Many parents like to sterilize their baby's bottles before use. Avent makes baby feeding equipment including bottles, nipples and breast pumps. They also make steam sterilizers that can be used to sterilize these items before use.
It is important to be familiar with the components of the Avent sterilizer before operating it. The base of the unit has a stem on which the racks holding the bottles (or other things to be sterilized) are placed. The bottom rack slides on the stem and lies near the bottom of the unit. It is made of mesh and will allow steam to rise through it while keeping the contents on the rack. Three other racks are available: two flat mesh racks (which look just like the bottom rack) and a rack with rings to hold bottles in place. Spacers are placed on the stem to separate the racks. If you wish to have more room between the racks, simply use more spacers. A lid fits over the entire unit.
To use the sterilizer, the reservoir first needs to be filled with 90 milliliters of water. Using exactly this amount is important because if you use less your sterilizer may not work properly, and if you use more the cycle will take much longer than normal. There is a line in the reservoir marked "max" that should remain at or below the water line. You can use the milliliter marks on one of your Avent bottles to measure this volume exactly. Once the water is in the reservoir, assemble the baskets in whichever configuration suits your needs (for example, use only the mesh separators if you are sterilizing your breast pump and use the bottle rings to stand any bottles up that you are sterilizing) and load them into the unit. If you have small items to sterilize, also sterilize the pair of tongs that comes with the unit. Place the lid on the sterilizer. Plug the cord into the sterilizing unit, then into the wall. Turn the Avent sterilizer on and wait for it to cycle. Although the duration of the cycle will vary from load to load (small loads take longer to sterilize), this should take approximately 8 minutes.
Wait 3 minutes once the cycle is over before opening the Avent sterilizer. Before then, the unit is extremely hot and the steam could burn your skin. In the meantime, unplug the unit and wash your hands. Remove the lid carefully and begin removing the items from the sterilizer, using the sterilized tongs if necessary. If you do not remove the lid immediately, the items in the sterilizer will remain sterile for up to 3 hours after the cycle is complete. Once the sterilizer is empty, pour the remaining water out of the reservoir.
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