Pros: Easy to use, can sterilize pacifiers and breast pump too
Cons: Never on sale!
When my husband and I went to Babies R Us to do our baby registry, we thought we didn't need a baby bottle sterilizer. I had read that bottles could be sterilized in a pot of boiling water, or washed in the dishwasher where the hot water would sterilize them. But then we decided to just add it to the registry -- if someone bought it, great, but if not, oh well. Since we registered for Avent baby bottles, we figured we'd just add the Avent Express Microwave Steam Sterilizer so everything would be the same brand.
What is the Express Microwave Steam Sterilizer?
The Steam Sterilizer (I won't be typing out the whole name each time because it's just way too long!) is a round, plastic 3 piece system. It consists of a base, a basket inset, and a lid. It can be used to sterilize bottles, pacifiers, and even breast pumps.
How does it work?
The basket insert has small holes in it. You put water into the base, which, when heated, creates steam. The holes allow the steam to rise up to the items in the basket and steam sterilize them. The lid traps the steam in.
How do I use it?
The sterilizer is very easy to use. You place the basket insert into the base. Then you add 7 ounces of water. Then arrange your bottles (or other items) in the basket. There are grooves in the basket insert to show you where to put the bottles -- you place them upside down so the steam rises into the bottle. The 4 ounce Avent bottles can stand upright in the sterilizer, but the 9 ounce bottles have to lie flat because they are too tall.
There are 4 grooves for bottles, so it can hold 4 bottles, with their nipples, rings, and lids, but if you are sterilizing bottles without lids, you can squeeze in 5 bottles usually. Just make sure you don't block the basket holes, otherwise the steam won't be able to get into the bottles and nipples.
Once the bottles are arranged, you place the lid on and snap it in (there are two "latches" on the lid that lock into the base). Then you place the whole thing in your microwave and nuke it anywhere from 4-7 minutes, depending on the wattage of your microwave.
After microwaving, you need to let the sterilizer cool for a few minutes before opening, otherwise you'll be hit with a blast of hot steam. When you do open the lid, do it carefully, and open the lid away from your face. Some steam does come out when you take off the lid.
If you are sterilizing pacifiers or a breast pump, you can just lay the pieces in the basket and microwave as usual.
Where can I buy a Microwave Steam Sterilizer?
I have seen these at most stores that carry Avent products, like Babies R Us and Target. You can also buy them online at www.babiesrus.com.
How much does it cost?
Babies R Us (both the brick and mortar store and online) sell this sterilizer for $29.99. I don't know how much Target sells it for, but I would say $30 is the average price. I have never seen this item on sale at BRU, and according to one of the salesclerks there, this item never goes on sale.
The Avent Express Microwave Steam Sterilizer is a great product. I didn't think I would use it much, but I use it every day! I realize now that it is much quicker and easier than boiling bottles or using the dishwasher. It would take 15-20 minutes for boiling, and the dishwasher would only work every other day or so, since there are only 2 adults here and we don't use very many dishes.
This is a great product, and something I think every new parent should get!