Sterilising your baby feeding equipment is a very important task and something you'll need to be doing until your baby is at least a year old. Regular sterilising will make sure that your feeding bottles and teats are completely germ free, which babies are more vulnerable to as they've not developed a strong enough immune system.
There's a ton of choice when it comes to cheap sterilisers and bottles from Argos, Very and Tesco. Some are really easy to clean, others are dishwasher safe and microwave safe. There are loads of features, but the more you're after in features, the more expensive the sterilising equipment will be.
There are 3 different methods of baby sterilising. There's electric steam sterilising, microwave sterilising and cold water sterilising. Buying a sterilisers isn't a must have product and if you're on a tight budget, and if you're not doing as much bottle feeding anymore, sterilising can be done with a pan of boiling water for very cheap.
Before you start to sterilise you should always wash the bottles and teats with hot soapy water, or in the dishwasher if they are suitable. This is the same if you're using a breast pump also. Now let's have a look at the 3 methods in detail and the pros and cons:
Electric Steam Sterilisers This is a really simple to use steriliser. All the bottles are placed upside down in the tank, simply add water and start the steriliser. They usually take around 10 mins and will automatically switch off. Bottles and teats will stay sterilised as long as the lid stays closed for about 5-7 hours. The pros to a cheap electric steriliser are that it is very quick and can do a fair amount of bottles at one time. The downside is that they are more expensive than the other methods of sterilising.
Microwave Steam Sterilisers Place all the bottles in the steriliser, add just a small amount of water in the bottom and place it in the microwave. There are a few variations in the manufactures instructions for this, so make sure you follow them correctly. This prices takes about 10 mins. The pros to this method are it's really cheap to get a microwave steriliser, and it's fast and easy to do. The downsides are you can generally only fit 4 bottles in, and if you have a small microwave you may not be able to fit the steriliser in it. So you may be looking at buying a new microwave. Not ideal when you've just had a baby and all the expense that goes with that.
Cold Water Sterilisers All the bottles and teats are placed in a tank of cold water. The correct amount is needed for the tablets or liquid you're using. Also you'll need to make sure that no air bubbles are trapped in the bottles and teats. This can take up to 30 mins and then you'll rinse out the bottles and teats in boiled water before they are ready to use. Pros are there is no need to use hot water or a microwave or any electricity. The cons are easy seen in the instructions. It's very time consuming and care needs to be taken in making sure no air is in the bottles when being sterilised. It's also heavy so not suitable for being moved around.
Boiling Water Method This is great for parents who have cut down the amount of milk there baby is receiving. It's very cheap and quick. Simply put the bottles you want sterilising in a pan of boiling water and boil them for around 10 mins. Make sure that the pan you use is only used for this sterilising method. The pros are there's no need for any sterilisation equipment and since you only need a pan it's a very cheap baby sterilising method. The negatives are the teats can start to get worn out quicker so you'll need to go though more of them.
Other things to consider when deciding which method you choose are if you're only doing one bottle at a time then you can buy specially design bottles that can be done one at a time in the microwave. Also some cold water systems can be big enough that you can fit training cups and bowls in them for when your baby starts to eat from these. There are also sealable bags for when you are travelling and small sterilisers for when you go on holiday.
Best Value for Money Baby Steriliser Brands
There are quite a few well known brands to choose from when it comes to baby sterilisers. Philips are very well known for making quality sterilisers at decent prices, but Tommee Tippee are also one of the top brands to look out for. We think the Philips Electric Steam Steriliser from Argos for under £50 is one of the better buys out there and this is the one we'd recommend. It's simple to use and can sterilise a fair amount in one run. These top brands are usually a little more expensive, but not that much more and we think are worth the little extra. If you're shopping for a steriliser at Argos, Tesco or Very it pays to look out for some money saving deals on these brands too. They do some great offers from time to time and well worth snapping them up if they show up. This is a good way of getting some real value for money on a cheap baby steriliser.
We've put a list together of all the sterilisers on offer from these 3 stores. The list orders them by the cheapest steriliser first and also includes any sales offers too. This makes it really easy for you to see which steriliser offers the best value for money for your budget.