How To Use A Bottle Warmer

After you purchase a bottle warmer that is compatible with your bottles:

  1. Add water to the reservoir.
  2. Select the setting to properly heat your bottle or food and allow it to warm.
  3. Check the temperature on your wrist to make sure it’s not too hot.

Regularly cleaning your unit will help it run efficiently.

When your baby is hungry, you’ll want to be efficient about getting their bottle prepared. It’s up to your baby’s preferences whether you give it to them straight from the refrigerator, serve at room temperature, or warm the breast milk.

If your baby prefers warm a warm bottle or food, you’ll need to have a system ready to get the bottle warm. There are several methods that you can use, and they all have the same result.

One way that is rising in popularity is using a bottle warmer to bring milk to a proper temperature. Continue reading for some tips to warm bottles quickly and learn how to use a bottle warmer.

Bottle Temperature

While a bottle warmer seems like the obvious way, there are other options to prepare the baby’s bottle.

Ideally, it should be near body temperature when it is ready to serve. But again, all babies have different preferences.

Some bottle warmers will automatically shut off when the milk has reached the appropriate temperature.

If you do not have this option, you can check the temperature by placing a small drop on your wrist. It’s always a good idea to check the temperature even if your machine shuts off at a designated number.

If it is too hot for you, it is too hot for your baby.

Ways to Warm a Bottle

1. Stove Top

The first option is a classic method. Use your stovetop! Fill a pot with water and set it on the hot burner. Turn the heat off before it begins to boil, or your water may be too hot.

If you can place your finger in the water and not get burnt, it’s time to warm the bottle. Place the bottle inside the pot, allowing it to sit until it has reached the correct temperature.

Use the inside of the wrist to test the temperature, and voila! It’s feeding time.

2. The Kitchen Sink

Another simple method for bottle warming is utilizing something you can find almost anywhere – a sink. Simply turn on the hot water and allow it to reach a warm temperature.

Hold the bottle under the running water and rotate it for about two minutes. This allows the water to touch all sides of the bottle while swirling the liquid inside.

If you can’t or don’t want to stand at the sink, place the water in a large bowl. The bottle will sit in it surrounded by the warm liquid and still heat.

After it is warm, swirling it to create a uniform temperature throughout the bottle. Don’t forget to check the temperature of the liquid on the inside of your wrist!

This video from BabyCenter gives a quick demonstration of how to use a water bath.

3. Bottle Warmer

The last method is the bottle warmer. Most brands are simple to use and typically take less time than the previously mentioned water bath methods.

An advantage is that they prevent the milk from boiling, keeping it at a safe temperature for your baby. They are not necessary but prove to be valuable to many parents.

Microwaving breast milk will unevenly heat the bottle, creating hot spots. These hot spots can burn your baby’s mouth and throat.

It also causes the nutrients to break down, making the milk less nourishing than it can be. For these reasons, microwaving is not recommended.

Using a Bottle Warmer

Maybe the most significant part of purchasing a bottle warmer is to make sure any bottles you have fit the intended machine.

There are a plethora of bottles on the market that come in various shapes and sizes.

Some warmers are universally made for all bottles but check the packaging when creating your registry.

If it is not a universal bottle warmer, you’ll need to find the correct size to request on your list.

Every bottle will heat differently. The container’s material will factor into how quickly the warmer heats the milk or formula.

The temperature of the liquid will also factor into the speed of the warming cycle.

Bottle warmers can have a function that prevents the machine from overheating the bottle, so this isn’t much of a concern, but it is something to keep in mind.

Steps for Heating the Bottle

  1. Fill the warmer with water. There will be a line indicating the fill point. Do not fill past that line to prevent overflow.
  2. Plug in the machine, and an indicator light should begin to glow to signal that the device is on.
  3. Select the setting appropriate for the bottle you are warming.
  4. Allow the bottle to heat, and the indicator light will shut off to alert you that the process is over.
  5. Remove the bottle carefully as the water will be hot.
  6. Check the temperature of the water using your wrist or another method.
  7. The bottle can be placed back into the warmer on a low setting to keep the milk warm if your baby did not finish an entire bottle.
  8. Unplug the unit when you are finished.

This video demonstrates the process step by step using the Tommee Tipee electric bottle warmer.

Some machines will warm bottles or baby food, which makes it serviceable as your baby grows. Baby food is heated similarly to a bottle of breast milk.

If you are warming food, remove the lid from the jar before placing it into the device. Follow all guidelines for heating baby food and how to store leftovers.

Cleaning The Bottle Warmer

All appliances can gather dirt, dust, and other unwanted particles on the inside and outside. A bottle warmer is no different.

Taking care of your device will help extend its life and be used for bottles or food down the road.

There are a few items you will need to clean your bottle warmer, and you probably already have most of them at home.


  • Mild detergent
  • Sponge
  • Towel/Washcloth
  • Vinegar
  • Water


  1. After the unit has cooled completely, unplug it from the wall.
  2. Remove any plastic cups or other parts from the base.
  3. You should place these items in a bowl of warm, soapy water. Clean them with a towel/washcloth, rinse away the remaining soap, and allow them to dry. (They can be towel-dried or air-dried.)
  4. Lather a small amount of detergent into a damp sponge. Wipe the inside and outside of the machine and follow up with a towel to remove any moisture.
  5. Place 2 ounces of white vinegar into the water reservoir with 4 ounces of cold water. Let it sit for several minutes to cut away the grime and the grit. Dispose of the mixture and wipe away any debris that remains.

Many parents have survived the baby years without a bottle warmer. The stovetop method works just as well, but you must monitor the pot of water. Having a bottle warmer simplifies the task and allows a caretaker to get other things done in the short time it takes to warm the bottle. Sometimes, letting a machine do the work gives the parent a few precious moments to sit and rest. These moments are helpful if you are trying to calm a fussy baby or catch a few extra z’s.