You have a fussy baby that has woken up in the middle of the night and you know it’s the “I’m hungry cry.” A cold bottle of formula or breast milk would be the fastest way to satiate baby. Warm milk would sooth them back to sleep so much easier. It can be such a time-consuming process, depending on your methods.
Things to Know When Feeding Baby
- It is OK to give tepid or cold formula (Mayo)
- Toss formula after an hour of each feeding, do not return to fridge because bacteria from baby’s mouth can still multiply there (Mayo)
- The temperature required to kill unsafe bacteria is relatively high for an infant’s consumption (FDA)
- If you want to prepare many bottles of formula to use throughout the day in the refrigerator, discard after 24 hours (Mayo)
- Do not freeze formula, it causes components to break down (Mayo)
- When traveling, keep any prepared bottles in an insulated cooler (FDA)
- If left out for more than 2 hours without use, discard (FDA)
- Do not make more formula than needed, it could be contaminated during prep and if not properly refrigerated can multiply in large numbers (FDA)
- Test temperature of formula on top of hand not back, it is least sensitive to heat (FDA)
- Do not place dirty diapers in bag with bottles, bacteria from diapers can spread to bottles (FDA)
- Breast milk should be refrigerated if it is going to be used within 3-5 days (FDA)
- If you are stocking up your breast milk, date and freeze it in the back of the freezer (not the door) for 3 to 6 months (FDA)
- If you would like to know more relevant information FDA has more sources
Bottle Warming Methods
When it comes to your baby, you really need to know how to warm baby bottles. That should be the simplest part of having a baby, right? Unfortunately, no. It can be, but you just need to know what to look out for. We’ll go through the techniques, point out the best ways to warm baby bottles and the worst ways.
Heating on Stovetop
In the past, the practice for heating milk was to put the bottle in a pot of water and set the pot to boil. For just heating breast milk or formula, it is advised against by most doctors and medical agencies. This can cause uneven heating or “hot spots.” Also, the boiling process can break down the enzymes that we want to keep in the formula for the baby’s health. The agencies suggest that the water is heated, the bottle is added after the pot is removed from the heat and left in until the water is cooled to room temperature. If you do not have filtered / sterile or purified water readily available for formula, you can boil the water in your pot and let it cool to room temperature before adding.
Since microwaves were invented, they have been the go-to for heating up pretty much everything. As we have found out sometimes, it isn’t an exact science. For instance, with a frozen burrito. You pull it out of the microwave at the recommended time-frame and it looks piping hot. You take a bite and it is still frozen in the middle. The same theory goes for heating milk. Microwaving causes the same conditions as would heating in boiling water as well as potentially melting the bottle. Most doctors and medical agencies advise to just not use the microwave at all for heating any food for baby.
There are two safe and effective ways that you can heat milk or formula with faucet water. As recommended by the FDA, you can run warm water over frozen breast milk to defrost. Then, run hot water over breast milk or formula to heat for a few minutes. You could also set a bottle in a warm bowl of water until the water cools. Then, replace the water until the bottle is at the desired temperature. Both are viable procedures and do not cost anything extra, but can be time consuming.
Automatic Formula Warmer
There seems to be a gadget for everything nowadays. Automatic formula warmers are meant for parents who need every second of sleep they can get, which is all of them. As well as those who can’t remember every medical regulation and rule for sterilization, they are a saving grace. The base models can heat up bottles of milk in minutes. The home versions can keep bottles warm for an extended period at night. The travel versions are how to keep baby bottles warm when you’re on the go. The high-end models are Bluetooth compatible, you can set them up and tap a button on your phone to get the warmer started. When time is of the essence, being hands-free can be a real lifesaver. If you would like to look at a few for yourself, here is a compilation with details that you might enjoy.
|Born Free Tru-Temp Bottle Warmer and Cooler||• Dial gauge is removable|
• Removable, insulated cooler keeps two bottles cool for up to 8 hrs.
• Use dial to set bottle size and warming time is automatically set
• 5oz. bottle warms in approx. 3 min and 9oz. bottle warms in approx. 4 to 6 minutes
• Automatic shut-off
• Visual countdown to ready
|Baby Brezza Safe & Smart Bottle Warmer||• Warming modes|
o Steady - Safe heating with warm water
o Quick - Fast heating with steam
• Simple defrost
o Defrost frozen breast milk or baby food
• Warms breast milk carefully with warm water
o Preserves nutrients
o BPA free
• Free app lets you know when milk, formula or food is ready
• Bottles are ready in minutes
• Bluetooth enabled
|Maxx Elite "Gentle Warm" Smart Bottle Warmer||• “GENTLE WARM” designed to preserve nutrients while warming Breastmilk or Formula. |
• Auto-shut Off activates at the end of Sterilization cycle and when water runs low in warmer.
• “STEADY WARM” after is warmed to the recommended temperature of 40°C/104°F, temperature will maintain
|Boon Orb Bottle Warmer||• Heats bottles and baby food with no “hot spots”|
• Fits most bottle types
• Basket for baby food jars
• Graduated tube for measuring water
• Auto off feature for after heating is done
|Dr. Brown's Deluxe Bottle Warmer||• Steam heat |
• One button start
• Heats standard, wide neck bottles and baby food jars
• LCD control panel
• Alarm indicator when heating is complete
• Auto-off activates after 10 minutes
|The First Years Quick Serve Bottle Warmer||• Warms in minutes|
• Auto shut-off
• Fits most wide, narrow, angled, disposable bottles and food jars
• Bottle not included
• BPA Free
|Philips AVENT Bottle Warmer||• Heats slowly to preserve milk quality|
• Integrated sensors track and control milk temperature
• Prevents hot spots during warming.
• Multiple warming temperature
• Defrosts and warms baby food
|Kiinde Kozii||• Flowing warm water quickly and gently thaws and warms milk|
• Long Lasting Reservoir
• Easy to use timer
• Auto Shutoff
• Fits breast milk, formula, storage bags (frozen or thawed), bottle liner, plastic or glass bottles, food jars