Many parents worry about what to feed their babies if they’re off the breast. A bottle warmer can come in handy, especially when you want to offer your infant something warm but don’t want them to have access to food. The majority of bottle warmers on the market today are safe for use as long as you follow a few simple rules and guidelines.
Keeping bottles at the right temperature is easy. You just need to know how to do it safely and keep your infant from overheating. Once you know-how, it’s easier than ever before to keep them fed without having access to real milk. However, this article covers everything you need to know about making that happen safely and effectively.
Why Should You Heat Breast Milk?
Many parents worry about what to feed their infants if they are off the breast. Giving your baby a warm bottle can be a great way to help them transition. Additionally, using a bottle warmer is also more efficient on your time and helps you avoid buying extra bottles for when you’re not around.
Bottles can be cooled in the refrigerator very quickly and safely, but there are risks associated with this method of keeping them cool. If you leave bottles in the fridge too long, they may get stale before you have time to use them. And if you don’t remove bottles from the fridge regularly, they may get moldy or contaminated by food waste or bacteria.
To keep your breast milk fresh and avoid these problems, it’s best to heat it up instead. The good news? You can use a bottle warmer without worrying about safety issues if you follow these simple rules:
- Make sure your container is clean
- Use distilled water and never put anything else in with it
- Don’t heat more than one litter at a time
Can You Overheat Breast Milk?
The first question is whether or not you can overheat breast milk. The short answer is yes, but the long answer is no.
When you warm up a bottle of milk in a bottle warmer, you need to add enough heat for the milk to reach about 98 degrees Fahrenheit. If the temperature goes higher than that, the milk can get too hot and scald your baby’s mouth and throat. With that said, this shouldn’t be an issue if you follow a few simple rules.
First, make sure your bottle warmer has automatic shut-off features that switch it off when the milk reaches its set temperature.
Second, if your bottle warmer is plugged in with an electrical outlet, use a timer to limit how long it stays on and make sure it’s turned off when not in use.
Third, don’t start warming up bottles while they are still sitting in their little plastic sleeves! Instead, transfer them into another container (like a bowl).
And finally, always keep an eye on your baby when using the device so you can intervene quickly if needed.
Does Breastmilk Lose Nutrients When Heated?
The nutrients in breastmilk are not lost when heated. In fact, heating milk is actually beneficial for the development of healthy growth patterns in infants. Babies that receive a higher percentage of breast milk have been shown to grow better than those receiving formula milk, which is normally not heated or refrigerated. Heating milk does not change the nutritional value of milk, which has been shown to be rich in calcium, protein and other vitamins and minerals.
In order to heat your breast milk safely, you need to be aware of how much time your baby spends at the temperature range they are given by their caregiver. An infant will usually stay warm enough if they are given somewhere between room temperature and body temperature. If you’re unsure where your baby falls on the spectrum, a bottle warmer will help you keep them at their ideal temperature until they can self-regulate it on their own.
How Long Can You Keep Milk In A Bottle Warmer
Bottle warmers come in two general types: ones with heating elements inside and those that heat the bottle with a heated surface. The type you choose depends on your needs. You’ll want to pick one up if you’re looking for something quick and easy to use, while something else might be better suited for more thorough heating. Unless you have a specific need for the second type of warmer, it’s best to stick with the safer one, especially if you have small children.
Once you pick a bottle warmer that works for your needs, you can use it without worry. Just remember, it will only last about five hours on its own before turning off automatically when it reaches a specific temperature. So, if you need to keep milk warm for longer, make sure to set it up beforehand or bring your own heating pad.