Thursday, July 07, 2011

Does Anyone Need a Baby-Formula Machine?

I was intrigued to read about this new BabyNes device (pictured, left). It automatically mixes and warms baby formula with the touch of a button — basically, it's like a cappuccino maker for infants. It's only available in Switzerland right now, but it will launch worldwide next year.

The catch is it costs $300, and requires special formula capsules. They add $650 annually to the cost of feeding a baby — beyond regular formula.

I'm conflicted about this product. On one hand, I'm incredibly lazy, so it has some appeal. On the other hand, I'm very cheap. And it would seem especially hard to justify for us because Alice has been drinking breast milk in addition to formula. (She's weening now.)

But mainly it doesn't take the really painful part out of the process. When your baby cries in the middle of the night, the thing you least want to do is get out of bed. Since this device appears to need a water supply, I'm not sure it's practical to keep bedside.

If you're truly lazy (and can afford to overpay for formula), you're better off getting the single-use formula bottles and just storing them by your bed. It also helps if you don't give a crap about the environment.

Then the only trick is making sure your kid is OK drinking room-temperature formula. If not, you buy this bottle warmer (below) and keep it bedside. It's $35.28 on Amazon.

If money is really no object, you'd just have a night nurse. So the truly rich probably have little need for any of this stuff. You might as well force the help to mix the formula by hand.