What is the purpose of a bottle warmer?
Even though some babies are used to drinking their bottles at room temperature from the maternity ward, the ideal temperature is between 35° and 39°. If you keep your formula water or breast milk in the fridge, the difference is far too great. Your baby may refuse to take a bottle that is too cold. This can also cause stomach upsets.
The bottle warmer makes it easier for you to prepare the bottle by bringing it to the right temperature. It also allows you to keep it at that temperature while you go to pick up your baby for feeding. It is not recommended to keep a prepared bottle for a long time. The bottle warmer's keep-warm function should only be used for a few minutes while you settle down to share the meal.
In addition, the bottle warmer prevents the milk from being heated above a certain temperature. In this way, the nutrients are preserved and the risk of burning is eliminated.
The different types of bottle warmers
There are many different types of bottle warmer, from the simplest to the most sophisticated.
Traditional bottle warmers
Traditional water bath preparation does not allow the temperature to be regulated precisely and there is a risk of burns. This is also the case with the microwave oven. Nowadays, conventional bottle warmers use the water bath technique, but are equipped with a thermostat that stops the mechanism as soon as the ideal temperature is reached. This system is faster than a conventional water bath and prevents overheating. In addition, a few months later, this type of bottle warmer will also allow you to warm up baby food.
To ensure that the bottle is at the right temperature, drop a drop of milk onto the inside of your wrist. The skin is thin and fragile, so you will know immediately if the bottle is too hot.
Some appliances go a step further than the water bath. They heat water or milk (including breast milk) and are equipped with a mixer. Sometimes there is a 'defrost' mode that you can use to bring frozen breastmilk to the right temperature.
Multi-functional bottle warmers
The most advanced bottle warmers work like an espresso machine. Simply fill the unit with water, add the formula and press a button. The machine will mix the milk and bring it up to the desired temperature.
These models can also be used to heat baby food and have a sterilisation mode. You can sterilise your bottles in advance and then prepare and heat them in one device.
How to choose the best bottle warmer?
Whether it's a classic bottle warmer or a more sophisticated one, you can choose the device that suits you according to your budget and your desires. To do this, don't overlook the features designed specifically to make preparing your baby's meals easier.
Check that your bottle warmer is universal and can be used with all brands of baby bottles. This is now the case with most models.
To take care of your baby when he is hungry and to keep him waiting as little as possible, take into account the heating time of the device. Some are very fast, down to less than a minute. In addition, you can sometimes fine-tune the setting according to the capacity of the bottle. This way, the preparation speed is optimised.