View Full Version : Bottle warmer advice needed!

02-05-2002, 02:39 PM
Hello - I know that for most people a bottle warmer is a waste, but my husband and my bedroom as well as our new baby's nursery are on the third floor of our home (and the kitchen is on the first). I am on a medication that prevents me from breastfeeding, so we know we'll be using formula from birth. For those midnight feedings, we are trying to devise a system for making the bottles ahead of time & then warming (all on the third floor). Despite the great exercise the stairs would be two-three times a night, we are trying to avoid that.

Does anyone have experience with the available bottle warmers? I've found:
* Avent Express Bottle and Baby Food Warmer (not sure this can use any size bottle?)
* Night and Day Bottle Warmer from first years (looks good because you can actually premake the bottles and put them in a little cooler on the back and then just pop them in the warmer - but does a premade bottle of formula need to be cooled?)
* Quick Serve Bottle Warmer from first years (uses steam to heat bottles?)

I'm assuming that all can overheat the bottles, but that's the case if you are heating in the kitchen as well.

Please pass on any and all advice - I'm a first-time Mom! Thanks!

02-05-2002, 03:23 PM
we use the quick serve bottle warmer and like it alot. you do have to do some experimenting w/the amt. of water needed for heating. it fits avent bottles(we use them). it also has an auto shut-off! you do need to keep premade bottles chilled. have any other questions, email me! ~ech

*ps...i had my baby dec19 and have learned lots! you will figure it out!!! congratulations!

02-05-2002, 08:21 PM
You may want to start out by offering your baby cold bottles (you can always get a bottle warmer later if you need it). I have never warmed bottles for my baby. She takes them cold straight out of the refrigerator (both formula and expressed milk). Some babies won't accept them that way, but some don't have any preference. Also, some babies may accept a cold bottle initially, but if you start warming them, then will no longer accept them cold. It is INCREDIBLY convenient to have a baby that takes bottles cold. I am the envy of my mommy group. And ignore your mother-in-law or whoever else says that it will "hurt their tummy". That's an old wives tale. They may prefer it warm, but it is NOT a necessity.

Food for thought :-),

02-05-2002, 09:41 PM
Im with your inlaws on that one! Yuk, cold formula! That's like if your starving your'll eat cold chicken but prefer it warm. Why serve your baby cold formula when you can warm it under the hot faucet for a few seconds. Im sorry, that's laziness and cruel. I could image what you feed your husband!

02-06-2002, 12:02 AM
At first my son would take cold bottles, then he started to refuse them (and it wasn't because we started warming them), so we had to start warming them. He doesn't like cold milk/formula (I, on the other hand, love cold milk!). Anyway....

We used the Night and Day Bottle Warmer and were very happy with it. We used it until he started sleeping through the night. We didn't have it right away, but I wish I had bought it sooner than I did. If you get this one I would recommend getting the second cooler pack (I think you have to call the company--don't know why it doesn't just come with one). I would sometimes forget to take the thing out and put it in the freezer every morning, so it did me no good as a cooler. We used distilled water (see below) in the warmer, so we never had deposits and didn't have to clean it. When making a 4 oz. bottle, we used about half of one of the measuring "caps." Larger bottles seemed to take closer to a full cap. We use Gerber bottles, FWIW. And it was pretty fast at warming the bottles. Just start the warmer, change the baby, and by the time you're done, the bottle should be warm!

We were lazy and used the ready-to-feed formula, so we had to keep it cold. But if you're mixing powder, just don't mix it until you need it--in the bottle, and then the formula will be room temp if you pour the water in ahead of time. We have a water cooler in our kitchen, so now when we use powdered formula we just use the distilled water out of the cooler. We recently bought some floridated bottled water, and have been using that. But we should be on to whole milk in a week or two.

Oh, I should mention that the way we warm a bottle now is to put a measuring cup with about 6 oz. of water into the microwave for about 60-75 seconds, then take it out (put it on a trivet or pot holder), and set the prepared bottle into the measuring cup and leave it for about 3 minutes. That seems to work for my son, and I'm not wasting water running the faucet waiting for it to warm up.

--Sue B.
SAHM to Evan Jeffrey 03-11-01

02-06-2002, 09:56 AM
Yikes! I had no idea that people find a cold bottle offensive. I guess I figured that "I" drink milk cold, and when she starts whole milk at one year it will be cold then, so why does she need warm formula? And to be honest I was so-disoriented in the whirlwind of my post-delivery (had recently moved cross-country, unexpected C-section, she was 3 weeks early, unpacked boxes everywhere, knew NO ONE in the area, had NO BABY STUFF, had latching problems with breastfeeding, slow weight gain for the baby, etc. and on and on) that it just never OCCURED to me to warm a bottle until my mother-in-law came to stay and was aghast that I wasn't warming them. I figured at that point she had been taking cold bottles for 2 weeks, so why start warming now? And to be honest she was breastfed at least half the time, also had formula prepared in the bottle (so it was made with warm water), and we were also using the small bottles of ready to feed from the hospital (room temp). I did call the pediatrician and ask after my mother-in-law's reaction, and he laughed, said it was fine and lucky me!

These days I make up a quart of formula at a time, store in the fridge in a Rubbermaid container and use it out of the fridge as I need it. It is also very handy when out and about and it is time for a feeding. I have one of the bottle coolers (from the hospital) and you don't have to worry about finding a place to warm it. Sometimes there is no warm water available and then what do you do if you have a crying, hungry baby who won't take a cold bottle? Wait while they scream while it warms? Go home and not get your errands done and have to go out again?

In my opinion, it isn't cruel. (Lazy maybe I'll agree with.) :-)

Certainly not trying to offend anyone, only trying to help,

02-06-2002, 10:32 AM
We bought the Night&Day warmer and while it sounded good, we found it to be a big waste. First of all, according to the manufacturer instructions, you are supposed to make the bottles and chill them in the fridge BEFORE putting them into the cooler. Well, we did this and the warmer never warmed the bottle properly. There isn't a timer to set for various bottle amounts, so you had to "guess" when the bottle might be warm -- since it didn't always heat the bottle enough on the first try, sometimes I had to run the thing two or three times, which in the middle of the night with a crying hungry baby just doesn't work! And since there's no timer and you're guessing, if you aren't using a full 8 oz bottle -- which no one with a newborn does! -- you run the risk that it might OVER-heat the bottle and be too hot for your baby!

All that said, we returned the warmer and got our 40 bucks back. Our next try was just using warm water from the bathroom sink and mixing the powder, but what we have settled on is just putting the water in the bottles before we go to bed, and when we get up to feed her at night we just mix the powder into the room temp water. My daughter has never, ever complained or had a problem with it, which makes me think that in most cases the bottle warmer is completely unnecessary and just a money-maker for the manufacturers. My advice is to forgo buying a bottle warmer until you try the room temp method.

As for the comments by "ma2be" -- nothing but petty, self-righteous, I-am-a-better-mother-than-you crap. Fortunately there aren't too many rude people like that on this forum, but I guess there's one in every crowd.

02-06-2002, 12:52 PM
Elaine, please! I am not being petty, nor am I even a mother yet to start preaching "im a better mother than you". Nor was I being rude. I just never heard of anyone giving a infant cold formula before. I just see it as being lazy. It takes five seconds to warm it under some water or even better yet, use room temp water or room temp formula. This forum is for opinions and I was just voicing mine. Your the snotty one here if you ask me!

02-06-2002, 01:30 PM
Hi - Thank you to all of you for your advice. So, here's my follow-up question. When people are saying "room temperature," does that mean actually room temperature (I'd consider that lukewarm at best)? Or, could I fill the bottle with the warm water from the bathroom sink and then it would be warm (the sink water actually can get hot - too hot for me to wash my face, so I'm wondering if I could just fill the formula with a warm water)? I guess the only downside to that is that the bottle is not prepared and ready to go with the baby starts to cry? More thoughts?

Thank you again - it's tough for me b/c I can't breastfeed (and really would have liked to but it's not worth the risk of being off my medication) but I don't like to get the "tsk, tsk" look when I talk to health care folks about not breastfeeding.


02-06-2002, 05:21 PM
Personally I wouldn't use hot (or waem) water from the tap--the whole "don't use hot water because there might be lead in the pipes" thing. If you're going to mix it when you use it, I would just fill the bottles with water ahead of time and let them sit. Get one of those formula travel containers that has three sections so you can measure out the powder ahead of time. Then you just dump it into the water when you're ready and shake. That takes all of maybe 30 seconds. Baby can surely wait that long.

--Sue B.
SAHM to Evan Jeffrey 03-11-01

02-06-2002, 08:41 PM
Alexa -

You will have to experiment and see what you (and your baby) are comfortable with. Like I said, your baby (like mine) may not care if the water is warm-from-the-faucet or room temp. "Room temp" for us is that the water has been in the bottle for about 4 or 5 hours sitting on the dresser. Try a room temp bottle -- if baby refuses, the worst outcome is that you will have to run it under hot water for a few minutes to heat it up some. :)
If you are concerned about your water quality (i.e., chlorine, lead, or whatever) you can probably have it tested by your local utility company, or just use a Brita filter or something similar and use the water that has been run through it.

It won't take you long to get into a routine that works well for you. As for breast feeding, nearly all bottle feeding moms have been handed the guilt trip by "health care professionals." Don't sweat it and don't make apologies or excuses to anyone. You're doing what's best in your particular situation. If your pediatrician can't support your decision, find a new one.

Good luck!

02-06-2002, 11:30 PM
The suggestion about the container with the 3 dividers to hold formula is a great one. I have one of those that I got from Target for $2.99. Mine is made by Munchkin. I like it better than the one sold at BRU because it is "taller" and holds more scoops of formula.

Personally, I have had difficulty getting formula to mix adequately when using room temperature water to mix with. This also seems to vary by brand of formula, since they have different consistencies. After having a terrible experience at a mall once (no warm water, formula was clumpy / wouldn't mix, crying baby, had to retreat to home) I have taken to carrying one of the 8 oz. cans of ready to feed as an emergency back-up.

I wouldn't let other folks opinion of your feeding choice (or in your case necessity) bother you. People who breastfeed also get knocked for feeding in public, being too "hippy", etc. And just wait until you start solid foods! You'll either be starting too early, too late, starting with the wrong type of food, etc. So you'll NEVER please everyone. You need to do what is right for you and your baby. But you'll figure it out. :-)

Best of luck,

02-09-2002, 01:25 PM
According to what I've read (and I'm a first-time mom, so I've read PLENTY) it's perfectly okay to feed your baby cold formula. What's more important is that you give him/her the formula at the same relative temperature each time. So you shouldn't feel bad.

02-09-2002, 01:41 PM
I can't breastfeed either, also for a health reason. My daughter is doing wonderfully on formula, and her dad can help with the night feedings, which is a real plus. There are positives and negatives to both breastfeeding and bottle feeding. Every parent has to make the best decision for their baby based on their particular situation. It sounds like you did that. Don't let anyone make you feel like you've failed your baby because of it. I agree with what Elaine said about the pediatrician. If you're getting flack, change your doctor.

Now, about the bottles...

My father warned us that old pipes sometimes leak lead into the water. (He's in the construction field.) The solution is either to run the water for a little while before using it for formula, or filter it. We filter our water in a Brita filter (which we do anyway for ourselves). For formula, we boil the Brita water, fill the bottles with the appropriate amount of water, and let them sit on the counter until we need them. Then, we put the powder in when our daughter is ready to eat. This also helps when I'm taking her out for the day. I just bring the bottles of water and the formula in the diaper bag, and mix it when she needs to eat. That way, I don't need to worry about how long the bottles have been out, etc. By the way, we don't have those bottles that separate the water and formula. I use single serving formula packets and our regular bottles. Either way, if your baby is used to taking formula at room temperature, you don't need the bottle warmer.

02-15-2002, 11:16 PM
Try the Dust to Dawn bottle warmer. It heats bottles more evenly than the Night and Day. I've heard with the Night and Day model you never know what temp the bottle will be. With the Dust to Dawn, it's always the same - warm. Also, they both take the Avent bottles. In the BB Book, it states that the Night and Day model will only take the 4oz Avent bottles, that's not true, you need to use the adapter piece that comes with the warmer to accommodate the larger bottles. It's just not recommended on disposable bottles.

Hope this helps.

02-18-2002, 12:25 AM
we had the avent bottle warmer. We really liked it. However, i'm sure the other brands work good too. I recommend a bottle warmer, whichever brand. If you are nursing the baby will get used to warm milk. When you want to bottlefeed, your baby may not want a cold bottle---i know mine didn't. However, if your baby will take a cold bottle, I would be very thankful. It saves a lot of time and energy---and you will be thankful once your baby switched to whole milk

03-25-2002, 11:04 PM
I have to defend the cold bottles... I have five children, none of them demanded warm bottle. (warm milk? YUK) My babies all liked it room temperature or cold, never warm. I don't think it is anywhere close to cruel to give a baby cold milk!!! That is just ridiculous.

04-02-2002, 02:20 PM
Another option is to use the Umix bottles. We've been using them from the start and they are great. There is a separate chamber for the powdered formula and for the water. When you're ready to feed, you just twist the top and shake and the formula is ready to use. If you made a couple of those up before you went to bed, you wouldn't need a bottle cooler/warmer. Our baby sleeps through the night but we use the Umix bottles when we take her out for extended periods of time. We don't need to buy the expensive ready made single serve bottles and we don't need to worry about the formula going bad. I got our Umix bottles at Baby Depot.

04-06-2002, 01:10 AM
Do you drink milk warm?? No, most people drink it cold-so why not formula. I served my daughter's formula cold after the doctor suggested it since she wasn't drinking enough and she love's it.

P.S. I wish you would have made that comment to me about what I serve my husband- I'm a chef at a five star restaurant that has won many awards.

04-06-2002, 06:09 AM
Hi all -

I think we're going to try for the room temperature option since it seems like a lot of babies who aren't exposed to breast milk will take a room temp bottle. I can always run it under the warm sink water slightly to warm it up if room temperature completely strikes out. That way we can also keep distilled water (or Brita water) downstairs and mix the bottles with that w/out worrying if it's too hot or too cold. Later on, we'll have lots of flexibility when we're on the go. And, thanks, Nic - we're going to get some of the adaptors for the early am feedings for the first couple mos so we can keep the bottle on our nightstand ready to go and don't have to trek down the stairs to mix formula.

I'll let everyone know how it goes! Thx all!


04-06-2002, 09:06 AM
I always warmed my babies bottles. Maybe it was my grandmothers influence, but my kids seemed to like it better than even room temperature bottles. Breast milk is body temperature, isn't it?? It just made sense to warm them to me. I used a Gerber bottle warmer and hated it, so we just used a pot of hot water and let the bottle sit for a few minutes. It does take a bit longer though. I have heard breat things about the Avent warmer though. When I have another child, I definitely will warm bottles. My kids took to cold milk just fine after they had warmed bottles.

Good luck to you!


06-11-2002, 10:07 PM
I purchased the one from First Years but took it back because I was afraid of steam burns. I then got the Avent model and we like it very much. I did not like to run the tap to get hot water. We also take it in our van and plug it into an AC/DC converter. I just travel with a bottle of water to use in it. Talk about lunch on the run. ;-)

Starting over after 11 years!
Starting over after 11 years!

07-02-2002, 09:28 PM
My DD is now almost 20 months old, so we have been off formula for a long time. I bought a bottle warmer and hated it. Never seemed to really work. We got into the habit of bringing upstairs every night 2 bottles filed with room temperature filtered water and one of those 3 compartment powdered formula containers filed with enough powdered formula for 2 bottles. When she woke up, we'd just have to pour one compartment's worth of formula powder into the premeasured water bottle and shake. We used Enfamil w/ Iron and never had a problem with it mixing completely, no clumps. I traveled with my bottles premeasured like this too. Way cheaper than the powder travel packs or ready to feed formula, and way easier than worrying about keeping the bottles cool or reheating them. DD was perfectly happy. Like the others said, she now drinks milk, and it's always cold right from the fridge.