Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Something I'm probably devoting too much time to

So, my latest dilemma, or maybe neurosis, is how to deal with all of the bottle and pump parts on a daily basis. For those not in the know, it is a heaping mound of tiny plastic pieces that require all sorts of attention between each use.

As with any apparatus that comes in contact with my daughter, I felt compelled to read the instruction manuals word for word and even considered flipping them over and seeing if I could decipher any additional useful information on the Spanish side.

The thing is, some of them offer conflicting advice. For example, the bottles need to be boiled for 10 minutes, but the pump parts say 5 minutes. And they're both the same brand, so which is it? And why do I have to boil everything in the first place? Is my dishwasher really not getting things clean enough? Even if I use hot water, a heated dry and turn on the "sterilize" function? What could POSSIBLY be left to boil off? It's not like I'm dipping them in dirty toilet water and calling it a day.

And the pump parts are supposed to be sterilized between each use too, but I'm also supposed to be pumping three times each work shift. I don't know about other offices, but mine doesn't come equipped with a stove. Not that I'd have that kind of time in the first place, so I've been forced to simply rinse everything off as best as I can between sessions.

Then when I come home I have to start the process all over again. And because we don't go through a ton of dishes every day, I'm torn whether to run the dishwasher. The environmentally friendly side of me knows it's wasteful to run it if it's not full.

At first I started looking for things to fill it with -- Toby's bowls, the sink rack, plastic placemats, sponges. Now I'm wondering if I should just handwash the bottles and boil rather than worrying about filling the dishwasher.

Then I sit back and slap my head that these are the kind of things that keep me up at night.

Life really does change when you have kids.

16 comments:

.xanga.com/the_plainsman said...

The pump part instructions say boil only for five minutes as they may be made of a different material (or be made from a smaller anount of the same material) that could not stand repeatedly being boiled for the full ten minutes like the bottles. Then again, how long at a full boil is good engough to kill everything? Five minutes and I'd be done! LOL

Anyway, I'd stick with the rinse when you can when at work or out, then boil once each day when home to take care of any accumulated bacteria. Dishwashers even though they are hot, don't reach boiling temps.

Ha! I always wonder if there is more information in those other translations, too!

Anonymous said...

You could try buying a bottle sanitizer. I use one for my son who is 4 and a half months old and it has saved my life and my sanity. You wash everything out in the sink with dish soap and water and then throw it in the sanitizer. You can put it in the microwave with like 200ml of water (that's how much mine takes but it probably varies) and the steam action works to sterilize the bottles without the boiling. The boiling was driving me nuts so I talked to his pediatrician and she said that was a totally acceptable alternative. You'll have to do a few loads but you'll get the hang out of it and it goes pretty quickly for me now...I can do a whole day's worth of bottles in about 25 minutes (and most of that time is just standing around waiting on the microwave).

Anonymous said...

I never boiled anything - I ran things in the dishwasher and then used these bags:

http://www.toysrus.com/product/index.jsp?productId=2735035

- you could use them at work if you have a microwave. They are made by medela but you can use them with any plastic pump parts. You just toss the stuff in and put in 2 oz of water and microwave for a couple of minutes. They sell them at my local babies-r-us. They are $5 for a package of 5 bags that can be used 20 times each.

Jaxon said...

You have to remember the first rule of instruction making: That we not get sued. I would think a run through the dish washer is clean enough.

It's like the story of the pacifier getting dropped on the floor. First kid-boiled five minutes before reusing. Second kid-wiped on shirt before reusing.

These kids are tougher than you think. My doctor warned me against being a clean freak. He said the kid has to build an immune system by being exposed to the environment.

Shalini said...

we boiled... there are "Stovetops" sterilizers as well...

but we always did the boiling... it's personal preference I think and I also had the same problem/guilt of running a mostly empty dishwasher.

Ray said...

Wow, I never knew that the pumps needed to be sterilized with each feeding. But you're right life does change when you have kids. You tend to worry about them more than anything you've probably ever worried about, in your entire life. It's crazy but true.

Take, care.

sarahhhhhh said...

i have no understanding of boob pumps or any of that sorta thing...

however, i read your post and i thought hmmm tough one. i went downstairs to drink tea with my mom and i had thought of an amazing idea for you! geniussss... well, we drink a TON of tea at my house. we drink like little old ladies who wear diapers and have nothing else to do. eventually after the 60,000 pot of hot water it was becoming a big pain in the butt to boil water all the time when you wanted the tea NOW. my mom found this countertop tea pot that we use now. it's from general electric and it's SO FAST. we fill it with tap water, push a button, and in less then 1 minute we have a full pot of hot boiling water. it would fit very well in your staff kitchen and all you'd have to do was bring like a plastic storage container and let it all the parts just soak in there.

just thought it'd run this by you. it might help. :) or... it might be a crazy tea lady thing to do.

Tina said...

I never boiled anything. I agree with The Plainsman. Some of this is about not getting sued.

Hot soapy water will kill bacteria, just like it does on your dishes every day. If you're not sure, call a couple of nurses.

I also had to rinse pump parts. That worked and then I washed when I got home.

kristin said...

I think a compromise. Each night get a giant pot - the biggest one you have and boil water and shove everything in the pot and then leave it for 7.5 minutes :)

plainsman said...

Jaxon made a good point as well, but that is why I suggested the once a day full boil be enough. While agree that kids and people should not live in a totally clean environment, we also know that some things can be deleterious to little ones in their early days, so we take the necessary and heretofore thought excessive precautions. But balance is the key here, like so much else in life!

jsi said...

It is inconvenient and wasteful to use the dishwasher everytime. Microwave sterilizers are a dream.
or...
...I also used my electric tea kettle, filled with 4 cups of water, boiled in 1 minute flat. Then I would pour the water over the pump parts which I had hot-water rinsed and placed in a Pyrex covered bowl. When covered, I would let it sit for 30 minutes and then remove so as to dry for the next use (which always seemed to be very soon).
My Pyrex bowl was large enough for the whole kettle of water, but I reserved a mugfull for a fresh spot of tea everytime - a little treat for all the work that goes into staying sterilized.

Lioncloud said...

Remember what happened to _me_ when I boiled a bottle and then left it on the stove too long!

I would think the sterilize option on your dishwasher would do it all, but you mother would probably disagree with me.

Glrr

Heidi said...

You can just wash in really hot, soapy water. Allison is thriving and well. It's really not necessary to sterilize between every pumping. I usually wash my breast shields after every use, and sterilize every 24 hours.

Jessica said...

I think I have the same pump brand - I was convinced I only had t boil everything before the first use! Am I wrong? If so, take heart that Addison never did get sick from me not boiling the pump parts (that just sounds weird).

What your describing, though, is one reason why a pump that cost as much as our vacations spends most of it's time sitting in Addison's closet. I despise cleaning it!

Kimberly said...

I have two words for you microwave sterilizer. Lifesaver. Seriously. My husband would like me to add that should just be careful what goes in there we once melted my daughters chewy ring toy in what seemed like a very harmless round of sterilize the toys, but for bottles and pump parts (I pumped for 3 months at home and work) it was awesome. and if you are super paranoid most offices at least have a microwave and the sterilizer can come with you in bag.

FYI... the microwave may make your bottle nipples turn cloudy depending on the brand, but there is no need to be alarmed and no reason to replace unless they start crack.

My pediatrician recommeded actually boiling once a week for good measure, but said that generally speaking washing bottle parts and pump parts with soap and hot water was good enough.

Marcy said...

Huh, our pump just says to sterilize for first use, but afterwards just wash in hot, soapy water. I also read somewhere that if you're gonna use the pump again within a few hours, you can just stick everything in the fridge (the BM is good in the fridge, right?) until the next use.

What cracks me up is reading the various "expiration dates" for refrigerated breastmilk. One book I have claims it's only good for 3 days in the fridge, my pump kit says it lasts 8 days. Which is it???