Unlike adults or older kids, babies won’t take later as a valid answer when they’re hungry. We’re here to show you how to warm baby bottles on the go using 5 ways.
While it may sometimes feel like your little one keeps finding more ways to bring you discomfort, they’re really just acting on instinct. When your baby is hungry, he will cry or scream to let you know he needs to be fed. We’ll help you give your baby what he wants when and where he wants it. And, these methods will keep it easy on you too.
Why Learn How to Warm Bottles On The Go
If you’re not a first-time mom, you must already be well versed on the reasons why baby bottles need to be warmed before they’re fed to babies. In any case, it’s always good to revisit key principles behind bottle feeding.
If you’re a first-time parent or if you’re taking care of a baby but haven’t had lots of experience with babies before, read closely. Here’s what you need to know first before we jump into how to warm baby bottles on the go. That is, regardless if you are exclusively breastfeeding or feeding with formula:
- Use BPA-free feeding bottles only. Other good options include glass bottles or containers.
- Bottles must always be sterilized. The combination of the baby’s saliva and spoiled milk in the bottle can easily cause bacteria to grow inside the bottle. That’s why bottles and nipples require sterilization before every use.
- Both breastmilk and infant formula expire. Infant formula or breastmilk that is left or unconsumed after a feeding must be discarded within an hour. Formula milk that has been mixed but left untouched must be discarded within 2 hours after mixing. If refrigerated immediately, it can be fed to your baby for up to 24 hours.
- Use only water from a clean source. Use distilled or boiled water only. If you’re using formula, you may fill sterilized baby bottles with clean water. This will make it less of a hassle to fix your baby some formula when he asks for one.
- Sanitize hands before handling milk or baby’s bottles. Proper handling keeps your child protected from a host of otherwise preventable infections and diseases. When feeding formula on the go, bringing milk in pre-portioned containers can keep things easy for you and make waiting time shorter for your baby.
How to Keep Baby Bottles Warm On The Go
Neither breast milk nor infant formula is required to be warmed. Parents and caregivers who prefer milk to be warmed prior to feeding, like we do, may do so. It might seem like an added hassle when you got your hands full hopping from one airport to the next. Or, if you got your hands on the wheel. But, based on our experience raising our kids, it really just takes some getting used to.
When your baby starts giving you signs he needs feeding, try any one of the five methods on how to warm bottles on the go below:
Method No. 1: Bring milk to room temperature
This technique goes both ways. If you’ve packed your bottles in a cooler bag right after sterilizing them and filling them up with boiled water, chances are they might be too hot for feeding. Take one out of your cooler bag or store at least one outside of your cooler to adapt to room temperature if you know your baby needs to be fed anytime soon.
In case you packed your refrigerated breastmilk or mixed infant formula before leaving, you may also have to use this method. Although some babies might also enjoy their milk cold. That depends on what your baby has gotten used to. Just make sure the bottle is not too cold and served as close to room temperature as possible.
Method No. 2: Pack your warm-water filled bottles in a cooler bag
If you have some time to spare before you leave your home, allow your bottles and the water they’re filled with some time to cool off closer to room temperature before packing. This will make you stress less later when it’s feeding time. Then, all you’ll have to do is take the bottle out, empty a pre portioned infant formula into the bottle, shake and feed your baby.
If you’re exclusively breastfeeding, remember that it’s always best to feed your baby fresh breastmilk. Resort only to pre-pumped breast milk if you expect to be unable to feed your child straight from your breasts.
Also, it’s always best to pack frozen breast milk. We used to bring at least one pack that’s refrigerated cold while the rest are frozen. That way, we always have one pack ready for when our child asks to be fed. I strongly suggest you try to anticipate your child’s feeding time throughout the duration of your trip so you can stay ahead, be prepared, and keep your cool.
Method No. 3: Request for hot water
If you’re dining out, on a plane, or have access to a cafe, don’t be shy to ask for a cup or a glass of hot water. Just tell them what you need it for. People will understand.
For your own convenience, always have a collapsible silicone mug within your reach. Simply expand the mug. Empty the hot water into it. Make sure to leave enough space as water will be displaced once you drop the baby bottle inside. Leave the bottle to soak for a few minutes for the contents to warm up.
When warming breast milk using this method, it will be faster to warm it inside your packs before emptying into the bottle. Milk packs are thinner than baby bottles and will warm the contents faster than doing it the other way around.
For added convenience, you may want to bring disposable milk packs that come with nipples on them. You may simply attach it to a bottle rim and dispose of it after your baby empties each pack. That way, you won’t have to worry about cleaning up or sterilizing baby bottles if you’re planning to be away for an extended period of time.
Method No. 4: Bring a thermos
Choose to be a scout and never get caught unprepared. If you’re not traveling by air, you might as well just bring your own thermos. It saves you from the hassle of having to ask for hot water from food establishments. It also helps you cut the prep time it takes to get the little one what he wants.
If you would rather carry your own thermos than beg for hot water, make sure you’re carrying a thermos that performs. Choose a product that can help lock in heat for hours. Double walled thermos jugs and tumblers currently offer the best option. Top brands even claim to keep hot contents hot or cold contents cold for up to several days. Of course, that would vary accordingly with how you use it.
Method No. 5: Use a portable bottle warmer
Aah! Thanks to technology, you now have the choice of bringing a portable bottle warmer around with you wherever you go! How I wish we had this when we were still towing around infants! Actually, we had some available then but the technology hasn’t been perfected yet.
Luckily for you, you don’t even need access to an outlet to warm baby bottles. Pick up USB-powered warmers and simply plug it into your power bank. If you’re taking a long drive, you may also pick up one that you can plug into your car anytime.
After warming either breast milk or water, test the temperature by dropping some of the liquid at the back of your hands. That way, you can prevent accidentally burning your baby.
FAQs About Warming Bottles On The Go
Q: Is it safe to use the microwave to heat baby bottles?
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention does not recommend warming baby’s bottle using a microwave. So, even if you have access to a microwave oven while you’re away from home, say in your office, a common pantry, or your regular cafe, don’t go for it.
Microwaves tend to heat baby bottles unevenly. Thus, the chances of accidentally burning your baby is significantly higher than using any one of the five methods we detailed above.
So, while a microwave oven might be more convenient for you, it’s really not worth pushing over the risk to your little miss or mister.
Q: How do you warm a baby bottle if there’s no electricity?
That depends on where you are. If you’re camping with your baby, all you really need is to boil water. So, boil water as you would usually do in a camp whether you’re using a campfire, butane stove, or something else.
Then, simply empty about half a cup of hot water into a larger container that can fit a baby bottle. Soak the bottle for a few minutes until the contents are warm.
It’s a must to know how to warm bottles on the go safely and efficiently. Although it’s not really a requirement, if you prefer it and you know your baby likes his milk warm, trust me, this know-how becomes vital.
From the point of view of a hungry baby, it doesn’t matter how you warm it, just make it warm. As a responsible adult, you know it’s not that simple. So it’s up to you to stay prepared. That way, feeding time is always safe and satisfying for your baby even when you’re on the go.