Especially during winters, it is necessary to warm up the baby's food to room temperature, relatively quickly.

We usually end up hunting a restaurant or a cafe with a microwave/hot water (and sometimes we are unlucky to not find any).

Is there a better, more standalone way to do this? We used to take 1L boiling hot water with us in a thermos, but that's too much weight & space sometimes. I even tried rubbing the bottle with my hands, but that just does not work (and is quite painful after a while).

I'm looking for tricks, tips, or just tools to get the job done.

7 Answers 7


A completely electricity-/stove-free method would be storing the baby milk not in rigid bottles, but in zip-lock-type baggies as they are sold for storing expressed breast milk, for example.

Slip the cool bag under your clothes and use your body heat to get it to temperature.

It shoud warm up quite fast as the bag ensures that a comparatively thin layer of milk touches a large area of your skin. If you are moving, it also gets mixed a bit which warms it even faster.

Bonus: You can be absolutely sure that you won't overheat the bottle, which can happen in a microwave if you are not very careful.


There are relatively cheap bottle warmers for in the car you can buy. For example: Amazon search


Hand-warmers might do the trick, and they can be more space-efficient and portable than the boiling water.

What kind to get obviously depends on how much stuff you need to heat and how often you need to do it; you can go for packets, which are relatively cheap, or an electrical warmer, which is a bit more sustainable for repeated use.

  • I guess the electrical one still needs some form of 'civilisation', so it is less suitable for outdoor trips.
    – sfThomas
    Jan 29, 2016 at 6:36
  • True, although they can be charged before going into the wild. Just a thought.
    – Finn
    Jan 29, 2016 at 12:38

This is the perfectly matching solution for you. You can use a Portable boiling cup. Please see below picture


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Or you can use this portable heater


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Both the items you can plug into the 12V power outlet of your vehicle and most of the vehicles have at least single 12V socket. I use this mug regularly. Regarding the mug, since you use this to feed the baby, make sure you clean the item well after use (If you put milk straightly into the mug)

If you are not traveling by a personal vehicle, you may be able to use a power bank (may be two) to supply power for this (You can use a high capacity mobile phone power bank for this http://www.ebay.com/itm/Orange-20000mAh-Dual-USB-Portable-Solar-Battery-Charger-Power-Bank-For-Phone-/371587780496?hash=item56845b8f90:g:l5AAAOSwZ8ZW-6Er ).

enter image description here

In that case you should find/build a adapter to get power from power bank to the mug/heater.

Please comment on this, if you need any advice on this. Thanks!


How much do you want to mod your car? The 12v heated cups and such work reasonably well, but many of them are designed more to keep already warm things from cooling off too much.

However... For about $100 you can get a 12v DC to 120v AC inverter that is sufficiently powerful for you to simply take a small microwave with you and heat up whatever you like as easily as though you were at home. You'd have to decide between wiring the inverter in so the power sockets were inside the cab and dealing with getting out and opening the hood and hooking the thing up when you needed it. Which is more practical depends a lot on what kind of car you have and how much space is available in the engine compartment and passenger area.

If you do a lot of winter driving and are willing to invest a bit in a more powerful alternator for your car, you can even have the system able to run a full 15A circuit. Personally I find it to be quite nice to just use a heat gun to defrost my windows in comfort instead of scraping ice or having to wait for the engine to warm up.

If cost is your primary concern, my grandparents used to just stop and warm the baby's bottle on the exhaust manifold of the engine. Those are hot enough to cook on even, but the practicality depends on what engine the car has and whether there's a spot to set things. At one point it was even somewhat common to see modifications that attached a small oven box so you could cook things as you drove down the road, but cars had more space in the engine compartment in that era, so it's usually not a practical modification now.


An easy option for a day trip I would purchase the pre made single use cartons of formula which do not need chilling and use as required.


Well the obvious answer hasn't been given yet. Use breastmilk directly from the mother. As a parent I know that isn't always the option (and no, I'm not part of that maffia), but on the other hand nature already provided us with a way to feed babies anywhere.

  • 1
    That may not always be an option - once the milk bar is closed, it’s tough (or practically impossible) to open it up again. I would expect that a breastfeeding mother has no need to ask this question.
    – Stephie
    Sep 3, 2021 at 20:44

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