Feeding your baby is an essential part of the daily routine, but at times when you may be out of the house or travelling, dealing with cumbersome baby formula canisters and often messy measuring scoops can be extremely inconvenient. Besides, there’s nothing worse than opening your diaper bag to find your canister lid has fallen off and powder is everywhere!
Formula dispensers allow you to leave your clumsy canisters at home and instead store baby formula powder in small, light-weight portions, making it easy and convenient to feed your baby on the go, often multiple times, thanks to some of the best models featuring multiple compartments for pre-measured portions of powdered formula.
The problem is that it’s so easy to choose a dispenser that is poorly designed and there’s probably nothing more frustrating than a poor product damaging the reputation of such a useful tool in any mother’s arsenal. That’s why we’ve taken the time to test some of the most popular brands offerings, which will hopefully help you understand what’s on offer and make an informed decision.
What Should You Look for in a Formula Dispenser?
How many feeds will you need? – If you are thinking of travelling far, such as taking a flight or a long car ride, then you will probably want to look for a milk powder dispenser that can hold multiple servings for each feed during your journey. But if you’re just going on short errand, a dispenser with one or two compartments should be fine.
Do you care about BPA content? – There has been a lot of controversy about BPA (bisphenol A) content in plastics in recent years due to some studies indicating it may have possible health effects. For this reason, many parents naturally worry and begin looking for alternatives such as glass, but virtually no brand offers glass due to the potential hazards. Instead choose a dispenser that uses a BPA free plastic – there are many, so just make sure you read the small print.
Do you want to be able to sterilize your dispenser? – Many Parents highlight that formula itself often isn’t sterilized, so many hold the opinion that there’s no need to sterilize the dispenser either. Still, many parents prefer the idea of being able to sterilize their entire baby feeding equipment, so if this sounds like you just make sure to check its sterilizer friendly. You shouldn’t assume all dispensers can be sterilized since many plastics can’t withstand extreme heats and will warp, rendering them practically useless.
Do you want to prevent spillages? – If you want to avoid wasting your formula and avoid spilling it as you pour, then we recommend opting for a dispenser that features a spout design as opposed to a normal, open lid. The spout ensures the powder is deposited smoothly and efficiently, it also means you don’t have to worry about making the extra effort to gently shake it out, as is often the case with lids.
Our Top Picks
Philips AVENT Powder Formula Dispenser
If you’re tired of carrying too much baby gear around with you and want a portable and secure solution for transporting formula powder or supplements, then the Phillips Avent Dispenser is a trusted choice. It’s both dishwasher and microwave safe and can also be sterilized, there is two color options – black and pink, which are opaque, allowing you examine the contents any time you wish.
The design of this dispenser makes it multi-functional, allowing you to use it as storage for formula or a beaker/snack cup. The internal piece contains multiple compartments that allow you to hold up to three 9-ounce feedings – this piece can be removed which frees up space allowing you to then use it as a cup or baby feeding container. There’s no need to be concerned about liquid spilling over into other compartments either as each is tightly sealed to prevent that annoyance from happening.
In recent years there has been a lot of controversy regarding BPA in plastics that has potentially harmful effects on health, so it’s good to know that every part of this dispenser is BPA free.
Munchkin Formula Dispenser
The Munckin formula dispenser comes as a combo pack of two slightly different designs, one that’s perfect for travelling and one that’s ideal for those times during the night when you just want to feed your baby without any hassle.
The larger of the two dispensers contains 3 chambers, allowing you to store 3 8 ounce formula servings. This means you can plan you plan your day out without having to worry about preparing each feed while on the go – there’s nothing worse than having to make up formula in a moving car!
The smaller container stores a single serving of 8 ounce which is perfect for quick trips or for times when you want as least hassle as possible – think of them times during the night, when the last thing you want to do is prepare formula or mess around with the large container in the pitch black!
A potential limitation of this dispenser is that unlike others, you can’t sterilize it as it won’t be able to handle extreme temperatures without becoming warped. However, since it’s just used for storing powder, it’s probably adequate to wash it with hot soapy water.
Kidsmile Twist-Lock Stackable Milk Powder Dispenser
If you’ve had a bad experience with compartment style dispensers that commonly face issues such as powder spilling over into other sections, then you may prefer this stackable style of dispensers instead. They tend to be slightly larger than many of the compartment style dispensers but can still very easily fit into baby bags – they also have a number of advantages.
The Kidsmile dispenser includes 4 brightly colored, stackable containers that each hold up to 65g milk powder, suitable for bottles of up to 380 ml. You simply add your formula into each compartment; add the funnel lid and twist and lock to make them stackable. A great feature is the funnel shape spout built into the lids, this allows you to pour with ease and helps prevent spillages and formula wastage.
These containers are also very safe, made from BPA free plastics they are dishwasher safe and due to the open design are very easy to keep clean. As well as storing milk powder, they are highly versatile meaning you can continue using them as your baby grows, to store food items such as fruit, cereal and other snacks.
Joovy Boob Formula Dispenser
This sleek looking dispenser by Joovy is perfect for days when you may be out dong errands and don’t have the space or desire to carry an entire tin of formula with you. You simply pre-load each compartment with milk powder and you’re all prepared to bottle feed your baby wherever you may be.
The Joovy dispenser contains 3 compact compartments, each capable of holding 4 ounces of formula for 3 separate feeds. This is considerably more than a lot of dispensers, so if you’re looking to store more powder, then this might be the one for you. The lid features a spout design, making pouring easy and spill-free, helping to conserve powder and ensure it all goes into your bottle in one go.
The great thing about dispensers like this one is that once your infant stops needing formula, you can continue to make use of it as a snack container. It will easily hold cereal, purees, fruit and vegetables and help to keep them fresh and safe. It’s also very easy to clean thanks to the super clear BPA free Tritan plastic that also has a lot of strength, providing extra peace of mind in the unfortunate event that you drop it.
Basilic Baby Formula Dispenser
If you prefer the idea of a stackable formula dispenser, but don’t like how many of them are designed in a way that means you have to fiddle bout screwing them apart to dissemble them, you may prefer this option that features individual spouts to make pouring easy and convenient.
In total there are 4 individual dispensers that can be used independently or stacked together, providing versatility for short trips, or longer trips that may involve requiring multiple feeds throughout the day. Each one has its own lid and separate spout with a plug-like cap – this is secure, but easy to remove when you to dispense the formula.
Each dispenser holds up to 60g of milk powder formula which is considerable amount, but remember to always let each compartment dry after cleaning, otherwise it’s likely that some powder may start to clump and be difficult to remove.
The design of this dispenser is unique and offers something that many parents will appreciate, however, bear in mind that you can’t sterilize it, not that’s it too much of an issue, but many parents prefer to have this option available to them.
Which Formula Dispenser do you prefer?
With so many different design variations, it can be difficult to decide which is best; mostly it comes down to personal preference and your needs. Important questions to be asking are – How many feeds do you need to store? Will you be travelling long or short distance?
We hope this helps! Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.