What features should you look for in a bottle warmer to heat breast milk safely? Is speed the most important factor? Let’s take a minute and discuss what is important, and what is not.
Making a wise choice for a breast milk warmer means choosing one that warms the milk without damaging the nutrients in it. You want a warmer that gently heats the milk to approximately body temperature level, but avoids getting the milk too hot and dangerous to drink. It needs to heat the milk evenly in the bottle without overheating some parts of the milk and leaving other parts cold.
A Few Things To Consider:
Let’s discuss each of those questions briefly:
1. How fast does it warm the milk?
A good bottle warmer for breast milk should be able to heat a pouch, or bottle, of breast milk in about 2 to 4 minutes. Frozen breast milk will take longer. You should try to plan ahead and let frozen milk thaw in your refrigerator before use when possible.
2. Is it easy to clean?
Keeping a bottle warmer clean is essential since the bottle and milk will be going from the warmer straight to your baby’s mouth. Check to see if the bottle warmer can be disassembled for cleaning. We recommend reading the cleaning instructions before buying the warmer.
3. Can you take it on the road with you?
Are you wanting to take the warmer on the road with you? You will want a compact bottle warmer that is easy to pack in a diaper bag and does not make a mess. Some bottle warmers come complete with auto power plugs so you can use it in your car.
4. How much counter space does it need?
Take a look at the space where you are planning to use your bottle warmer. Bottle warmers vary in size. You can find very small warmers like the Beaba, or much larger units like the Tommie Tipper. Keep in mind, smaller is not always better. Make sure the warmer can still do everything you want. Some of the larger units allow you to heat two bottles at the same time, or to heat a bottle and a jar of baby food.
5. Does it shut off automatically?
This is one feature we feel is under appreciated. Automatic shutoff is a blessing. Check to see if the breast milk warmer has an automatic shutoff for when the milk reaches a certain temperature, or at a minimum, a timer to shut off the warmer. Imagine starting to warm the bottle when you are sleepy. You are holding your baby in your arms sitting in the rocking chair. The next thing you know an hour has slipped away and the bottle is still in the warmer. An auto-shutoff is something mothers quickly learn to appreciate.
Did you think we forgot about pricing? We are going to ignore bottle warmers with less than a four-star rating. Great quality bottle warmers range in price from $14.99 up to around $59.99. The more expensive warmers usually heat multiple items at the same time. Take a little time to research your breast milk warmer using the topics we discussed and you will make a wise purchase.