Heating breastmilk is a modern parent’s reality. Whether you’re heating at your home, on the go, heating from frozen or refrigeration, there are some guidelines that every parent should follow to ensure their baby is getting the best breastmilk possible.
5 Breastmilk Heating Guidelines
1. Follow the 4, 4, 6 Rule
According to the CDC, breastmilk is good at room temperature (77°F or colder) for 4 hours, in the refrigerator for up to 4 days, and in the freezer for 6-12 months.
There are a few other tips we have for storing breastmilk in the fridge and freezer. First is to label, label, label! Label the date the breastmilk was expressed when storing it in the freezer so you’re pulling out the oldest bag first. Also, only store breastmilk in feedable amounts so as not to waste this liquid gold. Store in 2, 4, or 8oz servings so you can always defrost the perfect amount for your baby.
2. Plan Ahead (and a Tip for Spontaneity)
Do you know that most bottle warmers, and every portable bottle warmer (with the exception of the Keddle) require some prep work to heat breastmilk? For any other warmer, parents are forced to plan ahead in thawing their breast milk bags, because these warmers cannot heat from frozen.
The BisbeeBaby Keddle, our portable bottle warmer, is the only option for parents that requires no pre-planning because it uses MilkCycle technology to warm faster and more accurately than any other bottle warmer. A big bonus is that you can defrost and heat from frozen directly in the breastmilk bag when using the Keddle! A big benefit of keeping breast milk frozen on the go is that you can travel longer, and use the Keddle when it’s time for feeding!
3. Know The Safest + Your Baby’s Preferred Temperature
Most bottle warmers warm milk to a standard 98°F to mimic a baby’s body temperature. This is a great, and safe, starting point. But, you should never warm breast milk above 104°F because you can harm your baby and damage the nutrients in breast milk. This is why our Keddle only warms to 103°F and has 5 temperature sensors (most bottle warmers just have 1) so you are getting the most accurate and safest temperature.
You may not know, but the warmth of your baby’s milk and food is mostly a personal preference (similar to hot coffee vs. cold coffee for adults!) Some babies may be ok with room-temperature breast milk, but cold breast milk may be a no-go. In fact, some parents only buy the Keddle to defrost on the go or bring refrigerated temperature breast milk to room temperature.
4. Pay Attention to Cleaning Protocols
You’ll want to clean your bottle warmer frequently. But, if you just warm water before mixing with formula, or warm a breast milk bag in water, there’s no cleaning required. If you warm the breast milk directly in the Keddle, rinse with warm water and soap after each direct breast milk use.
5. Never Microwave Breast Milk
Never use a microwave or boiling water when you defrost or reheat breast milk. This increases the risk of hot spots or overheating of the breast milk which can not only kill important nutrients but could burn your baby.
Our Keddle is the answer to a lot of breast milk heating and defrosting questions and issues. With our technology, multiple sensors, and capabilities, you know you’re giving your child the best and safest breast milk possible.