Sterilize bottles, nipples, and breast-pump parts--as well as pacifiers in your newborn's first four weeks. Boil the items in water for about ten minutes, or wash them in a very hot dishwasher cycle. Toss out any pacifiers or bottle nipples that appear cracked or stained after cleaning. Use a sterile cotton swab to get into hard-to-clean nooks and crannies of bottles or breast-pump parts. Moisture encourages germs to thrive, so make sure you dry the items thoroughly with a clean dish towel before putting them away.
Want more tips on healthy cleaning habits? Visit the Children's Health Environmental Coalition at checnet.org.
Sources: Philip M. Tierno Jr., Ph.D., author of The Secret Life of Germs; Andrea J. Leeds, M.D., past president of the Nassau Pediatric Society, in Long Island, New York; Jay M. Portnoy, M.D., chief of the allergy, asthma, and immunology section at Children's Mercy Hospital, in Kansas City, Missouri.
Copyright©: 2005. Reprinted with permission from the June 2005 issue of Parents magazine.
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