First, a little bit about the company!
Kiinde has been around for a couple years now (their first Drool Baby Expo experience was my first Drool experience, back in 2013). The founders are MIT-trained engineers who describe themselves as “nerds with a healthy dose of tender loving care.” Talking to these guys, you know they’re really passionate about their products.
But what ARE their products?
We first started selling their bottle warmer, the Kozii. It’s one of the very few breast milk/bottle warmers we carry. What makes them special? They don’t use steam or boiling water, both of which can kill important nutrients in breast milk (same with a microwave! say no to microwaves!). You fill the Kozii with water and essentially create a “warm bath” for the bottle or breast milk. Maintenance is easy: just clean the water out every 2-3 days and de-scale (with vinegar) every 2 months. This is a super-neat-nothing-else-like-it kind of bottle warmer.
But what are those “Twist Pouches”?
You know those Pump and Save bags from Medela? You hook them up to your pump, you pump directly into them, you store them either in the fridge or freezer (by the way, did you know you could store breast milk up to one year in a deep freeze?), you warm them, and then you pour them into a bottle. Or you put them in the bottle and then warm them. Depends on where you stored the milk or what you’re using for a warmer. Well, Kiinde wanted to create something a little more streamlined.
You hook Kiinde bags up to your pump (it works with multiple pumps, but we work almost exclusively with Medela, so I’m going to keep talking about them), you pump directly into them, you store the bags in the fridge or freezer using their nifty organizer which stores them flat, you pop them into your Kozii to warm the milk, and then you put the whole bag in their bottle system (the Squeeze), and you use their nipple. EVERYTHING YOU NEED COMES IN THIS ONE BOX! This eliminates transferring your breast milk, meaning you never have to worry about accidentally spilling any in the process. Breast milk becomes liquid gold for those who are lucky enough to produce it*, and having a product that reduces any kind of waste is spectacular.
Drinking directly from the bag also has its benefits. When we bottle-fed my niece and nephew, my sister exclusively used bottles with liners so we could push all the extra air out before feeding them. This is what Kiinde recommends with their system. Her kids, luckily, were not colicky, and we rarely had any feeding issues. I really liked this method and I feel like I might still prefer it.
This also cuts down on what you have to clean! The Twist Pouches are disposable, which means you get a one-time use out of them (this is either a good or bad thing, depending on what you want – I’ve also been told they are recyclable). So the only thing you have to really clean is the nipple (a quick clean over the bottle’s body should also be happening). This also means you could have just a couple of the bottles + more nipples and you’ll be set (the starter set comes with two bottles and two nipples). This is cool if you’re traveling – you don’t need to pack 12 bottles, just one or two shells and a bunch of nipples.
Their nipples are worth mentioning too. I learned a lot at my first Drool (I was paired with them and Nested Bean – hello Zen Swaddle!), and one of the phrases I learned that night, I still use to this day: lazy latch. It’s when you switch back and forth from breast to bottle and the baby prefers the bottle because they essentially don’t have to work for the milk like they do when breast feeding. This can be really heartbreaking for those who need to go back to work but still want that special time with their little one, who will now only drink from a bottle.
Latching can the hardest part for those trying to breastfeed. Kiinde’s nipples are called “Active Latch” for a reason – they mimic a breast in how they function. The baby will only get the milk with suction and massaging of the nipple, much like breast feeding. So those who are lucky enough to make breast feeding, but can’t be there to breast feed their baby at all hours of the day/night, rejoice! You can go between these bottles and breast feeding without worrying about nipple confusion, or your baby choosing one method over the other.
So in summary: pump breast milk directly into storage and then feed directly from the storage. No pouring or transferring of any kind. LIQUID GOOOOOOOOOOOLD. Baby won’t develop “lazy latch” from their nipples so you can still breast feed, if desired. The storage organizer makes storing the milk easier, and the warming system eliminates your worry of scalding the milk, therefore killing any nutrients. Everything you need to start with comes in one box. And of course, everything is BPA-free, phthalates-free, and PVC-free.
This product has been flying under the radar for some time, although their warmer alone did pretty well. This product is AWESOME and should be talked up to anyone planning on breastfeeding, but still needs a bottle option (so like everyone who can breast feed). We recently had a customer in who loves the whole system (it was actually the dad who was in – and it’s Julia’s friend with the cutest baby ever – we should all take a moment to bug Julia about how cute this baby is) who renewed my interest it in. I wanted to pass that interest down to you guys! We should have this on as many registries as possible!
* I think it is important to know that not everyone can breast feed or is willing to. It’s a very personal topic, and I usually approach it by asking if that’s part of their plan. Many moms plan to and encounter all kinds of unexpected barriers, and it can be so frustrating and cause so much stress for both moms and babies that moms may decide that it’s no longer worth the effort. There should be no shame or stigma behind not being able to or not wanting to breast feed.