You’re on top of your breast pumping game. You have part of the fridge and a freezer full of milk. You are rich with liquid goal for your baby, hooray! As your freezer gets fuller, you may be starting to wonder where it all will go. Before you take up more space in your home with a new deep freezer or feel like you’re losing your mind due to disorganization, try these genius storage tricks for your breast milk.
General storage tips.
- You can store milk in bottles or storage bags. Storage bags are ideal for space saving. Some can be directly attached to your breast shields on your pump and self-stand for easy filling and storing.
- Once expressed milk is in the container you plan to store it in, always label it so you can keep track of where it needs to go (see options below).
- Use your breast shield as a funnel when transferring in milk to decrease risk of spillage.
Organization for the fridge.
- If milk is in the fridge and you plan to use it within the 4 day limit, you can opt for convenience and keep it in a bottle if you have the space.
- Keep your breast milk organized in one area of the fridge. Try using a designated tub or box always keeping what will be used next at the front for convenience. First in, first out.
- Use a labeling system to keep track of when bottles were put in the fridge. This can be as simple as post it notes or can become fancy with charms labels with days of the week (or dates) on them.
Organization for the freezer.
- When trying to freeze large amounts of milk, space saving techniques are key to maximize your storage capacity. This means using storage bags and freezing them lying flat (at least until frozen) so that they aren’t bulky and can be easily stacked. Sandwiching the freezer bags between two cookie sheets can help freeze them even thinner saving more space!
- Try using boxes made into “dispensers” by cutting a storage bag sized hole in the bottom. Google DIY breast milk dispensers and prepare to be amazed! You can easily recycle things like gift bags and shipping boxes for this purpose (boxes may be easier to stack for optimal space saving).
- Keep track of how old your milk is in batches so it’s easier to organize and find via color-coding or labeling. This is where using gift bags can be fun!
- **Writer’s Favorite** To minimize time rummaging through the back of the freezer, try a left to right system. Always put the newest milk on the left and then shifting your storage containers to the right as you add. So simple it’s genius!
Storage while traveling or at work.
- Use a cooler with ice to keep milk fresh for up to 24 hours.
- When flying, ask for ice at a coffee shop at the terminal or while on the plane. For more travel tips check here.
- At work, keep ice packs in the company freezer (don’t forget those labels to avoid confusion!) to use for the commute home.
- For more guidelines on how long milk can be stored at different temperature check out this great resource here. For other general tips on milk storage look here.
Making your fridge or freezer pretty and organized can give you peace of mind. Then you can focus on all the fun parts of raising your baby!