One of the many, many, items that you’re told you need when preparing for a new baby is a sterilizer. You’ll need to sterilize bottles, nipples, pacifiers, breast pump pieces, and basically anything that may end up in baby’s mouth. We opted for the electric kind instead of the microwave kind and decided to try out the Avent 4-in-1 Sterilizer.
The first one we received was defective and would not turn on. I mention this because I want to point out how helpful Avent’s customer service representatives are. The woman that I spoke to kindly walked me through the setup process, just to make sure I wasn’t doing something wrong, and then concluded that the item was indeed defective. Turns out that it had been on sale at Babies R Us so long that even the warranty was about to expire. So she emailed me a label to send the defective one back and sent a new over right away.
The Avent 4-in-1 in an electric steam sterilizer that is designed to easily fit up to 6 11oz bottles and accessories and make doing so quick and painless. It also features a dishwasher basket for keeping small pieces together in the dishwasher and quickly moving them to the sterilizer if necessary. These make sterilizing and organizing a breeze, and the items will remain sterile for up to 24 hours as long as you don’t open the lid.
Another reason we went with this kind of sterilizer was that the natural steam seemed safer for baby’s bottles and still killed 99.9% of harmful germs. Plus it gets the job done in 6 minutes, which is pretty awesome.
The first few times I used it, it was great. I knew baby’s bottles and pacifiers were always germ-free, at least right after running the steam cycle they were germ-free. While the setup and process were as fast as described, the clean-up wasn’t nearly as efficient. The steam leaves a white film inside after a few uses, so you end up taking the pieces out to clean it after every use. Then there’s the metal plate that heats the water. Since it is metal, it starts to build up calcium after a few uses as well so you have to make sure to wipe it down after each use or you may have to scrap off the build-up. On mine, the metal actually seemed to have scorch marks that I just couldn’t get off, no matter how hard I tried or how often I cleaned it.
In the end, we decided not to keep the Avent 4-in-1 Sterilizer. I found that if I needed to sterilize something for the baby it was much easier to just boil it for 5 minutes. The clean-up was quicker, there was never any residue left on any of her items and it’s pretty easy to keep up with.