- Do you really need a bottle warmer?
- What does a bottle warmer do?
- Are bottle warmers safe?
- How warm does a bottle warmer get?
- What should I look for in a bottle warmer?
With the holiday season upon us, you may be travelling more often, for a day visit or a weekend to visit family or friends. Travelling with a baby and all the associated baby ‘stuff’ can seem like a daunting task. And you may be wondering if you really need a bottle warmer? In addition, with so much choice, which one do you actually buy?
Many parents who are exclusively bottle feeding their baby swear by a bottle warmer. However, this will depend on whether you have a fussy baby who won’t accept room temperature breast milk, or cold milk or formula – and your budget of course. In this article we aim to debunk some of the myths, and answer your questions about baby bottle warmers.
Do you really need a bottle warmer?
Most people assume that because breast milk is at body temperature, babies will naturally want to be fed warm milk. However, this will depend on your baby. Many babies will accept room temperature, or even cold milk. Especially as they get a bit older. However, some fussy babies will not be happy with cold milk, and that’s when warming expressed breast milk or formula comes in.
Back in the day, a bowl of hot water would suffice to heat a baby’s bottle. As would holding a bottle of milk under a hot tap. Then microwaves became a household item and revolutionised the method of quick heating. However, most experts will advise against using a microwave to heat a baby’s bottle. This is due to uneven heating which may cause hotspots which can scald your baby’s mouth. So now, enter the baby bottle warmer which has become a ‘go-to’ accessory for some parents, but other parents will never use one.
What does a bottle warmer do?
A bottle warmer is designed to specifically heat a baby’s bottle, storage bag or food jar without making it too hot. There are many different types of bottle warmer, but they all do the same thing – warm a bottle safely, without over heating which can destroy the good vitamins and nutrients in your breastmilk or formula.
Some babies are more fussy than others about needing their feed at the right temperature. A bottle warmer will heat milk quickly and to the correct temperature. Some brands, like the range of Cherub Baby travel bottle warmers will maintain the temperature for a period of time. Nevertheless, don’t forget that warm, or room temperature breast milk or formula must be used in one feed, or after:
- a maximum of four hours for fresh breast milk. After four hours you should use, store, or discard it.
- two hours if your breastmilk has been previously stored and thawed.
Remember to always discard unused, thawed breast milk after two hours. Do not refreeze or reheat breast milk that has been frozen and then thawed.
Are bottle warmers safe?
Yes, bottle warmers are safe to use as they heat a bottle quickly, but shouldn’t make it too hot. A good bottle warmer will evenly heat your baby’s milk and ensure that there are no hot spots that can scald your baby’s mouth. They should also protect you from getting burnt when operating the warmer.
In addition, a good bottle warmer will ensure that your milk is heated evenly and not too fast. This will ensure that all the vitamins and nutrients are preserved unlike some methods, like placing a bottle in boiling water, which will heat up your milk too fast.
How warm does a bottle warmer get?
No baby bottle warmer should heat milk to more than 45ªC as it could burn your baby’s mouth and throat. As a parent who is feeding your baby breast milk, you’ll want to find a bottle warmer that you know can heat milk to a perfect 37ªC. That is the temperature breast milk is when it comes from you when breastfeeding.
Make sure to always check the manufacturers instructions and specifications. In addition, look for bottle warmers that have a thermostat for better control.
What should I look for in a bottle warmer?
Our tip tips!
- Choose a bottle warmer that is right for you – some bottle warmers are better for breast milk and others are better for formula.
- Safety – whatever bottle warmer you choose for your baby, it should warm the milk to a safe temperature while also preserving breast milk nutrients.
- Make sure the bottle warmer you choose is compatible with the baby bottles, food pouches or baby food jars you are using. Some brands like the Cherub Baby range of travel warmers have adjustable sleeves that fit most brands.
It’s hard to know before your baby arrives if they will be fussy about drinking cold breast milk or formula. However it is safe to say that your baby won’t refuse a nicely warmed bottle. Whether you decide to heat bottles the old-fashioned way or try a bottle warmer, what matters most is making sure your baby’s feed is at a safe-to-drink temperature.