In Depth Baby Product Reviews Led by a Pediatrician

The First Years Nursery Bottle Warmer Review

We like the portable cooler concept but overall this warmer is a hassle to use and heats too hot
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the first years nursery bottle warmer
Credit: BabyGearLab Staff
Price:  $58 List
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Manufacturer:   TOMY
By Lindsay Ellis ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Nov 29, 2012

The Skinny

With it's portable cooler, The First Years Nursery Bottle Warmer could be really beneficial for an up-stairs nursery, but that's about where we saw it's convenience end. We found it difficult to accurately measure the water with their little "vials" and therefore, consistency in heating time and temperature was rare. In addition, we found the heating temperatures to be too hot, and high temperatures have been shown to result in loss of both the nutritional and immunological qualities of breast milk.
Portable cooler
Auto shut-off and timer light
Troublesome to fill
Doesn't truly accommodate all bottle sizes
Warming temp too hot
The First Years Nursery Bottle Warmer was discontinued in May of 2017.

Our Analysis and Test Results

The First Years Nursery Bottle Warmer aims to make your life easier by saving you multiple trips to your kitchen, especially in the middle of the night. It's designed as a nursery/bedroom friendly mini-fridge with a portable cooler that attaches to the back, claiming to hold two bottles. It does hold two, as long as you stick to a narrower bottle. We had the same problem with the warming unit itself, as it barely holds the more portly bottles like Tommee Tippee. It kind of "rests" on the rim and we're not certain that's efficient or even safe.

Our other major problem with this warmer were the little vials it uses to add the water that creates the steam. They are very small and measuring water to the appropriate mark can be frustrating.
the first years nursery bottle warmer - the vial used to fill the the first years quick serve and the first...
The vial used to fill the The First Years Quick Serve and the First Years Nursery Bottle Warmer. We did not find these to be very user friendly.
Credit: Lindsay Ellis
It really only requires a tablespoon or two to warm a bottle, so if you're off on the mark, even just a bit, your warming time is affected drastically. Plus, you have to refill for each warming.


Really, our favorite thing about this warmer is that it can keep prepared bottles cool in a room other than the kitchen. It kept our bottle at a consistent "cold" temperature for about 6 hours before the temperature began to rise.

It does have an illuminated light that goes off when the warming is complete and also, an automatic shut-off. We really appreciate both.


We touched on the vials…they're a pain. As a result, warming is inconsistent.

It doesn't receive overly wide bottles well, and the directions also say no to glass.

They state a 10 minute wait time between warmings, which is extremely inconvenient if, let's say, your bottle didn't get warm enough the first time, or…you have twins! We were able to run the unit immediately after a cycle had completed, but we don't recommend this. Please refer to the manufacturer's instructions.

Regarding the cooler, overall, we like this feature. We only wish it could accommodate larger bottles and it would have been nice if they included a spare ice pack. If you forget to put it back in your freezer in the morning, you'll be out of luck that night. An extra for back-up could be key.

Another gripe we have are the instructions!
the first years nursery bottle warmer - complicated instructions with the first years nursery bottle warmer...
Complicated instructions with The First Years Nursery Bottle Warmer. There was a lot of trial and error on our end to get the bottle just right.
Credit: Lindsay Ellis
They include a warming guide that is just overwhelming to figure out. Along with their other warmer the First Years Quick Serve, they were our least favorite directions to follow. In our case, trial and error became a better method.

Lastly, we worry the temperature could be too high. This makes it easy to overheat the milk accidentally. We measured the warming temperature (outside the bottle, not the milk) and got a reading of 176 F (80 C). This may mean that the milk in the bottle could be too warm. Studies have shown that the quality of breast milk is quickly degraded when the sustained temperature of the milk is significantly above 104 F / 40 C. With outside temps of 176 F / 80 C, we feel think you run a risk regarding the loss of breast milk quality.


It's clear we like the idea of the portable cooler here, but when it comes to actually using The First Years Nursery Bottle Warmer, we'd rather make multiple treks to the kitchen.

Average warming times:
4 oz. bottle from portable cooler~2:30 (or measure "7" on vial)
5 oz. refrigerated bag~2:30 min.(had to restart once; measure "1" on vial, added twice)

Lindsay Ellis

Honest, objective reviews. Led by a Pediatrician.

BabyGearLab was founded by a Pediatrician Mom with a mission to provide a reliable, independent, source of information to new parents. Our experts have tested thousands of baby and kids products to share key performance, health, and safety findings. We spend tens of thousands of dollars crash testing car seats to inform our ratings. And, we combine our review work with gobs of expert parenting advice. To assure complete independence, we buy all the products we test ourselves. No sponsored content. No ads. Just real, honest, side-by-side testing by people who care.

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