How It Works:
The DEX Products Grab N Go Bottle Warmer BWC-01 comes in 2 parts: the insulating bag and the warmer itself. The warmer warms by way of a chemical reaction, therefore it does not need any electricity. To use the warmer you simply curl the warmer into a circle shape and slide it into the insulating bag, then slip the bottle into the center of that. You then double click the starter disc (a small metal disc in the warmer) and wait for the warmer to warm the bottle. That’s it.
After you have used the DEX Grab N Go Bottle Warmer you will need to remove the warmer from the insulating bag and boil it in water for 10-15 minutes before it can be used again. I ultimately bought 2 Dex Grab ‘N Go’s so that I could warm at least 2 meals before needing to find a stove.
My Dex Grab ‘N Go’s are now about 5 years old (purchased Aug 2005 & Jan 2006) and were used frequently for both my eldest and second child (so about 4yrs of using them several times a week). Unfortunately, when I pulled them from storage 6 mths ago to use for my third child, I discovered they no longer worked correctly. I’ve tried a few times, but no matter how long I boil them or how carefully I handle them now, they activate and begin to crystallize even while still cooling on the counter, rendering them useless. But again this was only after 4 years of frequent use and about 12mths in storage.
As I recall, it took around 5-15 minutes to warm a bottle depending on whether I was starting with a room temperature or chilled bottle and depending on how much liquid was in the bottle. For example, a room temperature 4oz bottle of breastmilk would take 5 minutes or less to heat while a 9oz bottle of chilled formula would take 15. (Yes, I am working from memory here, but I used it quite often and despite some reviewers statements that it takes longer, I can confidently say that I would not have put up with something that took longer than 15 minutes as I was always a feed-on-demand mother which meant baby was often crying during the warming process.) Whether it heats the liquid “sufficiently” is subject to the opinion of both mothers and babies. I can tell you that it IS possible to grossly overheat smaller portions (chilled or not) while a 9oz chilled bottle can only be brought to room temperature.
*To use this bottle warmer you do not need any source of electricity (no battery, no car lighter, no wall outlet). This means that whether you’re in the middle of the zoo, the mall, or a swap meet, you don’t have to hike it back to the car, plug in your warmer and wait 15-30 minutes like so many of the other travel bottle warmers require. (Which can be a huge relief when you’re right smack in the middle of Christmas shopping, with a cart full of unpaid for items, and baby suddenly decides he’s hungry 45 minutes earlier than usual.) It also means you can take this thing camping and hiking (okay so with kids it’s probably more of a nature walk but the point is the same) and be completely at liberty to do as you please without worry about being near the car or a campfire.
*The warmer insert gets hot. And I mean HOT! Which is exactly what you want for a faster warming time. Just be careful handling it once you’ve clicked the starter disc. Make sure to keep it in the insulating bag until it’s cooled down enough to handle safely.
*It wraps the bottle in 360 degrees of heat. Again, this is exactly what you want for a faster and more even warming time. Not all bottle warmers do this.
*No additional water is required. Many travel warmers still require you to have extra water from some source in order to warm the bottle. Then you have to dump that water somewhere once you’ve used it. The Dex Grab ‘N Go eliminates those added hassles.
*Fits most bottles: bent, straight, fat, or skinny. In fact, I haven’t found a bottle yet that doesn’t fit. Admittedly it heats the skinnier bottles more quickly than the fat ones my kiddos ultimately preferred, but that seems to be universal with all bottle warmers as it is simply a matter of scientific fact that fatter things just take longer to warm. Also, the taller bottles do stick out the top of the warmer a bit more and may need a little shaking to even out the warmth.
*Because of its design it doesn’t click off like electric warmers and continues to be warm for some time after it’s reached maximum heat. This makes it good for keeping a bottle warm once it’s been warmed up. (You know babies like to change their minds occasionally, or you might go to get them out of the car seat for a feeding and realize they’ve decided to have their first BM in 2 days and WOW you’ve got to do some cleaning before you can even think of feeding him. In which case keeping the bottle warm a little longer than originally expected can be very helpful.)
*Unlike the plug-in The First Years: Quick Serve Bottle Warmer I have at home (not recommended btw), the warmer itself doesn’t decide how hot my bottle gets – I do. Many electric warmers shut off automatically making it impossible to warm the bottle beyond the preset limits. Whereas this warmer allows me to leave the bottle in the hot warmer for as long or as little as I please. This allows you to adjust the temperature to suit baby’s tastes.
*You can only use it once before it needs to be boiled again. (Again, I solved this dilemma by buying 2 & found that was all I needed.)
*The taller bottles do stick out the top of the warmer a bit more and may need a little shaking to even out the warmth.
*Very large portions (i.e. 9oz) don’t get as warm as smaller portions (i.e. 4oz).
*They don’t last forever. As I mentioned before, my Dex Grab ‘N Go’s appear to have stopped working sometime during their 12mths in storage after 4 years of frequent use. Still, at $10 a piece for 4 years of use, that works out to about $2.50/yr per warmer. Not bad at all in my opinion. And let me tell you, there were at least a handful of times that I thought to myself, “This one time alone is worth the $10. I can’t imagine not having this!”
*It can help speed up the warming process a bit (especially with large portions) to give a little shake/swirl to the bottle every couple minutes. (Think of it like stirring food cooked in a microwave.)
*When removing the warmer from boiling, handle with care so as not to accidentally set off the starter disc. They are most sensitive at this point. (Though this was a very infrequent problem for me. It maybe happened once in every 20 boilings.)
*After boiling, lay the warmer on a heat safe, flat surface to allow the liquid to distribute evenly in the warmer as it cools. This helps ensure even heating and makes inserting the bottle easier. I like to lay mine on a clean cookie sheet, although a solid trivet, large hot pad, or tile counter top would work as well.
Regarding other reviews:
With 2 young children my diaper bag was always stuffed to the gills, yet I frequently carried my unused warmer in it and, in 4 years of use, only once had it be accidentally set off in the bag.
Not only do I recommend it, I’m going out tomorrow to buy a new one!
To purchase one for yourself, just follow this link: DEX Grab N Go Bottle Warmer