“ Brand: Lindam / Type: Sterilisers „
As chief Sherpa in our household (i.e. he who lugs around the baby bag - at least until I am back in full time work) I have obviously impressed my wife with my baggage carrying abilities as I was recently given an exciting promotion. I am now designated quartermaster for the various supplies that actually go into the bag (a task that was previously off -limits on the assumption that it was far too big a responsibility for a mere man to manage).
This mainly involves ensuring that the required number of nappies, wipes, ointments, bottles, soothers and various other infant accoutrements are present and correct in sufficient quantity for the anticipated length of our outing. I have, so far, diligently prosecuted this new office to the boss' satisfaction, knowing of course, that I am always one spare nappy away from achieving the lowly status of useless plank.
Given that I used to be a senior lawyer in a multi-million pound business, this small measure of responsibility is remarkably and endearingly engaging, and, as such, I find myself inordinately interested in new additions to our "out and about" bag. One recent such novelty was the Lindam Microwave Steriliser Bag ("the Bag"), which is now a staple in our inventory.
WHAT IS IT?
The product is essentially a heavy duty plastic zip-loc bag with a vent on the side near the top. You place washed baby bottles, soothers, or anything else that needs sterilising into it (it can take two or three bottles plus the dis-assembled teats, collars and caps - depending on the model of the bottle) - taking care to align the bottles in the direction indicated - then fill it with 70ml of water and zip it securely shut. The bottom of the bag folds out to provide a solid base. Place the full bag into the microwave at full power for three minutes.
When the cycle finishes, you remove the bag using the top section of plastic above the zip-loc (where it is cooler) and leave the contents for ten minutes. You then pour the hot water out of the vent, open it up and you will have sterilised stuff. Rinse out and dry the bag for the next use (it can be re-used up to twenty (20) times).
The instructions are printed on the outside of the bag, along with a number of warnings. The most notable amongst these is that the bag is only suitable for use in 500w to 1000w domestic microwave ovens as more powerful models will damage the bag. In addition, the bag must rotate, but most ovens have a rotating plate these days.
The outside of the bag has twenty little circles printed on the bottom and you are encouraged to tick off a circle after each use so you can keep track of how many uses are left before disposal. There is also a handy little reinforced hole protruding slightly from the bottom to make it easier for you to hang up and air dry the bag.
The product, manufactured by Lindam (www.lindam.com) comes with three Bags to a box, which equates to sixty (60) uses. It is available at most retail baby stores (including Mothercare and Boots) and on-line from Amazon for £4.99.
DOES IT WORK?
Our Tommee Tippee Closer to Nature bottles and bits fit comfortably into the Bag, and they are easily the widest bottles on the market. The Bag weighs much of nothing and is easy to carry and stow. However, there are a couple of practical considerations.
Firstly, and most obviously, you need to have access to a domestic microwave, especially as the ones in restaurants and café's are made for industrial/catering purposes and tend to be way too powerful - and that's if the management let you use them. This product really comes into its own on short visits to relatives, weekends away and family holidays when you simply don't have room for full service sterilising equipment.
For example, one bag permanently resides in a drawer at my mum's house, just in case we need it, and we have also noticed that Moto service stations all have baby feeding facilities these days (a very nice idea) and the supplied microwaves are suitable to use with this product.
Secondly, the Bag can get very - very - hot, and you would be well advised to use an oven glove to remove it from the microwave, as compressing the bag emits a puff of very hot steam from the exhaust and, as such, is a significant scald risk. I don't see how they could have designed it differently, so that's more a note of caution than a criticism.
All in all, the Bag is very simple to use, highly effective, completely portable and totally practical. It is no wonder that the product won a silver medal for favourite travel item in the Mother and Baby Awards back in 2001 and the fact that it has been around for so long is testament to its enduring appeal. It is the best sterilising solution "on the go" that we have found and we used it extensively with our first child, and are now starting to use it with our second.
© Hishyeness 2009
I originally purchased the Lindam Microwave Sterilisation Bags in order to sterilise pacifiers when my son was newborn as I was breastfeeding at the time and didn't need to sterilise bottles. We frequently travel to a caravan in Dorset which has a small microwave (which I later discovered did not fit my Avent Microwave Steriliser) so these bags later became useful when I started bottle feeding. I try to avoid buying 'throw-away' disposable products because of the environment but these bags are a sort of middle ground in that respect. They are made from a thick durable plastic with a plastic zipper opening but can be reused up to 20 times before being discarded. You get 3 bags in a pack for approximately £5 and I bought mine from Mothercare. Each bag has the complete instructions on it and can be folded flat which is extremely useful for travelling light. They can only be used in domestic microwave ovens up to 1000w. Each bag is supposed to hold up to 2 bottles and accessories. It is designed for the Lindam range of Natural Flow feeding bottles but fits Avent wideneck bottles as well. I've only ever sterilised one bottle at a time and of course the pacifiers. These bags are very easy to use. You pour 70ml of water into the bag. Pack the items into the bag following the diagram on the bag itself making sure not to overpack it and microwave on maximum heat for only 3 minutes. The bag is extremely hot after use and it is recommended to use an oven glove to drain out the hot water via the exhaust hole. The bag can then be cleaned and re-used. Each bag has a row of numbered dots for you to cross off each time you use it so you can remember how many time its been used. These bags are still much easier to use than the other tried and tested methods of sterilising ie boiling or cold water chemical sterilisation. I couldn't recommend using these bags for a newborn bottlefed baby because it is too fiddly especially when babies are on 6 or
7 bottles a day. You would run out of bags in no time! But they are certainly useful for visiting Granny and Grandad or caravans for an overnight stay to sterilise the odd pacifier, weaning spoon or bottle if you are particulary anxious about sterilising things as most new mums and dads are.
This innovative and new method of sterilisation takes just 3 minutes. Using only tap water - a simple, convenient and effective way to sterilise baby's bottles at home or away.