A fully self-contained, microwavable, rapid-sterilising bottle is an intriguing option - particularly if you're no stranger to being caught out and about without a prepared bottle - so we were keen to put these Mothercare promises to the test. We have to confess to being a little cynical at first as it just seemed to good to be true, and we thought we would be bound to find the whole thing too fiddly or easy to get wrong. But no, the sterilising bottle really does work, and it's simple to use.
The instructions for preparing the bottle for sterilising are quite easy to follow, and once you've done it once you won't have any problems. You start off, of course, by washing all the bottle parts in hot water. The bottle's bits and pieces, including the handling tongs, go into the lid where they're suspended over the water (once you've filled it to the marked level). You then simply put the upside-down bottle itself on over the top and microwave. It takes just ninety seconds to sterilise one bottle, and you can sterilise up to six at one time if you microwave for longer: The length of time you need to microwave different numbers of bottles is helpfully printed on the sides of the bottle.
Once the bottles are sterilised you need to allow them to cool for a few of minutes before you can handle them because they're very hot. And that's really our only gripe with the system, you have to factor in cooling time (how long exactly will depend on whether you've got asbestos hands), but even so it's still faster than your regular sterilising unit cycle and you don't need the unit. Because the bottle is self-contained, it stays sterilised until you open it, so it's easy to always have a bottle ready to go.
For use in the home the sterilising bottle is a great time and space saver, but it's when you're out and about that the bottle really comes into its own. If you've stayed out later than intended or you're away on a trip somewhere, as long as you know you've got a microwave at your disposal you don't need to worry nor lug along a sterilising unit and lots of bottles: Because the bottle's so quick to prepare you can get away with taking far fewer, even just managing with one is possible.