his first year. You may think sterilizing is rather pointless when your baby is putting all sorts of things in his mouth. However, your baby’s immune system is still developing and it’s easy for him to pick up infections during his first years. The bugs that stick to milk curds in partly cleaned bottles can be particularly nasty.
By the time your baby is one year old he’ll have started to produce his own antibodies and be more resistant to harmful germs. However, it’s a good idea to carry on sterilizing bottles, dummies and teats until your baby stops using them.”
I think this method is not only good for travelling but also for everyday use, most especially in terms of sterilizing our children’s toys. I’ve read from the Chicco Sterilizing packaging that “normal deterging operations are not sufficient to ensure the complete elimination of dangerous and pathogenous germs” from the surfaces of our kids’s stuff. Do you agree with this?
As moms, it really pays to be informed and explore other safe possibilities to make our journey to motherhood easier. Have you tried this kind of method? Feel free to share your insights in the comment box.
Oooppssie. Don’t leave yet. I still have something for all of you! I won’t let this day pass without letting you try this. I have some goodies to giveaway! Yipee!! 🙂
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