Fertility

Travel Formula Dispenser: Everything You Need To Know & Which One To Choose

Updated on 9 minute read

Overview 

What’s a travel formula dispenser? This formula-feeding essential is usually a small, handy plastic container that you can use to store, dispense, and easily transport formula.

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Most of these dispensers are designed with separate compartments or sections. You can put scoops of formula into one section or compartment that’s enough for one bottle.

 

Why Do You Need A Formula Dispenser?

They’re not required for formula-feeding, but they can be quite handy, especially if you need to travel or leave your child for a few hours in daycare.

They can also be useful for preparing infant formula bottles in the middle of the night.

So, how can you choose the best formula dispensers, and how long can formula powder stay in these handy containers? Do you need to sterilize a formula dispenser? How do you use a baby formula dispenser

You can find answers to these FAQs below, plus some recommendations for bottle warmers and formula mixers.

 

Which Formula Dispenser Is Best? 

These may be some of the best formula dispensers that you can choose for your little one:

 

Other useful travel tools you might need: 

  • Dr. Brown’s Formula Mixing Pitcher (manual mixer)
  • Baby Brezza Formula Mixer (automatic mixer, needs to be plugged into an outlet)

 

Main Similarities & Differences 

Similarities

Pros

Most of these baby milk powder formula dispensers have the following features:

  • BPA-free; BPA (bisphenol-A) is a toxic chemical used in plastic manufacturing (1)
  • Three compartments
  • Each section can store enough scoops of formula for an 8-ounce or 9-ounce bottle.
  • Non-removable plastic dividers
  • Snap-on caps
  • May be used as baby food or snack container
  • Can be ideal for use while traveling or for night-time feedings
  • Dishwasher safe (top rack)

 

Cons

  • Can’t be put in a sterilizer

 

Differences

Philips Avent Powder Formula Dispenser & Snack Cup

  • $8.99
  • May be put in a sterilizer or microwave
  • Removable dividers to convert it into a handy food storage container. 

 

Dr. Brown’s Formula Dispenser

  • $4.99
  • Sterilizer safe

 

Tommee Tippee Formula Dispensers

  • 6-pack: $7.29
  • Also phthalate-free; phthalates are toxic chemicals that can cause damage to your baby’s liver, lungs, kidneys, and reproductive system (2)
  • Space-saving design that fits inside a 9-ounce baby bottle

 

Skip Hop Easy-Fill Baby Formula Dispenser

  • $8.00
  • Also phthalate-free (2)
  • Funnel shape compartments

 

Oxo Tot No-Spill Formula Dispenser

  • $5.99
  • Also phthalate-free (2)
  • PVC-free; PVC (polyvinyl chloride) contains toxic chemical additives, including phthalates, cadmium, and lead (3)

 

Joovy Boob Formula Dispenser

  • $9.99
  • Made of Tritan plastic, an impact-resistant material that can make a product more durable than ordinary plastic (4)

 

The Baby’s Brew Portable Bottle Warmer Pro & Formula Dispenser Set

  • $85
  • Set with a bottle warmer and a detachable, push-button formula dispenser

 

Munchkin Formula Dispenser Combo Pack

  • $3.50
  • Two dispensers (3-compartment and single-serve containers)

 

Learn more about each travel formula dispenser below.

 

Philips Avent Powder Formula Dispenser & Snack Cup

Price

  • $8.99

 

Best Features & Safety

  • BPA-free (1)
  • Three compartments
  • Each compartment can store enough scoops of formula for a 9-ounce bottle.
  • The plastic divider can keep the formula separate and ready to mix.
  • Flip-top, easy-pour spout with a rotating cap that may ensure accuracy and prevent mess when pouring
  • When your child is ready for solids, this dispenser can convert into a handy food storage container by removing the divider.
  • Sterilizer, microwave, and dishwasher safe (top rack)
  • Dimensions: 2 x 3 x 5 inches

 

Product Recall

  • None

 

Cons

  • Some users complain that this product is difficult to use, and the formula can spill over to other compartments.

 

What Customers Say

Positive Reviews 

I bought this for traveling with my baby. Works great powder stays in correct chamber. Easy to clean. Better looking than the other comparable products.” – Reviewer on Walmart.

Negative Reviews 

Hate it, try pouring from one section and then formula spills over from the other sections messing up the amount of formula ending up in the bottle.” – Reviewer on Amazon.

 

Dr. Brown’s Formula Dispenser

Price

  • $4.99

 

Best Features & Safety

  • BPA-free (1)
  • Three separate compartments 
  • Each section can hold enough formula to make a 9-oz bottle
  • Easy-pour spout can fit narrow and wide bottles
  • Secure-snap lid can keep formula secured in the dispenser
  • Can also convert into a snack container
  • Dishwasher (top rack) and sterilizer safe
  • Dimensions: 4.30 x 4.30 x 5.80 inches

 

Product Recall

  • None

 

Cons

  • Some customers complain about the difficulty in switching chambers.

 

What Customers Say

Positive Reviews 

Okay, must buy! Whether you are on the go or have a middle of the night feeder like I do, this formula dispenser is a must have!” – Reviewer on Dr. Brown’s website.

Negative Reviews 

My biggest complaint is how difficult it is to rotate the top of the dispenser to switch between chambers. The lid was also difficult for me to remove and in order to switch chambers, I had to remove and replace the lid.” – Reviewer on Dr. Brown’s website.

 

Tommee Tippee Formula Dispensers

Price

  • 6-pack: $7.29

 

Best Features & Safety

  • BPA-free (1)
  • Phthalate-free (2)
  • Individual containers
  • Each one can hold up to eight scoops of formula
  • Space-saving design that fits inside a 9-ounce baby bottle
  • Dimensions (inches): ‎6.5 * 4.5 * 2.5

 

Product Recall

  • None

 

Cons

  • Some customers complain about the dispensers being too small to fit enough formula for a 9-oz bottle.

 

What Customers Say

Positive Reviews 

Great item for transporting formula. I use these for daycare so all they have to do is pour it in the bottle because it has the right amount placed in the cup.” – Reviewer on Amazon.

Negative Reviews 

Does not hold 8 scoops.” – Reviewer on Amazon.

 

Skip Hop Easy-Fill Baby Formula Dispenser

Price

  • $8.00

 

Best Features & Safety

  • BPA-free and phthalate-free (1)(2)
  • Three separate compartments
  • Each section can hold enough scoops of powdered formula (to prepare a 9-oz. bottle)
  • The mess-free design includes secure caps, while the funnel shape makes it easy to dispense formula right into your bottle.
  • Stay-put caps with a secure snap-on lid
  • Compact, easy-to-pack shape
  • Dishwasher safe
  • Dimensions: 4 x 2.6 x 5.6 inches

 

Product Recall

  • None

 

Cons

  • Some parents complain that the compartments are too small to store enough scoops for a 9-oz bottle.

 

What Customers Say

Positive Reviews 

The easy fill formula dispenser works great! Works great for the diaper bag. My favorite use is to use it during the night feedings. It’s already measured out! Nice product. I would recommend buying it.” – Reviewer on Amazon.

Negative Reviews 

This thing opens up way too easily. Spilled out all over in my new diaper bag not only making a huge mess, but leaving me (thankfully!) with only one serving of formula. Also difficult to pour. Would not recommend.” – Reviewer on Bed, Bath & Beyond.

 

Oxo Tot No-Spill Formula Dispenser

Price

  • $5.99

 

Best Features & Safety

  • BPA-free and phthalate-free (1)(2)
  • PVC-free (3)
  • Three compartments
  • Each section can hold enough scoops of powdered formula (9 oz. bottle)
  • Dishwasher safe
  • Dimensions: 5.5 x 5.5 x 3.3

 

Product Recall

  • None

 

Cons

  • Some parents complain that the formula from other compartments can spill to other sections.

 

What Customers Say

Positive Reviews 

Great for travel and everyday use. This is a lot better than another brand that I have used. The turning lid clicks into place to ensure the spout is in one section so you’re not pouring out from 2 different sections.” – Reviewer on Amazon.

Negative Reviews 

I had measured out two scoops of formula for each of the three compartments. When I pulled it out of the backpack, all the levels were unequal! The formula had somehow shifted around inside and I had to use a plastic spoon at a restaurant to try and level them all out, eyeballing what I thought would be about equal.” – Reviewer on Amazon.

 

Joovy Boob Formula Dispenser

Price

  • $9.99

 

Best Features & Safety

  • BPA free (1)
  • Tritan plastic
  • Three separate compartments
  • Each section can store formula good for an 8-oz bottle
  • Pour spout for mess-free bottle making
  • Easy to clean and dishwasher safe
  • Dimensions: 3 x 3 x 5 inches

 

Product Recall

  • None

 

Cons

  • Though BPA-free, products made of Tritan plastic may have chemicals with estrogenic activity. It can affect your baby’s reproductive system, especially after exposure to UV radiation or heat. (4)
  • If you choose this travel dispenser, try to avoid exposure to heat or sunlight.

 

What Customers Say

Positive Reviews 

The material is strong and durable. I’ve dropped it before and it shows no signs of cracking. I like the shape because unlike some other flat/wide dispensers it fits well inside of a double bottle bag with a bottle.” – Reviewer on Joovy’s website.

Negative Reviews 

I boiled everything to sanitize and after a short boil the lid does not stay on the container at all. It takes little to no effort to pull the entire lid off. You can’t open the flip top as if to pour the contents because the entire lid falls off. I was really excited about this item, I liked the design and volume size and disappointed I bought it and can’t even use it. Bummed.” – Reviewer on Joovy’s website.

 

The Baby’s Brew Portable Bottle Warmer Pro & Formula Dispenser Set

Price

  • $85

 

Best Features & Safety

  • Stainless steel
  • It’s a set with a bottle warmer, a detachable formula dispenser, and a charging cord.
  • Push-button formula dispenser (one push dispenses one scoop of formula)
  • Leak-proof design
  • Cordless, battery-powered bottle warmer 
  • Four lithium-ion batteries (with 8-12 hour battery life)
  • Slow-heat technology with adjustable temperature function
  • May keep water warm for 8-12 hours
  • Designed to fit most wide-neck bottle brands
  • Dishwasher safe
  • Dimensions: 7.44 x ‎8.94 x 3.5 inches

 

Product Recall

  •  None

 

Cons

  • Requires 3A power adapter (doesn’t come with purchase) 
  • Requires bottle adapters (for non-compatible bottles)
  • More expensive than other formula dispensers (because of the bottle warmer)

 

What Customers Say

Positive Reviews 

We absolutely love this product! As a new mom I was struggling with wanting to go places but not looking forward to the hassle of finding warm water to heat up a bottle.” – Reviewer on Amazon.

Negative Reviews 

PLEASE SAVE YOUR MONEY! I was excited about this product until I got it. It is complete trash! It barely gets your baby bottle warm. And most importantly IT WON’T HOLD A CHARGE!!!! I keep this thing on the charger all night, and wake up and it’s still only at 20 or 40%.” – Reviewer on Amazon.

 

Munchkin Formula Dispenser Combo Pack

Price

  • 2-pack (3-compartment and single-serve dispensers): $3.50

 

Best Features & Safety

  • BPA-free (1)
  • One dispenser has three separate compartments, with each chamber holding enough powder for an 8-ounce bottle.
  • The other is a single-serve dispenser; also for an 8-ounce bottle
  • Snapping lid that can keep formula secure from leaks
  • Top-rack dishwasher safe
  • Dimensions (inches): 5.5 * 5.5 * 3.25 

 

Product Recall

  • None

 

Cons

  • Some customers complained about the product melting in the dishwasher despite being marketed as dishwasher safe.
  • Formula might also spill to other sections

 

What Customers Say

Positive Reviews 

This is great for traveling this is perfect instead of bringing the whole baby formula container just fill up the 3 compartments each fit just the right amount for a full serving.” – Reviewer on Amazon.

Negative Reviews 

I opened it, cleaned it, put it in the sanitizer and out to dry without any second thoughts. I went to fill it up this morning and couldn’t close the lid. Unfortunately it had melted in the sanitizer. While I now see that it is top shelf only, I am left scratching my head. I am by no means a germophobe but why wouldn’t this work in a sanitizer? We sanitize the bottles, why wouldn’t we sanitize the vehicle in which the formula would be transported.” – Reviewer on Amazon.

 

Summary & Recommendation 

All these travel formula dispensers can be a handy product you can use for transporting or storing pre-measured infant formula. Here are our recommendations to help you choose which one to “add to cart” and “checkout”:

 

Choose Philips Avent Powder Formula Dispenser & Snack Cup ($8.99) if:

  • You prefer a product a sterilizer or microwave-safe product
  • You want one with removable dividers to convert into a handy food storage container 

 

Choose Dr. Brown’s Formula Dispenser ($4.99) if:

  • You’re looking for a sterilizer-safe dispenser

 

Choose Tommee Tippee Formula Dispensers (6-pack: $7.29) if: 

  • You prefer one that’s also phthalate-free (2)
  • You want a space-saving design that can fit inside a 9-ounce baby bottle

 

Choose Skip Hop Easy-Fill Baby Formula Dispenser ($8.00) if:

  • You want one that’s also phthalate-free (2)
  • You like its funnel shape compartments

 

Choose Oxo Tot No-Spill Formula Dispenser ($5.99) if:

  • You’re looking for one that’s also phthalate-free and PVC-free (2)(3)

 

Choose Joovy Boob Formula Dispenser ($9.99) if:

  • You’re looking for one made of durable Tritan plastic (4)

 

Choose The Baby’s Brew Portable Bottle Warmer Pro & Formula Dispenser Set ($85) if:

  • You prefer a set that has a bottle warmer and formula dispenser

 

Choose Munchkin Formula Dispenser Combo Pack ($3.50) if:

  • You prefer having different dispenser styles (3-compartment and single-serve containers)

 

Factors To Consider In Choosing A Travel Formula Dispenser

  • Safety (free from BPA, PVC, and phthalates) (1)(2)(3)
  • Versatility
  • Number of compartments
  • Ease of use
  • Airtight with less migration (formula spilling to other sections/compartments)
  • Ease of cleaning

FAQs

How Do You Travel With Formula? 

In packing your baby’s travel essentials, create a checklist of what your baby might need. Examples are these baby products you can put in the diaper bag:

  • Diapers
  • Pacifiers
  • Burp cloths
  • Baby wipes
  • Lots of clothes
  • Enough formula to last your entire trip (if you’re bottle-feeding your baby)
  • Formula container (if the trip lasts several days)
  • Travel formula dispenser (with pre-measured powder formulas)
  • Pre-sterilized baby bottles

 

You may also consider bringing bottle liners, especially if it will be difficult for you to use a sterilizer during a long trip.

How Long Can Formula Powder Stay In Travel Container? 

Infant formula in an unopened can may last up to the “best before” date stamped on the packaging. But opened formula usually expires within a month from opening.

If transferred to a different container, such as a travel dispenser, there isn’t any guarantee that the container is free from pathogens or that the formula can last up to one month. If possible, use the formula in the travel container within 24 hours or less.

 

Do You Need To Sterilize Formula Dispenser? 

Check the label. Many formula dispensers are dishwasher safe (top rack) but can’t be placed inside a sterilizer. 

Still, always make sure that the container is clean and dry before using.

 

How Do You Use A Baby Formula Dispenser? 

Different brands might have varied designs, but most work similarly:

  • Clean the dispenser, including the lids and caps.
  • Make sure it’s dry.
  • Put enough scoops of formula in each compartment to prepare your baby’s bottle. Check the formula label/packaging. Many formulas require two scoops per ounce of water, but others might have different amounts.
  • Close the lid and caps tightly.
  • Pack in your diaper bag or put it on the nightstand.
  • Once ready to use, open the lid and pour the contents into a baby bottle with the correct amount of water.

 

Can I Take Powdered Formula On A Plane?

Yes. Those traveling with young children can bring formula or expressed breast milk on a plane. 

You may even bring a portable breast pump for pumping on board, but check the airline’s policy. Some airlines might not allow it.

 

 

 

REFERENCES

(1) https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/expert-answers/bpa/faq-20058331

(2) https://noharm-uscanada.org/issues/us-canada/phthalates-and-dehp

(3) https://www.state.nj.us/humanservices/opmrdd/health/pvc.html

(4) https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24886603/

 

 

 

 

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