According to recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), baby feeding items should be sterilized at least once a day. “Sanitizing is particularly important when your baby is younger than 3 months, was born prematurely, or has a weakened immune system,” the CDC adds.
Many use electric baby bottle sterilizers that turn water into steam to kill germs. Now, there are more and more moms who turn to ultraviolet (UV) sterilizers.
Why use UV sterilizers?
Though the price of a UV sterilizer may be high, many moms attest to its effectivity in sterilizing baby accessories, particularly feeding bottles and toys. It makes use of UV germicidal technology to kill pathogens that may cause illnesses. Why have they become the choice of many Filipino moms today? Moms who own one share their thoughts.
1. They require less work compared to electric steam sterilizers.
“It was the convenience that convinced me to buy a UV baby bottle sterilizer,” says Lai Bernardino, a mom of a 2-year-old and a 6-month-old, who owns an Ecomom model. “After thoroughly washing the baby bottles, I just place them inside the sterilizer, press a button, and voila!”
Ecomom models, which start at around Php12,000, can sterilize as well as dry washed baby bottles (and any more of baby items) as they’re equipped with a heater fan. “There’s no need to dry the bottles, I have an instant baby bottle storage, and I keep my kids’ stuff germ-free,” adds Lai.
Electric steam sterilizers, on the other hand, do not typically come with a drying function. So, after sterilizing, the wet and hot bottles need to be taken out and placed on a rack to air dry. Once dry, only then can the bottles be stored until they’re used again.
Despite being a more modern way of sterilizing baby’s feeding items, moms find UV sterilizers user-friendly. Mom Angel Enero, who has a toddler and is currently expecting, owns an electric steam sterilizer, but she prefers her Haenim Smart Sterilizer (with a price range of around Php15,000).
“My favorite feature is the touch button system. You have the auto function if you want to sterilize and dry, UV if you only want to sterilize, drying if you only want to dry, and the storage option automatically turns the UV function on for one minute every two hours,” says mom Angel.
The Haenim models even come with an app you can download on your phone. “I use it to check how much time is left before the bottles are ready when I’m doing other household chores. Very convenient!”
3. They are worth the investment.
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The moms agree that you'll have to shell out more if you want a UV sterilizer. You'll need around Php10,000 when you can already get a decent electric steam sterilizer for just Php3,000 (see Smart Parenting's electric sterilizer buying guide here).
However, the moms agree that a UV sterilizer is worth the investment. Mom Larah Danielle Dy, whose twins are already 2 years old, says she lovew her Wonderbaby sterilizer that she still uses. “It's definitely worth the price tag, and I do recommend it to other moms. Until now I use it for my kids' bottles, plates, toothbrush, utensils and small toys. I also use it for other things at home that needs sterilizing or drying up quickly like glasses, small plates, makeup brushes, etc.”
Electric steam sterilizers can typically fit around six to eight bottles at a time. In comparison, most UV sterilizers can hold at least 12 and up to 16 bottles.
Ivy Alfonso, a working mom to a 9-month-old, owns a UV Care Multi-purpose Sterilizer (around Php9,000) and has bought two electric steam sterilizers from different brands. She agrees that the bigger capacity of her UV sterilizer is definitely a plus. “It can accommodate more bottles and parts than the usual steam sterilizer. Before we had the UV Care sterilizer, we sterilize the bottles in batches. Now, we can just sterilize everything at once,” she says.
5. They can sterilize more than just bottles.
In steam sterilization, water is heated to high temperatures to quickly kill harmful microorganisms. UV sterilizers, however, work differently. They use ultraviolet light to kill viruses and bacteria by “destroying the molecular bonds that hold their DNA together,” according to Science.
UV sterilizers have a special bulb that usually require replacing once every year and also why you can also use them to sterilize more than just baby’s feeding items.
Says Katrina May Agacid-Nunes, a mom to 4-month-old baby girl and who owns an Ecomom sterilizer and previously used a Tommee Tippee electric sterilizer, “Since my UV sterilizer doesn't use water, I can also use it to sterilize other things like toys, phones, keys, makeup brushes (love!), the remote control, and even clothes (yes, I've tried it).”