You’re in the new parent purgatory that usually takes place between 3 a.m. and dawn, and you’re standing in your kitchen, holding a screaming, writhing, hungry baby while trying to warm a bottle under scalding running water. We’ve been there. We don’t recommend it — especially when baby bottle warmers can do all the thinking (and work) for you.
Of course, you can prepare formula, with room-temperature water, when it’s time to feed the baby. But if you want to minimize middle-of-the-night tasks, you’ll prepare the formula ahead of time, in which case it will be in the fridge — and really, really cold. And if it’s pumped milk, it will also have separated. So, while a bottle warmer isn’t absolutely necessary, it’s the fastest way to warm up milk that needs warming.
(One common-sense thing worth noting here: Never warm a bottle in the microwave. The bottle itself may feel cool while the formula or milk inside can be too hot, and heating something in the microwave results in uneven heat distribution. )
When choosing a bottle warmer, a few things to keep in mind: Pay attention first and foremost to how long the warmer takes to work. When dealing with a screaming infant, speed make all the difference. Do you want a portable bottle warmer, that you can use mostly out of the house? Are you short on counter space, making a small footprint preferable? And if you’re not particularly tech-savvy, do you want something on the more analog side? Here are the five best in class bottle warmers, including one fantastic portable bottle warmer.
This smart bottle warmer heats each bottle to body temperature. It fits most brands of baby bottles, which is a huge bonus. You don't need to fill a water reservoir. Instead, you just pop the bottle into the base and start warming; it takes between two to six minutes, depending on the starting temp. It comes with four adapters to accommodate most baby bottle brands.
This warmer also fits most bottles, and has two temp settings (room temp, and keep warm). Bonus: It also works on baby food jars. You add water to the reservoir, choose your temp, and lets the warmer do its thing. It does heat slowly and evenly (about five minutes), so you want to know your baby's hunger cues and time it accordingly.
This bottle warmer warms 5 ounces of milk in three minutes. That's quicker than a Super Bowl ad. You fill the water reservoir, set the dial based on milk volume, not bottle size, and the indicator light tells you when the milk is ready. It also keeps milk warm for up to an hour and then shuts off.
So you're a road warrior, a hiker, a backpacker. And you need a bottle warmer that's up to the task. This is that bottle warmer. It's fully portable, battery-operated (and rechargeable), and heats your milk to 98.6 degrees in about five minutes. It's made from stainless steel, fits into a standard cup holder, and fits most wide neck bottles.
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