How to Heat Bottles Without a Bottle Warmer

Bottle warmers provide a quick and reliable method to heat up your little one's morning meal or bedtime snack. However, if one isn't available, you’ll need a way to provide your baby a warm bottle without resorting to the microwave. According to the Cleveland Clinic, microwaving your baby’s bottle can cause uneven hot spots, which could burn your baby’s mouth 2. Instead, use a safe and quick method to heat your baby’s bottle to the ideal temperature.

Mix the formula in a glass or plastic bottle according to the package directions. If you're feeding your baby breast milk in a bottle, make sure that it's completely thawed before warming 2. Secure the bottle's top before proceeding.

Warm 2 cups of water to a rolling boil in the microwave or on the stove. If you're using the microwave, heat the water in a measuring cup. Otherwise, pour the boiling water from the stove into a measuring cup.

Lower the bottle into the measuring cup and allow it to remain there for one to two minutes. Once the time is up, lift the bottle from the hot water and shake it thoroughly. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends testing the formula’s temperature on the inside of your wrist. Ideally, formula or breast milk should be room temperature. If it is too cool, place the bottle back into the hot water.

Allow the bottle to sit in the hot water for another one minute. Remove the bottle and, once again, shake it before testing the formula on your wrist. Continue to lower the bottle into the hot water for one minute intervals until it’s at room temperature.

Feed your baby the lukewarm bottle. If any formula or breast milk remains after your baby is done eating, discard it immediately.


Thaw frozen breast milk in the refrigerator or run it under a warm tap.