If you’ve recently read My Brief Breastfeeding Journey you’ll know that I ultimately couldn’t breastfeed due to inadequate supply, most likely caused by having PCOS. Although I pumped and fed both breast and formula at first, I needed bottles made from the very first day we were home. At first I scoffed at the Tommee Tippee Perfect Prep Machine, thinking it was a decadent waste of money. Now I can’t imagine a night without it!
“A machine to make formula?” I thought to myself, “Why? You just pop the formula in and some boiling water, shake and let it cool. What’s the big deal?“
The Big Deal about the Tommee Tippee Perfect Prep Machine
The Big Deal is time. Precious time becomes a hot commodity with a newborn. With the Tommee Tippee Perfect Prep Machine it can take as little as 60 seconds to make up a bottle at the right temperature. If you’re boiling and cooling water it can take considerably longer. It takes my kettle longer than that to boil and if you don’t have any sterilized cool water ready to add, you might have to fuss about for 15 minutes before you get it at the right temperature. My tap water is also a little hard (which varies by region) and the midwife recommended a filter – which the Tommee Tippee Perfect Prep Machine has built in.
15 minutes may not sound like a long time but when you have a screaming newborn in full hunger meltdown or when you’re stumbling around at 4am in the morning, 15 minutes feels like a lifetime.
So how does the Tommee Tippee Perfect Prep Machine work?
You pop your empty formula bottle – it doesn’t have to be a Tommee Tippee bottle – on the pad, set the dial to how many ounces you want to make (from 4 to 11) and push go. It will dispense the correct amount of boiling water to safely sterilize the milk. You add your milk formula powder, shake it up and then press the button a second time. It then fills it up to the top with the (usually) correct amount of water to be the perfect temperature.
It’s simple to set up and incredibly easy to use. I use it, my husband uses, my mum uses it and I’ve had friends and other people use it to make me a quick bottle – you can literally pick it up in 30 seconds. It makes me more confident that when I have a babysitter over, they won’t struggle with feeding him. It’s something you can do at 4am in the morning even when you’re totally sleep deprived without making a mistake.
Changing the Filter of the Tommee Tippee Perfect Prep Machine
The Tommee Tippee Perfect Prep Machine does need to be topped up with water regularly and if it runs out, it can take a few minutes to filter the new water. If you’ve got a hungry screaming baby and wanted a bottle immediately and it’s out of water, this can be a bit frustrating. It’s a simple fix – always top it up after a feed, never wait to top it up before a feed. That way it’ll always be full when you need it.
It has a pretty hefty filter inside to provide fully filtered, safe to drink water even if you’re in a hard water area. This does need replacing regularly and costs around £10 on Amazon. I’ve been using mine for 5 months and the filter light has come on asking for it to be changed twice, which is slightly under the 3 month usage listed on the website. You should definitely be aware of that cost and make sure you’ve ordered an extra one so that it’s handy. Although you don’t have to change it immediately, it is important to try and be prompt to make sure the water is being filtered and no bacteria is building up.
I buy the filter on Amazon with Subscribe & Save which means it gets delivered automatically when I need it and saves a bit of money too. Tip! Pampers nappies get 20% off on Subscribe & Save too and the two brands of wet wipes I use get 15% off . This has saved me a fortune and means I always have nappies and wet wipes!
If you buy a second hand machine – and there are always cheap ones available as no one uses these past the first year mark when you can switch to cow’s milk, I would strongly recommend you buy a new filter even if the filter light is not showing.
Downsides of the Tommee Tippee Perfect Prep Machine
Despite the name, it’s not quite perfect. The biggest problem I’ve had with it is that sometimes it is inaccurate in the water it dispenses and chucks an extra ounce of water in there at the end. This is annoying as you’ve already put your scoops in and can’t add more later, so you end up with a slightly watered down drink if you’re not paying close attention. For William this isn’t a big deal as he suffers a bit from constipation and has had no weight gain issues, so getting a bit of extra water won’t hurt him, but it’s definitely something to be aware of. It’s about 1 in 20 bottles that it does it, so certainly not every time.
If you’re watching out for it you can just take the bottle away at the correct amount (and put another cup there so your kitchen doesn’t get wet) but I haven’t bothered since I don’t mind the extra water.
The minimum amount you can make is 4oz (120ml). When William was born he was only taking 30-60ml at first, so for very young or premature babies you may find yourself wasting some formula with this. This is an issue that sorts itself by 2-4 weeks though, as their stomachs do grow quite fast!
Finally, the Tommee Tippee Prep Machine has a very loud beep which may disturb light sleepers in a small apartment (like mine) or if you have a sleeping babe in arms. If there was one feature I’d like to see on an upgraded model, it would definitely be volume control or the ability to turn the sound off completely.
Despite a few minor issues, the Tommee Tippee Perfect Prep Machine has been an absolute life saver for me. I never realized before I had William just how precious time would be – and just how angry a hungry baby can get! I would absolutely put this at the top of my “must have” list for any mum using formula.
Note that the links in this review are Amazon affiliate links, where I earn a small amount if you choose to purchase after clicking. I was not otherwise endorsed or compensated for this review. This review was updated March 2019.