Written by: Meredith September 12 2010
I was very curious to try out the Philips AVENT iQ Bottle Warmer because I had heard varying opinions about the usefulness of bottle warmers in general. I had heard just as many moms tell me that bottle warmers are a time-saving must as those who have written them off as yet another frivolous baby accessory you’d be better off without. With both theories in mind, I was ready to give it a spin.
In order to accurately test out the iQ Bottle Warmer, I needed to prepare a few different trial scenarios. The iQ is equipped to heat room temperature, refrigerated or frozen breast milk and formula or room temperature or refrigerated baby food. I had different experiences depending on what I was heating, so I’ll cover each setting separately:
Room Temperature Liquids
On my first run, I diligently read the manual to find out how much water I needed to pour into the warmer. Thanks to an easy to follow chart, it took no time to measure out the 1 ounce needed for a bottle at room temperature. The buttons on the front of the warmer were equally self explanatory (thanks to simple images on the light up display), and I was set up in no time.
I was fairly impressed by the results of my first trial run. The warming cycle was extremely quick and easy to set up, and the bottle heated to what is probably equivalent to body temperature. Not too hot for baby, but slightly warmer than room temperature.
When I first took the bottle out of the warmer I was a little nervous because it was hot to the touch, but once I shook the bottle and tested it on my arm, I was relieved to find that the liquid itself was not too warm and the outside of the bottle quickly cooled down enough to handle.
My second trial run was a little more disappointing. With the same amount of water required as with the bottle from room temperature, I was skeptical that a colder bottle would be able to get warm enough. Sadly, I was right. Although the warming cycle was a little longer than the first and the bottle still felt hot to the touch when removing it from the machine, I was amazed to find that the liquid was barely room temperature when I tested it on my arm.
I decided to stick it back in for a second cycle to see if it would take two cycles to take it from chilled to warm. Maybe it was supposed to warm it to room temperature first, and then required another cycle to heat the liquid? Unfortunately, after another spin in the warmer, the liquid was too hot to safely give to a baby after completing a second cycle.
Feeling a little hesitant after my experience with refrigerated liquids, I wasn’t expecting much when I added 5 ounces of water into warmer this time and placed a frozen solid bottle in the machine. This cycle took a lot longer than the first two cycles, but still a much shorter amount of time than if I tried to heat a frozen bottle using another method.
When I took the bottle out of the machine, I was relieved to see that it was clearly not still frozen. I shook a little of the liquid onto my arm and was amazed to find that it was the perfect temperature—warmer than room temperature but not too hot for baby! I realized that this setting alone would make the iQ worth the money in my book. The ability to easily heat breast milk I had stored in the back of the freezer sold me on the usefulness of the iQ right then and there.
Room Temperature Food
Switching to baby food, I was expecting to run into some problems. However, I was relieved to find that it was smooth sailing. The main difference was a slightly longer cycle time than required for the liquids and adding more water into the warmer ahead of time. I was pleased to find that the jar of baby food heated right up to a warm, yet safe temperature.
Having a good way to reheat a half-eaten jar of baby food is a valuable thing in my opinion. Hoping for the best, I plopped a chilled jar of sweet potatoes in the warmer after adding the appropriate amount of water. This cycle took longer than some of the other blink and it’s done cycles, but that was to be expected for chilled, thick baby food.
The jar was quite hot when I pulled up the handy plastic lifter included in the warmer for removing smaller containers. Using a rag, I opened the jar and tested the heat. At first, I was disappointed to find that the food only felt room temperature. However, after giving it a quick stir, I was relieved to discover that it had, in fact, heated the food nicely.
All in all, my experience with the Philips AVENT iQ Bottle Warmer was a positive one. It worked well for heating most everything except for refrigerated bottles, which it only brought to room temperature. For everything else, the key was making sure to shake the bottles and stir the baby food to ensure they warmed evenly. I can see why some people would rather save the money and stick to the old-school methods of heating bottles and food, but I did find it nice to have an easy, hassle-free option when wrangling a fussy baby at the same time.
To buy: babiesrus.com