Whether you are a new mom or have previous experience of feeding an infant, being a mother is always exhilarating. However, as a mother, one of the most stressful times will be when your baby wakes up crying out of hunger in the middle of the night.
We understand how important it is for you to feed your baby right then in the right way. But how to warm a baby bottle, especially if you are new to the task?
Worry not – we are here to make feeding your baby much easier! Whether you are at home or on the go, these 4 easy methods make warming your baby’s milk bottle less scary than it sounds.
It is crucial for the baby formula to be at the right temperature. It is generally recommended to use boiled water to make a fresh bottle of milk. The ideal temperature would be below 98.6 degree Fahrenheit or 37 degrees Celsius. Using boiled water ensures all the bacteria present in the powdered formula is killed.
If we think of natural breast milk, it is generally of the mother’s body temperature around 98 degrees. But normal tap water is a lot colder on average, depending on your place of stay. Hence it is better to give babies warm milk as it simulates the experience of being breastfed vs formula feeding.
While babies are bottle-fed, it is better to give them milk that is close to their own body temperature too. This reduces the amount of energy babies need to heat up the milk in their digestive tracts.
Babies have very sensitive tummy as well. Giving them warm milk makes their digestion easier. This reduces the chances of unwanted stomach aches and bowel problems like gas, which will lead to fussiness.
The temperature of the baby milk should be lukewarm or close to normal body temperature of 98.6°F (37°C), so that it’s easily tolerated by the sensitive palette of your baby. An easy way to know if the baby bottle temperature is right is by dropping a bit of the milk on the inside of your wrist. If it feels hot, then it’s probably too hot for your baby. If you feel like the milk is cold, try warming it up a little bit more.
As we have said before, replicating the temperature of breastmilk is also standard practice. Another thing to keep in mind is just like us, babies have different preferences. Some babies prefer their formula a bit warmer than others. So, we suggest you observe how your baby reacts to different temperatures.
Now that you have got to know why warming up the baby milk is important, you might be wondering how to warm up formula?
Well, we are here to present you with multiple options on how to warm baby bottles easily!
This is one of the easiest ways for heating baby bottle. Simply turn on the tap and hold the tightly sealed milk bottle under the running hot water. This will help you reach a lukewarm state within a very short period of time due to the heat transfer. While warming baby bottles, make sure to swish the liquid around to heat it up uniformly.
If you are running out of time or don’t have pre-made bottles, using bottle warmers can be the best way to warm baby bottle. There are many great bottle warmers available in today’s market to make parenting easier. You can set up the exact temperature you want, put the milk bottle in it and it will be warmed up in no time!
With a good bottle warmer, there is no risk of the milk being too hot or too cold. This device is pretty compact and affordable.
Want to learn how to heat baby bottle on a stove? This method is pretty simple and has been practiced for generations. You can simply heat up some water in a pot on the stove and gently put the milk bottle in it. However, keep in mind to pull it out carefully after a few minutes as it can get too hot.
This is another common way of warming up the milk. Just warm up some water in a pot of a bowl and let the milk bottle rest in it for a few minutes till it reaches the suitable temperature.
In case you are not aware of how to warm up a bottle of breast milk or breast milk pouch, there is basically no difference in the process. You can follow the same steps of warming up the formula if you want to warm up breastmilk.
While using warm water to make the baby formula is great, it is not a convenient thing all the time. Pre-mixing the baby milk and storing it in the fridge is a great way to reduce the hassle of making it from scratch every time.
If you breastfeed your baby, storing your breastmilk in bottles or pouches in the fridge or freezer will become a norm for you. This helps to keep it safe for consumption as the cold environment slows down and reduces the growth of bacteria.
To warm up the cold milk after getting it out of the fridge, you should let it rest for a bit at room temperature. If you want to warm frozen breast milk from the freezer, thaw it first in the refrigerator overnight. Then, you just follow any of the methods we mentioned earlier to warm up the baby bottle. Give the bottle a good shake after warming so that it goes back to the original consistency.
While out with your baby, your baby might get hungry at some point. While it’s much easier to breastfeed on the go, if your baby is bottle-fed you might be confused about how to warm bottles on the go.
You can invest in a portable bottle warmer that can be carried easily in the diaper bag. However, do keep in mind that not all bottle warmers heat up fast. We suggest you get one that has a fast heat up and car connection features.
You can also fill up a thermos flask with hot water and bring it along while going out. Thus, you have access to hot water when you are traveling with your baby.
If you are at a restaurant or store, you can always ask for some hot water in a cup that will fit your feeding bottle. The workers will be more than happy to help and you can easily warm up the bottle within a few minutes by putting it in the hot water cup. Some places even have hot tap water available.
If you store your breastmilk in bottles or pouches and need to heat it while outside on a trip, how to warm breast milk on the go is the same with warming formula.
Now that you know how to warm milk for baby, let’s get to know how to keep it warm for longer. Once you are done warming, you can keep the bottle warm without re-heating it for some time.
Your heated bottle will stay warm for 15-20 minutes depending on what climate you live in. If you want to keep the baby bottle warm for longer, once again, bottle warmers can be great. You can also place the bottle in a thermos to keep it warm for longer.
Bear in mind that a bottle of breast milk or formula should be used within 2 hours if left at room temperature. Generally, it is safe to reheat for one more time (though not recommended), but too many reheats will destroy the milk’s nutritional value.
Another device you can invest in is a formula dispenser machine that will mix, heat up, and dispense the baby milk. It can be very helpful in those long tiring days or the middle of the night when you don’t have the energy to mix up a bottle yourself.
We strongly recommend that you do not use a microwave oven to thaw or heat up breast milk or bottled milk.
Microwaves do not evenly heat up the fluids. The inconsistent heat can get separated and quickly burn your baby’s mouth. The baby bottles may even burst if left in the microwave for a while. The extra heat can even ruin the nutritional value of breast milk and baby formula.
Here are some tips that we have for you that will help you make your baby’s milk safely, ensuring good health.
● Always wash your hands thoroughly before you start making a new bottle of milk.
● Make sure to only use water that is considered safe for drinking according to your local health guidelines. Strictly follow the instructions given for mixing the baby formula.
● Remember to feed your baby within 2 hours of preparing and warming the formula. Do not store a half-finished bottle as it may contain germs from your baby’s mouth.
● Always make sure the temperature is bearable for your baby.
● Once a bottle has been heated up, it should not be re-warmed later.
● If you are not aware of when to stop warming baby bottles, it is recommended to stop once it reaches the point of 15 minutes.
● The milk temperature should not exceed 99 degrees Fahrenheit (more than 37 degrees Celsius), as it is the natural temperature of breast milk.
What is the fastest way to warm up a bottle?
A bottle warmer is the fastest way to warm up a bottle in our opinion. You can also heat up some water in a pot on the stove or electric kettle and put the baby bottle for a few minutes to warm up the bottled milk if you don’t have a bottle warmer around.
Will warm formula help with gas?
There are many formulas out in the marketing that are formulated to help with gas. You can try out popular brands like Enfamil Enspire Gentlease, Gerber Good Start Gentle and Parent’s Choice Gentle Formula to see if it makes any difference.
Can babies drink cold formula?
Yes, babies can drink cold formula as there are no health risks associated with it. However, it is better to give babies lukewarm milk as it’s closer to the temperature of breastmilk.
Does warm milk help a baby sleep?
Yes, warm milk does indeed help baby sleep. Many healthcare professionals recommend their patients drink a warm glass of milk before going to bed as it helps induce sleep. It’s the same in the case of your baby!
Is warm formula easier to digest?
Warm formula doesn’t really help babies digest it easily, but having it warm certainly brings some benefits. Warm formula tends to make babies feel more comfortable since the temperature simulates that of breast milk. Your child will also feel better and less fussy as his/her body does not need to spend a lot of energy warming a cold formula.
Feeding a hungry and hysteric baby can be very stressful. While being a mom can be exhausting at times, it doesn’t have to feel like a chore.
Bottle warmers and formula dispensers make it quite easy for modern moms (you can check out Baby’s Brew bottle warmer – it’s a wonderful combo of formula dispenser + bottle warmer!). When you are not in a rush you have the option of using hot water to warm up milk bottles.
We hope you have a better understanding of the basics of bottle warming after reading this guide. Feel free to comment down below if you have any questions!