There’s a lot to be said for breastfeeding*. I could never do it, no matter how many gung-ho midwives tried to shove my nipples into my babies mouths, or how many other mothers told me that yes, it is hard but had I persevered I would almost definitely have “got the hang of it”. And maybe they were right. Maybe I would have produced milk eventually, but I opted to bottle-feed early on with both babies on the basis that fed was better than dead (I mean there was literally nothing coming out of my boobs).
I took the easy way out, some might say, except I don’t necessarily agree that bottle-feeding is “easy”. On the contrary, it’s pretty bloody faffy. There’s the constant washing of all the bottle parts, the daily sterilisation rigmarole, the preparation of the bottles for a day out – but the absolute worst thing about bottles is standing over the cold tap willing the water to cool a boiling-hot bottle at a rate faster than half a degree per minute because it’s 4am and your baby is screaming the house down.
When I was offered a milkymeter I was skeptical and had so many questions. Why did my baby’s bottle need heating up when I was having enough trouble trying to cool it down? Wouldn’t a microwave destroy all the nutrients? Wouldn’t sticking it in a bowl of hot water have exactly the same effect? And if I’m going to be using a microwave anyway can’t I just whack it in there for 20 seconds and hope for the best? Well it turns out I know absolutely nothing about my baby’s bottle, which is frankly fairly terrifying, and apparently I could have saved myself countless headaches from all those nights of prolonged screaming from both babies while I cooled their bottles because (whisper it) you can keep made-up bottles and cooled sterile water in the fridge for 24 hours (provided you put them in there immediately after making it up). Seriously, why did I not know that? Did you know that? Did everyone in the world know that? I really didn’t know that.
And this is where milkymeter comes in, because cooled bottles are only safe to use within that 24-hour period if they’re heated to the optimum temperature quickly after removing from the fridge** – and that’s where a bowl of hot water fails. milkymeter, on the other hand, can heat a baby’s bottle to room temperature in literally seconds, and it’s these short heating times that ensure the vast majority of nutrients are preserved (and yes, you probably could just blind nuke it for 20 seconds but I figure you probably shouldn’t piss around when it comes to baby milk.
So how does this thing work? Ok I’m not going to get technical pretend I know anything about microwave power, but basically the milkymeter determines the average temperature of the bottle via a series of sensors running down its centre then lets you know where it’s at using a traffic-light system of sorts (blue for too cold, red for too hot, green for ready). Simply pop the milkymeter in the bottle of milk, start the microwave and wait for milkymeter to flash green, then just remove it from the microwave, give it a shake or stir, then test on your arm as normal.
The verdict? Ok so I can’t say milkymeter has totally changed my life. We are more often than not on the go and unfortunately since I’m not Mary Poppins a fridge doesn’t fit in my bag, which means I tend to carry ready-made formula instead. However, we do still spend around 75% of our time at home, believe it or not, and this is where the milkymeter comes into its own because, provided I’m organised enough to make up and refrigerate a load of bottles before we go to bed (and admittedly I can’t always be bothered), I can save around 15 minutes per bottle by simply microwaving it using the milkymeter versus making it up fresh with boiled water and holding it under a tap whilst praying to the cold-water gods to cool it down to a baby-friendly temperature at a marginally less glacial rate. That means I’m cutting out around 45 minutes to an hour of sad-baby time every day, which is brilliant news for everyone involved – not least the sleeping toddler I’m often trying desperately hard not to disturb.
Another big plus is that milkymeter is significantly cheaper and more compact than the alternative bottle-warming gadgets we’d considered buying. Now if the people at milkymeter could just invent a handbag-sized 2-in-1 fridge and microwave, that would be great.
*the milkymeter can also be used to heat breastmilk
**according to WHO guidelines
Disclaimer: this is a paid review of a gifted product, but my reviews are always completely (sometimes painfully) honest.