One of the struggles of being a new parent is deciding on what baby things you should buy and what to skip on. Unlike other baby stuff like diapers, cribs, and blankets for bundling, which are immediate needs of babies, some items fall right in the middle of “must-haves” and “nice-to-have”. These are things that might come in handy, but are also found to be a waste of money by some parents – and this includes bottle warmers.
So if you too are unsure whether or not to include a bottle warmer in your to-buy list, here’s a guide to help you make up your mind. In this article, we will be discussing everything you need to know about bottle warmers, covering topics such as:
A bottle warmer is one of the most popular items that many parents often can’t decide on. With very different views, it’s no wonder why. For some, especially those who are exclusively bottle-feeding their little ones, this baby gadget is a must. For others, however, they end up never using theirs. So how would you know if you are the former or the latter?
It will all depend on your baby. See, babies are not the same. While some are perfectly fine with cold or room temperature bottles of milk, others are not. So keep in mind that there are babies that are simply more particular than others about their meals. Many also prefer a warm bottle of milk since it is very similar to warm milk fed from their mothers’ breasts.
Your need for a bottle warmer will also depend on your budget. There are simpler ways to heat baby bottles without spending any money on a new machine. For one, you can put the bottle in a bowl or pan of warmed water. Or, you can run a bottle of warm water from your faucet. But on the downside, these methods do not always result in the right temperature. Leaving or running a bottle of milk too long on warm water can lead to overheating, which can then burn your baby’s sensitive mouth.
Aside from that, according to a study, heating above physiological temperatures can also damage the properties of milk and destroy many of the nutrients a baby needs. Ideally, milk should be served at body temperature or 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit. It should also not exceed 103 degrees Fahrenheit as damage to the milk starts at 104 degrees.
The most reliable and convenient way to warm bottles at the perfect temperature every time is through a bottle warmer.
If you’re interested in buying a bottle warmer, don’t forgot to read our guide on the best ones available in Australia.
When Do You Need a Bottle Warmer?
From a guide on Warming Bottles Safely, pre-mixed formula and expressed breast milk need not be heated before feeding. However, if you have a fussy baby who would not accept cold or even room-temperature milk, then that’s when you can consider warming your child’s bottles. As mentioned, there are a few ways to go about this. But if running bottles on hot water from the faucet or leaving them in a bowl of hot water sounds a bit of work every time you’ll feed your baby, then you’ll need a bottle warmer.
A bottle warmer is a great gadget for parents who need warm bottles of milk on the go. It’s easy to use, reliable, and works pretty quickly, which is an especially nice perk during those dreadful nighttime feedings. It’s also perfect if you are feeding your baby frozen breast milk since it can quickly defrost it.
As mentioned in a study, warming feeds to body temperature is also recommended for babies that are premature, particularly those who are at risk for necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC). To reach such temperature easily and accurately every single time, then a bottle warmer is your best option.
What Does a Bottle Warmer Do?
A bottle warmer is a gadget that offers quick and accurate heating, getting bottles to the right temperature every single time. So you don’t have to worry about overheating and destroying the good nutrients in the milk, which your child needs. Some models can also keep your baby’s milk at the ideal temperature for a certain period.
This baby item also makes warming bottles easier. All you have to do is put in the bottle, press a button, or turn some dials, and just wait for the cycle to complete. No more waiting for water to heat up and transfer to a bowl, which you’ll also need to clean up and wash later.
Are Bottle Warmers Safe?
Yes. Most bottle warmers today are equipped with heating systems and temperature control options that not only warm milk quickly but also prevent it from getting too hot. Others even have automatic shut-off features, which turn off the device once a cycle is completed.
Good bottle warmers are also consistent and can heat your baby’s bottles evenly and all the way through. This makes it safer than microwaves, which according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), should never be used as they heat milk and food unevenly. See, uneven heating result in “hot spots” that can burn a baby’s mouth and throat.
While bottle warmers are safe, this does not mean that you can just serve the bottle to your baby right out of the device. Remember, you should always test the temperature of the milk before giving it to your baby. To do this, just sprinkle a few drops of milk on your wrist. If it feels too hot, then you would have to wait for it to cool down.
If you want to better understand how to safely heat a bottle with a bottle warmer then check out our guide .
What Should I Look For in a Bottle Warmer?
Bottle warmers are popular baby gadgets, which make them easy to find. But with so many different brands and models in the market, choosing which one to buy can be a challenge. So to help out and save you from purchasing a bad product, here’s what you need to look for in a bottle warmer:
- Choose a bottle warmer that’s right for you and your baby. For example, if you’re using wide-neck bottles then it should fit them easily. It should also work well with the type of milk you need to warm – breast milk or formula.
- You’ll need a bottle warmer that can safely and effectively warm milk to the right temperature.
- Check the heating time. A good bottle warmer should be able to make warm milk/food quickly so you wouldn’t have to deal with a hungry and crying baby.
- Look for a bottle warmer that’s user-friendly and easy to operate.
- Since you already probably have a dozen baby gadgets and devices at home, it would help to choose a bottle warmer that’s compact. This will save you space on your countertop or nightstand. Plus, it will be easy to transfer from room to room.
Families have different needs. While others may skip buying a bottle warmer, some may find it as a lifesaver. So whether or not you need a bottle warmer depends on you and your family’s needs.
Bottle warmers take out the guesswork by heating the milk at exactly the right temperature every time you need to feed your baby. They are simple, easy to use, and, most importantly, safe. Yes, they are not necessarily for everyone. But if you are looking to make your life as a parent a little easier, then this is surely a great baby gadget to have.