When I was pregnant with Amelia I found blogs with reviews on baby products invaluable. Especially as a first time mama hearing about a product from a parent who had used the product was worth its weight in gold; especially when there is so much choice. I have decided to write about some the products that I have used throughout Amelia’s first year. The majority of these products I have purchased after reading reviews on various parenting blogs, and some of the products I have been gifted to test out. These given to me in exchange for my honest review of the product.
I have been fortunate enough to be sent some products to test by MAM over the last couple of months and little while back they sent me their new MAM Electric Sterisliser and Express Bottle Warmer to test out. As you will know from my previous posts we decided to breast feed Amelia however I did express for Steve to help with feeds and more recently we have moved onto Dairy free formula. These feeding choices meant that we would need to sterilise Amelia’s bottles. Now I don’t know about you but I got lost into a sea of reviews discussing the pro’s and cons between a microwaveable steriliser and an electric steriliser, and gave up my search. We settled with a microwavable one that had come with free with a bottle starter pack. When I was given the opportunity to test this product I was interested to see the differences between this and our microwaveable sterilizer. I was immediately impressed with the number of functions that one product offered and how the product functions grew with your little one; from birth to weaning as well as supporting both feeding choices of Breast and Bottle. Instead of having several devices to try and fit into your kitchen/cupboards, this product seemed to offer an all in one solution for parents.
So what do you get?
1x Steriliser (this is used for both microwave and electric sterilising)
1x Express Warmer
2x 160ml Easy Start Anti Colic Bottle
2x Start 0-2M Soothers
1x Teat Tongs
1x Electric base unit (used for the Steriliser and Warmer)
So what can it do?
MAM have been very clever in fitting some really useful functions to this steriliser and have crammed 6 features into one device instead of needing several devices:
- Microwaveable Sterilising
- Electric Sterilising
- Express Bottle Warming
- Gentle Bottle Warming
- Defrost and Food Warming
- Keep Warm Function
I am absolutely one of those people that reads the instructions before using anything and with this many functions on offer I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to remember how to use all the different settings. I am happy to say that the instructions were really clear and actually it is very simple and easy to use.
Although when you open up the box it feels bit like Mary Poppins bag with lots of different parts it was very simple use and once set up it was very neat and compact on my kitchen side (great for those that have a small kitchen or small worktop space!)
MAM have got all bases covered with this product which allows you to use in the microwave or with the electric base unit as an electric steriliser. These gives you the flexibility to use it as you wish and great for those that travel or visit relatives regularly.
As I have mentioned previously I was well accustomed to using a microwave steriliser so was keen to test out the electric side to the product. Once again MAM have made this a super easy and simple process – great for when we are running on low sleep and not paying attention! Simply fill the base unit with water, pop the lid on top, fill your steriliser with your bottles, dummies etc and just press start. The steriliser has two baskets which gives you more room for items. The programme runs for 7 mins and then has a 4 minute cooling down setting that runs immediately afterwards. It has a clever LED and beeping system to let you know what programme it is running. Firstly I was so impressed by the little amount of noise it made whilst it was on. I had read such bad reviews about other electric sterilisers being so noisy and to be honest had put me off purchasing due to having an open plan living and kitchen area. Secondly I was impressed with the run time of each programme. Within 11 minutes I was able to sterlise 3-4 bottles which is great when you are looking after a newborn or running around after a one year old! Do take some care when removing the items after the cooling period as it still may be hot – the tongs are great if you haven’t got asbestos hands like me! Compared to the 12 minute programme and 10 minute cooling down period with my old microwave steriliser I was already loving this device from a time saving perspective!
I did give the microwave steriliser a go and again it was really simple to use; simply pulling the little stopper down and popping in the water to the steriliser itself. The run time was pretty similar to my microwave steriliser but I was in favour of the MAM steriliser due to the basket which created to two tiers and more room. Personally for us this meant I was able to sterilise bottles and dummies together instead of running two separate programs. I was impressed with the compatibility with different microwave sizes too. The steriliser we had been using previously was quite chunky and didn’t always fit into microwaves if we were away or visiting family. The MAM steriliser however seemed to fit all the microwaves we needed to use.
MAM have been very clever as I have mentioned previously about packing this product with lots of functionality. The other features we have used but not as a heavily as we would have done only a couple of months ago. The Express and Gentle Bottle Warming and Keep Warm functions would have been a god send for us when I was expressing milk for Steve to be able to feed Amelia. I can’t begin to tell you how frustrating it was to having to pop a bottle into some hot water and keep checking it regularly to avoid it getting too hot. This clever machine gives you warming two options for milk; Express and Gentle Bottle Warming. The Gentle Bottle Warming function can be used when warming breast milk. The gentle warming process helps to preserve the nutrients of breast milk and the programme varies for quantity of milk but ranges from 17 to 22 minutes running time. Express Bottle warmer quickly brings the bottle up to drinking temperature. The running time for this programme will depend on whether the bottle is at room or refrigerator temperature and the quantity of liquid to be heated. MAM have given you a helpful little table with all the information about the running times for different quantities and the amount of water needed. Combining feeding solutions for Formula and Breast milk is so beneficial for those that decide to combination feed or move from breast to formula as their baby grows. Again this shows why this product is one that can grow with your parenting choices and child. Express Warming function can be used to warm bottles. I wish I had this product when Amelia was born and throughout my expressing period; especially in those early hours of the morning when it seemed to take hours to warm up!
As well as being able to heat milk this clever machine lets you also defrost frozen milk and warm up baby food. Again MAM provide a helpful little chart to follow depending on the quantity of food to be warmed and how cold it is! I would suggest to pop these helpful tables somewhere you can see them all the time to help you; we have ours pinned on a notice board right by where the steriliser lives!
All warming functions include a “Keep Warm” feature which automatically starts after a heating cycle or when the machine is manually switched off. This function will run for 45 minutes before again switching off automatically. Now this is an amazing feature especially for those mama’s whose babies like have a poonami right before their bottle, fall back asleep before their bottle or if you are like my Amelia then like to throw up during her bottle which would require a full outfit change!
So why am I impressed?
Time – This has been the big win for me. As the run time is shorter my previous method and with the additional space in the steriliser it means that I am spending less time carrying out this task. As I am using the electric steriliser function as well it means I have a microwave free to be able to cook any dinner while the steriliser is on. I am now definitely more efficient in the evenings.
Space – The steriliser has two baskets which means instead of having to run the steriliser twice for all the bottles for the day I am actually able to run this once! This again would have been so useful when Amelia was having more bottles throughout the day or when she was using a dummy. Instead of having to run the bottles through twice and then the dummies we could have run it all through together! Another time saving here for me and also an energy saving for us too! The fact the MAM have been able to fit so many functions into one product also means its saves having to purchase several different devices which lets be honest clog up either your worktop or cupboards. I love products that have more than one usage and save on space and this ticks all the boxes for me!
Travel – We have taken this steriliser away with us the last couple of weeks and tested out the different functions out of the home. Firstly it is quite compact and easy to transport so we have always taken the base unit with us to use the electric function. A couple of times we have just taken the steriliser itself to test out the microwave function and I have been impressed at how many microwaves the steriliser has fit into. Our old steriliser was quite large and didn’t seem to fit in most microwaves however I have not found this (yet!) with the MAM steriliser.
Bottles – Although the steriliser works well with MAM bottles, both glass and plastic, and fits in all the components I have been very impressed that due to the large baskets it can also work well with other branded bottles such as Dr Browns. Again due to the design of an open basket it doesn’t restrict you so if you don’t use MAM bottles then don’t panic this steriliser can still work for you!
Best of both – I love the fact that you can choose how you want to sterilise you bottles depending on your situation at the time. This flexibility is great!
What could be better or improved?
A small criticism (and not one that would necessarily put me off purchasing) is to do with the base unit. The plug is connected to base unit and when emptying the unit of water after you have run the steriliser you have to unplug and take the whole unit over to the sink to drain it. It would be great to have a removable section to discard the water instead of having to move the whole base unit.
Overall I am very impressed with the MAM 6 in 1 Electric Steriliser and I am not the only one with it winning two awards this year:
Gold Winner 2018 Made for Mums Awards for Best Steriliser
Bronze Winner 2018 Mother & Baby Awards for Best product for Bottle Feeding
The 6-in-1 Electric steriliser costs £90 is available to purchase via the MAM Online Shop but can also be found in most large retailers such as Argos, John Lewis, Boots and Mothercare.