|1. The First Years Quick Serve Bottle Warmer||2. Dr. Brown’s Bottle Warmer||3. Tommee Tippee Travel Bottle and Food Warmer|
You know the drill: you are woken up at an ungodly hour by those familiar cries from the nursery. Your baby is hungry. As the cobwebs begin to clear, your sleep-deprived brain starts to process. Priority one: baby needs a meal, a quality meal. No cutting corners, you’re a parent! Your baby needs a nice, warm, nutrient-filled bottle, even if you lose a little sleep. Priority one-point-five: lose as little sleep as possible. So what do you need in this situation? Efficiency. And the most efficient solution for these late-night shuffles is a bottle warmer.
This article will discuss bottle warmers; what they are, how to use them, advantages, and disadvantages, as well as include reviews of some of the best bottle warmers currently available.
What Is The Best Bottle Warmer For Your Babies?[table id=10 /]
What are bottle warmers?
A bottle warmer, or breastmilk warmer, is a compact appliance you can use to warm up your baby’s bottle quickly without reducing the nutritional value of the breastmilk, as a microwave would. Simply insert your bottle, add water, and press the start button and it will heat your bottle. Some bottle warmers use a warm water bath, but many of the best bottle warmers use steam to heat up your bottle.
The steam is created by adding water to the appliance itself, which contains a heating element or hot plate that boils the water into steam. Some warmers require you to add water for every use, and some have a reservoir that contains enough water for multiple uses.
Types of bottle warmers
No matter what type you choose, it is important to use a bottle warmer for breastmilk and NEVER use a microwave. Microwaves have a tendency to overheat the milk and often heat it unevenly, creating hot spots which not only reduce the nutritional and immunological value of your breastmilk but can be dangerous to your baby. It is also possible to overheat your milk with even the best bottle warmer as well, so pay attention to the temperature settings when choosing and using your bottle warmer.
That is the primary disadvantage of even the best breastmilk warmers: the danger of overheating the milk. Where the real advantage comes in is time and effort. You can heat water in a pan or warm the bottle under the faucet, but both of those require your full attention and are difficult to do with a crying baby in your arms. Most of the effort with a bottle warmer comes in choosing the right one; if you are diligent about reading bottle warmer reviews and have a thorough understanding of your bottle warmer before you buy it, you should have no problems and it will make those midnight shuffles much easier.
Generally speaking, the steam warmers generate hotter temperatures; some can reach 199 degrees Fahrenheit (93 Celsius). The maximum temperature is far too hot to safely warm breast milk, so be wary of the higher settings on those warmers. It is also not recommended to use plastic storage bags with steam warmers due to melting concerns. You should also make sure to thaw frozen breast milk overnight prior to using it in the warmer; this will reduce its exposure time and maximize the nutritional value your baby receives from it.
Another important factor to consider is consistency of warming. The best bottle warmer will warm your bottle to a comfortable temperature every time, on the first try. Your time is of the utmost importance, and you wouldn’t invest in a bottle warmer in the first place unless you wanted it to save you as much time as possible, so pay attention to the reviews. Along with this is ease of use: some bottle warmers are single units, others have multiple extra pieces, and it is important to be able to figure out your warming time easily so the bottle warmer fits easily into your routine. An instruction manual shouldn’t feel like learning a new language.
Also, consider what type of bottle you’re using. Some warmers don’t fit all sizes of bottles, particularly the larger ones, so if you’re using 8 oz. bottles investing in a full-size bottle warmer could be the best choice.
With that in mind, let’s move on to the reviews.
Top 5 Best Bottle Warmers 2018
This Chinese-made bottle warmer fits straight, angled, wide necked, and even disposable bottles and uses steam to heat. It includes pre-measured custom vials to measure the water for up to two night time feedings so it is very easy to use, and also features an automatic shutoff for safety. It also comes with a basket insert with a lid that you can use for sterilizing pacifiers and even warming baby food. This is a huge plus because it means that you can continue using this warmer even after your baby is off bottles, extending the life of the product and increasing its value. As the slogan says, The First Years is all about multi-tasking!
Made in the USA, this steam bottle warmer also fits most sizes of bottles and baby food jars. It features a water reservoir so you do not have to fill the warmer with water every time you use it, and its easy-to-use LCD panel not only counts down the warming time, it also lights up and sounds an alarm when it’s finished so you don’t have to hover over it with your baby. Perhaps best of all, it features a memory function which saves the time it takes for the bottle to reach the temperature you prefer, which will save you a ton of time over the life of the product. The thoughtful, efficient design makes it easy to see why Dr. Brown’s is one of the best bottle warmers on the market.
UK based Tommee Tippee is the fastest growing bottle design brand in America, and with this special design it’s easy to see why. Instead of plugging this warmer in, you simply add hot water to the thermal flask which will then keep warm for hours, making it perfect for warming bottles on the go. The compact stainless steel design is both light and durable with travel in mind, and it is specifically designed to hold Tommee Tippee Closer to Nature bottles, which will not fit in many other bottle warmers. This warmer is BPA and Pthalate free, so you can rest assured your milk is not contaminated. For my money, this is probably the best travel bottle warmer on the market.
Philips designed a bottle warmer that, when used with Philips AVENT bottles, circulates the milk as it warms to prevent overheating and hot spots, a huge advantage for peace of mind with your bottle warmer. This process makes it heat faster than many other bottle warmers, with an average warming time of only two to three minutes. A convenient defrost feature allows you to use this warmer to defrost your breastmilk before you warm it up, adding to the functionality. It is also compact and simple to use—simply add water and turn the dial. Unfortunately the Philips AVENT does not feature an auto-shutoff mechanism, so be sure to turn it off when you’re done. All in all, this is an excellent high performance bottle warmer.
This is a simple, solid, American designed and very easy to use bottle warmer which uses a hot water bath instead of steam, so it is less likely to overheat your milk even if you leave it in the warmer longer than intended. There are no accessories with this warmer; all of the features are part of one solid unit, which makes it very simple to use. It has a long lasting reservoir, simple timer, auto shutoff feature and a universal warming chamber which fits most bottle types up to 8 oz., storage bags, liner bottles, and food jars. It is the first and (so far) only warmer specifically designed to follow all guidelines set forth by both the Center for Disease Control and the United States Department of Agriculture. This is considered the best bottle warmer by many discerning mothers!
This concludes this overview of the best bottle warmers for breastmilk. Hopefully all your questions have been answered. A bottle warmer is an essential tool for your baby’s feeding routine, as it makes everything so much easier, especially late at night. There are many quality products on the market, any of which will make those late night feedings simpler and easier, allowing your baby to eat well and be satisfied so you can get more of that oh-so-coveted beauty sleep.