As a breastfeeding mum, I haven't had that much use for this kit, but I can see that if I had gone straight on to formula, it would have been a godsend in those early days when baby needs to feed very regularly and going out of the house, even for a short time, can be complicated. I can remember meeting up with some other new mums just after Pierre was born who were constantly flapping around trying to beg a cup of hot water in restaurants to stand their baby's bottle in to warm, or to find somewhere to plug in their bottle warmers or worrying about the temperature of the milk because they'd purposely made it too hot, knowing that it would cool down while they were out, and hoping that it would be just about the right temperature at just about the right time.
What I love about this kit is that it takes the guesswork out of getting baby's bottle just right. You don't have to worry about being in a location where you will have no access to hot water or a source of electricity because the amazingly high-tech pouches magically heat up on contact with the air. How cool is that ? It sounds like something NASA would invent ! It doesn't sound quite so amazingly scientific when you read the list of ingredients (iron powder, water, activated carbon, wood, powder and salt) but the technology is still impressive.
The sachets provide up to 8 hours of continuous heat and can be used for keeping a bottle warm or for warming one up from cold. That means that the milk will stay at the perfect temperature for a much longer time than with the usual isothermic bottle bags you can buy. I also thought the packs could be customised and used as brilliant hand-warmers for the girls, who were busy playing in the snow and freezing their fingers off, but I read the warning labels that said you risk burns if you place them directly on the skin so quickly decided that was a bad idea. I'm sure there's a marketable idea there though for self-warming gloves if anybody wants to get inventing !
The kit looks pretty complicated when you first open it but it's actually really simple. You pull the sock over a bottle of warm milk, open the plastic wrap on the sachet to activate the warming magic, wrap it around the bottle and pull the top part of the sock down over the heat sachet to keep it in place, maintain warmth and protect you from directly touching the sachet. And that's it ! You have a really cute, funky, cowskin-patterned bottle of milk, ready and waiting for whenever baby wants it. The socks are designed to fit all bottles, even the wide-mouthed ones, and come in two sizes, depending on the size of the bottle.
The website says that this product is ideal for "mothers and fathers ‘on the go’ that desire a functional and chic product for their baby. Whether parents are running errands, travelling, working or playing, this product offers a simple solution and better alternative for heating baby bottles." However, it would also be fantastic for people who can't or don't want to move around too much - new mums who have had a c-section and need to stay in bed for a couple of days, those with mobility problems or exhausted parents with sleepless nights taking their toll. As each pouch gives 8 hours of heat, that will provide a whole day (or night) of no-fuss milk-warming in each pouch. Although each sachet can only be used once, 8 hours of continuous heat is long enough to warm several bottles so it's also a brilliant solution for long journeys by car, train or plane.
If you're one of those people that likes to be prepared for all eventualities, you could store a carton of ready-to-drink baby milk or powdered formula and a bottle of water in your changing bag or in the glove box of the car, just to be on the safe side. When the Eurostar trains broke down in the Channel Tunnel just before Christmas, some parents found themselves facing an unexpected whole night with nothing for their children to eat which must have been a nightmare for those with babies. This kit is ready to use at a moment's notice and allows you the benefits normally reserved for breastfeeding mums - baby's milk, warmed to perfection, whenever and wherever you need it, with no hassle or worry. And let's face it, new mums (and dads) have enough to worry about already so one less thing on the list has to be a good thing !
star rating : 4.5/5
RRP : starter kits $30 (small) & $35 (large), replacement sachets $15 (small) & $17 (large) for 5
for more information and to buy online : http://www.ontheflybottle.com/index.html