Despite pumping for my first, I had no idea what a commitment it was until I began exclusively pumping for my special needs child. The sheer volume of bottles and pump parts to sterilize made me feel like I was behind everyday, even before the day had started.
My first was exclusively breastfed so we hadn't bothered with a bottle sterilizer. I had also been a stay at home mother most of the early days, and we didn't go through that many bottles. For formula fed babies, working, or exclusively pumping mamas, a bottle sterilizer would give you extra time savings every day.
After surveying moms in the exclusive pumping community, we decided to try out the Papablic Bottle Sterilizer And Dryer, created by a small business. Sold chiefly on Amazon, the product also boasts high ratings.
Why Is Sanitizing Important?
CDC protocol for baby bottles and pump parts stipulates that bottles be washed with hot soapy water, scrubbed with a bottle brush, rinsed, and then air dried after every use. While this process keeps bottles clean with minimal milk residue, it does not fully sanitize.
Most parents follow the initial instructions to boil either new bottles or pump parts in hot water for up to 5 minutes (depending on the part). Afterwards especially for newborns, daily sanitization is often forgotten or ignored.
“For extra germ removal, sanitize feeding items at least once daily. Sanitizing is particularly important when your baby is younger than 3 months, was born prematurely, or has a weakened immune system.” – CDC
Sanitizing is also helpful if you've dropped a pump part, pacifier, or bottle nipple on the ground – it's bound to happen.
The Benefits Of Drying
All bottle and pump parts are supposed to be placed in a clean protected area away from dust and debris. They should not be wiped in case dirt and grime from the towel is transferred. Waiting around for the bottles to air dry can take hours, depending on the level of humidity in your room.
Having a bottle dryer allows you to batch clean feeding items much more effectively, so that everything can be washed and dried in a shorter time frame, in this case an hour or less. Again for immuno -compromised kiddos this really comes in handy.
Bottle Sterilizer Settings
The Papablic offers 3 settings:
- Quick steam for 8 minutes (for a rapid sanitization of small items like bottle nipples, pacifiers)
- 45 minute steam and dry
- 60 minute steam and extra dry
Size And Capacity
Papablic says that the sterilizer can fit up to 11 bottles. It features a top portion that first more compact items like bottle caps, bottle nipples, and pacifiers.
The main compartment fits bottles and other larger items like pump flanges. We were definitely able to fit a full days worth of bottles and a set of pump parts with room to spare. This includes 6 feeding bottles plus the extra bottles milk was stored in for the day.
Larger 8 oz Dr. Brown bottles had to be laid at an angle but still fit.
The sterilizer takes up a fair bit of countertop space, but can potentially replace your existing drying rack. We use this along with a space saving drying rack for any spillover.
I found the drying rack very useful for peace of mind and batch washing/drying. Especially for larger bottles I felt a little bit germaphobic about not letting everything air dry properly. Despite the upfront price tag of a bottle sterilizer, given that it's literally used everyday I could completely justify the cost.
In a few months Papablic is expected to release a bottle sterilizer and dryer that also has a food dehydration function, which helps make additional types of food for picky toddlers! For example my oldest prefers dried sweet potatoes to roasted sweet potatoes.