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As I've spent all weekend listing David's baby items on Ebay I thought I'd review this excellent Boots microwave steriliser. When you have a baby it's important to sterilise their bottles (or anything that goes in their mouth really) until they are a year old, something that is particularly important I think when using formula milk as the greasiness means the milk clings to the plastic bottles and teats - even when it looks clean there may be residue that can breed bacteria which could make your baby ill. Sterilising will remove this risk so it really is important to continue the process for as long as possible. With the girls' I stopped on or just before their first birthday, but David was a sickly baby and suffered with reflux so in an attempt to keep the baby sick to a minimum I carried on sterilising his bottles and teats until he was around sixteen months old. This steriliser is extremely easy to use; you simply measure out 200ml of cold water and place it in the obvious recess located in the base, add whatever needs sterilising and pop it in the microwave on full power for six to eight minutes depending on the strength rating of your microwave. My microwave is 1000 watts and requires a seven minute cycle to sterilise the contents, you need to be careful as you lift the steriliser out as the plastic can soften a little and that makes it quite dangerous if you don't get a firm grip to begin with - I'd recommend getting into the habit of lifting it from the very bottom to ensure you don't inadvertently pick it up by the softening area. This is a fault I'd have thought Boots would have dealt with, I used the same Boots steriliser in a slightly different design when my five year old was a baby and it had the same issue with the hot plastic so this isn't a new problem. Despite being reasonably compact, this steriliser has more room inside than you'd think and I'm able to place four wide neck Avent bottles with their locking rings, teats and lids into the steriliser without overlapping them. It's important not to overlap as the steriliser works by billowing the steam created when the water heats up into the bottles, teats and lids - therefore you need to ensure there are no pockets where the steam could miss any forming bacteria. There's a knack to filling the steriliser, I won't talk you through how I fill mine as we all have our certain items that need to fit in - but standing the bottles in position first is definitely the key as everything should then slot in around them. Sometimes I'd find I didn't have room for all the lids if I was sterilising feeding equipment at the same, but the short sterilising period meant it was easy enough to run through the cycle again in the microwave with just the lids. There's a time when the bottles etc. will remain sterile providing you don't take the lid off the steriliser, these details are given on the information leaflet and again depend on variable factors so do check out these instructions before you start using it. The flaw with this is that the sterilisation properties will only last until you open the lid, so those of you who are following the current guidelines of making bottles up when needed will find themselves using the steriliser pretty much before every single feed. I've always made my bottles up in bulk so this hasn't been an issue for me, but I'm not sure I'd fancy going to the bother of rinsing and filling (not to mention the nuking) the steriliser every four hours! The smooth lines of the steriliser make it very easy to keep clean, it's purely made of plastic so can be soaked in hot soapy water without risking any damage. Here and there I'll soak the complete unit in a solution of cold water and sterilising tablets just to ensure it's really clean, my friend owns the same steriliser and occasionally spins it through the microwave cycle with no bottles in it just a mixture of water and lemon juice - this also keeps it smelling fresh and prevents the additional cost of purchasing sterilising tablets. There's a vent at the top of the unit which allows excess steam to escape; this seems to work well and even opening the steriliser pretty much straight away from the microwave, I'd give it a couple of minutes before opening it as by then most of the scalding steam would have escaped. I noticed quickly that the underside of this vent gets visibly grubby - this is somewhere you easily miss when washing it and you do need to use a cotton bud or a bendy teat brush to really get in there. Half of me considers this to be a design flaw, but then I feel that isn't entirely fair as I can't see any other way of forming this vent! The dimensions of the steriliser (as taken from the Boots website) are 26cm x 26cm x 18.3cm. This makes it compact in terms of height, but it seemed to loom in my pretty big microwave - I used a square Avent microwave steriliser for a while when Hollie was a baby and that was much slimmer. I'm actually thinking of my niece here, she's just bought a compact style microwave and I doubt this steriliser would fit and still allow the turntable to spin freely - check the measurements if in doubt as it'd be a shame to buy it and it end up being too big! When I bought mine I remember it being £15 but it's now shot up in price to £20.45, an Avent microwave steriliser is only a fiver extra and to be honest if I was buying it now I'd probably go for the Avent. Avent is my preferred baby brand anyway and I recall their microwave steriliser was significantly more expensive than this one, as I was planning on using a combination of cold water sterilisation and nuking I wanted to keep the initial outlay down a little! I'm not saying this is second best as it's not, the bulkiness is what pushes me to the sleeker Avent design but for the price I paid this has definitely been a winner.
I must admit, I didn't really think of the disadvantages of my electric steriliser until it had 'died'. My daughter had reached the age where she didn't need protecting from the 'lb of dirt' that we all supposedly eat before we 'pop our clogs'! So I wouldn't have normally bought another one, but, I had borrowed it, and even though it was old anyway, I thought I would buy a replacement as a thank you. Anyway, I was searching in Boots for the same model, when I saw a 'Microwave Steriliser' which was on special offer(now there's a surprise - me finding a special!)(not). I never even knew there were such things, but I'm glad that I found it. I thought I'd give it a go, I never felt easy about just washing milk bottles, I think there is always a bit that you miss with the old sponge! (No,I haven't got a dishwasher and thinking about it my sponge isn't old either!). Just fill the bottom of the plastic bottom box with 200ml water, place bottles etc in and microwave on high for 7 mins. Easy, no more going in and out of the kitchen to see if it's done yet, no more steamy kitchen, no more scalding yourself on the steam, and even a nice 'ping' to tell you when it's finished, and it's easier to transport when going away on hols etc. If you take the removable centre out (this just holds up to 4 bottles in place) then you can fit loads of things in. It's a really compact size too, about the size of a large square casserole dish, and of course you can submerge everything in water for ease of cleaning. I think I paid £10.00 but it should have been about £15.00 which isn't bad, I wouldn't think twice about buying one < br>again.
Our first childs bottles were sterilised using Milton liquid in the bucket type container. This was very time consuming and the cost of the liquid adds up. When we had our next child we bought a Boots microwave steriliser. This holds 4 bottles + teats withroom for some small cutlery. Measure out the required amount of water to go in the bottom of the dish and put it on for 8 minutes at full power. Leave it to cool down and then it's done. Very safe and very easy to use. We have used this for 2 children and it is still in good condition, so it's well made. Safe and reliable.