One of the biggest challenges when you become a parent is figuring out what you NEED versus what you WANT your kid to have. Kiddos are expensive, and their gear is too. Some items are a must-have, and some are a luxury. The “Milk Nanny” is definitely a luxury!
What’s a Milk Nanny? It’s a machine that makes and dispenses formula for your child, while looking like the offspring of R2D2 and a Keurig. It measures the powder, stirs it with water, and dispenses it at an appropriately warm temperature. Fantastic, right? Well, for what is essentially a Keurig for the newborn market, you’re looking at $279.99. For a machine that automates a ridiculously easy process. But at least it comes with WiFi and an app, so you can remotely pour that formula!
For those who haven’t prepared formula with a howling infant on one hip, here’s how it works: you take a measuring scoop and pour into a bottle. Then you put the appropriate amount of filtered or bottled water in as well, and mix or shake it. If your infant likes it warm, either run it under hot water or, if you’re feeling fancy, pop it in a $30 bottle warmer. That whole process takes about 5 minutes, and I just saved you $279.99.
I’m not saying the Milk Nanny can’t be useful. If you have a child with special digestive needs who requires a specific temperature, or you’re formula feeding hungry triplets, sure, that kind of convenience is great. But formula isn’t hard to make, and you learn free ways to save time. When my son was on formula, we would make all his bottles for the day the night before. When he was so little he was still eating at night, we made sure a bottle was prepped and set aside in the fridge, and at the first sounds of him waking we went and warmed it up. Formula is expensive; according to Babycenter’s cost calculator, a year of formula is $2,778! That means Milk Nanny is an additional 10% cost, just so you don’t have to shake a few bottles. It looks like Kickstarter agrees, as their campaign has only raised $36,000 of the $100,000 they want to bring this to market.
Unless you are a recent lottery winner, you really don’t want to spend on frivolous items like this when you have a kid. You never know what expenses might pop up; in fact, a recent trip to the emergency room (my son is fine now, it was a minor incident) cost us $500. Big and small surprise expenses appear all the time with kids, and in my personal view, a Milk Nanny is an expense you might want but probably don’t need!