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Best tips and tools for keeping bottles and breast pumps clean

The importance of sanitizing infant feeding items

In a modern, first world country, it's easy to forget that potentially deadly bacteria can thrive anywhere. Sometimes food contamination happens in the most unlikely ways, so it's important to remain ever vigilant to keep everyone in your home safe.

Yesterday, the Center for Disease Control linked a tragedy to Cronobacter sakazakii. This news has sparked a renewed concern for being sure to carefully clean and sanitize infant feeding items.

In this article: Medela Freestyle Hands-Free Breast Pump, Lansinoh Signature Pro Double Electric Breast Pump and NatureBond Manual Breast Pump.

What is Cronobacter?

Cronobacter is a germ that is naturally found in the environment. It can live on nearly any surface, including counters and sinks, and it's adept at surviving in dry foods, such as powdered infant formula. Once you open a container of powdered formula, you can accidentally contaminate it simply by placing the lid on your kitchen counter. The baby's bottle can also become contaminated by Cronobacter, so make sure you follow the CDC guidelines to keep all infant feeding items clean and sanitized.

Who is most at risk?

According to the CDC, Cronobacter infections are rare. There are only two to four cases reported each year. However, hospitals and laboratories are not required to report Chronobacter infections, so those numbers are probably low.

The highest at-risk population is infants younger than 2 months, infants born prematurely or infants with weakened immune systems. Symptoms of Cronobacter illness are a fever and poor feeding, excessive crying or very low energy. Seizures can also be a symptom. If your infant exhibits any of these symptoms, take them to your medical provider as soon as possible.

Cronobacter safety tips from the CDC

  • Wash hands thoroughly before touching your baby or any infant feeding items.
  • If possible, breastfeed.
  • If you can't breastfeed, use liquid infant formula.
  • If you must use powdered formula, keep the lid and scoop dry. Close the container immediately after using.
  • Inspect all infant feeding items before using.
  • Clean and sanitize all infant feeding items in a dishwasher or a clean wash basin that is only used for this purpose.
  • Any infant feeding items that cannot get wet, such as breast pumps, must be wiped down with disinfectant wipes.
  • Clean and sanitize the counter and any areas that come into contact with infant feeding items.

Best infant feeding items and products to clean them

Medela Freestyle Hands-Free Breast Pump

Hands-free operation means you can pump anywhere at any time, making this model perfect for the busy mom who needs to multitask. The two-phase expression technology mimics a baby's sucking rhythm for a natural experience.

Sold by Amazon

Dr. Brown's Deluxe Electric Baby Bottle and Pacifier Sterilizer

You can use this sterilizer on up to six bottles at a time. It has simple touch controls and an auto shut-off that kicks in when the cycle is complete. The built-in accessory tray holds pacifiers and bottle parts so you can sterilize everything at once.

Sold by Amazon

Tommee Tippee Closer to Nature Portable Travel Baby Bottle Warmer

A bottle warmer safely gets your baby's milk up to a desirable temperature. This portable, insulated travel warmer keeps bottles warm without an external heating source for times when you're out and about.

Sold by Amazon

Lansinoh Signature Pro Double Electric Breast Pump

This double breast pump features soft, flexible rims to give you a secure fit. It has eight levels of suction and three pumping styles to help maximize milk flow. You can pump directly into storage bags or bottles, depending on your needs.

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Medela Breast Pump

Medela's electric breast pump has an automatic letdown and massage mode cycles that are easily controlled through an intuitive touch panel. You have the option of single or double pumping and the unit only weighs 1.18 pounds.

Sold by Amazon

NatureBond Manual Breast Pump

This manual breast pump has three suction levels to accommodate your needs. It's made of food-grade silicone and is soft and safe against your skin. The universal design makes it suitable for any breast size.

Sold by Amazon

Dr. Brown's Deluxe Baby Bottle Brush

If you want to clean your baby bottles, you need a baby bottle brush. This model has sturdy angled bristles to reduce splash back. The included vent brush lets you get into hard-to-reach places for a more thorough cleaning.

Sold by Amazon

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Allen Foster writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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