The Benefits of a Bottle Warmer
For every new parent, time is sanity. So when you’re able to compress time with a product like a bottle warmer, then it should be at the top of your baby registry. For generations, most parents would use the time-honoured tradition of putting their baby’s bottle in a warm water bath to heat it up. Some parents still use this method, but the invention of the bottle warmer has undoubtedly been a complete life-saver for so many parents. It’s simply a convenient way to ensure your baby’s bottle is heated and maintained at the optimal temperature, whether at home or on-the-go.
Before you go ahead and get a bottle warmer, there are a few basic things you should understand first. The type of milk that you plan to heat up in your bottle warmer will help you determine how best to use your bottle warmer.
If you’d like to warm breast milk, for instance, a bottle warmer is ideal. A bottle warmer will maintain the correct temperature for breast milk without boiling, which helps breast milk to retainits nutritional properties.
Also, if you’re feeding your baby formula, you may use a bottle warmer to heat up ready-to-use formula from a carton. Fresh formula, on the other hand, should be made as needed using water at a high temperature (at least 70ºC) to sterilise the formula before feeding your baby. So a bottle warmer wouldn’t be recommended for making fresh formula.
The benefits of having a bottle warmer, will vary from family to family. However, here are the main benefits of having a bottle warmer in general:
Bottle warmers maintain a constant temperature for your baby’s milk without overheating and most warmers turn off on their own.
Bottle warmers are considered healthier options than the microwave or the stove because they use a water bath or steam to warm the milk, without uneven heating or severely damaging the properties of the milk. The microwave can heat milk unevenly, with some areas too hot and others not so hot. It can also reduce the nutritional content of breast milk. The stove can also damage the nutrients in breast milk and formula.
Bottle warmers are generally made quite compact and don’t take up a lot of space. They can fit in your cupboard and some are ideal for travel without the need for an electrical outlet. Some are compatible with your car charger or are battery operated.
Unlike with the microwave and the stove, you don’t have to constantly check the temperature of the milk when it’s heating up. With most standard bottle warmers, you simply place the bottle in the central vessel, fill it with water and turn it on. Most warmers have an indicator light that shows you when the bottle is at optimal temperature. A thermostat will keep the bottle at this optimal temperature. That’s it.
Bottle warmers come in different shapes, sizes and brands. In order to determine which one best suits you and your family’s needs, ask yourself these 3 key questions:
Some bottle warmers can only heat bottles specific to their brand. In other words, not all bottle warmers can universally work with all types of baby bottles. This is very important when completing your baby registry in having baby bottles and a bottle warmer that are fully compatible.
Bottle warmers generally heat milk in a couple of minutes, but some warmers are quicker than others. It’s important to choose a bottle warmer that can work with your baby’s demands, especially when hungry. So check the speed of the bottle warmer you’re interested in, to ensure it can perform its function quick enough before hunger strikes.
There are bottle warmers on the market that can only be used when connected to an electrical outlet. There are others that can be used at home or in the car, which is great for travelling. Just bear in mind that bottle warmers used in the car generally take longer to heat up, so it’s best to time it more precisely.
In addition to these 3 key features, there are some bottle warmers that go the extra mile in making a parent’s life a bit easier. Some bottle warmers don’t only heat milk, but can also heat baby food. There are a few that take it a step further and sterilise baby bottles. Some come with a timer or other useful features for varying needs. Although these are not vital features, discuss with your spouse what essential needs you want filled and choose a bottle warmer according to those needs.