You ‘re a mother with a precious baby now, you’ve been feeding your baby and you’ve even perfected your breast pump. To make sure you don’t waste all your hard work, you’ll want a storage solution that keeps your baby’s milk healthy and fresh when they need it. Let’s look at how to find the Best Breast Milk Storage Bags to store your liquid gold for breast milk storage.
Why Should I Buy Special Breast Milk Bags?
If you’re like I was when I was a new mom, you might wonder why you can’t just use a ziplock bag in any grocery store you ‘d find. After all, it would be more convenient, and shouldn’t they be ok for breast milk if you can store adult food in it?
For this purpose, you should pass on the plastic baggies and opt for the storage bags for breast milk:
- Since ziplock bags have not been equipped to store breast milk, there are quite high chances of spills, leaks or contamination.
- They are BPA – free, thicker and can be used for freezing, thawing and warming the milk.
- Breast milk storage bags are heavy duty and sterile which ensures that your baby is less likely to get sick from any stray germs.
- Pouring milk out of a breast milk storage bag is much simpler than being a ziplock container – many of them have spouts for that purpose alone.
Also, breast milk storage bags are not the same as bottle bags which are often used for feeding. These bags are much more flimsy and are not recommended for milk storage-they are only to be used for feeding purposes.
Features Of The Best Breast Milk Storage Bags
If you put it in the fridge or freezer and it gets a hole inside it, you’ll get upset. And by being upset I mean crying bad.
When your baby is an infant, you ‘re going to want to go with a small bag-one that carries up to four ounces only.
Choose healthy BPA-free plastic and look for recyclable bags if that is important to you.
Ideal features are sturdy seals and bags that stand upright.
One common feature is the ability to pump directly into the bags which makes the entire process much easier. This is typically only helped when the same storage bag and breast pump brand is used, however. If you use a mix-match, check to see if they have their own adapters, or try to find one like this Universal Spectra Pump Adapter on Amazon.
Best Breast Milk Storage Bags Reviews Of 2020
Below are our best milk storage bags in 2020:
These are some of the larger bags also on market, and have a patented double zipper seal, meaning your breast milk shouldn’t end up all over the refrigerator shelf and any unsuspecting veggies. It saves you from having to clean your refrigerator and pump additional milk to make up for the loss. To help get breast milk into bottles without spilling a drop, lansinoh bags have a pourable spout.
These bags are designed to be laid flat in the refrigerator or freezer to save room while multiple bags are being stored. If you have a Lansinoh pump, you can either connect it directly to the bags, or if you use a different brand, you can buy one of the adapters. BPA and BPS also are free.
- When the double zipper is closed it is easy to tell.
- If your baby is a little older and needs a bigger amount of breast milk, you might like these bigger sizes of bags – they hold 6 ounces.
- Moms concerned about the environment should be delighted to learn that these bags are recyclable.
- These do not have a scent or a taste of plastic.
- These bags can be recycled in a recyclable plastic bag at local stores!
- You have to pull the top off and open a perforated edge that some women find takes longer than opening most storage bags to open these bags to use.
- Moms may not like it because they are made of a thinner plastic than other bags they are difficult to stand upright when pouring in milk.
If you’re the kind of mom who values convenience first and foremost, these nifty bags could be for you. These pouches come halfway between a bag and a bottle, with a twist cap attached to most breast pumps and a bottle converter of the brand’s own. They ‘re BPA, PVC and free from phthalates.
That means you can pump it directly into the bag, store it, then attach the bag to an adapter and feed your baby with a range of nipples. No pouring, decanting or weighing out-from “boob to baby” all stays in one bag!
Although quite convenient, an additional benefit of this system is that you are reducing the chances that bacteria get into the milk and cause trouble. And you’ll cut back on cleaning bottles, which is always a win.
- These bags are recyclable. Fits narrow parts of the bottle pump, as Medela does.
- The cap tightly seals so you don’t have to fiddle with zipper seals and risk leakage and spilling.
- Convenient: pick, store and feed them all with the same pouch.
- The bags aren’t completely flat and can’t be stored as easily as those with a more simple design.
- Available only 1 size.
- Some may find the full range with all the accessories too pricey.
Busy moms who breastfeed understand how difficult breast milk can be for them to transport. These special milk storage bags are great for transportation, whether you are on a daily routine or on a fun trip with your kids.
Made of a sturdy double-layer material with a double zipper closure, these bags are not going to leak and can be handled in a diaper bag or purse. They stand up alone, or can lie flat, depending on how you want to carry them.
One reason we love this travel set is the included resealable transport pouch which allows you to carry all of your unused bags and keep them clean and organized. Moms can’t just take breast milk with them but they can pump on the go and know they have a clean bag that isn’t going to leak.
Each bag can carry up to six ounces of breastmilk, and each package has 100 bags and is free of BPA.
- Double layer material and double zipper seal provide leak – proof protection during transportation.
- Bags are allowed to stand or lay flat.
- Includes resealable transport pouch.
- Comes directly into the bag with adapter to pump.
- You can’t feed your baby directly from these bags so for on – the-go feedings you will need to have other bottles with you.
- On the smallest side.
- Normally plastic not recyclable.
Consider To Read:
- 10 BEST BREAST PUMPS FOR TWINS
- The 6 Best Breast Pump Bags of 2020 – The Best Guide For Choosing Your Perfect Fit
- Best Manual Breast Pump Reviews Of 2020
Not only are these bags free from BPA-they are free from latex and phthalate. Thanks to their gusseted bottom design, Mommy’s Precious Bags stand up by themselves and you don’t have a struggle to fill them up.
They use a double zipper lock to close and it is easy to freeze them. They are tall, and can hold up to eight ounces of milk. When full, they are freezing flat to save space on the storage.
These bags also say that their measuring lines are 95 per cent accurate, which should be of great help to women who track each ounce their child eats.
- The precise measurements should help moms to assess how much milk they should pour into each bag.
- On the bags the protective seal prevents bacteria from entering.
- The bags are recyclable.
- Moms may find those bags difficult to open due to the bag’s perforation.
- Although the plastic is thick, it may feel a little bit brittle, especially in the freezer.
These bags also use a double zipper seal and are 100 per cent leak-proof. NUK bags have a top seal which prevents exploitation and a gusset-free bottom which should mean no leakage from the corners of the bags.
The bags are self – sufficient but they can also be stacked to save room in the freezer. The bags contain 6 ounces of milk, and simply run warm water over the bags to thaw the milk when frozen. Due to the oxygen barrier seal and waterproof design, after thawing and pouring into a bottle, all you will get is pure milk-not a watered-down mixture.
- It may be easier for moms to get the air out of these bags because they’re not as thick as some other bags.
- The area of writing used for marking is on the tab, not on the bag as are some other labels.
- Because those bags are thinner, moms may find it more difficult to get them to stand upright without a struggle.
- Moms may not like the strong plastic smell these bags have at times.
- Not for recycle.
These bags were made in a multi-ply design to help avoid cracks and splits. Ameda Store ‘ n Pour bags have easy to close, resealable zippers.
Even, they have a pour spout to that spills. The sacks are free of BPA and safe for the freezer. You can pump these bags directly but you’ll need an adapter.
The thick plastic helps the bags stand alone, freeing you from the need for extra arms to transfer milk into the bags. Also, Ameda bags are smaller than many others and only holding 5 ounces.
- Moms like that, when they’re overfilled the bags don’t burst.
- The convenient pour spout lets you fill a bottle even while your baby is holding.
- If you use these bags in the freezer, you won’t be able to freeze the full 5 ounces as there isn’t much room left on the 5-ounce line in the bags. Some bags provide extra space to expand when the milk freezes, but they don’t.
- In these, the safest to freeze 2 – 3 oz. The bag’s shape-the top is smaller than the bottom-makes it hard for them to stack evenly.
Free from Latex and BPA, these bags are also made of a material free from phthalates. Bow-Tiger bags stand alone and have a double zipper seal which makes it less likely to leak.
These bags are made of thick, sturdy plastic and hold 6 ounces each, and come with a safety seal to ensure that the bags were not contaminated before use.
A large record panel on these bags has a place where you can write the name of your kid, the number of ounces in the bottle, the date and time you pumped the milk.
- When you pour milk into them, these bags don’t spill, because the plastic is so rigid.
- Moms can enjoy the amusing heart decorations on the bags.
- After the full mark, these bags have plenty of extra room, which could make moms feel more confident that the bags will not leak after the milk expands in the freezer.
- Some pens won’t work on the labeling area – you may need to use markers or labels on the stickers.
- Women may not appreciate using scissors to cut off those bags from the safety seal tops.
Other Notable Brands
Many brands not making the final cut, but we still think it’s worth checking out are:
- Philips Avent Breast Milk Storage Bags
- Dr. Brown’s Breast Milk Storage Bags
Can I Just Use Cheap Plastic Bags?
You wouldn’t go shopping and just choose a pair of shoes because they’ve been the cheapest in the store. And neither do you want to pick breast milk storage bags based solely on price – you want to look for quality, and you have to make sure that the ones you pick meet all your needs.
Despite being just containers, some have features that make them better than others. That is why you should consider choosing high – quality storage bags over low – cost, lower-marks.
They’re Not As Reliable
Clearly anyone who made up that old saying, “There’s no use weeping over spilled milk” had never pumped their breasts.
Although you may be tempted to use just plastic baggies or disposable bottle liners, this is not a great idea. Because they are not designed to hold breast milk, the CDC advise against this, meaning the risks of leakage or contamination are quite high.
They’re Not As Convenient
Superior bags have a design that makes it easy to pour a drop of milk into and out of these bags.
As a new mom, it can feel like you’ve been pumping half your life, only to end up with enough milk to fill a thimble with sewing. So, you want accounted for every last drop, no excuses.
They’re Not As Safe
The freezer can be a nasty place, unless you are a compulsive cleaner. Just to be on the safe side, you want to make sure that any breast milk you save is packed securely in a heavy duty bag to prevent any cross – contamination from that bag of fish sticks that you still have from 2003.
You also need a date for the breast milk to be recorded so you can toss any that expires. The dates also allow you to rotate your stock by putting the freshest ones in the back. Some bags have designated areas of writing that are in an easy location to spot.
How Do I Use Breast Milk Storage Bags?
You should wash your hands before starting to pump, just as you would if you were preparing dinner for your family.
After pumping is done, take the milk you have collected and put it in a storage bag that you will either store in the refrigerator or in the freezer. Just open your bag, pour in the milk and remove excess air before sealing.
You may be tempted to put as much milk into one bag as you could possibly get the most bang for your buck. But, don’t do that. Just put as much milk in one bag as your child’s supposed to drink in one feed. Otherwise you’ll just scrap the extra ounces.
If you put 8 ounces of breast milk in a bottle and started feeding your baby, but he’ll only drink 4 ounces at a time, then you’ve got two hours left on that bottle of milk before it should be tossed. When your baby starts feeding off that bottle, after 2 hours any excess breast milk must be thrown away.
If your baby needs more than you gave her in one bag, then you can simply add more milk from another bag to her bottle. You can then reseal that bag and put it in the fridge again until you need the rest. You have 24 hours to use the dethawed frozen milk that hasn’t been mixed with saliva, it saves milk in one sitting giving the baby fewer ounces, and giving more when needed.
Another reason you shouldn’t overfill bags is that remember the milk will expand if you plan to freeze them. You don’t want to throw away bags that burst open in the freezer because they’ve been overstuffed.
Breast Milk Storage Guidelines
- Store the milk in a refrigerator in specially designed glass bottles or plastic bags free of BPA.
- Babies under 2 weeks of age require from 2 to 3 ounces of milk per bag.
- Older babies need approximately 3.5 ounces per bag.
- You can keep the thawed milk in the fridge for another 24 hours.
- Never refreeze milk.
- Warmer milk has a shorter shelf life.
- After feeding discard any milk left over.
- Babies can only have milk chilled once they are a couple of months old.
- If neither is spoiled, mixing the milk from different “batches” is OK.
Deciding Which Bag Is Freshest
To ensure you know when it was pumped, you can mark the bag with a date and time. If your fridge is anything like mine, items are tossed around, pushed from shelf to shelf and crammed in the back, and if you don’t mark it, it’s easy to lose track of which one is the oldest bag.
It’s a simple step that takes the guesswork from storing milk.
You should also write the name of your child on the bag if you plan to bring milk bags to a daycare centre.
I spent a year working in daycare right after college, while I was looking for a job and it was incredible how many people would forget to put the name of their child on the bag. There were several bags of breast milk in the refrigerator at any given time in daycare, but there was no way to tell who they belonged to!
Just grab a marker and write the name of the baby on any bags that you take outside of the house and the problem is solved.
Storage Bottles Vs. Milk Storage Bags
You might wonder if you can just store your breast milk in a bottle rather than a bag. The answer is yes but consider some of the key bottle features before choosing them as a storage method:
- Bottles are long lasting, and less likely to spill.
- Bottles are sterilizable and reusable.
- These are less likely to be contaminated, as these can not be snagged or destroyed as easily as possible.
- Bottles take up Much more space than bags in the fridge, and can not be compressed.
- The bottles cost more.
- Milk processed in bottles can take more time to heat up.
It’s your choice, in the end. I suggest that you go for bottles if you know that you will primarily store milk in the refrigerator in the short term. If you produce a lot of milk, or want to keep it frozen for a longer period of time, bags are the best option.
Breastmilk Storage Bags FAQs
Here are some frequently asked questions about the storage bags for breast milk to support you in your breastfeeding quest:
Can I Reuse Breast Milk Storage Bags?
One of the most important things to know about the storage bags for breast milk is that they are not reusable. You use them one time, and then you throw them away. No questions. No questions asked.
Try not to rinse and reuse them, because they won’t be sterile any more. It’s not worth taking the chance to put your baby in danger just to save some dollars.
How Long Does Breast Milk Last In The Freezer?
You’ve just pumped a fresh batch of breast milk, but because your baby’s napping, you won’t need it for a while. What is it you should be doing with? Should you just put it in the fridge?
Here are the guidelines:
If your room is at 77 degrees Fahrenheit or cooler up to 6 hours, you can safely leave breast milk on the table, fully unrefrigerated. You can keep breast milk for 5 days when stored in the refrigerator, and breast milk can be stored up to 6 – 12 months in an upright deep freezer. If you store it in your refrigerator’s freezer section it will typically not last as long as 3 – 6 months.
How Do You Unfreeze Breast Milk?
You can thaw it in the refrigerator, which can take about 12 hours, or you can thaw it while it is still in the storage bag, running it under warm water. Never heat storage bags of breast milk in the microwave. You can’t refreeze this once the milk thaws.
How Long Is Breast Milk Good After Defrosting?
After breast milk has been defrosted, it can last up to 24 hours if stored in the refrigerator. First of all you can defrost the oldest milk – that way you can reduce wastage.
How Can I Tell If Breast Milk Is Bad?
Every mother is afraid to give her child some spoiled breast milk. You will minimize the chances of giving your baby bad milk by paying attention to the dates and strange smells.
Smell some milk which has been in the fridge for three days or more. It can possibly last longer in the fridge than that, but at that point it is wise to start checking it out. Often breast milk smells after freezing so you’ll need to figure out what’s normal for your milk.
How Many Bags Will I Need?
Every woman has a different supply of milk. Nursing takes some trial and mistake, but aim to store at least one week’s supply of feeds just in case. You can then pump the store over again as you go.
Start with around 30 bags, and change as you get a better idea of your pumping routine. For that same day, a few women pump each morning. Others will get excess milk once they get back to work and put it all directly into the freezer. Going back to work, you don’t have to fill a whole freezer, shoot for 30 oz or so.
Can You Warm Breast Milk In Storage Bags?
Babies are typically better served with room temperature otherwise body temperature milk. Before use, thaw frozen milk in fridge. Chilled milk can be warmed by putting warm water in a bowl (about 99 Fahrenheit) before stirring gently to blend.
Conversely a cooler bottle can do the trick. Whatever you do, keep breast milk out of the microwave and don’t boil it, or you risk destroying or scalding your baby’s nutrients.
Can I Use Ziploc Bags?
With all sincerity, no. I know the price is tempting, and a Ziploc bag could prove to be a good emergency solution in one pinch. But these bags are not safe, and are not nearly thick enough or sturdy enough to do the trick. trust me on this!
How Do I Label My Breast Milk Bags?
Some bags will be tricky to write on, depending on which plastic they are made from. Ditch ballpoint pens and use a permanent marker which is fine-tipped. Alternatively, try these fun labels or get some cheap sticky labels from the stationery shop or paper tape. If you feel creative, you can also identify bags by colour-coding them with pegs, decals or clips of paper.
What Are The Best Milk Storage Bags For Spectra Breast Pumps?
Try out these milk storage bags pre-sterilized by Spectra. They are double-walled, secure and calibrated to the freezer so you can measure the volume.
What Are The Best Milk Storage Bags For Medela Breast Pumps?
Try these bags for storage of Medela breast milk. They ‘re sturdy and are highly rated by other moms.
The Bottom Line
Lansinoh takes the prize as our top pick as the best bag for storing breast milk. Spills and leaks are only a fact of life, despite our best efforts as moms and protectors of our breast milk. Occasionally, they will happen with any brand out there. But with these containers, the pourable spout and double zipper seal is making leaks a rarity. Lansinoh bags are the best all-purpose storage bags – they work excellently in both the freezer and refrigerator and easily thaw out – and they have no such horrible plastic taste or smell. They hold somewhat more milk than some of their competitors, which is nice when the appetite for your baby grows.
What do you think about our reviews on breastmilk bags? If you have some valuable nursing wisdom, please comment below, or share this article with a mom who needs it!