The Tommee Tippee Perfect Prep Machine claims to be able to make a bottle for your combination/formula-fed baby in less than two minutes. It’s accurate, adjustable in the amount of feed it makes and the bottle is ready to consume instantly. Awesome, right? Is it too good to be true?
In a word, no. This product saved both my sanity and my time when Evelyn was a baby. If you read no further than this then fine – as long as you go out and buy one. I should say at this point that Tommee Tippee don’t know I’m writing this review. It’s not sponsored, and even if it was it’d be an honest review anyway.
Features of the Tommee Tippee Perfect Prep Machine
What does it do?
The purpose is clear-cut, the machine will prepare a bottle of ready-to-drink infant formula for you in a maximum of two minutes (or less, depending on how much feed you are making). You will no doubt have come across that period in the night when your baby wakes up screaming with hunger. You are startled out of your slumber – dozy, sluggish and, if you’re anything like me, cranky. You’re then faced with the task of making just the right amount of feed at just the right temperature. Before we had the Tommee Tippee Perfect Prep Machine, the advice we received on making formula was this:
- Boil fresh water in a kettle
- Fill the bottle to the desired level
- Wait for the water to cool to body temperature
- Add scoops of formula and shake until mixed.
This is excruciating when a baby is crying for the feed. If it took this long for me to get my meal then I’d be pretty pissed off too, so I can’t imagine how much a baby feels it. Evelyn was fussy so there was little margin for error in the temperatures here. The Tommee Tippee Perfect Prep Machine takes all this out of the equation, meaning you can soothe the baby and prepare the feed simultaneously. We found this invaluable in our pre-agreed “taking turns throughout the night” arrangement as it meant one of us could remain asleep instead of it being a 2-person job (assuming we could sleep through the beep the machine makes, but more on that shortly).
How does it work?
It’s simple – having placed x scoops of feed into a sterilised bottle (x varies as normal depending on how much feed you want) place the bottle on the stand and press the button. There are a couple of blasts of steam into the bottle followed by boiling water. The machine beeps to let you know when the hot water cycle has finished, prompting you to give the bottle a quick shake to mix and place it back on the stand. One more press of the button and the cool water fills the bottle to the desired level.
I usually agitated the bottle as the hot water was being poured in, meaning when the beep came I could press the button instantly. Precious seconds saved!
Adjusting the amount of feed is as easy as selecting it on the “telephone-dial”-type selector on the top of the machine. That’s the only input you have, thankfully.
The reservoir holds 2 litres of tap water, enough to easily last the night. We kept ours in the bedroom and just refilled it each morning. Travelling upstairs in the day is a lot easier than travelling downstairs in the night! The water passes through a filter, so simple tap water is all that’s needed – no pre-boiled or treated water. Check out the video below for a quick demonstration.
Warning: Do not change the amount of feed you want after the hot water cycle has finished, especially if you realise you needed less of it. If you start the whole process for 9 ounces but realise you needed 6, start again! There would have been enough hot water for a 9 ounce bottle, so putting less cool water in will result in a hot bottle.
Who is it for?
Anyone who is combination feeding (breast and formula) or just formula feeding will benefit from this product.
Formula feeding usually means prolonging the crying (and guilt for the wait). A maximum of two minutes is not a long wait though, all things considered. No boiling the kettle or waiting for it to cool afterwards. The Tommee Tippee Perfect Prep Machine will make the feed ready to serve at body temperature, no matter what quantity is selected. In a sleep-induced haze, standard bottle-making renders it very easy to not heat the bottle enough, or worse – heat a bottle too much, but that’s not an issue here.
As a dad I found this product invaluable. It saved a lot of time and effort, but most comforting of all it removed the possibility of human error with the temperatures. Right now it doesn’t seem all that big a deal but in the days of triple-checking everything it really put my mind at ease.
There aren’t many drawbacks here, and they’re outweighed by how useful the machine is. It’s not perfect though, despite its name.
The beeping beep!
The first thing that you will notice when you use it is the almighty beep it lets out. It beeps when the hot water has been poured in, and again when the process of making the feed has ended. This wasn’t so much a problem with waking the baby as she was about to be fed anyway, but it often woke one of us up when the other was making a feed in the night. Kathryn would stir at the first, and probably wake at the second (probably).
It’s not exactly pretty
It’s also not very aesthetically pleasing – it’s bulky and blocky, reminiscent of something from decades ago. With a reservoir of two litres it also needed filling often, but I suppose a larger reservoir would only add to the size. Two litres would see us through the night though without fail, even with Evelyn at her hungriest.
Wasted formula in the early days
The minimum amount of feed it can produce is 4oz, which is on the large size early on in baby’s life. If you look around the web there is a workaround where you press the button to stop the flow of water when you reach the desired amount. I would advise against this though, as the hot water cycle injects enough hot water for 4oz on the minimum setting, so you would need to allow for cooling time if you did this.
The beeping price!
The final drawback is the price. With an RRP of £120 this isn’t a cheap purchase, but always shop around! It’s rare that it’s not on offer somewhere for £70, and this is the price we paid for ours. In fact on the evening of posting this review, I stumbled across this in the local Tesco:
We also found that the accuracy of the measurements wasn’t always 100%. We read that this may be due to the differences between the English and American version of ounces, but it’s probably more basic than that. There is a tolerance in the measurements, a margin of error. This applies to both the Tomme Tippee Perfect Prep Machine and the bottle it’s being poured in to, if the error is at its highest on both then the combination will throw the amount of feed off by a negligible amount. It’s really not something to be concerned about.
Notwithstanding the above drawbacks, this is the one thing we wouldn’t have been without. We managed for a small while without it but the alternatives just take too long and are too messy. Heating some ready-made formula in a dedicated heater was too unreliable, and I’d often fall back sleep waiting! Boiling the kettle and messing about doing it that way just takes far too long, it’s not practical.
Put it this way, we paid £70 for our Tommee Tippee Perfect Prep Machine, and we used it a lot more than 70 times. Even at £1 a feed it’s well worth it!
Sterilise the bottles, put some formula in them and keep them next to the machine at night. It’s literally easier than making a cup of tea!
- Correct amount and temperature of feed
- A lot quicker than other methods of preparing a bottle
- Easily adjustable
- Filtered water
- Built-in clean function for the machine
- That beep…it’s extremely loud!
- Outdated look (though they have released both a red and black version now)
- Pricey if bought at RRP (don’t do that!).