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What Is a Baby Food Warmer?

By Caitlynn Lowe
Updated May 16, 2024
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A baby food warmer is a specific electric device designed to heat bottles of baby formula and jars of baby food. These machines evenly warm up baby food to a temperature that is safe for most babies. As a small device, baby food warmers are also relatively portable and easy to store. Some of these devices only work with jarred food, but many also adjust to work with bottles of formula.

Parents can often open new jars of baby food and serve them to their children at room temperature, but once a jar is opened, it needs to be refrigerated. Many babies refuse to eat cold food, however, and some even refuse to eat food served at room temperature. As a result, many parents warm up baby food before giving it to their children.

Using a baby food warmer is a safe, convenient method of heating jars of baby food. Most warmers contain a thermostatic device capable of automatically warming food to a pre-determined temperature. A parent simply turns the device on and sets the control. After several minutes pass, the baby food warmer clicks off on its own. Some warmers even display a flashing light to let the user know that the container of food is ready.

These warmers are designed to evenly heat baby food, thereby preventing hot spots from developing. Microwaves do not always heat food evenly. Baby food prepared in a microwave may not feel too hot initially, but patches of intensely hot food can develop undetected, and these patches can burn a baby's sensitive mouth. Thoroughly stirring the food prior to feeding reduces the risk of burns, but does not necessarily eliminate this risk. A baby food warmer presents a safe alternative for parents who worry about using the microwave for this reason.

Warmers are also desirable over other methods of heating due to their convenience. Aside from the microwave, many parents also heat bottles and jars in a pot of hot water. This method warms the food evenly and prevents hot spots from developing, but it can take a long time. By comparison, a baby food warmer heats food much faster. These warmers are also relatively small, making it easy for parents to store, carry on trips, and find space to plug the device in.

Some baby food warmers only fit one manufacturer's brand of jarred baby food, but most adjust to fit containers of various sizes and shapes. In addition to heating jars of baby food, many of these devices also have settings designed to fit and heat bottles of baby formula or breast milk. Like any mechanical device, though, baby food warmers are not flawless. Parents should still test the temperature of the food, formula, or milk warmed using the device before feeding it to their baby to make sure that the food is not too hot.

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