How to Warm Bottles on the Go: 5 Safe Methods to Try

Some babies will only drink warmed bottles, whether you’re pumping breast milk or using formula. So, heading out to the store or going out to eat gets a bit more complicated, and you have to figure out how to warm bottles on the go.

You tried giving your baby a bottle of cold milk, and they turned it down.

You tried room temperature, and they weren’t a big fan of that either.

Now, what can you do?

Heating baby bottles on the go is possible if you’re prepared ahead of time and know what you need to do to ensure your baby has milk they will enjoy drinking.

And if you love this guide on how to heat bottles on the go, make sure to check out these guides on how to keep baby bottle warm at night, best bottles for breastfed babies, and do baby bottles expire. Or these best mini fridges for breast milk!

how to heat up bottles on the go

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Do You Have to Warm Bottles of Formula or Breast Milk?

No, breast milk and formula don’t have to be warmed, but most babies prefer to drink it warm, especially breastfed babies. Your baby is likely to reject a bottle of cold milk unless you preheat the milk to a suitable temperature that your baby enjoys.

Most parents discover this quickly on their own.

They head out and attempt to give their baby a bottle of cold milk, only to realize that their baby refuses to drink it.

If your baby is happy with cold milk, rejoice because that will make your life easier when going out and about your baby. However, if your child prefers warmed milk, you have to figure out the best trick for heating milk.

How Warm Should Milk Be for Babies

So, how warm is warm? You want to make sure you heat the breast milk or formula to an appropriate temperature to avoid burning your baby’s mouth.

An ideal bottle temperature is 98.6 degrees F – body temperature. It shouldn’t be more than 100 degrees F.

Testing the milk temp is easy! All you have to do is put a few drops of milk on your wrist. If it feels comfortable, it should be a suitable temperature for your baby. If it’s too hot for your wrist, then it’s too hot for your baby to drink.

It’s essential to avoid overheating your baby’s milk, especially breast milk. Not only does it put your baby at risk for burns, but milk heated to over 103 degrees F starts to degrade and lose some of its nutritional benefits and antibodies.

However, if you overheat the milk, don’t toss it away. It’s not the end of the world, but you don’t want to do this consistently. All you have to do is let the milk cool off for a bit and give it to your baby to drink!

How to Warm Bottles on Go: 5 Safe Choices

1. Ask for Hot Water

If you’re at a restaurant or gas station, ask for a cup of hot water. The cup should be large enough to fit your baby’s bottle, and it should be half full.

Place your baby’s bottle into the cup of hot water, watching to ensure it doesn’t overflow. You don’t want to get burned.

A bottle typically takes anywhere from three to five minutes to warm up in a cup of hot water. Another alternative is to take the bottle into a bathroom and hold it under a stream of hot water. However, that method does take longer. 

2. Use a Portable Bottle Warmer

Another option is to use a portable bottle warmer that allows you to heat formula and breast milk when on the go. You’ll find different models of warmers on the market, but make sure you plan ahead of time since many of these warmers take 10 to 15 minutes to heat bottles.

You have a few options for portable baby warmers, so let’s go over the options.

– Papablic Mini Portable Travel Bottle Warmer

The Papablic warmer is easy to take with you and simple to use, and you don’t need electricity. The waterproof seal keeps water where you need it.

All you do is put hot water into the warmer and seal it. The water will stay hot all day, and when you need to heat a bottle, pour the hot water into the warming cup and submerge the baby bottle.

This warmer is compatible with many bottles, like Medela, Dr. Brown, Avent, and Evenflo bottles.

– Tommee Tippee Closer to Nature Travel Bottle Warmer

Tommee Tippee created a thermal flask that stores hot water for warming bottles on the go easily. The lid stops any leaks, and the compact design allows you to keep the warmer in your diaper bag.

Put boiling water into the thermal container and secure the lid. Then, when you’re ready to heat the bottle, put the hot water into the lid and put the bottle into the hot water, gradually warming it up.

This warmer works with all Tommee Tippee bottles and standard-sized bottles.

– Warmfinity Portable Baby Bottle Warmer

The design of the Warmfinity is different from the Tommee Tippee and Papablic. This is a cordless, battery-powered warmer with a leak-proof design. You can use a USB port to charge the warmer, so it works at home and in the car.

This warmer fits most bottles and comes with a free adapter for most ultra-wide neck bottles. It has a long battery life, so an average charge lasts 8 to 15 hours, and it uses slow heat technology to avoid burning your baby’s mouth with hot spots.

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3. Bring a Thermos of Hot Water

If you can’t ask someone for hot water, another option is to bring a thermos full of hot water with you. This is ideal if you don’t plan to stop at a restaurant or somewhere that hot water will be available to you.

All you need is a hot liquid storage container with a tightly sealing lid. Don’t fill it up too much because the water will overflow and burn you.

The key to making this a successful option to warm bottles on the go is to make sure the water is very hot but not put too much of it. Then, give it a try at home to see how much water you need to include to warm the bottle to the right temperature.

An alternative to this is to fill a thermos with hot water and use that to mix with formula while on the go. If you want to carry around warm water to milk formula, use a Yeti Tumbler or something similar that will keep water warm for the hours you are out of the house.

4. Use HotHands

Another excellent idea to warm bottles on the go is to use HotHand warmers!

HotHands are disposable and safe. All you have to do is take them out of the packet, shake them, and they start to heat up. You can set a bottle on top of the warmer or wrap one around the bottle to gently heat the milk.

The good thing about these little warmers is they last for hours, but they are pricey to use as your only method of heating bottles on the go.

5. Keep It at Room Temperature

Make sure you try to give your baby breast milk at room temperature. It might take a few tries, but some babies will adjust to room temperature easier than ice cold.

Take the bottle out of the cooler at least two hours ahead of time, and allow the bottle and milk to come to room temperature. Once at the appropriate temperature, make sure you use the milk within two hours.

Final Thoughts on How To Heat Bottles on the Go

Figuring out how to warm bottles on the go is something all bottle-feeding parents have to do, but whether you grab hot water while out or use a portable bottle warmer, these five choices are sure to keep your baby’s milk at a comfortable temperature.

And if you’re looking for more great feeding guides, then check out these guides on best bottles for tongue tie, best baby bottles for reflux, and best formula that tastes like breast milk.

how to heat bottles on the go