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    Home ›› Sterilising a dummy: your questions answered

    Home ›› Sterilising a dummy: your questions answered

    How to clean and sterilise a dummy


    Reading time: 5 Mins.


    Once your baby has taken to a dummy, you’ll know how often they drop them – and how quickly dummies get dirty! There’s no need to panic, though. Here, we’ll show you how to sterilise a dummy and why having a totally clean dummy is essential for your little one’s health.

    Why is sterilising a dummy important?


    Especially in the first weeks of life, babies are very susceptible to pathogens, which can accumulate on dummies. Therefore, it is important to sterilise dummy parts regularly to ensure optimal hygiene, even if the dummy looks clean.

    How often to sterilise dummy parts


    First thing’s first, you need to sterilise dummy parts in their entirety – not just the teat that goes inside the mouth, but also the parts that stay outside the mouth, too.

    For the first six months, dummies should be sterilised every day. New dummies should also be boiled before first use to get rid of any residues and germs. Especially in the early days, babies’ immune systems are not yet fully active, and need to get used to their new environment’s influences.

    Once babies reach six months and they’re putting almost everything in their mouths, it’s safe to sterilise dummies twice a week. Your little one will have met many pathogens by now and is already better protected against them. You’ll then need to know how to clean a dummy (as opposed to sterilise), as you’ll be cleaning more regularly than sterilising – more on that later!

    How to sterilise dummies in three different ways


    Here are three of the most popular methods:

    1. How to sterilise dummies in boiling water:


    You don’t need any fancy equipment for this first option: just a saucepan!


    1. First, rinse the dummy under running water.
    2. Squeeze the rubber part to remove air.
    3. Fill a small saucepan with water and put the dummy in it.
    4. Cover the saucepan with a lid and heat the water until it boils. 
    5. Boil the dummy for 5-10 minutes.
    6. Let the dummy cool completely on a clean tea towel before handing it to your baby.

    2. How to sterilise dummies in the microwave:


    Some dummies come with a box for sterilisation in the microwave, or you can buy special bags for microwave sterilising in stores. This method is particularly useful if you’re in a hurry.

    1. Fill the bag with water and put the dummy inside.
    2. Place it in the microwave and choose the setting given on the instructions for the length of time specified.

    3. How to sterilise a dummy in a steriliser:


    You can buy a dummy and soother steriliser that is specifically designed to do just that – sterilise a dummy or soother. But if you also own bottles, breast pumps and teething rings, you’ll probably want to invest in a general steriliser that can do the job for all of them. Devices that can be used for cleaning and sterilising baby bottles and teats are often suitable for sterilising a dummy, too.

    What you need

    How to clean a dummy


    Having a clean dummy is different to having a sterilised one. As already mentioned, once the child is over six months old, sterilising a dummy daily is no longer necessary. You can simply clean it with washing up liquid and rinse it thoroughly under running water – be sure to remove any dish soap residue. If you want, you can also pour hot water over the dummy, but let the dummy cool down before giving it to your baby.

    How to store sterilised dummies


    When you’ve gone to the trouble of sterilising a dummy, you’ll want to make sure it doesn’t become contaminated in storage, and that’s when knowing how to store sterilised dummies comes in handy. Simply pop it into a sterilised, sealed container to keep the germs off until your baby’s ready to use it.

    If you’re constantly involved in ‘find the dummy’ hunts, the Philips Avent Ultra Soft Snuggle will help both you and your baby keep tabs on their soother – it’ll be attached to the super-cute plush animal! It’s easy to detach the dummy from the plushy for sterilising and cleaning. The toy is compatible with all Philips Avent soothers, all of which are orthodontic, durable and BPA free, helping to support natural palate development.

    When you give your baby a dummy for the first time – or whether you use one at all – is entirely up to you. Dummies have pros and cons that you can weigh up to make the right choice for your family. And if you do decide to give your little one a dummy, you now know how often to sterilise a dummy and how to sterilise dummies in microwave ovens, boiling water, a soother steriliser and general steriliser machines.

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