Unitasker Wednesday: Baby Buddy Bottle Buddy

All Unitasker Wednesday posts are jokes — we don’t want you to buy these items, we want you to laugh at their ridiculousness. Enjoy!

This week’s unitasker selection rises to a brand new level of unitaskery, and does so with an $80 price tag. Introducing Baby Buddy Bottle Buddy: The Electronic Formula Dispenser:

According to the product description, the purpose of this electronic device is to keep a new parent or caregiver from wondering “was that five or six scoops?” Sure, the new parent or caregiver could simply pour the dry formula back into its original package and scoop it out again just to be certain what scoop count they were on — but WHY do that when you can spend EIGHTY DOLLARS to prevent such a simple task?!! (Oh, and have the on-going expense of the electricity to run this thing, in addition to the outrageous cost of formula.)

As far as I can tell, this device might only be useful in a daycare facility with numerous babies — but all of those babies would have to be on the exact same brand and type of formula, which is extremely unlikely. At most daycare facilities, half the kids are drinking pumped bottles, a few might be on anti-reflux formula, another few might be on soy formula because of a milk allergy, and just one kid might be using the run-of-the-mill stuff. A device like this would be more hassle than help.

From personal experience, I know that scooping formula into a bottle is one of the easiest tasks there is when it comes to parenting. (I’ll take scooping formula over changing diapers!) An electronic formula dispenser is wholly unnecessary. And, as one parent suggested in the comments to a post years ago, it’s really easy to premix a pitcher full of formula each morning and just pour from the pitcher into bottles as you need them. Then, you only have to scoop once a day, when you’re rested, and can remember how many scoops you’ve put in the pitcher.

28 Comments for “Unitasker Wednesday: Baby Buddy Bottle Buddy”

  1. posted by María on

    What about multiplets? Maybe the octomom might need one of those…

  2. posted by CM on

    This unitasker wins! $80, it’s big and ugly, and formula clumps up so easily with a little humidity that I bet it’s a hassle to clean. My solution to the daunting problem of forgetting how many scoops is to count out loud (or rather, to train my 4-year old to count out loud, because he likes to make the bottles), “1, 2, 3!”

  3. posted by Cardinal on

    In fact, I used to mix the day’s worth of formula for my twins by weight so I never needed to count scoops, just keep adding powder until the scale gave me the right number.

  4. posted by WilliamB on

    Or put scoop formula into several bottles at once; all you need to do is add water.

    Or use a kitchen scale in grams to weigh the formula. This will also solve the “problem” of inconsisten scooping.

  5. posted by writing all the time on

    My thought is OMG – how much space does that take on a kitchen counter?

  6. posted by Bethann on

    I did the premix in a rubbermaid container/pitcher. It’s now my goto gift for baby shower baskets, and I have had each mom tell me that it was awesome to have it when she finally realized she needed it.

  7. posted by Marie on

    My first thought was how to keep the formula from going bad while it waits all day to be used up. Does it come with it’s own built in refrigerator? ‘Cause you know, spoilage and babies do not mix.

  8. posted by Christine on

    Definitely unnecessary. However, you should measure out the water in the bottle first (or in another container) b/c if you put the powder in first you displace some of the water and are actually not adding enough water.

  9. posted by JustGail on

    yeah – way to easy to make in batches or fill several bottles at once.

    Now, if anyone wants to come up with a unitasker that would sell like hotcakes – how about an automatic diaper-changer? Insert baby, perhaps just the target area, press a button, and voila – nice clean baby bottom.

  10. posted by karen on

    I scoop formula into a bottle with the water already in it (that way I can measure the water more accurately). And at times, I have forgotten what scoop I’m on. I dump the bottle out and start over. Yes, I waste some formula, but I doubt I’ve wasted 80 bucks worth of formula.

  11. posted by Penguinlady on

    I thought at first it was mixed (liquid) formula, and thought, “heck yeah, I could use that for the twins!”. But just dispensing the powder? That is the easiest part!

  12. posted by priest's wife on

    I must admit- whenever I see a unitasker that exploits the ignorance and credit card of new parents, I think of what I could invent…

  13. posted by Charly on

    Not only is it totally pointless, this is bound to be the most uni-est unitasker ever! Kids don’t drink formula forever! Only for like, what 5 years at most? Not even! This thing is a wast of money and space.
    I zpit on zat ideah!

  14. posted by Celeste on

    Mixing the pitcher of formula and pouring bottles for the refrigerator was the easiest way to have grab-and-go bottles. I mean come on, when you have an infant on formula you know how many bottles you’ll need so why not make them up and be done with it!

    If it’s really that hard to keep count of how many scoops you’ve ladled out…maybe you shouldn’t be in charge of a baby. Just sayin’.

    If you think the price of formula is outrageous, have all of your friends sign up for formula coupons from the manufacturer in your name, and give them to you. There is always at least one $10 coupon per “child”. You can also buy these on eBay (which defeats some of the savings, but oh well). Also, when you buy formula at some groceries, they will give you a $10 coupon on the back of your receipt periodically for the rival manufacturer’s formula. Make friends with another mom who uses that brand, and set up a switch for her coupons for your brand. Finally, realize that all of the baby formula is made by 3 manufacturers world wide, and know that a store brand such as Wal-Mart’s has all of the required nutrition and 100% of the RDA of vitamins. The name brands have greater than 100% of the RDA of vitamins, which you will surely smell in the diapers. It’s to make up for times when a baby doesn’t eat as much or loses meals due to vomiting, sort of an insurance policy.

  15. posted by Naomi Tayler on

    I totally agree that the unitasker is a waste of space and money but PLEASE do not advocate premixing a day’s worth of formula!

    Powder is not sterile, and even when made up properly with water 70’C which temporarily sterilises (ish) the milk, the bacteria start growing within a couple of hours. And honestly, some of the bacteria that have been found regularly in routine tests of formula? You do NOT want to expose your children to them.

    If you have no alternative but to give your children formula, please please please do it according to WHO, US and NHS guidelines and don’t premix. But if you want true multitaskers which nourish and comfort your children, I’e got to say you really cannot beat a pair of boobs; they don’t take any counter space or expenditure at all.

  16. Profile photo of Erin Doland

    posted by Erin Doland on

    @Marie and @Naomi — You simply stick the pitcher of formula in the refrigerator. No sane parent would leave it out on the counter all day. Keeping it in the refrigerator is safe as long as you’re not making more than one day at a time and regularly washing the pitcher.

  17. posted by Cindy on

    Erin- there are several dangerous bacteria that can grow at refrigerator temperature. and 70 degrees farenheit is absolutely not warm enough to sterilize anything. If you are really going to use a pitcher it needs not to be just washed but sterilized in the same way as bottles. It may work out just fine 99 times out of 100, or 999 out of 1000 but really it does not seem like a safe practice.

  18. Profile photo of Erin Doland

    posted by Erin Doland on

    @Cindy — Babies eat food off the floor, lick hand railings, and put dirt in their mouths. Unless a child has an immune deficiency disorder, barely anyone sterilizes bottles any more since we understand it’s a pointless endeavor unless you’re immediately using the bottle. Parents just shove bottles in the dishwasher along with everything else (a dishwasher doesn’t get hot enough to sterilize anything, either). Unless your water supply is tainted with bacteria, mixing formula and putting it into a covered pitcher in the refrigerator is exactly the same risk as giving a child a bottle that you ran through the dishwasher and then stored on the shelves in your kitchen cabinet until you were ready to use it. It’s also the same risk as the milk you’re drinking from your refrigerator that was pasteurized before you opened it (you don’t pasteurize the milk after every time you remove it from the refrigerator to pour a glass of milk, so a wee bit of bacteria gets in there each time you take off the lid). There is probably less bacteria in a clean pitcher of daily-made formula refrigerated immediately after it was made than there is in breast milk. Think about all the bacteria on women’s clothing that comes into contact with her body. To my knowledge, women aren’t sterilizing themselves each time before they breastfeed. In fact, I know there is bacteria and mold and yeast on women’s bodies that is transferred to babies because thrush is a very common problem among breast-fed babies.

  19. posted by Sue B on

    Boob vs bottle clash in 3… 2… 1…

    (Boob feeding mom who had no choice but to have #2 baby on formula. Kid would not latch for 7 WEEKS, and I could not pump enough to keep up. He finally learned to latch and got to be half breast fed.) So I have been on both sides and don’t put up with any smack from anyone.
    Plus on topic comment – are they out of their minds?!

  20. posted by ChrisD on

    Off topic comment on germs:
    My uncle is a peadiatrician and he says that if a baby is born by C-section it won’t have all the germs that a baby born naturally will have (research shows that the C-section baby takes 8 months to grow up the same bacteria population). Thus now they take a swab of the mothers skin and put it in the baby’s mouth to deliberately give the baby the right type of germs. Also there is a TED talk about how hospital air my have fewer germs than outside air, but it has more *pathogenic* germs. Any discussion of *germs* is too simplistic, there needs to be a distinction between dangerous and harmless/good germs.
    Doesn’t some of the discussion relate to whether the baby is tiny or a year old? In the former case I would assume you should be more careful, but, as Erin says, by the time a baby is older this issue is totally moot, I’ve seen my godson grab and eat some icecream he dropped on the floor. Gross, but good for the immune system (though actually he still has mild asthma).

  21. posted by Pam on

    I agree with everything that you said except this bit …

    “… when you’re rested …”

    I have no memory of ever being rested when we were still doing bottles!

  22. posted by Nikki on

    I agree regarding the lack of safety when not preparing ABM correctly. I pre-mixed bottles for my first because she preferred her drinks at room temperature (still does at 8 years) but not until she was about a year old. I shudder to think about the chances I took (that I was not aware of at the time).

    There is a machine out there that mixes, heats, then dispenses the ABM, recommended for families of multiples particularly with multiple carers. I can’t find a link, the website seems to be gone, but I did find something more disturbing – Nestle launched a machine in Switzerland last year that uses little pods like coffee to mix up the ABM! I suppose at least it might be more sterile, but $300 for the machine plus ongoing costs of the pods!

  23. posted by Celeste on

    Considering that the manufacturer of my baby’s formula (Similac) gives instruction’s for making a day’s worth of formula and storing it in capped bottles in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours (a day’s worth, imagine that!)…I felt pretty safe doing just that.

    I don’t know anybody who still sterilizes bottles and nipples. I guess if you want to take those steps, no one can stop you…but it certainly isn’t required.

  24. posted by Diedra B on

    I could really use one of these for rice. . . I’m always woolgathering while I measure out the rice and man, something like this could save me time.

  25. posted by Mary on

    I never made bottles in advance because then the bottles would have to be heated and we trained our babies early to be used to formula made with room temperature water(kept in a filter bottle). However, I used a small formula holder with three compartments. I poured enough formula in each one for each bottle. So I always had the formula powder ready. We always had one container in the diaper bag and one on the kitchen counter so we could make one fast.

  26. posted by Wendy on

    Totally agree that a scale that measures kilograms is the way to go. Works for a single bottle or a pitcher. Even our pediatrician told us not to sterilize everything. In an adult, there are 4 times as many ‘foreign’ cells in our digestive systems than there are cell of ‘us’. It takes exposure to normal stuff to build up a healthy gut!

  27. posted by Christine on

    Diedra, they actually do have large containers (think silo for the kitchen) that also had simple buttons “1”, “2”, “3” for meauring out “cups” (which are actually about 6oz ) of rice. My mom had one to contain the giant bag of rice in an easy upright container to keep out insects and make measuring out rice cups easy (made it easier also than trying to store a giant bag of rice that would fall on the floor). Also made it easier to quickly measure out larger quantities for family get togethers. (FYI, my mom’s Korean so rice was made for every meal and we would have large extended family get togethers at least weekly so that meant measuring out lots of rice. No measuring the water though as we use the “flat hand” method.)

  28. posted by Me on

    @ Nikki – My kids prefered room temp bottles too, so I would pre-fill a few bottles with water and have them next to my bed. They’d be room temp when the baby would wake up and I could just scoop the powder in.
    @ Celeste – I steralize the bottles the first time after buying them or if they haven’t been used for awhile and have been in storage. Otherwise, it’s the dishwasher to clean them.

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