‘Pumps and bottles and teats… oh my!’

Keeping on top of sterilising

As detailed in my previous post, I am an exclusive expresser meaning I need to use a breast pump and bottles to feed my hungry little milk monster!

All part of the “fun” in the early days was establishing a routine with sterilising that didn’t make me want to pull my hair out.

Here is what works well for us…

Equipment needed:

Process:

1. I wash and sterilise the breast pump accessories once a day (washing it up, rinsing and then boiling in a saucepan for 5 minutes). I then put the bits together and store it in the fridge for the day (pouring milk into bottles after each use). It is possible to do this hygeinically as the suction nozzles have clean plastic cups to put on and keep bacteria out.

2. While my pump accessories are boiling, I wash up and rinse any used bottles and put up to 4 of them in the steriliser along with 200ml of water and microwave for 6 minutes. An easy way to keep the bottles sterile is to (using clean hands) put them back together again with their lids on after removing them from the steriliser. They will then remain clean for 24 hours.

It is as easy as that! I find I only need to use the bottle steriliser twice a day. I also put Isaac’s Tommee Tippee dummies in the microwave steriliser once a day.

We also have the Milton cold water steriliser which does not require heat, however it has sat on the kitchen side unused as the microwave version is so easy!

*If you do use heat to clean your equipment, make sure to buy new bottles and dummies every 3-6 months to avoid possible plastic degradation – I have just bought new ones as Isaac is now 3 months old.

I hope this helps any new mums and dads to navigate the crazy world of bottles and sterilising! For us it took a good month to get into a solid, easy and safe routine, so I highly recommend the above tried-and-tested method! Good luck!

Tummy time – treat or torture?

From as early as birth onward tummy time is one of the most important activities for babies to develop core strength and balance in preparation for rolling over and eventually crawling. It can also help to prevent head-flattening which can happen if a baby is laid on their backs for too long at a time. It is recommended by the National Childbirth Trust and others that a baby has a session laying on their tummy for around 5 minutes 2-3 times a day. Although this sounds like no time at all, it can be tricky to find the right time to engage in tummy time when baby has to be alert, not recently fed and happy, especially when they nap every 2 hours! It really is important though so I make sure Isaac does it in preference to some other activities if necessary.

Like many babies, Isaac can find tummy time quite hard and therefore can get a little grumpy with it. I have to mix it up each time in order to keep him engaged and, depending on how he is feeling, I vary the difficulty with different supports.

In order to engage Isaac more, I have bought 2 items for tummy time which I am thrilled with. First, the specially designed tummy time cushion gives good support and has accessories like a rattle, a cuddly toy and a teether to keep Isaac amused.

Isaac loves the support of this specially designed tummy time cushion

When he got a little older and stronger, I bought him a water mat which is awesome as it has floating sea animals inside which he can press with his hands (or I sit opposite him and move it around myself). Another fantastic purchase!

Enjoying the sensation of the water and the fishes swimming about!

It certainly is the case that tummy time can feel like ‘torture’, particularly if baby has no fun distractions like toys or a fun mat to look at and play with. No wonder so many parents find it stressful and therefore one of the first things to knock off the to-do list each day!

Since buying these items, Isaac has begun to see tummy time as more of a ‘treat’ (and it certainly is a treat for me seeing him get stronger and closer to meeting key milestones like rolling over and pushing up).

A simple ‘no thrills’ tummy time with a blanket is great when baby is in a good mood and can make them feel successful when scaffolds such as the cushion can be removed.

How did you get on with my recommended products? Do you have any recommended products of your own to make this activity more enjoyable?

About Mumstar

On the 18th February 2020, just weeks before the Covid19 ‘lockdown’, my life changed forever… I became a mum! Since then I have been learning from all the true mum-stars out there who unashamedly and honestly share their stories, tricks and life-hacks to help first-timers like me.

Over the last few weeks, I have delved into blogs and websites written by other mums and found them helpful, comforting and often hilarious! I thought I might try my hand at writing my own, with the intention of sharing things I have learned along the way with other new mums. We are after all in this whirlwind together!

I hope you find my blogs helpful, honest and above-all fun. I generally discuss my experiences of pregnancy/birth, general day-to-day parenting, maternity-friendly recipes and personally recommended baby gear to help kit you out for your parenting adventure!

Please feel free to comment on and share my posts!