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How to Safely and Effectively Warm a Baby Bottle

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When your child’s health is on the line, you want to make sure you’re doing everything correctly. So learn to give your child a more natural bottle temperature in the safest and most effective way possible with this guide.

According to specialists, babies should have breast milk or infant formula for the first year of their lives to provide the nutrition they need for their growth and general health. They also stated that their milk need not be heated before feeding. They have noted, however, that many babies prefer warm bottles as they are similar to the milk from the breast.

If your little one is among these babies who prefer their milk warm, it is important to know safe handling and heating practices. This is to prevent injuries and avoid killing the critical components of breastmilk or formula. To help you out, here’s a guide on how to safely and effectively warm a baby bottle.


When not done properly, warming a baby bottle can lead to overheating. If this happens, the milk will get too hot and the high temperature can cause scalding in your baby’s mouth. According to a study, heating above physiological temperatures can also impact the “nutritional and immunological” properties of milk. It is said to induce fat profile variations when compared with fresh human milk, too.

For instance, you should never use a microwave to warm your baby’s bottles. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) notes that microwaves can result in uneven heating, which can result in hot spots that can burn a child’s mouth and throat. So while warming baby bottles seems simple enough, it should always be taken with precaution.

Ideally, most babies prefer milk at body temperature or 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit. For those with colic or digestive issues, you can heat milk at a slightly warmer temperature. At 104 degrees Fahrenheit, however, damage to the milk begins. So make sure to never go beyond 103 degrees.

The easiest and most convenient way to warm bottles at a safe temperature is with a baby bottle warmer.

If you are interested in buying one, then check out our round of the best baby bottle warmers

Do You Need to Warm Your Baby’s Bottle?

Do you absolutely need a bottle warmer? Short answer, No. You do not need to warm your little one’s bottles. It is perfectly fine and safe to give your child a bottle of cold or room-temperature bottle of milk. There are also no health or nutritional advantages to drinking heated formula or breast milk.

However, babies tend to stick to what they are used to. So if they have been breastfed or given warm bottles previously, then it’s highly likely that they won’t tolerate a cold or even room-temperature bottle. Besides, similar to adults, a warm and steamy drink is just more inviting.

Now, even if your child initially likes warm milk, they may grow to like a cold or room-temperature milk with repeated exposure. You can also slowly reduce the temperature for every feeding to help your child get used to unheated bottles.

How to Safely Warm Baby Bottles

If you do decide to give your child warm milk, here are three ways on how to safely and effectively do that.

1. Stovetop Heating

There are two ways to go about this method. You can fill up a pan with water and warm it on the stovetop. Or you can put the bottle after you’ve heated the water and removed it from the stove. Whichever way you go, do not put your baby’s bottle in boiling water or heat the water to a boiling point. It will be too hot and it can destroy the proteins in the milk.

This method of warming baby bottles is recommended for expressed breast milk. It is also important to test the temperature of the milk to prevent burning your little one. So make sure to test and sprinkle a few drops on the inside of your wrist.

2. Running on Hot Water

One of the easiest ways to safely warm baby bottles is by running them on hot, running water from the faucet. To do this, simply hold the bottle under the faucet for about two minutes and you’ll reach your desired temperature. This method works well with either breast milk or formula.

Again, before serving the milk to your baby, don’t forget to test its temperature by placing a few drops of milk on the inside of your wrist. If it feels warm, it is safe to give to your little one. However, when it’s hot, you’d have to wait for it to cool down.

3. Bottle Warmer

While stovetop heating and running bottles on hot water from the faucet are effective and safe, they are pretty inconvenient and time-consuming. Can you just imagine running to the kitchen to do all these in the middle of the night and with your child crying? Not to mention that both methods offer no way to know the exact temperature of the milk.

Here’s where bottle warmers come in. They are reliable, easy to use, and they take less effort to get your baby’s milk to the right temperature. All you need to do is prepare the breast milk or formula, put the bottle in the warmer, press a button or turn some dials, and just wait until the cycle is complete.

Warming Bottles on the Go

While it may take some time, warming bottles through a stovetop, running water, or bottle warmer is easy. But the same can’t be said when you are not at home

When you are at the park, beach, traveling, or anywhere outside of your home, you may not have access to a stove or running water. While electric bottle warmers are great, they also need to be plugged in. So what’s the best way to warm bottles on the go? Well, you can try investing in a good portable bottle warmer.

A portable bottle warmer is a device that allows you to warm baby bottles without using electricity. It is smaller and lighter than electric bottle warmers, which makes them portable and easy to carry around in a diaper bag or purse. Depending on the model, it may or may not require batteries. Some also offer temperature adjustments and others do not. But regardless of its features, a portable warmer is what you’ll need when warming milk while you’re out and about.

What’s the Best Portable Baby Bottle Warmer?

There are a lot of portable baby bottle warmers in the market. However, many of them are unreliable and take a long time to heat up. Many also require boiling water beforehand, adding more weight to carry. Not to mention that some models tend to leak when tipped over, which can cause a mess inside your bag. But with the Baby’s Brew Portable Bottle Warmer Pro, you don’t have to worry about all these things.

The first-ever battery-powered bottle warmer, this gadget is no doubt the best portable baby bottle warmer in the market. Without needing electricity, it can effectively heat milk to your desired temperature within just 5 to 10 minutes. You can select from 80 to 110 degrees Fahrenheit, so you are sure to get it right for your little one.

This baby bottle warmer works with breast milk as well as pre-made formulas. It can also fit most wide-neck bottles. If your particular bottle isn’t compatible, the company offers adapters to make it fit perfectly. It is sleek, small, and leak-proof, too, making it easy to carry around. More importantly, it can hold a charge for up to 8 to 12 hours. So you can take it wherever and whenever, and always have a warm bottle of milk ready for your baby.


Not having to warm bottles are much more convenient. There are also no advantages to warming bottles and milk need not be heated prior to feeding. But if giving your little one cold bottles of milk isn’t working, then maybe it’s time for you to start warming them up. But before you do, you have to make sure that you are doing it properly.

While warming baby bottles seems like an easy task, it requires knowledge about safe handling and heating practices. If not done correctly, the composition of formula or breast milk can get affected and key nutrients may get destroyed. It can also result in injuries or burns in your baby’s mouth and throat. To help you prevent those, here’s our guide on how to safely and effectively warm bottles at home and on the go.


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