If you’re a parent of an infant or toddler, there are really only 3 types of things your child might need when they’re upset: love and attention, a diaper change, or food. Following that logic, the Babybrezza Formula Pro Advanced could literally be the solution to a third of all of the teary moments you might face in a day (and perhaps even more at night!).
I tested out the Babybrezza Formula Pro Advanced. Here’s how it could work for you and your baby.
But first, formula feeding or breastfeeding?
There is a great deal of information out there about the virtues and benefits of breastfeeding a child versus formula feeding, and this article will not attempt to sway those perspectives in any way. It is worth noting though, that there are a few important things to comment on about baby formula. For one, doctors and nurses in hospitals trust formula every day to nurse babies. They are confident in the nutritional value it provides a child in the most critical development stages of their lives.
Secondly, in certain cases, a mother’s milk might need to be supplemented by formula for various medical reasons specific to the quantity and quality of the breast milk being produced. Thirdly, adoptive parents may not have access to breast milk at all, and because of that may need to rely on formula entirely for their infant’s nutrition. My wife and I find ourselves in the third camp, and have been feeding our son formula since he came into our lives the day after he was born.
Setting up the Babybrezza Formula Pro Advanced
The first time you setup the Formula Pro Advanced you’ll need to give it a thorough wash and allow it to dry completely. Once that’s done, you can choose a few settings that it will store for each use and will even be remembered if the unit is unplugged.
The unit allows you to select a numbered setting that corresponds to the specific type of formula you’re using. A full list of these settings for all types of formula sold in Canada can be found on elfe.com.
The setup instructions are actually pretty great, and they guide you through step by step with photos to help make sure you do it correctly. When you’re ready to make your first bottle, you select the temperature of the formula, the amount of water you’d like to use, and the Babybrezza Formula Pro Advanced does the rest.
Testing out the Babybrezza Formula Pro Advanced
The Babybrezza Formula Pro Advanced is a great machine, and it has quite a few great features that will help you feed your baby.
Babybrezza Formula Pro Advanced works in 8 seconds
One of the best parts about the Babybrezza Formula Pro Advanced is that it works fast. How fast? You can have a bottle ready in 8 seconds.
Let me paint you a picture. It’s 3:30am, you’ve barely slept (in months), and all of a sudden you’re jarred awake by the hungry wails of your precious little nuclear reactor in full meltdown. You now have to spend the next 5-10 hour-like minutes in the dark scooping, measuring, warming, and bottling the precious liquid that will make your baby happy again.
“But wait!” you say. “I’ll just pre-mix all the formula during the day so I can just grab one at night!” Well, you would be right, if formula didn’t have to be refrigerated after being mixed if it isn’t being consumed in the next 15-20 minutes. That may not seem like a big deal, but even a top-notch bottle warmer is going to take about 5-10 minutes to reheat a chilled bottle out of the fridge. Even then you may have let it get a bit too hot, further delaying your sleep, or even ruining the batch by overheating it far too much which can nullify the nutritional value.
When you’ve got a crying infant or toddler in your arms in the middle of the night, not only is it difficult to pour water, scoop powder, get the lid on the bottle, and then shake and mix the formula thoroughly and properly, but it’s going to take you far longer as well. With the Formula Pro Advanced, you’ve got a bottle ready and warm in about 8 seconds. That’s it: 8 seconds and your baby will be ready to eat.
The bottle will be perfect every time
Beyond the speed and ease of use, the fact that the bottles come out mixed properly and at the exact temperature you want each time is a dream. Many parents have agonized over how to heat baby bottles to just the right temperature, and then have repeatedly squirted their wrists (and likely much of the surrounding area) with milk and formula to test and make sure it wasn’t too hot. It’s still wise to test the bottle each time to be sure, but I have never had to re-make a bottle or let it cool down after making one with the Formula Pro Advanced.
Where I think the Babybrezza Formula Pro Advanced can improve
On the original Formula Pro model, the water tank was on the left side. On the Advanced, it’s in the back. This makes the Advanced slimmer on the counter, but it also moved the water tank out of view.
Since we’ve decided to boil water and let it cool before adding it to the tank instead of buying bottled or distilled water, it’s helpful to be able to see where the water level is so you can put the next kettle on in time to have it cool before being added. There is an audible beep to let you know when the water level is low, but you could be in a pinch if you need to make another bottle before you can boil more water and have it cool before adding it to the reservoir.
Another issue that can come up is that the funnel portion where the formula is dispensed into the bottle is quite a bit more difficult to remove for cleaning than the original Formula Pro model. This can be annoying since you have to do this after every 4 bottles you make. I’m sure it’s more secure and is probably by design, but it’s a bit more finicky and didn’t seem entirely necessary to the process of making bottles.
Formula Pro vs. Formula Pro Advanced
Despite my thoughts on limitations, the Babybrezza Formula Pro Advanced boasts a number of improvements that have made a great product even better in my opinion.
3 different temperature settings
The Babybrezza Formula Pro Advanced lets you choose between 3 different temperature settings; room temperature, body temperature, and slightly warmer than body temperature. We’ve stuck with body temp for the most part since that’s the only option on the original Formula Pro and our son is used to it. It is great to be able to try different temperatures to see what your child prefers.
The original model would heat the whole volume of stored water to the desired temperature and hold it there forever. That means it was constantly using power. I felt this was pretty wasteful, so I was happy to see the Advanced model did away with that setup in favour of on-demand heating. The other benefit to this method is that if you want to change up the temperature of the bottles between uses, the change is pretty quick with the Advanced compared to the original.
You can now set the volume of water
The Formula Pro Advanced lets you set whether you want to measure volume by milliliters or ounces, and once selected you can choose 1 of 9 different volumes of water to mix with the appropriate amount of powder; 60, 90, 120, 150, 180, 210, 240, 270, and 300 ml.
The original Formula Pro only had 4 settings for volume (60, 120, 180, 240ml), which in our case meant that we’d typically be wasting a decent amount of formula each time since our son would rarely drink the exact amount we’d make. Making too little isn’t a great option, so normally you make more than you think you’ll need.
Babybrezza Formula Pro Advanced is Easier to Clean
A quick clean is needed after every 4 uses (and a complete clean each month) on both models for hygienic and safety reasons. Both the Advanced model and the original will warn you with a beeping sound and a flashing light to let you know it’s time.
The Advanced model does offer more specific warnings related to the powder lid being open, low water, the funnel being out or improperly installed, as well as when it’s time to clean. This added information helps when you’re trying to quickly make a bottle and something isn’t as it should be. The water tank on the Advanced is also dishwasher safe, something that was impossible due to the heating element that was attached to the tank on the original model.
Here’s a table highlighting a few other key improvements between the Babybrezza Formula Pro and the Babybrezza Formula Pro Advanced.
|Features||Formula Pro||Formula Pro Advanced|
|Noise||Quite loud||Less noisy, though not silent|
|Ease of setup/cleaning||Many parts, not dishwasher safe||Fewer parts, dishwasher safe water tank|
|Size||Wider due to side-mounted water tank||Slimmer, water tank in back|
|Water warming||~10 mins to warm from room temperature. Only 1 setting||~5 mins to warm from room temperature. 3 different settings|
|Controls||Blue LED indicator—settings not legible in the dark||LCD panel, easy to read in the dark|
|Powder selection||Manual via the internal measuring wheel||Selected digitally|
|Versatility/Options||5 different volume increments||9 different volume increments (less waste)|
|Formula compatibility||Works with most brands||Works with virtually all brands|
|Water only dispensing||No||Yes (helps with cleaning)|
|User-friendliness||2 warning LEDs||4 specific warning symbols|
Should you buy the Babybrezza Formula Pro Advanced?
When we travel we obviously don’t bring the Formula Pro with us, and we definitely notice how it changes our rhythms and routines. There is a lot more thinking and preparation that has to go into having a bottle ready when you need it, and we really noticed not having the ability to quickly make up a bottle right when we needed it.
The Formula Pro Advanced is also pretty helpful when you have someone looking after your child who will need to prepare a bottle. It’s far easier to tell them to push the start button than it is to explain the correct measurements and temperature needed to make bottle manually.
Since we’ve had our son, the Formula Pro has saved us countless hours of bottle prep and headaches while our son screams his head off, and as any exhausted parent will tell you; anything that can make things a bit easier is totally worth it.
You can find the Babybrezza Formula Pro Advanced on Best Buy right now.