The bottle pairs with the Ember Baby app. The app knows when a bottle has been placed on the puck, and then you click a button on your phone to start warming. The app shows you a golden line that slowly forms a circle as the bottle warms, and will alert you when the bottle is ready. You can also create a little profile in the app to track how many ounces your baby is drinking and whether they’re gaining weight.
If you’re taking the bottle on the go, Ember’s intention is that you stack the bottle—with breastmilk already inside—onto the warming puck, and then place the thermal cover on top of it to place into your bag. (If you’re a formula user, Ember suggests that you simply add water when you want to make a bottle, heat it, and then add formula powder. That way, you don’t need to store liquids in the Ember bottle before a feeding.) While all three items use magnets to connect, the magnets aren’t particularly strong, so this didn’t feel very stable to carry or throw into a bag. And together, these items are heavy. It felt almost as heavy as my filled 40-ounce Hydroflask.
Do You Need One?
While I cover baby and parenting products here at WIRED, bottle warmers were never on my list. All my research has come back to the same thing: you don’t need them. Most devices aren’t that much more effective than just placing your bottle into some hot water, and they take up room on your countertop.
Obviously, the Ember skips over part of that problem. This isn’t another countertop device to stuff into my small kitchen, and instead it simplifies the heating into the bottle itself. (It’s worth noting here, though, that most parents go through more than two bottles in the course of a day and buying more proprietary bottles is expensive.)
Also, the Ember isn’t designed to be used with frozen breastmilk—you’re supposed to defrost the milk first before putting it into the Ember to then heat, but that can be done in your fridge overnight before taking the milk out for the day ahead.