What to look for when choosing a portable bottle warmer
Portable bottle warmers have become a travel essential for families going on holiday with small children. They are a welcome solution to the problem of having warm milk available for baby when on short trips from home or on a family holiday abroad.
There is quite a variety of different travel baby bottle warmers and a number of different technologies have been applied to make them compact yet effective. Most portable bottle warmers meet the portability requirement perfectly – that is after all the whole point of them. If you are only thinking of using them on shopping trips or when visiting family and friends in the same country then the portability issue is probably all you need to think about. For family holidays abroad however you need to understand a little of the technology behind the different products available.
Car adapter bottle warmers – There are a number of these simple to use baby bottle warmers available. They rely on an electric jacket that wraps around baby’s bottle and plugs into a car’s standard cigarette lighter socket. Popular brands include the Munchkin Travel Bottle Warmer and the Diono Warm ‘n’ Go – both available on Amazon.co.uk. Positive points about this type of product are that they can be used with a wide variety of baby feeding bottles tend to work quite quickly and you don’t need to carry extra things for them like batteries or chemical gel packs. The fact that they only work with a car adapter presents the products’ down-side – they will only be useful on your holiday if you are hiring a car and they can’t be used on aeroplanes or whilst waiting for your flights.
Boiled water bottle warmers – These are basically a thermos flask with an outer container that holds baby’s bottle and the hot water from the flask when you need to heat baby’s milk. Big brand names like Tommee Tippee and Fisher-Price make versions of this type of bottle warmer making them widely available at high-street outlets like John Lewis and Mothercare. The simplicity of these products makes them very popular – they need no technology or other extras to work just access to hot boiled water. The downsides include that you will have to find somewhere convenient to stand the bottle in the hot water and that you will have to rely on finding a new source of boiled hot water when out and about to refill the flask (although most restaurants and coffee bars will probably oblige).
Chemical heat source bottle warmers – The majority of these rely on a gel filled wrap that must be heated up before you set off on your journey. Some can be activated only when you need them – effectively self-heating – and whilst some of these can be re-used a number of times others need a new cartridge or sleeve for each use. Compare popular brands like Liamo Go (single use heating cartridge) BambinOz (reusable sleeve) and Yoomi (reusable cartridge) – all of which are available from Amazon.co.uk. Some of these products warm the milk very quickly and the self-activating types can be very convenient (needing no pre-heating or power source). If you are flying however you must be aware that many of these products are not allowed on aircraft because of the chemical wraps/cartridges and they will be confiscated at the airport.
Air activated bottle warmers – WarmZe is a portable bottle warmer system that does not use chemical gels electricity or boiling water. It has an air activated bottle wrap and an insulating sleeve. Once you have put the wrap around the bottle and covered it with the insulating sleeve you just wait. It takes up to 30 minutes to warm the bottle and the air activated wrap cannot be reactivated but once it is activated it will last for up to 12 hours – so you can heat the rest of the day’s bottles with the same wrap. Its lightness and ease of use is making it a popular choice and unlike the gel wraps WarmZe can be taken onboard and used on aircraft. The obvious downsides are that it takes a while to warm baby’s milk and you will need to buy enough of the air-activated wraps to last for your whole holiday. WarmZe products are also available on websites like Amazon and Ebay.