First Year Bottle Warmer … Not too hot, not too cold, but just right.

The need for a bottle warmer comes early, within the first week of being at home.  Regardless if you’re planning to use a “natural source” or formula, chances are you’ll need a first year bottle warmer.  This is true especially if when you figure out to prepare bottles ahead of time.


DSC01788Tommee Tippee Electric Bottle Warmer

Model: Closer to Nature Electric Bottle Warmer
Price: Normal – $39.99; Sale – $26.55
Easiest Place to Buy: Amazon.com (Offers Sale Price and Shipped to your door)
Rating: 9 out of 10

This type of first year bottle warmer has all of the bare necessities and follows the KISS principle.  It features a wide mouth opening that can fit the larger “Closer to Nature” Bottles, as well as any other brand/size of bottles you might need in the first year.  You simply have to pour water into the open basin and turn the dial to the desired number.  There are four number settings, 0 – 4; 0 = Off –> 1 = Warmer –> 2 = Slow Heat –> 3 = Rapid Heat.  Since the open basin is filled with water, it ensures that the milk or formula heats up evenly.  The short, compact design makes it easy to find a storage place.  It also comes with a manual that provides estimates on heating times based on the number of ounces being warmed.  Settings 1 and 2 are nice once you figure out a schedule and can throw a bottle in the warmer, go change a diaper, clean up and stray shots of pee or smeared poo, outfit changes, or on the tail end of nap time and just let it warm slowly.  Setting 3 is nice for those emergency or in-between bottles when baby gets hangry.  Because it does subscribe to the KISS principle, it does leave for a few wants.  First, the power cord is a little too short, which can be solved by rearranging countertops or using an extension cord.  Second, there’s no auto shut-off.  So, if you forget to turn it off when you take the bottle out, you’ll have nice and warm water the next time you put a bottle in.  Based on the ease of use and capability to fit all other bottles, you’ll definitely get both your use and money’s worth from this bottle warmer.


DSC01838Dr. Brown’s Bottle Warmer

Model: Steam Bottle Warmer
Price: Normal – $44.99; Sale – $37.36
Easiest Place to Buy: Amazon.com (Offers Sale Price and Shipped to your door)
Rating: 5 out of 10

We had originally registered for this specific first year bottle warmer solely because of the bells and whistles.  It’s a steamer style bottle water that has a self-contained water dispensing device that releases the proper amount of water automatically.  It holds enough water that it only needs refilled every couple of days.  It has a “strainer” device that allows you to drop a smaller sized bottle in and be able to retrieve it pretty easily.  It also has an adjustable timer that can be manually increased based on the amount of ounces you’re trying to prepare.  Since it did use steam, it conveniently doubled as small steam cleaner for small accessories like bottle nipples.

Then there are the downsides we discovered after using this type of bottle warmer.  First, the bottles are fully encased in the steam while they heat up.  So, the portions of the bottles that don’t contain milk or formula (i.e. cap, nipple, nipple ring/holder, top part of the bottle) all become screaming hot.  Which means, that unless you want your child to sport some burn blisters around their mouth, you then have to let the bottle cool down before shoving it in their screaming mouths.  Second, similar to a humidifier, if you don’t use distilled water it was hard to clean the minerals and scum out of the nooks and crannies.  Finally, the design had trouble/couldn’t warm wide bottles like Tommee Tippee brand bottles.  It was limited to just slimmer, tall-boys.  All in all, it functions well so long as you’re aware of the few quarks.

19 comments

  1. Janet says:

    I think your description of the bottle warmers is very thorough. It might not seem very important to a lot of people but new Mums and Dads are usually very concerned about getting just the right thing for their baby and are often worried about making mistakes. They nearly always like to get all the information they can about the things they buy and read up all the comparisons. It has to be said that it is usually first time parents who are quite so keen, but I am sure that your review will be reassuring to a lot of undecided people.

    • The Naive Father a.k.a. Brandon says:

      Thanks Janet. I’m hoping to provide as much valuable information as I can to new and existing parents.

  2. Hellen Leota says:

    I really appreciate your reviews. Having raised 4 kids, I totally see the need for a bottle warmer like the Tommee Tippee Electric Warmer. I used to warm up my kid’s bottles in a cup of hot water. Sometimes it would get too hot, then I would end up having to put it in cold water and wait for it to cool down, in the mean time the kid is screaming his head off lol. Based off of your review I would buy it. I like the fact that it has settings. It’ll be a cool gift for a new mommy baby shower coming up in the spring.

    • The Naive Father a.k.a. Brandon says:

      Hi Hellen, thanks for the comment! We too used the cup of hot water method early on, but grew frustrated after a couple of weeks. Thankfully, some generous people had given us some gift cards that we used to for the first bottle warmer. But, I agree, it would make a great baby shower gift.

  3. Ananomyx says:

    I am not yet a parent but now that I know this exist I will definitely keep it in my mind. This can really help not to hurt the baby and will warm it just right. Good job in giving different choices. This can help parents decide which one is best for their child. Great reviews!

  4. Grace says:

    Thanks for shedding some light on bottle warmers. I actually need a bottle warmer and your review will help guide my buying decision. I appreciate what pointed out about the bottle nipple ring getting over-heated in the processing of warming the milk, from your personal experience does the milk get warmed up to the right temperature all the time or is there a possibility of over heating as well?

    • Hi Grace,

      They both warmed the milk to right temperature, but the time it took to warm the milk in the steam warmer also heated up the nipple ring to the point it was very hot to the touch. The electric warmer only warmed to where the water level was, so only the lower half of the bottle warmed. So no issue with overly warm nipple rings. Thanks for the questions, hope the information has helped.

      The Naive Father

  5. Jessica says:

    This was a really informative review. I especially liked how you went into detail about how it works because honestly I would have never guessed there was water in it. I was thinking something more along the lines of a hot plate. Did you still feel it was necessary to test to milk before giving the bottle to the baby?

    • The Naive Father a.k.a. Brandon says:

      Hi Jessica,

      Yeah, it was definitely interesting to put water into an electrical device. But, it definitely works. And yes, we still did end up testing the milk on the back of the hand or on the wrist before corking the crying baby. Haha.

      Thanks for reading and sharing!

  6. I am past the need for bottle warmers, but wish we would have had one years ago. I liked the Tommee Tippee electric bottle warmer the beat. I like that it warmed the bottle even like the old pan of water. This has the advanage of having different setting, where the old pan was guee work. I did not like the steam warmer for the reason it got everything hot.

  7. Harry Kaelber says:

    am past the need for bottle warmers, but wish we would have had one years ago. I liked the Tommee Tippee electric bottle warmer the beat. I like that it warmed the bottle even like the old pan of water. This has the advanage of having different setting, where the old pan was guee work. I did not like the steam warmer for the reason it got everything hot.

  8. Shawn Cushen says:

    Thanks for sharing your insights, Brandon! I remember back when it was heating bottles in a pot of warm (hot?) water on the stove! Glad we’ve got some things these days that make it simpler.
    Dr. Brown might have more bells and whistles, but I think if I were in the market today, I’d opt for the Tommee Tippee. It seems both functional and simple to use…and I won’t burn baby’s mouth with a searing hot nipple! :-)

  9. Kristie says:

    I like the choices for bottle warmers you selected. I think it is sad a bottle warmer would steam all parts of the bottle ie the nipple. If you have to let it cool before feeding your baby, then it kind of defeats the purpose for which it was designed. I am a mom of twins, and the last thing I want is to wait for it to cool so I can feed them.

  10. Bryan says:

    My wife and I didn’t use a bottle warmer for our children. That being said, I wish we would have! It was more so just something we overlooked and didn’t think of a solution for.

    Having a bottle warmer would have saved us a tremendous amount of time because usually when you need a bottle, you need it “now!”. These reviews are helpful, thank you.

    • The Naive Father a.k.a. Brandon says:

      Hi Bryan,

      Thanks for taking the time to read the blog! I definitely know the feeling of needing that bottle “now!” Haha. My little guy is now a year old, and we’re finding that we are using the bottle warmers again because the whole milk is kept in the fridge.

      Thanks

      TNF

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