How to Select the Best Bottle Warmer for Breast Milk
What Moms Need to Look for in the Bottle Warmer
While some parents may not see the value in a bottle warmer, they do add some convenience in a busy parent’s life. Heating up a bottle is as simple as pushing a bottle. However, bottle warmers aren’t all created equally. If you are a breastfeeding mother, you have other factors to consider when purchasing the best bottle warmer for breast milk.
Important Features of Bottle Warmers
Bottle warmers are supposed to be designed for breast milk and formula, but some features are more breastfeeding friendly. You don’t find a bottle warmer only for breast milk. However, there are bottle warmers for traveling and for home use. Here is what you should look for while making your purchase.
- Heating: The biggest concern for breastfeeding mothers is overheating the breast milk. Overheating breast milk can lead to loss of some nutritional value. Plus, it is a safety risk!
Breast milk is called liquid gold because it is full of amazing nutritional value for our babies! It is amazing how many calories in an ounce of breastmilk there is! A mother’s body creates breast milk to grow out children throughout the first two years of their lives. The last thing a mother wants to do is degrade the value of the milk by overheating it with a bottle warmer.
To prevent the loss of nutritional value, you have to avoid the temperature reaching higher than 104 F or 40 C. At this temperature, the value begins to decrease. Degradation majorly takes places after 113 F or 45 C if left at those temperatures.
The best temperature for breast milk is the temperature of the mother’s body, which is typically 98.6 F or 37 C. There is no need for parents to make breast milk hot. Lukewarm is best for breast milk because it is what your baby is accustomed to when drinking from the breast.
- Water Bath vs. Steam Heat: There are two main varieties of bottle warmers. They both use water to heat up the bottles, but one uses steam heat rather than warm water to heat up your baby’s bottle.
The variety I recommend the most is the warmers using water bath technology to heat the bottles. They take longer, which is their main disadvantage, but the bottles are heated at a consistent temperature. The warm water circulates, gradually increasing the temperature of the breast milk. Your breast milk is less likely to lose any nutritional value when you are using a water bath bottle warmer.
The second option is the steam heat bottle warmers. There is a reservoir that holds the water, which is heated by an internal heating element. The bottles are heated so much quicker, but they can be too hot for a baby to drink until it has had time to cool down.
Steam heat bottle warmers rapidly increase the temperature of the breast milk. The temperatures can be too high and lead to degradation of nutritional value. Even worse, you or your baby could be burned by the scalding milk. If you opt to use a steam bottle warmer, you have to make sure the breast milk doesn’t stay above 104 F for too long.
- Takes Several Bottle Options: Breastfed babies tend to be picky about what bottles they take. Because they are used to the breast, many children prefer the wider bottles with nipples shaped like a breast. Some bottle warmers can’t hold wide bottles, so it is a good idea to purchase one that can hold all size and shaped bottles.
Great Options for the Best Bottle Warmer
- First Years: Their bottle warmer uses steam heat but is broad enough to handle all sized bottles. It can warm two bottles at a time and only takes 4 minutes to heat.
- Kiinde Kozii: Here is a great option that is a water bath warmer. The timer helps prevent overheating and only takes a maximum of 10 minutes to heat a bottle.
- Maxx Double Digital: This is a bottle warmer that can heat up two bottles, using steam heat. Their gentle cycle is designed for breast milk and heats up to a maximum of 40 C. It can hold a bottle at a consistent temperature of two hours, which is perfect for those night time feeds.
Selecting the right bottle warmer can take a few days! Reading reviews and all of the specifications will help you decide which one has the highlights you desire. For breastfeeding mothers, the most important feature is the way it heats the breast milk and the maximum temperature the milk will reach. Remember, the ideal temperature is 104 F or below; anything above for an extended period can degrade the breast milk. Let’s keep all of those vitamins in our liquid gold!
Hi! I’m Serena. The first time that I knew the term “being mommy” was fantastic and unforgettable. It brought me a lot of changes in my body, my habit, my feeling and my whole life. I started Kittymoms.com in order to share my knowledge and experience to those who are first-time mommies and who have a long time to be back to mom’s work, all who need to search advice during the time taking care of their babies.