7 Best Bottle Warmers | March 2017
- sterilizer basket included
- available in orange or blue
- lid does not fit with tall bottles
|Rating||4.1 / 5.0|
- can also sterilize pacifiers
- nightlight built into the front
- not recommended for glass bottles
|Brand||The First Years|
|Rating||3.6 / 5.0|
- lcd control panel
- automatic shut-off
- end of cycle beep is too loud
|Rating||4.0 / 5.0|
- includes a cleaning kit
- corrosion and rust resistant
- not for wide bottomed bottles
|Rating||4.8 / 5.0|
- insert for baby food jars
- bpa-free materials
- takes up minimal counter space
|Rating||4.5 / 5.0|
- clean white design
- no measuring required
- warms bottles as large as 9 oz
|Rating||4.0 / 5.0|
- safely defrosts breast milk
- can be turned off with the app
- instructions on back of machine
|Rating||4.5 / 5.0|
Why Do I Need a Bottle Warmer?
A bottle warmer may seem like a luxury item for some, but many parents find it to be indispensable. Bottle warmers have increased in popularity as it has become more widely known that you should never microwave formula or breast milk. Even though microwave cooking has generally been proven to be safe, there are special risks when it comes to your baby's meals. The microwave's uneven way of heating can cause dangerous hot spots and destroy breast milk's delicate enzymes and valuable immunological properties .
While there are safe, free ways to warm a bottle, they often waste water and time. Before you have a baby, heating up a pan of water on the stove, removing it from the stove and then patiently waiting for the bottle to gently warm in the water, might sound like a simple, almost relaxing task. But when faced with the reality of stumbling through the kitchen in the middle of the night with your hungry, screaming infant in tow, messing with the stove becomes a safety hazard, and every minute saved is precious.
For the record, it is perfectly safe to feed your baby a bottle straight from the fridge. A few lucky parents may discover that their baby is happy to drink a room temperature or chilled bottle, but most babies will outright refuse a bottle that isn't as warm as milk that comes straight from the breast.
For finicky newborns and tired parents, getting the bottle to the perfect temperature the first time will go a long way towards a more relaxing and tranquil feeding time.
A Brief History of the Bottle Warmer
You might think of bottle warmers as an recent invention, designed to satiate the "Me" generation's need for convenience and instant gratification, but the Hankscraft Company in Wisconsin began marketing novel home convenience products, including electric baby bottle warmers, as far back as the 1950s.
After World War II, the popularity of scientifically perfect powdered formula paved the way for increased bottle feeding at a time when modern ideas for parenting and infant care were all the rage.
In a time when children played with real mercury in their science kits and could melt lead to make their own toys, scientific advances of the day were not always in the best interests of the child. This asbestos-lined bottle warmer for the automobile is perfect example.
Fortunately, standards about the risks and safety of consumer products have changed. Between the internet and the Consumer Product Safety Commission, parents have access to a lot more information regarding the products they bring into their homes.
How to Choose a Bottle Warmer
While there are dozens of bottle warmers on the market, the majority of them function in one of two ways. They use either a warm water bath or high temperature steam.
Warm water baths are recognized as the safest way to heat a baby bottle. The consistent temperature of the circulating water never gets too hot and leaves little chance for accidentally overheating the milk. This slow, controlled method also meets CDC Guidelines for thawing frozen breast milk. Some warmers will even have a special "thaw" setting.
Steam-heat warmers are often preferred because they are faster, but with the higher heat comes the risk of burns or overheating the milk. If you want the speedy convenience of steam-heat, look for newer models that come with extra features like an automatic shut-off and a removable basket that allows you to take out the bottle without touching it.
If you live in a two story house, splurge on a bottle warmer with an integrated cooler and save yourself trips up and down the stairs to get to the kitchen. These coolers are designed to keep up to two bottles refrigerated overnight until your baby is ready for feeding.
It is never advisable to purchase a used bottle warmer because it's important to know if the unit has been maintained, and you need to register your unit to keep up with product safety recalls. Maintenance is simple, but vital towards keeping your unit functioning properly.
A monthly vinegar rinse to remove mineral deposits is all most warmers need to stay safe and reliable. Some models have a handy water reservoir so you don't need to keep refilling it after every bottle. They will need to be cleaned more often to guard against mold and mildew.