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How to Use a Bottle Warmer

By Amber Canaan ; Updated April 18, 2017
Bottle warmers accommodate many different bottle sizes and styles.

Bottle warmers offer a convenient and safe way to warm breast milk without harming the protective benefits of the milk. Breast milk shouldn’t be microwaved for this very reason. Warmers serve double duty and function as a baby food warmer as well. Each brand comes with its own instruction manual and the steps may vary from one warmer to the next. Double check your particular manual for instructions specific to your warmer.

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Bottle Warmers

Place the bottle warmer on a flat countertop, out of reach of young children. Once the warmer heats up, the water inside becomes very hot and may cause a burn if it spills.

Place the bottle of breast milk or formula in the bottle warmer. Most bottle warmers accommodate regular and wide mouth bottles, though some may require a special adapter ring on standard size bottles to keep it centered inside the warmer for even heating. Some models have warming baskets to hold the bottle.

Add water to the warming chamber as directed in your instruction manual. Some brands require a set amount of water depending on the size and type of bottle used. Other warmers have a fill line and require you to add water until it reaches that line. Use the exact amount of water as recommended by the manufacturer so the bottle heats evenly and properly.

Turn on the bottle warmer using the power switch. Many warmers have LED lights that turn off or change colors at the end of the warming cycle.

Remove the bottle from the warmer and shake it thoroughly to prevent hot spots within the milk. Test the milk on your own skin before feeding it to the baby. It should be lukewarm but never hot.

Food Warmers

Remove the lid from the baby food jar before placing it in the warmer. Place the jar in the warming basket if your warmer comes with one and lower it into the warmer.

Fill the warmer with the required amount of water as directed in your owner’s manual. Be careful not to overfill to keep water from getting in the baby food.

Switch the bottle warmer on and allow the baby food to warm through a heating cycle. Once complete, stir the food thoroughly to eliminate hot spots. Test the temperature of the food by tasting it or touching it to your skin before feeding it to your baby.

Clean it Up

Unplug the bottle warmer and allow it to cool completely to minimize burns. Once cool, empty the remaining water into the sink.

Wipe the exterior and interior of the warmer with a wet dish cloth. Do not use harsh soaps, solvents or abrasive cleaners on the warmer that may cause damage to the unit and do not submerge the warmer in water.

Descale the warmer once a month, especially if you use well water with a high mineral content. Fill the chamber with two parts vinegar and four parts water. Run the warmer through one cycle as normal and then rinse and dry for future use.

Things You Will Need

  • Bottle warmer
  • Measuring cup
  • Water
  • Bottle of breast milk, formula or jar of baby food
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