How to Heat Baby Milk/formula in the Microwave.

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Intro: How to Heat Baby Milk/formula in the Microwave.

Everybody knows you're not supposed to heat breast milk or formula in the microwave. Why not? The top two reasons usually cited are 1) it kills nutrients, which is scientifically unfounded, unless you're leaving it in there for 20 minutes, or 2) it creates hot spots, which can scald baby, which would be slightly plausible if we weren't talking about a liquid, which is going to have convection currents and is going to be thoroughly mixed long before it gets to baby's mouth.

No, the only real reason not to heat milk in the microwave is also the best one: because if you do, your baby's momma will kill you. She read all those reports on the internets and she doesn't believe your scientific mumbo-jumbo about upwelling for a minute.

So what's Daddy to do when baby is crying for food and Mommy's out at yoga? Just running hot water from the tap over the bottle takes forever and wastes a lot of water. It takes a while for the water to get hot and then most of the heat is just running down the drain.

Step 1: Heat Some Water in a Measuring Cup.

Grab the nearest Pyrex measuring cup. Put a couple ounces of tap water into it. Use the hot tap but don't wait for it to actually get hot--junior is hungry and time's a' wastin'! Stick the cup in the microwave for 1-2 minutes. You don't need a lot of water, because the bottle is going to displace a lot. You don't need a lot of time because, well, this is what microwaves are made for!

Step 2: Insert Bottle.

Stick the bottle in the cup of hot water. Swirl it around. After a few minutes, check the temperature by doing that thing they do on TV and in the movies, which you always wanted to do in real life: squirt some milk on your wrist to see how warm it is.

Step 3: Enjoy!

Serve warm. Makes 1 serving.

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    56 Discussions

    If your first paragraph is true, try this. put a glass of water in a microwave for 3 minutes, and water a potted plant with it for a week. I promise you that plant will die. and don't anyone dare anyone spout off about how it was "already dying" because it was perfectly healthy.

    10 replies

    Nice to find someone who thinks this way too. So, don't ever forget to discuss this with the lady you want to have children with. :)

    And what happens if the woman you settle down with with doesn't feel comfortable breastfeeding, or can't produce enough milk? Life doesn't always go according to plan.

    my son was adopted, so we fed him formula, my wife tried to breastfeed him but not enough milk came in.... are we bad parents? microwaving food is safe, just dont do it in plastic containers

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    Wait...why were you microwaving your plant's water anyway? If it was an experiment to see if microwaved water is bad for you, you should definitely use a control for a more definitive answer.

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    Microwaves do not chemically alter food items. They heat food using non-ionizing radiation. This means that it won't be cleaving your DNA or irradiating your food. In fact, pan or grill heating things can produce far more toxic substances by creating charred food. Charred food material contains all sorts of carcinogenic molecules (PAH's, PhIP, etc) that can mimic the effects of ionizing radiation. Microwaving food avoids all of this. About the most dangerous part of microwaving food is the occasional super heating of liquids like coffee (causing a boiling eruption that I find very amusing), potatoes, eggs, etc. I can't explain why your plant died but I can safely say that it wasn't because you microwaved the water. All microwaves do to H2O is cause a di-pole shift when microwaves are absorbed and infrared radiation (the kind that heats food and the reason we sit facing the fire during cold winter nights) is then released. Nothing more nothing less.....you can actually reduce the dissolved gas in water but this also happens when you heat water on the stove. No difference there.

    That's because you're giving a living plant hot, or warm (room tempurature?) water.

    Plants get rain water. Rain comes from the sky. The sky is very cold. I know, because I spend allot of time up there. For every one thousand feet of sky, the temperature drops by about two degrees Celsius. Except the first few thousand feet of sky. Those first few thousand feet of sky are much warmer than the rest of the sky, because it is heated by the ground. So after the first few thousand feet of sky, there is a more significant temperature drop. Also, the sky is blue.

    http://forums.randi.org/showthread.php?t=55420

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    YapH1

    2 years ago

    Thank you author..! I couldn't find any article with proper scientific backing for why microwave cannot be used on breast milk either..! but apparently, my wife could flash out a pamphlet from the hospital advises against microwave (yes, lost that one, sigh). My thinking: maybe, microwave damages the immune cells found in beast milk (due to heat spots) believed to be helpful to babies. I think there are many factors in breast milk which are not yet understood (which is why formula milk cannot give babies the same benefits as breast milk - we don't know how to replicate artificial breast milk exactly)

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    mstone9

    7 years ago on Introduction

    No, the reason for not heating formula in a microwave is because research shows that it can lead to increased risk of severe ear infections in toddlers and infants.

    1 reply
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    worried123mstone9

    Reply 2 years ago

    what if i mix the formula in 100 degree and let it cool down?

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    mstone9

    7 years ago on Introduction

    I had 5 sets of ear infections with tubes followed by equilibrium imbalance in the inner ear, when I was little. I am pretty sure that heating formula in a microwave helped that happen.

    2 replies
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    jdrago1sgernant

    Reply 2 years ago

    I'm pretty sure, you are totally correct . The toaster gave me cancer. lol

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    kelseymh

    9 years ago on Introduction

    Before reading my comments below, let me first say this is a good recommendation! Whether you believe in the evils of microwaves or not, this is surely an appropriate way to work around someone else's concerns without dismissing or ignoring them. Having said that...

    For one of the "reasons" not to microwave formula, you cited, "it creates hot spots," and debunked with and argument about convection currents in liquid. While quite true in principle, it doesn't necessarily apply to this case.

    Microwaving anything will induce hotspots, just because of the way microwaves are generated and bounce around inside the enclosure.
    You are (hopefully!) not heating the formula to very much above body temperature (not more than ~100-105F) or you can scald the baby's mouth. In such a case, the temperature differences between hot and cold regions are less likely to induce good convective flow, and so the hotspots can persist for a substantial time. Also, formula is thicker than water, which reduces the development of convection on short timescales (viscous inertia); you can verify this by heating a bowl of canned cream-style soup in a Pyrex cup.

    For both reasons, rather than rely on convection, you really do need to manually mix the heated formula, and check the temperature after mixing. A good approach is to heat in very short steps (5-10 seconds at a time), mixing and checking at each step. This is sufficiently slow and awkward, especially when the young one is getting impaTIENT!!! :-O, that it is really not worth the hassle.

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    crash28kelseymh

    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    I have a bottle warmer that you plug into the wall .. it has water in it.. when the light goes off I check the formula.... swilr it in the botlte then check again and it's usually always perfect then it warmed and ready AND fully nutritious for our precious one :D thakews about 3 mins.. don't see what all this fuss is about.....

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    kelseymhcrash28

    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    Right! That is a proper conduction warmer (it's basically just a double boiler). That is absolutely the best method.

    The point of this posting is that microwave ovens do not heat _anything_ uniformly. It's not a big deal for adults, who have (a) better tolerance and take less damage from overly-hot food, and (b) have learned what to do if they eat something too hot. Infants, as you well know, don't have either those skills or that tissue protection.