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Last updated: 08/13/2020

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If you’re a mom, you’ll know that preparing the diaper bag every time you leave home is essential, no matter why you’re leaving the house or for how long. In addition to clean diapers, clothes and the odd toy, formula is a must, both for mothers who are not breastfeeding and for those who prefer mixed feeding.

And since you already carry so many items in our bag, you always try to lighten that weight as much as possible. For this, a formula dispenser is (pardon the pun) indispensable! Thanks to this handy item, you can prepare bottles easily no matter where you are.

Key Facts

  • As a mom, feeding your baby is one of your key concerns, and we always try to do it in the best conditions possible. However, we are not always able to prepare the bottle in the comfort of our own kitchen.
  • With a formula dispenser we will always have the exact quantities for the baby bottle on hand and ready wherever we are. That is why it is considered one of the most practical and useful baby products.
  • When choosing the formula dispenser that will make our lives easier, we must consider factors such as capacity, size and material, so that we make a purchase that completely suits our needs.

Our Selection: The Best Formula Dispensers on the U.S. Market

There are many options when it comes to formula dispensers: such as the number of compartments, and whether it is dishwasher safe or not. Some models also have a removable internal compartment that becomes a cup for your baby. With so many variations, it can be tough to decide which to choose. To help you make this decision, we have selected the five best formula dispensers on the market.

Best All-Round Formula Dispenser

This formula dispenser has all you need to keep your baby fed and happy on the go. BPA-free, it can hold enough powdered formula to make three eight-ounce bottles in one convenient pack. I also has an easy-to-pour spout and a secure snap-on lid meaning you can make bottles quickly and easily with no mess or fuss.

Best Travel Formula Dispenser

This formula dispenser is great for travel because the inner section can be removed and becomes a useful snack cup. It holds enough powdered formula for three nine-ounce feeds and has a rotating cap which stops the powder from spilling into other compartments. It is also BPA free so you can be confident it will not be harmful to baby.

Best Value Formula Dispenser

This formula dispenser has all the functions and features you need, with a very reasonable price-tag. The dispenser has three chambers, each holding a single-serve of eight ounces in each, making it perfect for prepping a feed for at home or while in daycare. You can pop the dispenser in the dishwasher for easy cleaning.

Shopping Guide: Everything You Should Know About Formula Dispensers

Although you probably have a basic understanding of this common baby product, the formula dispenser, you may have some doubts and questions. It’s normal, especially when it comes to our children, to carefully consider everything we do. Therefore, in this section, we answer the most frequently asked questions about this product.

baby feeding

If you’re going to be out of the house all day, a formula dispenser is ideal.
(Source: Famveldman: 60418002/ 123rf.com)

What is a formula dispenser and what are its advantages?

A formula dispenser is an item designed to transport powdered formula in order to prepare the baby bottle. It is a very useful and practical product that facilitates the task of feeding our children and has many benefits. These are some of the main ones:

  • You can transport more than one dose of powdered formula in a compact way.
  • It reduces the weight of your diaper bag, since it allows to take only the necessary amount of formula.
  • It is a very hygienic item that keeps formula in perfect condition.
  • It allows you to be more organized when feeding your baby.
  • It makes preparing a bottle quick and easy, you just have to pour the contents and mix it with water.

We can’t ask for anything else. These advantages perfectly reflect the reason why we find one or more formula dispensers in every house that has babies. Once you try them out, you will become addicted to using this item, as it is very useful and versatile. As we will see later, we can also continue to use them even when our baby moves on from bottles.

What types of formula dispenser are there?

Rather than types, it is more accurate to say there are different models of formula dispensers. All formula dispensers have at least one compartment for storing the powdered formula and one opening (usually large) to dispense it easily. However, we can find features that differentiate some models from others:

  • Shape: Cylindrical or triangular.
  • Internal compartment that can removed and used as a cup.
  • With small opening at the bottom to pour water.
  • Stackable ones that can be used separately (if they have an independent cover).
  • The ones that can be sterilized in the microwave.
  • Dishwasher safe.

Whether they are triangular, circular, stackable or not, the choice of formula dispenser must depend on the particular needs and daily lifestyle we have with the baby. We must not forget that, as parents, any article that can make every day easier for us will be more than welcome.

mom feeding a little baby

It is essential to keep your formula dispenser absolutely clean at all times.
(Source: Robert Przybysz: 40576678/ 123rf.com)

How much should I fill the formula dispenser?

When we are going to be away from home all day and want load the formula dispenser, one of the big concerns is the amount that we should take with us. Although they are general data, the table below can guide us on the number of bottles our child will need.

Age Daily bottles Quantity (fl oz)
2 days 6-7 1/3-2/3
3 days 6-7 1-1 1/3
4-6 days 6-7 1 2/3
6-8 days 6-7 2-2 1/3
9-15 days 6-7 2 2/3-3
1 month 6-7 3 2/3-4
2 months 6 4
3 months 5-6 5-6
4 months 4 6-7
5 months 4 210 or more

After the fifth month, they may start with semi-solid foods, always following the instructions of the pediatrician. It is very important to control the amounts of food to avoid childhood obesity, which has a negative impact on health. We must organize the formula dispenser according to the time we are going to be outside and the needs of the baby.

I already have a formula dispenser. Now, how do I prepare the bottle?

This is a very common question, especially among first-time parents. When we already have all the necessary articles to prepare the bottle, including the formula dispenser, we may have doubts about the quantity, type of water and other features. Creating a routine would be ideal for us to do it automatically and faster. Take note!

  1. First of all, follow the instructions of the formula manufacturer and your paediatrician to create the perfect bottle for your baby.
  2. As a general rule, the dosing spoon included in the milk is used for each 1 ounce of water to obtain the appropriate concentration.
  3. The first thing to add is the water and then the milk powder.
  4. Shake the bottle vigorously to make sure the beverage is not clumpy and it is easier to digest.
  5. Remember to wash your hands thoroughly before handling any items that can be in contact with the baby formula to avoid infections.
  6. It is also essential to clean and disinfect the bottle and the formula dispenser appropriately after each use or as soon as possible.

How should I clean and store my formula dispenser?

Keeping the formula dispenser in an optimal state of cleanliness is essential for the baby’s health and for keeping the milk in good condition. The FDA (Food and Drug Administration of the United States) recommends to clean and disinfect after each use following the manufacturer’s instructions.

  • Use cold water to rinse all parts of the formula dispenser.
  • Wash thoroughly with liquid soap and warm water each of the pieces.
  • Rinse the pieces with hot water.
  • Let the pieces air dry on a drainer.
  • It is also important to frequently check if the container has any cracks or wear marks, since air can pass through them and consequently, bacteria. Caring for the items your baby uses, especially those related to food, is taking care of our child’s health.

Which one is better to prepare bottles with the formula dispenser: tap water or bottled water?

There are different opinions, even among paediatricians, regarding the type of water that should be used for a baby’s bottle. Babies are extremely delicate especially during the first month of life and any alteration can cause an infection. Therefore, the use of natural mineral water, free of pathogenic microorganisms and parasites, is usually recommended.

However, when we do not have bottled water to prepare a baby bottle, we can use water from the tap. It is a good idea to boil the water for one minute to remove any trace of chlorine. In short, although bottled water is more practical as we do not to have to boil it, we are not be committing any crime when using tap water.

How old must be the baby to stop using the formula dispenser?

As we mentioned above, a baby will typically only be fed with liquids until five or six months. From that moment, we add semi-solid foods to their diet, so the amount of bottles every day is reduced. Despite this reduction, the formula dispenser will be with us for a long time.

Not only until we completely eliminate the bottles from our child’s feeding routine, but until they eat “adult food”. Truth is that dispensers can still be used to carry porridge, cereals, fruit pieces and the other foods we add as the kid grows up.

bag and diapers

Models with a funnel are very easy to use.
(Source: Mukhina1: 41190462/ 123rf.com)

Can you take prepared formula in a bottle and avoid using a formula dispenser?

The answer to this question is a simple no. In fact, a formula dispenser is so useful precisely because it is not possible to prepare a bottle in advance. Once prepared, these types of formulas do not last more than two hours at room temperature. Afterwards, they could be harmful to your baby’s health.

We know that the quantity of items in the diaper bag is infinite, but the milk dispenser is not something we can do without. If we want to feed our child away from home, we must transport the milk in the dispenser and prepare the bottle just before taking it. Only in this way will we ensure the perfect state of the milk powder.

And since we already carry too many childcare items in our bag, we always try to lighten that weight to the fullest. In this task, the milk dispenser will become our best ally. Thanks to him, we can prepare bottles easily no matter where we are.

Shopping Criteria

When facing different models of formula dispenser, we may not know very well how to decide which will be the one that best suits our needs. We recommend considering some features to make this choice easier. We explain below the main purchase criteria that you should assess:

Capacity

First thing to think about before buying a formula dispenser is its capacity. Think not only about the current consumption, but also about the future consumption in a few months. This way, the dispenser will serve for a long time. Most of them have three or even four compartments.

Theoretically, the dispenser capacity allows to prepare as many bottles as compartments there are. Therefore, we must make sure to choose a model that can carry as much formula as possible allowing us to be out all day. It is better to choose one too big than one too small.

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Size

Although some tower dispensers are larger than others with greater capacity (which is often due to design and lid) capacity is logically the main factor influencing the size of the formula dispenser. They generally have a diameter of about 3-3.5 inches and a height between 6 and 10 inches, depending on the models and the number of compartments.

If space is a fundamental feature for us, in case we do not have too much in the diaper bag, it will be important to make sure that we do not choose a tower that is too large and not quite useful. There are dispensers that are placed directly in the bottle. It is true that they save space, but they aim very specific models and, in the long run, they are not very practical.

Material

Like everything in contact with food, and even more when it comes to feeding our baby, it is essential to look at the material the dispenser is made of. If we consider that this article will contain what our child will eat later, the more harmless, the better.

Although in most cases dispensers are manufactured with very resistant plastic materials, it never hurts to check if they are phthalate-free and BPA-free (bisphenol A). It is very important not to believe only in advertising and check on the manufacturing labels where the compounds are listed.

Cleaning

Another criterion we have to assess when opting for one or another formula dispenser is its cleaning and maintenance. Dispensers are supposed to make our lives easier. Therefore, it is best to choose a model that is easy to clean and dishwasher-safe.

We also recommend having a formula dispenser which closes individually instead of closing onto another dispenser. This way, it is simpler to properly clean each piece separately and avoid residual formula that, once dried, can be the ideal environment for bacteria growth.

Summary

A formula dispenser is one of the most practical and useful childcare articles we will use during the first years of our child’s life. They are designed to comfortably and hygienically transport formula and semi-solid baby food as the child grows.

These items are specifically designed to keep transported food in excellent condition to protect baby’s health and safety. There is a wide variety of models for us available, making it easy to find one that best suits our needs. Haven’t tried one yet? When you do, you won’t go back!

If you liked our guide on formula dispensers, share it on your social media and leave us a comment.

(Source of the Featured Image: Serezniy: 108332744/ 123rf.com)

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