How to choose a heater, sterilizer, selection tips and reviews
Heater – a device that allows you to heat baby food to the required temperature without the risk of overheating.
Sterilizer – a device that ensures the hygiene of baby food (destruction of bacteria) by thermal, ultraviolet or chemical treatment of baby food devices (bottles, nipples, spoons).
Important: In addition to bottles or spoons, you can sterilize a breast pump, medicine dispensers and even small plastic toys – almost any object that a child interacts with. The main thing is that they withstand heat treatment with temperatures up to 100 ° C.
Heater-sterilizer – a universal option that combines the functions of previous devices. However, the cost of such a device is higher than that of a conventional heater or sterilizer.
- Two bottle warmer
- Heater with extraction stand
Steam (electric) – consists of a container for bottles, a tank with a water heater and a sealed lid. Sterilization occurs by thermal action on objects with hot steam.
Advantages: allows you to process a large number of items, including metal ones, in one cycle, the sterilization process is carried out automatically, it has indicators that allow you to control this process. Disadvantages: requires connection to the mains, is large in size and weight, is not cheap.
For microwave oven – consists of a container where water is poured, a basket for bottles and a sealed lid (dome). Such a sterilizer is placed in a microwave oven turned on at maximum power. The sterilization process takes place in the same way as in steam.
Advantages: differs in small dimensions and weight, with a comparable quality of sterilization, it is cheaper than an electric counterpart. Disadvantages: requires a microwave oven, not suitable for processing metal objects, long sterilization process (up to 30 minutes).
Important: Do not use a microwave oven to sterilize items without a special sterilizer, as they may deteriorate. Sterilization itself will be ineffective.
Before purchasing a sterilizer for a microwave oven, you should make sure that it is suitable for your microwave model.
UV – an ultraviolet lamp located in a chamber with a transparent door. Sterilization is carried out by irradiating objects with ultraviolet light.
Advantages: does not require an electrical connection, as well as water, is small in size and weight, operates silently and provides high processing speed. Disadvantages: small capacity of the device, due to which each item has to be sterilized separately, lack of a special container to maintain the sterility of already processed items.
Chemical – a sealed container into which water and an antibacterial agent (tablet or solution) are poured. Sterilization takes place by a chemical reaction without raising the temperature of the water (“cold water sterilizer”). Such a sterilizer is rare.
Advantages: does not require electricity, which allows it to be used on the road. In addition, it works silently. Disadvantages: you need to buy an antibacterial concentrate, which is not found in every pharmacy.
Important: when purchasing a chemical sterilizer, pay attention to the presence of a date and time indicator to track the expiration date of the solution.
- Steam sterilizer
- Sterilizer for microwave oven
The speed of sterilization of the bottle or heating of baby food depends on this parameter. The more powerful the device, the less time it will take for these operations. Microwave sterilizers use the power of microwaves.
Steam (100 °C) – baby food is heated by steam, into which water turns when heated. Advantages: the presence of the “auto-off” function, fast heating and maintaining the temperature of food for a long period. Disadvantages: risk of burns when opening the lid of the device or touching the bottle.
On hot water (80-90 ° C) – resembles the previous version, but differs in that more water is used to heat baby food. The advantage is the ability to heat up frozen mixtures, since the device allows you to use heating several times in a row. The disadvantage is that if the container is not removed from the apparatus in time, then it must be cooled.
Important: Be careful when removing the bottle – hot water drips from it and you may get burned.
On warm water (up to 50 °С) – with such heating, baby food does not overheat, there is no boiling water and steam. The disadvantage is that it takes a lot of time to heat up the food.
Heaters-sterilizers can heat baby food to a temperature of 37°C, and keep the temperature reached for 1-3 hours.
This parameter indicates the amount of time it takes to heat food. When choosing a heater, you should focus on 5-7 minutes – the optimal time for heating baby food.
This indicator indicates the amount of time required to sterilize items. In different sterilizers, this parameter will be different.
- for an electric sterilizer – 5-15 minutes;
- in microwave sterilizers – up to 30 minutes (sterilizer heating time 2-10 minutes + sterilization time 15-20 minutes);
- in ultraviolet sterilizers – 5 minutes;
- in chemical sterilizers – 15 minutes.
Number of containers
Warmers are usually designed for 1 bottle. Each type of sterilizer has a different number of containers. For example, an electric sterilizer is designed for an average of 6-8 bottles, most microwave models can hold up to 4-5 bottles. The larger the capacity of the sterilizer, the greater the time savings in bottle handling.
There are portable microwave sterilizers designed for one bottle, as well as heat-resistant sterilization bags that can be used up to 20 times. Such devices are as compact as possible and are well suited for processing objects with a non-standard shape, such as breast pumps.
Depending on the power supply of the device, there are such types of heaters and heater-sterilizers:
- automotive – work from a car cigarette lighter (12V) and they do not have a plug designed for conventional sockets. Compact and easy to use devices. The best option for traveling in a car;
- universal – work both in the car and from the mains (220V) – they have plugs for the cigarette lighter and for a standard outlet;
- homemade (sterilizers-steamers) – work only from the mains. In addition to heating and sterilization with the help of such devices, you can cook food (50-150 g) for a couple, while maintaining useful vitamins.
Some heaters may run on batteries or AA batteries. They are well suited for road conditions – it is only important to recharge the batteries in time or replace the batteries. Sterilizers usually work only from the mains. However, there are battery-powered models (ultraviolet).
Temperature maintenance – preservation by the heater of the reached temperature of baby food after heating.
Auto power off – stops the device operation at the end of heating or sterilization, as well as at the minimum water level in the tank.
Sound and (or) alletcNew signal – notifies the completion of the heating or sterilization process.
Display – displays parameters of water level, sterility, device operation time and switch-off time. The display simplifies the use of heaters and sterilizers.
Temperature regulator – allows you to set the required temperature for heating baby food.
Electronic thermostat – maintains a constant temperature of baby food and protects it from overheating.
Extraction Accessory – a device resembling tongs and designed for comfortable removal of heated bottles from a warmer or sterilizer.
jar – a container for heating mashed potatoes and other thick foods. Included in the set of heater, heater-sterilizer.
Also, bottles, a measuring spoon for powdered milk formula, nipples, pacifiers, containers for storing the mixture can also be included in the scope of delivery of the sterilizer.
- When choosing a heater or sterilizer, you should pay attention to the diameter of the bottles. Make sure the bottles fit in the device. If the bottles are included in the package, then there will be no such problem.
- You can purchase a device designed for wider bottles – in this case, narrower ones will fit in it.
- Purchase the device from specialized stores or pharmacies. In this case, the risk of purchasing low-quality and toxic products is reduced. View device quality certificates. It is better to give preference to well-known brands.
- If the child is bottle-fed, then it is worth purchasing a roomy sterilizer model (electric or microwave), as in this case the number of bottles used increases. The same is true for families with two or more children.
An excellent choice would be models of well-known brands of children’s goods Canpol babies, Chicco, Miniland, Philips, Tommee Tippee. You can also pay attention to other reliable manufacturers of household appliances, such as Beurer or Tefal: their products have always been distinguished by stable quality and reliability. The models of the “Chinese” Orion or the local brand Businka can be a little cheaper – among the shortcomings, one can note the discrepancy between the actual temperature and the declared one. For young children, this is very important! Therefore, it is not worth buying unreliable and non-steel heaters. It is also worth noting that the cost of Philips Avent or Chicco products may be inflated due to the high popularity of the brand.