Editor’s Note: NYC Dads Group thanks BabyNes for partnering with us. The company sent some of our dads its BabyNes Advanced Nutrition System by Gerber and a month’s worth of infant formula in exchange for their opinions.
Could preparing a “just right” serving of infant formula be as quick, easy and clean as brewing a single cup of coffee?
That’s one of the premises behind the BabyNes Advanced Nutrition System by Gerber, which we tested recently. You drop a pod (called a “capsule”) of BabyNes powdered milk into the BabyNes Machine and in a minute or so you have up to eight ounces of infant formula, warmed to a temperature you set to your child’s preference.
Another benefit the BabyNes people tout is nutrition customization. BabyNes infant formula capsules comes in age stages that “evolve” like breast milk does with changes in calorie, fat and key ingredient levels to meet specific needs of your child’s stage of development. This is done by producing seven different types of formulas, the most of any brand on the market, according to the manufacturer. Six are based on your child’s growth needs from birth to age 36 months and the seventh is a special “soothe” formula to help calm colicky wee ones. Each capsule is BPA-free, hermetically sealed and contains a built-in filter to trap water impurities.
Used with the BabyNes machine, you can not only create temperature- and portion-perfect nutrition for your child, but you can also get all the information a data-driven mom or dad needs to monitor your kid’s development. The BabyNes machine features built-in WiFi that pairs with an app on your computer or mobile device to let you:
- create charts of your baby’s nutrition and growth online;
- receive personalized nutritional advice;
- manually or automatically place orders for more formula capsule; and,
- even let working parents receive alerts when the caretaker at home has used the system.
While the BabyNes machine and infant formula are optimally designed to work together, toting an electric dispenser is not always an option for parents on the move. For travel or just afternoons out, an on-the-go capsule opener that comes with your BabyNes system lets you empty the powder directly into a bottle of water without spilling a grain.
Our dads: Easy but expensive infant formula
So, if you are going the infant formula route, is the BabyNes Advanced Nutrition System by Gerber right for you?
Our test dads were generally impressed during their one-month trial period of the product. All lauded the system’s ease of use but also expressed concern about the formula’s cost. Here’s their feedback:
John Duncan, 35, a real estate professional who used the system with his 1-year-old son.
- “Really easy, the formula doesn’t clump like it can do if you use powder from a carton. My son had no problem downing these one after the other.”
- “Machine (to my knowledge) can only do one size of bottle. It’d be cool if they could do a half pour (without wasting the pod) or a shallower pod.”
- “The pods are pretty expensive. I haven’t calculated the comparison to tubs of formula, but for a box of 24 pods, it’s just shy of $60. That seems pricey when a gallon of organic whole milk is $6.”
- “The machine tends to drip after it’s finished. Kind of annoying to have to clean up every time.”
- “All in all, I’d buy this again. Just for the ease. It saves on time and it takes the task away from you when you’re trying to get out the door.”
Donnie Myers, 45, used the BabyNes machine and infant formula with his 7-month-old daughter:
- “I love this machine. It has made my life so much easier. No burning your hand testing the temperature of milk. No having to run bottle under the faucet to cool.”
- “The clean-up is super easy.”
- “I love the app that tells me when baby has had a bottle prepped.”
- “Wish … was more affordable. It’s a bit expensive for what I’d like to pay.”
- “Overall, a life changer.“
Oswaldo Luciano, 35, a registered nurse, and Jon Damon, 50, an attorney, used the system with their 5-month-old son a nighttime supplement to breast milk. The comments from Oswaldo:
- “BabyNes is so easy to use and practical. … Nothing better than not having to warm up milk in the middle of the night. As soon as our son wakes up for his night feeding we go to the kitchen, press the button, and in less than 1.5 minutes we have warm milk.”
- “We wholeheartedly believe that because of the different stages it has been much easier for our son to transition from breast milk to formula. When it comes to the formula we are very happy.”
- “The machine is larger than what we expected.”
- “The website and all communication are completely geared to moms/women. I would think that this would be a great product to make dads more present in childcare. We happen to be a same-sex male couple with an amazing son. It is disappointing that there is no mention of ‘parents,’ ‘dads,’ etc.
- “Pods are super expensive.“
BabyNes offered these responses to our testers’ feedback:
Price point: The retail cost of BabyNes formula is comparable to a parent buying ready-to-serve formula. However, using BabyNes formula with the BabyNes machine adds greater convenience by prepping the formula to the exact temperature of your choosing every time and in less than a minute. And, unlike less expensive powdered brands, BabyNes formula is the only one on the market with so many stages of formula to meet the evolving needs of your maturing baby.
Portion size: Although each pod is designed to a produce a specific amount of ounces to create a single serving full of nutrients for your baby, you can refrigerate, reheat and reuse unused BabyNes formula the same as you would with any other formula/milk product over a certain amount of time. BabyNes also offers a toll-free 24/7 hotline for parents to call and ask a registered dietician nutrition questions — including whether they should reuse formula after a certain time.
Mom-centric advertising: One of the reasons BabyNes sought the input of NYC Dads Group is to find out how we can better address the fact that dads are equally as capable and important as moms in a baby’s growth and development. With this feedback, we hope to better show that infant care-giving knows no gender.
Are our dads still using BabyNes?
Here’s the real test — now that the one-month trial period is over, are our dads still using their BabyNes machine and formula?
- Oswaldo and Jon: Yes. They use the BabyNes machine and formula to supplement their son’s nutrition while they transition to solids.
- John: No, but only because his child has graduated to regular milk and solids.
- Donnie: No. He switched to a popular powdered infant formula instead over concerns about cost and the inability to find the pods in many stores in case he ran short on-the-go or between online orders.