Does Baby Need a Barista? Nestle Thinks So

Does baby need a barista? Nestle thinks so. It’s launching new “single serve” bottles made from purest of purely pure water. The machine works just like one of those pop-in-a-pod coffee makers. According to the BabyNes website:

The single-serve portions are sealed in capsules, used in the proprietary BabyNes machine, which recognises each capsule and prepares the bottle with precisely the right dosage and temperature, at the push of a button, in less than one minute. The BabyNes machine combines state-of-the-art technology with the utmost safety and convenience, and ensures a hygienic, quick and easy bottle preparation.

Here’s the deal. I don’t want to start an argument about breast vs. bottle feeding. I myself did both. What makes this a Free-Range topic of interest is the constant upping the ante of what is “good enough” for kids. New is the notion that any water that was NOT purified in a state-of-the-art machine is not safe enough for a baby, and also that parents might not measure out precisely the right “dosage,” as if we’re talking about finely calibrated medicine!

BabyNes system uses new patented technology to prepare and deliver a hygienic, safe product for babies in a new way. At the heart of the innovation is the BabyNes capsule which contains an integrated microbiological filter to eliminate bacteria from the water. The product preparation all takes place within the closed capsule which means it doesn’t have any contact with the machine or the user before going into the bottle.

A lot of the Free-Range philosophy is looking at how society tries to convince us that we need to BUY something to be good parents — that anything we’d do on our own is for some reason suddenly not good or safe enough anymore: Better to trust a product or class or expert than ourselves. This particular item tries to make us feel our kids are vulnerable — can they really not tolerate a slightly hotter or cooler drink? — and that we are dangerously bumbling dolts: Someone ELSE does the measuring. A state-of-the-art MACHINE does the mixing.

But really: Who says anything having to do with our kids has to be this perfect?  Only someone with something to sell. – L

BabyNes capsule

Baby wants a latte!

140 Responses

  1. Honestly, if this had been around when my daughter was on formula I might have gotten it. Not because she needed purified water (I was fine with tap in my own house, or at most brita filtered) or because I didn’t trust my “Dosing”, but because it sounds like it would make the whole pouring/measuring/HEATING process much faster. We had a bottle warmer, but impatience soon won out and we used the microwave a lot, in spite of my general disapproval of microwaving plastic.

  2. This sort of stuff makes me nuts. Garbage and dealing with it is a huge problem. So many resources get used up bottling, packaging, and shipping stuff that most of us don’t need. In most places in the US, there is absolutely nothing wrong with the tap water. But we’ve convinced ourselves that our delicate constitutions and those of our children will be irrevocably harmed by letting tap water touch our lips. You can’t just rinse your vegetables, oh no. You need to buy this special vegetable wash to wash your vegetables or you’re probably going to be dead by morning. God forbid you wash your hands with ordinary bar soap that comes in a recyclable cardboard box. Nope, you’re destined for death if you don’t use the highly packaged liquid hand soap and follow it up with the antibacterial gel before putting on rubber gloves to scratch your nose.

    My kids were adopted, and bottle fed because of it. And I didn’t obsess over their formula, at all. Other than getting the lactose free stuff for the kid who needed it, I measured it as good as possible, added tap water, shook it up, and fed it to them at whatever temp the water was at. They didn’t really care – they guzzled it down, and grew as expected. Got them off the formula and onto regular food as soon as possible, called it done. Somehow my kids lived, even though I didn’t wring my hands over every molecule that they ate. I still refuse to stress out about what they eat or don’t eat. I serve healthy food. They can eat it, or go hungry. If they eat junk food at a friend’s house, they won’t die from it. The occasional diet soda has yet to prove fatal, and no terrible tap water related diseases have occurred. Seriously, who has the time to devote to these obsessions? If you have that kind of time, come over to my place. I’ve got windows to wash.

  3. Things were just as bad in the 1960s. I read the booklet they gave my mother on sterilizing the bottles. Crazytown.

  4. Oh yeah, and I sterilized the bottles by running them through the dishwasher. Period. Everyone survived.

  5. I love how the filter eliminates bacteria from the water. Between hand sanitizer, wipes, etc. our children are not getting the exposure they need to build an immune system. And then as a society we wonder why allergies across the board are on the rise. Also, this is just one more thing to add waste to the landfills.

  6. Wow….seriously?

  7. Human beings have never lived in sterile environments. Of course you don’t want major contaminants in your water, but beyond that I think we’ll all do just fine.

    I got so sick of sterilizing bottles and breast pump parts when my oldest was a baby and I was still working. I was a first-time mom, though, and succombed to the guilt of potentially being a bad mom if I didn’t sterilize everything perfectly.

    Of course, I completely rebelled against Medela policies and used a (*gasp*) USED breast pump! It had belonged to a friend, and I knew she never had hepatitus, but according to Medela I was going to infect my baby with a deadly disease. They even made me sign something when I ordered new parts for it stating that it wasn’t a used pump (which of course it was).

    Do people actually sue the breast pump company (or the bottled water company) if a child does get sick? Maybe some have, and that’s part of the reason for the paranoia. Otherwise, it is just that: paranoia. Most tap water is fine. Too much sterilization and antibacterial treatment is not good for our immune systems anyway. 🙂

  8. I like this BMS person! Yeah, this new product is ridiculous. But you do know that companies know they can sell anything they market as “safe” to unsuspecting moms or dads similar to how they use sex to sell, well, pretty much anything else. So I agree – it’s pathetic. (Never mind the hygiene hypothesis and link to childhood allergies!)

  9. We hike a lot. We carry a water filter that takes out the nasty critters but otherwise we drink stream and lake water. Sometimes it has tannins in it (think tea colored) other times it has who knows what. We all survive.

    This is just silly. Kids need exposure to dirt to build up an immune system. They need to eat dirt and rocks and wood chips, just because. What will happen is that this poor kid will go to school at age 6, and spend the first 2 years sick with every kind of minor ailment that goes around. Unfortunately that will just reinforce the non-sense that he is “special” and needs mommy to sterilize/purify/sanitize everything…..

    Gah! Kids are the progeny of the most successful predator to ever walk the face of the earth. They’ll survive a bit of off-temperature water.

  10. Hmm. Wonder if I should have sterilized my tits before I popped them in baby’s mouth? I certainly didn’t keep them any place special, and with leakage I am sure I had a potential for a build up of germs. My kids didn’t seem to get any more colds than I did….Wait…I see potential for a new product!

  11. I’m sure this is a useful product for some situations, so it does not bother me. I do not mind someone developing and marketing a product that some may find useful. The problem arises when somehow the message changes from “see if this addresses your needs” to “no decent parent would fail to meet this standard.”

    Not all water supplies are created equal. I get city water from a great big nearby lake, which I trusted enough to mix my babies’ formula right from the tap. But I know people whose kids have been hospitalized because their dishes were washed in unsafe well water. For some families, the trouble of providing water that is safe enough for a baby to drink may be so cumbersome/expensive that a convenient product that cleans the water AND mixes the bottle might be just the right purchase.

    Why is it that some consumers can say, “oh, that’s interesting but we don’t need it” while others look to some “authority” to tell them what they need? To me, that’s where the problem lies. When we talk about foreign aid, someone always brings up “teach a man to fish….” Well, how about teaching Americans to think? You know, read, listen, understand, weigh pros/cons, decide, move on. Revisit if new info becomes available, or if you have a brilliant new thought while you’re in the shower. Focus on giving your kid the best of the time you have with him.

    As an aside, I’m danged if I can remember my best friend’s / boss’s phone number. Why? Because my phone makes it so easy that I haven’t had to think about how to dial it in years. One risk with these new products is that on the day when your electricity goes out or you’re on the road come feeding time, you aren’t going to remember how the heck to mix a plain old bottle (assuming you kept some spare powder around to begin with).

  12. I’m not, not, not trying to fuel any mommy war or bottle vs breast debate, but I do kind of see this as a reminder that we’ve sort of wandered off the track of trusting in ourselves when it comes to our children. We don’t need a special, counter-top device to perfectly feed our babies – our breasts already know exactly what to do! I know some women can’t, but the vast majority of woman can and we need to stop trying to convince women that their bodies can’t.

    That, and NO MORE BABY STUFF. They’re babies! The level of consumerism and waste generated by individuals who literally eat, sleep, and poop is ridiculous.

  13. Lenore – I’m expecting twins – and while I breastfed all my other kids – (one until 3 years old) this looks like a BRILLIANT idea for me. Frankly, the thought of being plugged in 24/7 or trying to juggle babies to stop and make formula is quite scary. I think I would actually buy this thing. At least for the midnight feedings!

  14. I could also see a product like this being useful for places like hospitals or daycares – assuming they had a procedure for not mixing up whose is whose.

  15. CrazyCatLady, they actually now sell wipes so that you can clean your nipple before you breastfeed. I got a sample of them from somewhere.

  16. But…Say Rah….think of the unsanitary conditions that those breasts are in!

    I have never seen, never been told that they should be cleaned before feeding. The only moms whom I have seen being cleaned were….cows, for human consumption. And they dangle low and hang near the rear end….

    But why should our cow milk be purer than our human milk? We must start a campaign to remedy this! Babies are potentially in danger!

  17. Jamie – Darn! I missed the boat! Maybe I can get in by doing advertizing for some public awareness campaign. The mothers MUST be made aware of the danger of what they have been doing for millennium on end!

  18. Enter discussion of the hygiene hypothesis here….

    Kids are more allergic and asthmatic than ever. One major hypothesis for these life-endangering and increasingly common allergies is that our immune systems are not appropriately challenged by the natural world.

    Or, as I put it to my mother when she asked if I needed to give my new baby sterilized water “Are you kidding? I let the dog lick his face, why would he need sterlized water?”

    He has survived to eleven so far, despite dog tongues and tap water.

  19. I just had an evil thought so I’m going to be immature for a moment.

    My kids didn’t have the opportunity to breastfeed, since they were adopted. To remedy the situation, I now provide them with applesauce pouches to suck on.

    (Ducking and running.)

  20. Jamie, did you ever use them? Just curious…unless you are waking baby to eat, I always loved the instant satisfaction that popping on gave. I may have tried with my first to use these, but like many other things, would probably have given up for convenience sake.

  21. SKL, no more evil than my breast sanitation ideas!

  22. @Sarah, Medela isn’t worried about getting sued, they are worried about not selling enough breast pumps. The fear they are instilling, which is only reinforced with waivers to sign, is designed to get you to buy a new pump to help their corporate bottom-line. If used pumps were a problem, you wouldn’t be able to rent them from hospitals or breast-feeding centers.

    We breast-fed our babies for the most part, but had some time where there was formula supplementation and I always used tap water and bottles washed in the dishwasher. I also warmed my bottles (breast milk or formula) by running them under warm water for a few seconds to get most of the chill off. Otherwise, the babies were drinking cold milk. I understand that a particularly fussy baby might need milk at exactly perfect body temperature, but most don’t care.

    Somewhat related, I always laugh when I see parents with those disposable sanitary plastic table covers that you put on the restaurant tables for the baby. I just let my babies eat off of the table, and yes, I am very well aware of all of the germs that are on it since they are usually wiped with used/dirty rags. That’s why I do it. I also let my babies crawl around on the floor, where everyone’s dirty feet have been and I don’t think I even own a bottle of Lysol or Clorox. My kids, all three of them, are so very healthy and rarely ever get sick.

  23. This part struck me as the worst:
    “contains an integrated microbiological filter to eliminate bacteria from the water.”
    No bacteria (i.e. sterile) ? Why do people think that’s such a great thing ? The human body is literally teeming with bacteria. It’s what makes it work. These companies would have us believe that *any* bacteria can be deadly. True, a baby’s immune system is still developing, but how can it get a chance without exposure to normal bacteria present in most sources of water ?
    This type of bacteriaphobia is what makes people run to the doctor asking for an antibiotic prescription every time they get a sniffle. The human body is perfectly capable of dealing with most bacteria present in human society, unless of course you keep filtering it out or using antibiotics. In that case, you’re fostering a weak immune system because you never give it a chance to do its job.

  24. I can totally see your point, but there have been times at 3 in the morning, crazed with sleep deprivation and a crying baby if I could have made a bottle by simply pushing a button. I would have sold out against everything I believe in about consumer spending and waste and used one of these machines in a heartbeat.

  25. That’s just silly. When my kids were babies I breastfed and bottle fed. When bottle feeding we sterilized in the dishwasher, used culligan water and powdered formula. Very easy when we were out, just brought the water in a thermos so it would stay around room temperature and measred the powdered formula right into the bottle. Baby gets hungry, just add water and shake. Very cheap and convenient and no need to pay for gimmic’s!

  26. I gotta tell you, I could care less about the sanitising and filtering issue, but trying to make fresh formula at 3Am with a howling baby after weeks of sleep deprivation? I could see giving this machine a spot on my counter and paying 2X for formula to be able to do that.

  27. I can completely see buying this for the convenience factor if you are juggling multiple small children or other issues. I would never judge a mom who bought this because it made her life easier or helped with real health issues.

    My concern is that this could chain new moms and kids to home even more. Like the moms who can’t go out because baby needs to nap at a particular time or in a particular space, I can see becoming convinced that formula mixed any other way isn’t good enough and worrying about eating out or other situations where the machine wouldn’t be available.

    (and yes, I was one of those moms about half the time with my first kid. And when I rebelled at times, I was worried and guilt stricken. He survived and I lightened up with the second.)

  28. The perfect product for the people who are probably too stupid to procreate to begin with.

  29. Question, since although we primarily breast fed, but did do some bottles with breast milk or formula….is there a good reason to not make the formula ahead of time for the 3 a.m. feeding? Have it refrigerated and then warm under the tap or feed it cold?

  30. Try breast milk! Always sterile, fresh, and at the perfect tempature. No mixing, no measuring, and ready at a moments notice!

  31. This reminds me of the K-cups for coffee, which some people swear by for the convenience. I can see the convenience factor appealing to a great many people, so as far as the product itself, I have no real complaints– aside from my normal rant on our inability to slow down and plan ahead. It’s not like a midnight feeding is a surprise, and last time I checked, babies don’t need their bottle, hot, just warm (or even room temperature.) We managed to only use room temperature bottles for our son, by leaving the expressed breastmilk out on the counter– breastmilk is safe at room temperature for several hours. The kid didn’t care. (Though now he does call anything above lukewarm “hot” but I think that’s unrelated.) And I’m glad I was able to breastfeed because the convenience alone was hard to beat.

    The problems I have with this product is that, as always, it’s advertised as necessary. You must filterthe water because there’s bacteria in it– except, this is the U.S., and not some African village. You must have the perfect measurement of formula to water, or else what, exactly? Baby gets a little thik or thin? They’ll live. The water is not the perfect temperature? It’s not necessary, but it’s marketed as being better– granted that’s what marketing does, but many people have trouble separating marketing from true need. Take those “special” toddler snacks, which are rarely any healthier than regular versions. Or the veggie straws, which a friend brought over once– I compared the ingredients to our bag of chips and found that the chips had less sodium. And the ‘veggie’ was merely powdered tomato and onion. Hardly a “healthy” snack like our mislead friend had thought…

  32. Remember it is a machine. Nothing can go wrong…………….go wrong…………….go wrong…………………..go wrong

  33. “I can totally see your point, but there have been times at 3 in the morning, crazed with sleep deprivation and a crying baby if I could have made a bottle by simply pushing a button. I would have sold out against everything I believe in about consumer spending and waste and used one of these machines in a heartbeat.”

    But that’s exactly WHY we shouldn’t make decisions based on what seems good to us at 3 in the morning when we’re exhausted, and why it’s worthy of criticism (though not shocking) when a business markets things that appeal to that state of vulnerability. You didn’t have access to this, you survived. So would everyone who goes and wastes their money on this, if they hadn’t done so.

    CrazyCatLady, sticking bottles in the fridge ahead of time is something I (as a “both feeder”) frequently did. I know those extra 20 seconds to microwave seem like eternity at 2 a.m., but they’re NOT really. (And doesn’t it take some amount of time to fill and run this thing anyway? It’s not Star Trek.) I remember those days, they’re really hard, but anyone not in some really rare crisis situation really is better off sucking it up for the extra 20 seconds than wasting their money on a thing like this.

    And then there’s the whole debate over whether babies really need formula that perfectly precisely warm temperature. Of course you don’t want to put cold milk into the warm little tummies, but really, is wrist-tested lukewarm tap water the end of the world? So that’s another alternative to the “ordeal” of fixing fresh bottles the hard way in the middle of the night. One scoopful, run the water for 20 seconds, fill the bottle, and shake.

  34. Wow. And to think I used tap water and powder I measured WITH A SPOON! It’s amazing J. survived.

  35. I looked on the Nestle site and found that they have *age-appropriate* formulas for kids up to age 3!

  36. @JC, reading your comment makes me think we need a “free-range immune system” movement. Go ahead, expose your immune system to horrifying risks such as the common cold, the flu and maybe even chicken pox. (I know some people have compromised immune systems, but just as we assess risk based on the individual needs of our children, the same would apply to our immune system). Even worse, we could do toilet seats without gloves or a paper cover, not freaking if we don’t have soap or sanitizer to wash our hands every time we touch our faces, and (as someone mentioned earlier) letting dogs lick our faces. It might be nice to let our immune systems grow and develop into mature and independent systems by exposing them to increasing levels of risk based on their maturity level.

  37. RobynHeud, your comment makes me think of the Dr. Seuss book “And to Think that I Saw it on Mulberry Street.” Starts out just being an ordinary day, but that’s not report-worthy, so we need to add bells and whistles and parades and bla bla bla; until in the end we realize that the ordinary, undoctored world really is good enough. Maybe even better!

  38. This was a perfect thing for me to read. I’m finally on my way to being a free-range mom, so I do admit to getting excited at products for my current fetus-to-be-baby. So yes, I will hang my head in shame and admit I thought “Cool!” when I saw this product. But only because it sounded flashy and neat-o. I just don’t see myself paying for this or even requesting it as a gift. I’ve seen plenty of babies do just fine on the standard bottle and/or breast with a temperature that may or may not be “ideal”.

    On another note, one of the pregnancy books I’ve been reading (“Understanding Your Moods When You’re Expecting”) is wonderfully free-frange as far as a mental health-based pregnancy book can go. The author, while still stating the usual “breast milk is best” stuff, also says a baby who gets bottle-fed with a sane and well-rested mom is probably going to be better off than a baby with a stressed-out mother who is making everyone miserable by trying to do 100% breastfeeding when it just ain’t working! Another comment (probably paraphrased but as close as I can remember) was: “Outside of abuse and neglect, a few mistakes will not permanently scar your child”.

    Yay for sane advice!

  39. I am wondering what kind of poisons are added to it. I have a 6 week 5 day old son. He drinks from his mothers breast which are the right temperature and has the best nutrition. Something formula will never be able to give a baby. Formula is often filled with bad chemicals that can cause health problems in the long run, while breast milk gives the baby nutrients and immunities from diseases the mother is immune too. People need to forget technology and go back to the old way. Breast-feeding and letting kids be kids.

  40. Thanks, James. You do know that 2.5% of American children were adopted, right? (Sigh.) I am gonna shut up since I know Lenore doesn’t want this to be about that.

  41. RobynHeud, I’m with for the most part. Except for the chicken pox. As a herpes-type virus, it sticks with you FOREVER and is the cause of the very painful shingles you can get later in life. If I can protect my kids from that, I will. And did; they both got their immunizations at the appropriate time.

    Otherwise, I let my kids eat stuff that’s fallen on the floor (for the most part) and let them have snacks at the beach with only rinsing their hands in the lake (Michigan) to get the sand off.

  42. @ Mike in Virginia…. The pumps that are rented are different from the home use pumps. The rental pumps, have a pair of diaphragms between the pump and the collection system. Each user of the hospital/rental pumps has to buy a new collection system. Breastshields, Piston/Cylinder, Pump Connector, Tubing, Valves Membranes, Bottles with lids, protective membranes, Membrane caps. First time a hospital pump is used, the user, or a nurse, actually has to open it up to install the new protective membranes and membrane caps.

    This prevents any milk from getting where it can’t be removed. A problem that only happens occasionally, but happens as some point to just about every mom who pumps extensively. When milk gets into the pump it can harbor bacteria and viruses and return that back into the milk collection at later pumping sessions. For home use pumps they don’t worry about that separation, because what bacteria/viruses gets into the bottle from the pump, is no different from what has gone into the bottle/baby at some earlier time from the milk.

    So while the risk of sharing *home use* pumps is small, and in the case between women with out hepatitis, HIV, etc… not an issue. It is not a risk that hospital and pump rental companies are embracing in any way shape or form.

  43. CNN ran an op-ed piece this morning about how having kids decreases your happiness: http://www.cnn.com/2012/07/30/opinion/etzioni-children/index.html?hpt=hp_c3

    From reading the piece it looks like people are unhappy because of the ‘stress’ of parenting, which I read to be the unceasing struggle to prevent kids from being kids, and keeping up with the neighbors in how we take care of kids.

    My kids are a lot of fun, and, except for a few times when they were little (those 3AM screamer nights) they’ve never stressed me out.

    I guess if you worry about every nick and scratch and disease and bacterium and whatever that might stress you out. Me, I don’t worry about it; long ago I resigned myself to the occasional trip to the doctor and the emergency room and let everything else slide.

  44. @SKL… I got samples for “Toddler formula” just as my daughter was about to turn a year old. Never mind that I had never used any of the other formula, nor asked for samples. I did run into one mom who used that stuff. Daycare gently asked her to stop telling her “you don’t need to provide bottles, we can provide whole milk for the toddlers.” A few weeks after that, I saw her talking to the director again telling her to go ahead with the whole milk. Her doctor had told her that formula for her toddler was unnecessary and that he *should* be on whole milk. I said a little hallelujah and had to restrain myself from asking which pediatrician she goes to.

  45. I agree, Yan, stressing out over stupid stuff is what makes you less happy. I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again: having my kids spend their first 6 months in a third world country was the best thing for me as a mom. They came to me as happy, ordinary babies without me hovering, obsessing, and agonizing over every detail of their first 6 months. I had to trust a total stranger to take care of my kids with no input from me whatsoever. My youngest son’s foster mom owned a restaurant. She brought him with to work, where he sat in a baby seat on top of the freezer in between being passed around to all the customers and cooed over. OMG! Someone could have taken him! Or coughed on him! Or spilled coffee on him! But no one did, and when we came to get him from Guatemala there were 40 people there at the going away party she threw for him. 40 people, from regular customers, to the foster mom’s relatives, to the lady who helped clean the restaurant, all there to say goodbye to a 5 month old. If he was fine through all that, I’m pretty sure that tap water will be fine for them.

    And as far as mixing bottles in the middle of the night – truly, what’s the problem. The formula has a scoop like kool-aid. Put scoop in bottle. Add water. Shake. Can even be done in the dark. Not sure what the big deal is.

  46. I mean, why stop at age 3? Surely there is an ideal mixture of nutrients for preschoolers, schoolkids, and adults, too?

    Oh wait, maybe that’s what God was thinking when he invented cows.

    (Uh oh, I just know I ticked off some vegans . . . .)

  47. My son is 22 years old and he was formula fed. And, like many others… we were told to sterilize, sterilize… etc. I used liquid which was mixed half and half with boiled, cooled water and then the bottles with the nipples in the lids sat on top and were all put into a bottle sterilizer and then let to cool before you put them in the fridge. You made enough bottles to last 24 hours and then started the process again (so, I’m confused at the ones getting up at 3am and making a bottle ???) That’s how we all did it “back in the day”…. LOL

    I honestly would have ran out so fast and bought this contraption and paid double for the formula if it had been around in 1990 as opposed to the whole long, drawn out method I used to have to do. And it has nothing to do with the fact the water is “purified” or everything is uber sterile. And I find it hard to believe that Nestle is hocking formula for babies up to 3 years old? WTF? I took my snowflake off the stuff at 6 months and he was on 2% and eating food. Grew up just fine and graduated from college last year on the Dean’s Honour Roll.

    I guess by Nestle’s standards he should be sick or maybe passed away from some horrid bacterium by now…. Ugh.

  48. BMS, I agree with all that, but so what if someone decides they want to buy the thing? I mean, I have a water boiler for making my instant coffee. I wanted it so I bought it. I like it. When it dies, I’ll buy another one. I know there are other ways to get a cup of coffee, but I want to do it this way. Doesn’t every American have some convenience that they don’t “need”?

    I suspect, however, that the cost will scare most “nice-to-have” people away. I assume they will charge enough for the machine that people will feel they must continue buying the individually-packaged “doses” of formula for a long time to make it worthwhile. When you add it all up, only those who really can afford luxuries (or has a real need for the features) will end up buying one – I’d guess.

  49. @SKL: I think that’s where Pediasure and Ensure come in. If there are not now, there will soon be drinkable “complete nutrition” product for every age and stage of life. Heaven forbid people learn to eat well from a young age.

    I do have to give some of these companies credit for finding a market… and convincing people that they need a particular product.

  50. I formula fed all 5 of my kids (by choice) the only thing cool about this thing is the instant gratification. 3am, going on a mere 45 minutes of sleep, baby is crying and I have to be up with the other kids in 3 hours…it might have been nice to just pop in a little cartridge and get a bottle.

    But really, I never needed anything like that. I made bottles with tap water, store brand powdered formula and microwaved it if it needed to be warmed (10 seconds on high will take the chill off an 8oz bottle, 20 seconds will warm it).

    With my last child (now 2) we were able to afford the ready to feed formula but we only used it until he was drinking more than 3 oz at a time and usually only at night because it was so much easier. It was a luxury that we were happy to have at the time (the other kids we were way too poor for stuff like that). After 5 kids I could make a bottle in less than a minute and learned after #1 that babies do NOT need to have a warm bottle.

    The hospital always warmed her bottles so that was the only way she would take them and it was a freaking pain. With #2 we always made them room temp. And #3 didn’t care, she’d drink them straight out of the fridge. After that I only warmed enough to take the chill off of the bottle.

    Amazingly all 5 have survived. They are 12, almost 11, almost 10, 6 and 2. They are rarely ever sick and when they do get sick it’s so mild they are better in days with only home care. Some of the kids have never even seen a doctor except for well check ups.

  51. My counters, cupboards and trash can are crowded enough. One more appliance and it’s packaging would send me over the edge.

    And what exactly are you supposed to do when you need to be out of the house at a feed? Lug the machine with you? No thanks.

    I’m rabidly pro breastfeeding anyway, but if for some reason my child needed formula, they’d get it the easy way: mixed from a powder in the bottle with lukewarm filtered water (I have to filter my tap water, it looks, smells and tastes like it was pumped straight from a dirty municipal pool).

  52. I might have scraped together the money for this if I hadn’t been able to breastfeed all three children, because stumbling around in the kitchen at why-am-I-up o’clock trying to get the formula and bottle and so forth in approximately the same place seemed like brain surgery to a mom who was having trouble putting the diaper on right side front at that hour. A mom I know who couldn’t breastfeed her three found herself attempting to feed one of them a bottle of powder one night.

    But the thinly veiled assertions that the “integrated microbiological filter” and such are necessary (where do you live that you can afford this thing but your tap water is that bad?!) are offputting. Why not just market the thing to people like me who just want to push a button, feed the kid, and go back to bed? Why all the superfluous safety scaremongering?

  53. @skl: Oh if someone wants to drop money on this, whatever. But it’s just another garbage generator in my eyes. I’m warped – I have to take my own trash to the dump, so I despise anything that generates waste that I can’t put on the compost heap. I used cloth diapers so that I wouldn’t have to make 12 extra trips to the stupid dump every month with disposables. grumble grumble stupid town with no municipal trash pickup grumble.

  54. It’s a baby Keurig!

  55. @Louisa – as several people have posted, some of us are parents via adoption. Even for bio parents, breast is not always an option. Let’s leave the “breast is best” conversation alone and discuss the matter at hand.

    Re: the machine – my twin boys were adopted at birth, which made for some serious sleep deprivation; however I can’t imagine buying this machine. The sheer level of trash the thing generates would make it ethically impossible for me. Our family just made formula ahead of time and kept it in the fridge in a dedicated container. Initially we warmed the bottles, but eventually discovered that wasn’t particularly necessary. The boys were not (and are not) fussy eaters. If I needed to go out, I just filled bottles and went. I did sterilize for the first two months, but once the boys got their shots, I figured the dishwasher would do well enough. Of course, we started traveling when they were 2 months old, so the opportunities to sterilize bottles were limited.

  56. The machine itself is a fine idea with plenty of useful merits. But what is not okay is when this is presented as the minimum standard of care you can supply your child with.

  57. I live in a place where tap water is not potable. We’ve been under a boil water advisory since the tsunami in 2009. Even without that, the water has the sulfur taste typical at the beach. I use tap water to cook but not to drink. I wouldn’t trust this little thing to filter my water so I’m not sure it is useful for people who really have water issues. Nor do I imagine that this thing will ever be sold in places, like here, where it would be helpful if it worked.

    This kinds seems like a babywipe warmer and many other things at Baby Superstores – things that you buy either because (1) it sounds cool, or (2) something/someone convinces you that you simply MUST have it so you put it on your registry, someone buys it, you use it once or twice until you realize the formula is too expensive or there are more convenient ways to prepare it and it goes into storage until thrown away when you clean out the basement after the kid is off to college. Something that really doesn’t need to be cluttering up our landfills.

    And only one who can afford luxuries will BUY one. But babies come with baby showers. I guarantee that if it’s on your registry some person or group will buy it. It’s new and people like gadgets. It jumps out at me as one of the first things someone will pick off a registry.

  58. I am still thankful that my GP pointed out, nearly 21 years ago this December, that it really wasn’t necessary to boil water for formula as the tap water where I lived was clean enough to use it without boiling. So I only boiled a little water to make the powder dissolve more easily, then topped it up with cold to make the necessary quantity of formula (usually for one day in advance). I never had a dedicated baby food-processor either. They didn’t exist back then, and even if they had, I doubt I would have bought one. What’s wrong with using the equipment you have? I’ll never forget an Asian mother in the pediatrician’s office where I worked who was seriously worried about the can opener spreading germs into the can of formula she opened with it. “Well, you could put it in the dishwasher if you’re worried about germs,” I told her. Her mouth dropped open. She had apparently never considered something so elemental. It’s all part of the baby-industrial complex, just like glitzy, ritzy weddings are part of the wedding-industrial complex. People don’t consider their actual *needs;* it’s all about their wants and those of the manufacturers’.

  59. At the heart of the innovation is the BabyNes capsule which contains an integrated microbiological filter to eliminate bacteria from the water.

    What about viruses, like norovirus?

    I guess you could boil the water before you put it into the machine.

  60. I had to take care of my sister’s baby for a while, and the baby did NOT like lukewarm formula. Not even for a middle of the night snack or day at the beach.

    I solved the problem by putting hot water in a thermos and the formula powder in the bottle or bottles.

    Add water and shake. Stuff into baby’s mouth.

  61. Tsu Dho Nimh, I just figured out what your name is. LOL!

  62. Very clever Tsu!

  63. My mom always used to laugh about how, when she was young, the fear was moms scalding their babies with hot water. Like, you’re really not gonna notice that the water is kinda hot? Apparently the idea that women are too stupid for motherhood goes way back.

  64. I would be interested in research of the following hypothesis:

    Boiling water for formula was recommended for places without a clean water supply where children got sick because the water used to produce the formula was dirty. Maybe even as part of formula aid funds to third world nations.

    BUT the same recommendation was then transferred to the Western world where boiling water was recommended because “you can never be too careful” and “I couldn’t live with myself if my baby got sick from contaminated water.”

  65. When we were waiting for son #1 to come home (he came home at 6 months) we had friends begging us to fill out a baby registry. The problem is, we really didn’t need/want a ton of stuff. We didn’t want a diaper genie, or wipe warmers, or a $10000 jogging stroller. We bought a stroller used for $25 at a garage sale, got a free crib from a cousin who was done with it, borrowed a baby car seat from a trusted friend (the horrors!), got a baby sling and a bunch of clothes from a used baby stuff sale and went for a used booster seat with a tray rather than a stand alone high chair. We finally allowed as folks could buy clothes, an exersaucer, and a baby backpack if they really wanted to, and a few people added other things that we ‘had’ to have. We were grateful for all of them, but some of it we ended up using maybe twice before we passed it on. We found we saved a ton of money by getting the baby first with the bare minimum gear, and then seeing what we really needed. Turned out we needed almost nothing, and we could fake a lot of what we did need without a specialized product to do it.

  66. Babies in the USA do get sick from dirty water. You have to know your water source.

    A couple of my siblings have well water. Even if this may be safe for adults and “big kids” to drink, it can still sicken and even kill wee babies. Of course there are various ways to prevent this, but “if” this product could do it (I don’t know if it can or not), then this could be one additional option available.

    Even some US cities have questionable water supplies. Probably not bad enough to kill an elephant, but a wee baby is another story. I used to travel for work, and was warned not to drink the water in some of the cities.

    I would also note that according to the company’s website, this product is only offered for sale in Switzerland right now. I have no idea what their water situation is.

  67. When my son was born, we lived in a major metropolitan area, with a clean water system. I bottle fed, and my pediatrician asked what kind of water I used. And I told her that I used tap – it hadn’t occurred to me to use anything else. And she said that in our area, unless there was a boil order, tap water was just fine. And she also mentioned that peds and dentists are starting to see young children with softer teeth, since they are not consuming any of the fluoride from treated water in municipal water sources. (Although I don’t have the source for this, and I didn’t ask. It may have been simply anecdotal.)

    And I had a very down-to-earth friend whose daughter is almost a year and a half older than my son. She had purchased a bottle warmer, and her daughter refused to drink anything that wasn’t warmed, even after she’d been weaned. My friend advised me to avoid bottle warmers. My son was such a little piglet that he would grab for the (pre-made) bottle straight out of the fridge, no warming at all🙂

  68. @BMS – that was pretty much our approach as well. Even though we ended up with twins, we got by perfectly well with about 1/2 the baby stuff of anyone else we knew. I found Slacker Mom and Baby 411 to be good resources for actual “need” items.

  69. Yup, just what we need, another prepackaged product designed to save us 1 minute we can then waste worrying over something else.

    For the record, under the “hygiene theory” of allergies, exposure to normal kid viruses doesn’t prevent allergies. It’s soil microbes, and possibly endoparasites that may prevent allergies and autoimmune disorders. (Personally, I don’t know if I believe the theory or not, I’m just tired of hearing it cited inaccurately.)

  70. @SKL – Scalding the baby actually was a legitimate concern of mine. I like burning hot baths and showers and normal bath water feels cold to me. I did use a bath thermometer at first – and what I thought was fine was a good bit hotter than the recommended temp for babies. After a few baths, I knew the correct temp by feel and the bath thermometer became a baby toy. People laughed at me for wanting the thermometer but I knew that I have absolutely no concept of normal bath temps.

  71. @Brian, from my reading the boil water for formula recommendations date back to the very early days of powdered formula in the USA. At the time, apparently, not all the water in the US was totally trust worthy for young babies. Apparently older kids and adults were used to the multitude of minor bacteria in the water, but hitting an infant with all of it, all at once, killed some of the fragile kids being put on formula. That old advice, lives on now passed from mother to daughter.

    Thankfully, the hospital taught me differently when my daughter was in then NICU (not too serious, full term) and I was pumping. I asked a nurse. “How do I sterilize all this [pump gear, and bottles]?” The nurse, just said… “That’s not necessary. You can just rinse it all in the [bathroom] sink.” So good to have medical professionals telling you to chill out.

  72. When I was borne we lived in a rural area near a dairy farm. My Mother used to always say that from the time I turned 6 months, she was tempted to just run a direct line to one of the cows that were always near by, but, she was afraid I’d hurt the cow.

  73. This is really funny because powdered formula is not sterile. The ready-to-drink liquid stuff is, but the powder stuff in cans isn’t, even when you first open the can. I suppose maybe these single shots could be sterile, but wouldn’t they have used that word if they could?

    My first baby was formula-fed, She’d drink it cold, but a tummy-ache if it wasn’t warm enough. All I had to do was wait for the tap water to heat up, though, or use a microwave.

    Often if I was out shopping, I’d stop in at a cafe and ask for some hot water. Once I was refused. “I can’t give you the water because it’s really hot and it might burn your baby.”

    She said it was policy. Which I knew, it was posted, but no one had ever refused me before. Every single one of the other people who’d given me the hot water had warned me it was too hot for baby, and trusted me when I said I had cold water with which to dilute it.

  74. Now, I don’t have children and to me bottle feeding or breast feeding has an equal standing. It really is up to the parents. I have friends that have done both. There has been continuous studies/theories as to what plays a role in the increase of the number of allergies. The one leading the discussion is that our environment has been made too clean. They did a study which compared children raised on farms to children raised in cities and found the former to have a lesser incidence of allergies. This said, I don’t expect everyone to live on a farm. Only that for years the presumption was spread, based on wife-tales rather than science, that animals etc., was bad for babies and children while growing up.
    I most likely wouldn’t feed my child anything sterilised. I’m allergic – less allergic now with age and allergy treatments – but all the same.If I had children my basic theory would be to now go overboard in cleaning. Cleaning yes, sanitizing what we eat to the point of erradicating flavour and nutrition of our food to sterilising our living environments on a whole – not so much. You don’t get ebola or botulinum toxicity from regular living. Those who do are most often in the way of bad luck. And bad luck and one or two cases worldwide of some rare outbreak is just a rare case.

  75. This stuff really could be useful in 3rd world countries, most especially for women who haven’t had enough nutrients themselves and have dried up, but I bet Nestle won’t be giving it away there any time soon.

    As an aside, babies really can survive being fed all sorts of less than ideal things, and in many less than ideal situations. One of my husband’s friends lived on watered down condensed milk for months as a young baby, because at the time the Chinese and Malays were locked into some kind of ‘civil unrest’, and there were food shortages, curfews and the like. She’s now in her mid-forties, with no particular signs of the ‘neglect’ forced upon her.

  76. @Squishymama, I didn’t think about the shingles (which is kind of odd since my 25 year old husband is just getting over them) but it makes me happy to know that the vaccines I’m getting my kids will keep them from having to deal with it later on (and in a sense, giving them the vaccine is exposing their immune systems to risk and strengthening it against future infections, so I’ll take it). There is a shingles vaccine, but they’ll only give it to you if you are over 60 or already have it as it can mitigate the symptoms.

  77. The thing that amazes me, is how quick people are to surrender their freedom and self-sufficiency for the appearance of convenience. In this case, Nestle asks you to surrender the freedom to choose any formula you want to feed your child this week, unless it comes in one of these single-serve cups designed for this machine. Oh sure, you probably have lots of choices – as long as they’re from Nestle. Just like the Kuerig machines, you are tied to their brand from now on. It’s genius marketing, but I for one don’t want it.

    It sounds great, but what do you do when you have to go out or stay at a hotel? Can you drag the whole works out with you? How good are you going to be a measuring it in those cases? Well, I guess you’re going to stay at home more. This is how technology can become your boss and corporations have another way to control and coddle you.

    Lenore, one day you’ll be writing about Free Range Adults who can mix their own food powder without big appliances.

  78. God save us all!

  79. I disagree! I knew it would happen one day. I think this machine sounds great. Middle of the night convenience. Push a button and you have a bottle. I love it.

    I am not being sarcastic, I think it would be convenient but I should add I might be being influenced by the facts that neither of my kids were ever given a bottle, and the one bottle I ever made for my nephew I did it wrong…

  80. Hineata – My best friend and her brother were fed powdered milk as infants instead of formula in the good ole US. Her mom was working to put her father through grad school and it was what they could afford. My (female) friend is 6 feet tall and her brother is 6’5″ so growth was definitely not impacted. My friend was a straight A student and her brother has a genius level IQ so no brain impact. We haven’t lasted for as long as we have and risen to the top of the food chain by being as fragile as people want to believe we are.

  81. I love this quote from many posts above: “… a baby who gets bottle-fed with a sane and well-rested mom is probably going to be better off than a baby with a stressed-out mother who is making everyone miserable by trying to do 100% breastfeeding when it just ain’t working!”

    A friend of mine who counsels kids, also says, “When your parents aren’t anxious, your life is beautiful.”

    Sane parents! Free-range kids! Revolution!

  82. Actually, this is pretty sweet product and if I was Ff this baby I would want one- for purely convenience sake!

    The marketing is silly, but the idea is a great one. Its a Kureig for babies, fast and easy. whats the problem?

  83. Aren’t we supposed to be boycotting Nestle anyway? All the other parenting blogs say so…

    (She says in no seriousness but ducking and covering anyway.)

  84. Made of plastic, no less! Yikes!

  85. The absolute insanity of it all. Not to mention it’s probably a million times more expensive than regular formula. *sigh* One more piece of useless baby stuff that will clutter your counter top, then the garage or attic.

  86. Judy with twins – make formula ahead of time in clean bottles and put it in the fridge for midnight feedings! Yes, I nuked it to make it lukewarm (no hot spots) and no one complained it wasn’t toasty warm. I mostly breastfed, but yeah, I didn’t boil any baby bottles for supplementary formula. Not even the dishwasher – I used hot (gasp!) city tap water! Actually not sure the second kid ever had any formula – i couldn’t stand the idea of plugging myself into the pump anymore, either! First one weaned self at 18 mo., 2nd at 15. They at regular food at 6 mo. And don’t even get me started on wipe warmers.

  87. I didn’t have time to read all 85 comments (you sure are popular and I’m glad). But today I heard some disturbing news. The mayor of NYC has put into place a “lockdown on baby formula at hospitals!” Huh? It is to encourage moms to breast feed. Okay, I do think breast feeding is best for a baby, especially the first few months. But what bothers me is that moms will have a lecture about how breast feeding is much better than bottle feeding before they are allowed to have the locked up formula. Everything must documented by the government – how much did mom want, how much did baby drink, was mom given the lecture on why she was a bad mom for wanting formula? Moving ever closer toward socialism. Guess dad was out drinking him smaller dose of soda since the NYC mayor has outlawed the bigger cups. It’s none of the government’s business how I feed my baby or how much soda I drink!!!

  88. Yuck! That’s my gut reaction. I stand firm by the conviction that “more convenient” does not automatically equal “necessary” or even “better.” I’m a breastfeeding mom so I have to admit, I can’t speak from experience on the 3am bottles; that really does sound obnoxious. BUT why the heck do we need an appliance for everything?! Babies can night-wean around 4 months, and as other comments mentioned you can just mix the formula ahead of time and stick it in the fridge! And for the record, when we have to give my daughter a bottle she takes it cold just fine, even though she’s used to body temperature.🙂
    Also, I agree with comments above about sterilizing the water; our water is ALREADY SAFE! Why does it need to be sterile? I don’t sterilize anything. I read somewhere (sorry, I don’t have a reference) that sterilization became popular in the 50s before modern water processing became standardized, so there was legitimate reason to sterilize bottles. But now, that’s just not the case. Don’t fear the bugs. They’re our friends🙂

  89. “Its a Kureig for babies, fast and easy. whats the problem?”

    Maybe the concept of spending a lot of money and creating a lot of waste to make something that’s already fast and easy “fast and easy” just strikes us as bizarre.

  90. That’s interesting, Susan Case…

    I found something similar in the Calgary hospital where I had both of my children. 6 years ago when daughter #1 was born, they had premixed formula in little 1 or 2 oz bottles freely available, you could just waltz into the “nursery” whenever you wanted and grab it and use it.

    Fast forward 4 years when son #1 was born, and the formula was under lock and key, dispensed by a nurse, literally 1.5 millilitres at a time. Seriously. Son would slurp it down, and I had to go back and wait for a nurse to be available to see me and give me another 1.5 mls.

    We were there for a couple of nights, and I eventually convinced them to give me 3 mls at once. It was sickening. I had the “excuse” of being on medication for multiple sclerosis so I didn’t have to sit through the lectures about breast feeding, but I was not exempted from the stingy doling out of ridiculously small amounts of formula. I should have brought in my own formula…

    Having said that, if he was still on formula, the machine would be tempting. The cost not so tempting…🙂

  91. The biggest dangers with formula (in areas with clean water) are in incorrectly mixing it. To strong and it dehydrates, to thin and it malnourishes. So having something that is precise has its appeal.

    But the pure, pure water is more important in areas where the water isn’t safe… but then they couldn’t afford the machine…

    Still either way, if a parent uses this has no meaning in relation to how ‘free range’ they are.

  92. Karla – thank you for your comment. Canada has socialized medicine -which is my point. The US is giving up the best medical care in the world for government controlled medicine. We will lose the smartest people from wanting careers in medicine due to so much regulation and lack of freedom of opinion of doctors – and just COMMON SENSE. People are already being refused transplants because they are mentally retarded, being refused cancer treatments because they are too old, and now babies are refused formula! Wake up American! And also GET OUTSIDE AND PLAY! Love this blog.

  93. Maybe Nestle should focus their clean water campaign on the women they’ve convinced to use formula because it’s better than breastmilk (in third world countries) when those same women don’t generally have clean water with which to mix formula.

    You know, instead of marketing it to people who generally already have clean water, or have the funds to have 5 gallon water coolers in their homes.

    Just another example of the ridiculousness of Nestle. They have a long history of controlling water sources, and this is no surprise. I’ve been boycotting for 10 years–see if you can find a reason too as well! http://www.phdinparenting.com/2010/08/02/nestle/#.UBdYsbUV13o

  94. You know, my wife and I are using bottle & breast and with a product like this I think I might enjoy it. I’m not really worried about the water filter (I live at the Grand Canyon, you can’t get fresher water than this), but a machine that heats up the water and marks out a 4oz bottle for me while I’m in the other room changing her seems like something that would be useful. Supposing that they aren’t charging any more than 40 cents a bottle… that could get expensive quickly..

  95. I don’t completely disagree with you & you make a good point & I do think lots of companies prey on new parents worries & fears, but if you had a newborn you might rethink your position. Some of these things are more for convenience or to save time even if they are promoted as safety issues. The problem is sometimes it’s hard to tell which concerns are big & which are tiny. If it were up to my mom we wouldn’t bother with carseats past the infant stage, she thinks they go overboard with car safety. Maybe they do, but somethings I am less willing to chance than others. While I probably would not buy one of these, when I did use formula I was concerned about contamination & safety. According to the powdered Formula instructions you need to boil the water first in order for it to be safe, a big hassle in my opinion. A baby recently died & the formula was suspected even though no other cans were contaminated. I had to pump & bottle feed my son who wouldn’t breastfeed & had to rely on formula when I didn’t pump enough milk as an emergency back up. For me because I didn’t use much I got the small bottles of liquid formula so I didn’t have either the worry or hassle of preparing formula & since it was room temp I never had to worry about warming it either. I suppose if I had to exclusively formula feed it might be something I would consider. One less hassle / worry for a sleep deprived mama who needs a break

  96. Why do so many people here think that making bottles is so complicated? I used to make bottles for my siblings and it’s so easy even a 10 yo can do it without any trouble. You fill in the doser that comes with the formula, dump it in a bottle, add warm water (or mix hot and cold), shake to dissolve and that’s it. After a while I’d only do the wrist testing thing to be like on TV, since I could tell if the bottle was a good temprature by holding it.

    My mother is a clean freak and even she only ever sterilized the bottles in the dishwasher. We also usually had a couple of bottles ready in the fridge for night feedings.

    Bottom line: I wouldn’t buy this machine because it\’s kinda useless. My mother wouldn’t buy it because regularly cleaning the machine would take her more time and effort than simply dumping the bottles in the dishwasher and heating some water.

  97. @AG I didn’t even think about cleaning it. That’s why hubby and I got rid of our espresso machine, despite our love for coffee in any form. You got about 5 minutes of enjoyable coffee sipping, for which you traded about 15 minutes of set up, brewing, and clean up. Totally wasn’t worth the aggravation or counter space.

  98. […] Lenore Skenazy: Does Baby Need a Barista? Nestle Thinks So […]

  99. Susan, here’s a question: Why should hospitals be giving out free formula in the first place? Mums who are going to nurse their babies bring their own milk with them, so why shouldn’t mums who want to formula-feed bring their own milk with them, too?

    The only reason that hospitals give out free formula is that FORMULA COMPANIES PAY THEM TO DO SO. Once out of the hospital, parents are more likely to buy the same brand they got in the hospital — it’s seen as a recommendation.

    I think locking up the formula and dispensing it in tiny doses is kind of stupid, and lecturing people about “breast is best” (btw, breast isn’t best — it’s NORMAL) before giving them any is both stupid and counterproductive … but isn’t it worth asking how this whole business of hospitals giving away free formula got started in the first place?

    Also consider the converse point of view, which is that of the mum who is nursing her baby and wants to keep doing so, and asks the hospital staff not to give the baby any bottles, but instead of being supported in her decision finds that the baby’s been given bottles of formula (or, worse, sugar water) anyway. Those mums complain, loudly, and quite rightly too. That kind of situation, which DOES HAPPEN, is also part of the background of this kind of management decision.

    FTR, I gave birth in a hospital in Toronto that does not give out free formula. If you wanted to formula-feed, you brought your own, just like those of us who brought our own boobs. It seemed to work pretty well.

  100. Oh, and I think the Baby Keurig is hilarious, but somewhat impractical, especially given the price point. I can see how it would be useful in a high-traffic situation, though.

  101. Oh man. At the 3am feeding I think I would love that machine. You wouldn’t believe how much formula I gave spilled.

  102. Off topic, but for those misinformed about the chicken pox vaccine I read in earlier comments, you should know that by vaccinating your kids you are increasing their chances of developing shingles as a child and you are increasing the chances of adults everywhere in getting shingles. Here’s one article:

    http://www.news-medical.net/news/2005/09/01/12896.aspx

    Be sure to read some of the comments in the article.

    I’m not anti vaccine but I am anti chicken pox vaccine. I had a friend who’s daugh ter had a full blown case of chicken pox just 3 years after recieving the vaccine. She was told this was because the vaccine had worn off. Do we expect our kids to get boosters every 2 years for the rest of their lives? And chicken pox in adults is far more serious. Not to mention shingles increases with the vaccine. I’m just not seeing the positive here.

  103. @BMS This is exactly what happened to my parents’ espresso machine too (though it’s still on the counter since it was a housewarming gift). Those things are a pain to maintain and if you dislike stained things on the counter, you pretty much have to clean the drip tray after every use. Now imagine if you exchange milk (formula) stains for coffee stains, it would take forever to clean!

    Personally, I got an Italian moccha. Low-tech, easy to clean and reassemble, makes amazing coffee, no-brand copies cost 5€ at the market and work just as well as the big names. But it does take about 10 minutes to brew properly.

  104. Dave, I was also tempted to comment on the chickenpox vaccine. The problem is that now, the likelihood of kids being exposed to chickenpox at an age when it won’t hurt them is getting very low. I was hoping my kids would catch it before 1st grade, but no dice. I did decide to get the vax this year because I didn’t want to fight with the school. In all likelihood, they’ll reach age 9 without getting the pox, and after that, catching it could really make them sick. So I would have vaxed them if they didn’t catch it by age 9 anyway.

    I really wish they wouldn’t have pushed this vaccine to everyone in the first place. The pox on them!

    From what I’ve read in many places, kids can still get chicken pox after being vaccinated – it’s not even uncommon. That being the case, I find it hard to believe they’d be immune from shingles. So in my mind, I’ve set up my kids to need to get boosters periodically for a disease they should have been allowed to catch as kids.

  105. I agree that formula feeders should just bring formula when they go to the hospital to have their baby. They bring clothes and stuff, why not food? Besides, people should give some thought to how their baby will be fed *before* they go into labor. Is it really that much to ask?

    I have nothing against capitalism and marketing, but I do have a problem with hospitals being a part of corporate marketing plans – especially if they don’t openly state (to the affected patient) how they are benefitting. It just seems unethical on multiple levels. It’s not as if they can’t charge enough money to get by without corporate kickbacks.

  106. I got the Singles vaccine for practically nothing at the County Health Dept. I am over 60 and it is recommended. I’ve had friends and family members suffer from getting the shingles in their senior years and it is horrible pain and suffering – very itchy and sharp pains in nerves. One friend had it in her eye and almost went blind (she was temporarily blind in that eye). She suffered from pain in her head for months. I had no reaction to the vaccine and have never gotten shingles.

  107. Karla said: “formula was under lock and key, dispensed by a nurse, literally 1.5 millilitres at a time”…1.5 mL? Really? A teaspoon is 5 ml (Tablespoon or 1/2 oz is 15 ml). That’s insane.

    I just heard about the NYC lock down on formula in hospitals. I know there are moms/babies who can’t breastfeed and, I know there are people who just don’t want to breastfeed. Totally fine, but I do agree that giving FREE formula and “swag bags” is not necessary. Have formula available to give to moms who ask for it, absolutely. Charge for it, maybe. No lecture needed. I think it also may have to do with the WIC program in NYC (“Women, Infants, and Children”) – provides formula and other specified “nutritious” foods for families needing assistance (like food stamps but restricted choices for babies, moms and young children). I know a while back there was a push to help more moms nurse through that program. Moms that qualified could get formula, but they found it worth it to put money into nursing support.

    My second baby was HUGE and the nurses tried hard to get me to give him formula immediately, before I had even attempted to put him on my breast (I had already nursed one baby, so I declined)…nurse said, “IF he is unsuccessful, his blood sugar may become low and he will have to go to the NICU.”…He was over 10 lbs, he looked like he had eaten another baby. He nursed just fine (thankfully) and no formula was needed to avoid blood sugar issues, but they did try to scare me.

    I left, wanting to nurse, with a nursing baby, and a bag of free formula (which I took for the bag and changing pad).

    As for the pods – if a family wants it for convenience, I don’t have a problem with it any more than I have a “problem” with coffee pods.
    There are cons (waste, taking up counter space) and pros (fast, single serve, less wasted than buying a cup of coffee) – I will say, I never appreciated that I was drinking sterilized coffee when it was produced from a pod.

  108. Wait – coffee makers sterilize the water? Is there a filter in there getting ever nastier? Blech!

    I don’t like the taste of coffee from those fancy machines. I am probably weird, though.

  109. @SKL, maybe not really sterilized, I don’t know how the formula pod machine differs from coffee pod machine! But it is “perfectly measured.

  110. Don’t think coffee machines sterilize anything. On the drawing the filter seems to be inside the formula pod, not in the machine. But pods aside, this looks remarkably like a coffee machine that uses similarly shaped “perfectly measured” pods.

  111. When I had my kids I got a trailer load of “useless stuff” I picked what I felt I would benefit from and returned the rest for store credit. e.g. The bottle warmer .. I found that using my good old fashioned tea kettle and putting the water in a thermos before bedtime stayed warm enough for those night feeds when I was done with breastfeeding. I even sent the thermos to day care so the sitter didn’t have to sit and wait for water to boil or be microwaved. The wipes warmer was another joke, who thinks of these things? I wish I could have found old fashion glass bottles in my country as they work best but to sift through all the bottles with miracle gas preventers etc was a headache and you can end up trying 10 varieties before find “the one”.

    I almost died the other day when I saw an ad for a pee pee bottle. This was a plastic water bottle that you carry with you and let child pee in to avoid peeing ourside or public restrooms. Shoot what am I supposed to do when my child is at camp or with a friend say to whoever is caring for them ” oH by the way here is her pee Pee bottle make sure you wash with soap and water after every use”. LOL. My kids LOVE peeing in the trees so we’ll stick to that when we travel outside and bathrooms are not around or are gross.

  112. Off topic @SKL: 2.5% kids are adopted in the US? Wow, I wonder what the number is here in South Africa, it will be much lower. Does that mean you have very little stigma or people behaving as if you’re something special because your children are adopted? (I also have an adopted daughter.)

    And oh all you adoptive moms with no commitment… you do know that you can take some drugs to produce milk right??? (Ducks and runs)
    Sorry, I just couldn’t resist. I met my daughter when she was a toddler but wouldn’t have gone that route anyway.

  113. Oddly enough my kids have yet to have any kind of infection or illness. I always used tap water for their bottles and with my second baby I never even warmed them up. Room temp worked just fine. Somehow, she survived! (and she made much less of a fuss than her sister had when it came time to switch to cows milk)

    As for the breastfeeding thing…I think hospitals need to take a neutral position on it. Help the moms who need help breastfeeding and stop acting like those who choose formula are horrible. For years they pushed formula on new moms, now they push the breast. Either way causing unneeded stress and anxiety on new moms. I have never known a woman who showed up at the hospital with no idea how she wanted to feed her new baby. That’s too little too late to be trying to convince a woman who just pushed a baby out of her to change her mind. Very stupid idea.

    I am 36 weeks pregnant and feel sorry for anyone who might choose to ridicule me about how i choose to feed my baby soon after I have given birth cause that is the worst possible time to be judging a woman for HER choices(though judging anyone at all for that is stupid regardless of when it is done). I hope to be able to breastfeed for as long as possible and supplement with formula. But this is my third baby and I know better than anyone at my hospital how my body works, and it never produces enough milk for my babies no matter what i do or how hard I try. I dry up within weeks. My last 2 suffered greatly from me giving in to the intense pressure to keep trying to give them breast milk only. And i refuse to do that again. it’s harmful to both me and my baby. I will never forgive myself for letting my kids go hungry just because of the whole “breast is best” mantra shoved down my throat. My girls thrived greatly on formula. I do agree it’s not unreasonable for women who choose to FF to bring their own food for baby to the hospital. I’d rather use my own anyway.

  114. Heila, a woman on one of my “crunchy” FB groups recently adopted a newborn. She did try the drugs. She tried natural products. Nothing worked. So, in the end she ended up posting on the group because she was afraid that the members would put her down when they saw her with a bottle.

    That, to me, was really sad, that she felt she had to explain herself to 300 people, most of whom she hasn’t met. Most said that they were sad for her, and that they understood, after all, she tried so hard. I was the only one who said that when I see a baby in public that I think about how cute the baby is, not that it is getting a bottle. Women can be so judgmental at times. Breast or bottle, it is only a relatively short period of time, and only one of a million different choices that a parent will make for their child.

  115. I actually researched the adoptive nursing thing enthusiastically. It was really exciting to think I could nurse (which I’ve always wanted to do) even though I’ve never been pregnant. I read up on how much cost and work it is and how awkward, the fact that most moms still don’t make enough milk, and the idea of putting unnecessary chemicals in my body and thought, “well, maybe,” but then I decided to adopt two kids at once, and as a working mom, the adoptive nursing idea became completely unrealistic for me. My kids ended up being on the older side when they came home, anyway, so they might not have even wanted that after all the work. No regrets.

  116. I looked at the adoptive nursing thing and said No Freaking Way. But then I also looked at in vitro fertilization and said No Freaking Way. Sorry, I am not turning my body into a drug filled pincushion just so that I can beat my chest and say “Look! I breastfeed!”. If I had my kids the old fashioned way I would have breastfed just because I’m cheap. But I would have stopped when I wanted to (probably around a year) and if it wasn’t working, I would have switched to formula in a heartbeat. I was formula fed, and somehow I managed to survive and become a PhD engineer with no allergies, and I loved my mother. As long as you’re feeding them, the how is really nothing to get worked up about.

  117. CrazyCatLady, that is very sad and I agree with you, it’s really not an issue to be judgmental about.

    SKL, I recently read a blog where the author induced lactation but also couldn’t make enough so they have this system (can’t remember what it’s called) where you hold a little pipe thingy – connected to a container of milk – next to your nipple and the baby latches on to both. They got donated breastmilk but I suppose you can also use formula. It just seemed very ott and unnecessary to me. But hey, whatever works for them, in the spirit of not being judgemental! At least it doesn’t seem to harm the baby in any way.

  118. LOL BMS, I agree with your sentiments.

  119. Yeah – I think it’s great for adoptive moms who make it work. No judgment from me either way.

    Before I took custody of my kids, I thought I’d always regret not being able to relate to moms who’ve been able to do it the natural way. But now I’m too busy being a mom to think about it. Considering how exhausted I was during mat leave with them on bottles, I think the whole milk production adventure would have put me over the edge.

    For the record, the formula doesn’t seem to have messed my kids up any. (And neither has the bacteria in my water or the dust on my floors, LOL.)

  120. I was so glad to outsource the whole birth thing, let me tell you. If it had happened without intervention, fine and dandy. But I didn’t need to experience birth to be a happy person in my life. And actually, all I need right now to be a happy person is a cup of coffee…

  121. I was formula fed as an infant (cleft palate), and while I turned out fine, breastfeeding made more sense to me (barring medical/production issues). Cheap, portable, extra calories burned! However, once it became clear that the path to parenthood was going to be in vitro or adoption, I pretty much headed straight to the adoption agency. The boys’ pediatrician and I discussed adoptive nursing but we both got really turned off when we looked into it. Ingesting chemicals with known side effects to possibly produce some milk and then needing to supplement with formula anyway seemed insane. Especially with twins. Further, who knows what those chemicals would do to the kids? Ultimately, I decided procreation and milk production where not requirements for good parenting.

  122. Sorry Lenore for bumping this off-topic!

    Haha BMS, I’m so glad I’m not alone. I’ve never tried to fall pregnant, hubby and daughter came as a “package deal”, we don’t want more kids for a variety of reasons and I have just never had the desire to give birth. The stories women tell… eeek. Luckily now that I’m 40 people have stopped asking me “But don’t you want one OF YOUR OWN?” Like it was just unthinkable that I wouldn’t want to produce a baby myself if I could.

    No offence meant to all the bio parents!

  123. Maybe we should have a post with comments devoted entirely to coming up with must-haves for parents that you don’t really need – complete with advertising copy. I thought of something while I was cooking supper tonight:

    Never worry about your precious little angel pulling a pot or pan from the stove again! Hot food or liquids can cause serious burns and permanent damage. Buy our revolutionary new alarm-a-handle pots and pans and eliminate this danger from your kitchen! When you alarm-a-handle pot or pan heats up it detects when it’s handle is having over the edge of the stove and sounds a warning alarm! Don’t delay, protect your children against burn wounds now!

  124. Oh dear, grammar and typos, sorry.

    it detects when it’s handle is HANGING over the edge

  125. Heila, that could be fun. I have friends who can’t seem to understand that a kid who’s going into 1st grade HAS to be allowed to do some things for herself – whether or not she does them as well as her mother would. I could come up with a whole line of products to transition the little helpless creatures between the formula mixer stage and the college care packages featured the other day. (Sadly, half of these “dream products” may already exist.)

  126. BAHAHAHAHA! Just like the touchless soap dispenser from Lysol (your washing your hands anyway, so what does it matter if you touch the soap dispenser). This one is just as useless. If anyone has watched the documentary Flow: The love of water, then you know what Nestle is all about. If you haven’t, go watch it. Very eye opening. And let’s not forget how Nestle is one company that contributes/associated to animal testing. I still have that rock for sale for anyone who buys into this corporate crap.

  127. I’m surprised that no one has mentioned the problem of flouride in most water supplies? This is a much bigger concern to me than bacteria. Formula-fed babies are exposed to a huge amount of flouride via formula, and I doubt that this contraption can remove that.

    I breastfeed (and boycott Nestle!), but if I did need to formula feed for any reason I would make my own raw milk formula. I’ve made it clear to my husband that if something ever happens to us, our baby will never be given commercial formula. There are other options!

  128. Thanks, Sara, for bringing up the fact that there other options. While I wouldn’t make my own formula for a variety of reasons, I would choose donor milk over commercial formula.

    Flouride is poison. We avoid it in our family whenever possible.

  129. Taradlion, I know, it was totally crazy… I guess the point was that babies don’t actually need to eat a lot in their first day or two, which is the “normal” stay in hospital after birth, at least around here. A mother’s milk may naturally still not be letting down and what not, so a baby on formula likely doesn’t need to be guzzling the stuff in the first 48 hours, but yeah, 1.5 mls to start, I had to push for more after the first 12 hours and they upped him to 3 mls… After that it’s a blur…😀

    Though, posters who have said formula feeders should bring their own formula are on the right track, I think. If I have another (not likely, but you never know ;-)) I will still be on the same drugs and will still formula feed, but I would 100% for sure bring my own formula. I would not go through that gong show again. Especially since there’s a lot of choice in premixed “nursers” these days. You’d end up throwing a lot away, because babies truly don’t drink a lot all at once in those early hours, but it would avoid having to go begging with your tin cup in the nursery for your ration. Maybe bring the BabyNes right into the maternity room, plug that sucker in, and have hot (or warm, rather) running formula whenever I wanted!

  130. How this drives me crazy about this is how formula is the only part of childhood where the least expensive option is also the most convenient one. I carried around a can of powder, a scoop, two plastic bottles, and a handful of nipples. Baby hungry? Water fountain or sink, and there’s the bottle.

  131. Didn’t have time to read everything so maybe someone already said this but: the dosing machine is partially good. The most common complication with formula fed babies is people not following mixing instructions and making the forumal too watery, which ends baby in the hospital for failure to thrive, malnutrion, or sickness related to underfeeding. Also using unsafe water is a big problem. So, in theory, the machine actually could not only be very helpful but good for baby as well. HOWEVER these problems are seen almost exclusively among the poor, not the group able to buy expensive machinary, so it’s being made for, marketed, and bought by people who don’t need it as a health/safety issue.

  132. This is so funny. As we raised our children, I can remember making bottles out of whatever water might be available (even gas station bathroom tap water). I even once remember warming a cold bottle on top of a warm engine block.
    You know, it’s funny, my kids never had any health problems or allergies.
    Get real folks!

  133. LOL at the idea of using a warm engine block. This is why I love guys, and I am so happy to be the mother of two boys.

  134. Well, I don’t know that people should have to bring formula to the hospital. People don’t take food for themselves, why should they have to take it for the baby? The baby’s a patient, too. But then it’s just part of hospital service, and should be charged for accordingly. There’s no need for this “free distribution” stuff, which really is a marketing thing for the formula companies.

    But mostly I agree with AG. I’ve HAD five newborns, and some of them got bottle fed at night. It is not easy or fun when you’re half-awake, but it is not THAT hard and filling up this thing is not THAT much easier.

  135. Jespren, right. Anyone with the wherewithal to buy one of these machines simply needs to be told to reread the instructions, if they have been doing it wrong previously. Targeting this toward the people who have that problem would be a solution in search of a problem.

  136. Kate, that’s what I was coming on here to say. Nestle is the last company to talk about clean water supplies. . .

  137. I used to work at a movie theater that had a cafe that had a barista on site. Occasionally we’d get parents who’d want warm milk or water for their children’s formula mix. Being a teenager at the time, I had no idea how hot is too hot. This lead to plenty of awkward encounters of “oh, it’s too hot” and me heating up more milk, and pulling out a thermometer to figure out the exact right temp that they wanted.

    I could see this as a useful tool in cases like mine but not at home

  138. Why should people have to bring formula to the hospital for childbirth? The baby is a patient and no other patient is required to bring in their own meals. What’s next? The parents have to bring a cooler full of meals for 2 days for themselves? God forbid you have a medical emergency far away from home as you don’t get a meal unless someone brings it to you.

    What happens if you forget the formula or go into labor without access to your suitcase with the formula in it? It is not like babies come on an exact schedule. One could come when you’re at work and your husband is out of town on business. Assuming you can’t or don’t want to breast feed, does the baby just get to starve until someone can get it formula?

  139. Guessing I may be older than many here. Back in the old days, many babies were bottle fed on a formula made by mixing boiled, cooled water, condensed milk, and karo. Why people decided this was better than good ol’breast milk is anyone’s guess. I sure don’t know. I was extremely colicy on this mix, and ended up on goats milk and karo formula because it seemed to cure most of the colic.

    Truthfully, other than where necessity dictates such as adoption and some health problems, I can’t imagine opting out of breastfeeding. Baby wakes crying at why-are-you-awake-am? Quick diaper change and pop out a breast. No mixing or warming required whatsoever as everything comes out perfectly mixed and warmed naturally. Yes, wonderful it is so good for the baby, but lets face it. Lazy sells. All I had to do to feed Jr was eat good food myself and bathe as normal. This thing is just an unneeded gaget. Even if you gave it for free to women in third world countries, where would they get the power and refills for it?

    If you’ve got bad well water, you ought to know it and just take care to filter and boil it. It wouldn’t be legal for a municipal water system in the US to put out water dangerous to children, so if your city is doing so, turn them in to the EPA now. That’s what they’re there for.

    When I was having my own children, both my OB and my pediatrician were lucky survivors. One was from Vietnam, and had escaped with his parents at 10. The other escaped Malaysia during some sort of trouble with China. These people had known real want, something most of us are thankfully unaccustomed to in the US.

    They had a birthing class where they informed us all babies need extremely little, especially in the first months, and we’d do well to save our hard-earned dollars for later in the kid’s life. A few onesies, some socks, perhaps a cap, a handful of blankets, and some diapers with disposable diapers clearly viewed as a great extra. Even a crib was considered an unnecessary extra as most newborns are discomfitted by all that space around them. They told us a clean, sturdy box or even a clean empty dresser drawer would do fine and be more comfortable to baby, anyway. Of course, most of us got cribs and cradles anyway.

    It was quite a shocker verses the message we were getting from left, right, and center to buy buy buy all this junk our kids supposedly couldn’t survive without. Turns out I didn’t use most of the junk we bought or were given in the first six months. Mostly just a few onsies, blankies, socks, and occasionally a cap and the cradle, which bore a remarkable resemblance to a clean, empty box. Funny how that is.

    My kids are grown long since and healthy, with healthy, happy children of their own. Only kids in our family who are unhealthy? You guessed it. The children of my brother-in-law, who were raised by a germophobe. I can tell you for certain scrubbing every last thing with boiling water, bleach, and steam and refusing to allow your children near one iota of dirt does not make for healthy children. Those kids are horribly sick like to die every time so much as the common cold floats past. Been in and out of the hospital with every sort of mystery illness, allergic to everything, poor eyesight, and always unhappy just like their mom.

  140. We’re feeding my daughter formula so my wife can take some much-needed medication without my daughter sharing the meds.

    We measure formula powder out into bottles each night, then add water when we need one. I’m not very concerned about the health and safety angles of this, but something where I could push a button and get a fresh nice bottle of formula on demand would be nice.

    There are in fact dispensers for measuring out the powder in an automated fashion from a big bin, but the reviews make me believe they don’t work very well.

    Oh and the bottles and nipples? They go in the dishwasher.

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