Do You Need a Special Cooler For Breast Milk?
As a new parent, you may have noticed plenty of products to help you keep your baby’s milk cold while traveling, some of which are pretty pricey. But do you need to spend the money?
Keeping breast milk cool is essential whether on the go, at home, or at work. It’s easy to forget that breast milk can spoil if left out in warm temperatures for too long. And though some parents use ice packs or refrigerate their milk bottles as a temporary solution, there are other ways to keep breast milk cool without breaking the bank.
How to store breast milk?
One of the best ways to store breast milk is in an insulated cooler bag—and they’re cheap! When packed properly with an ice pack or frozen water bottles, these bags will keep your breast milk cold for up to 24 hours. You can find these bags online for around $10 each—a small price for peace of mind when traveling or working away from home during those first few weeks postpartum.
But what if this isn’t enough? What if you need something more durable than a simple cooler bag? There are options available! You can invest in an insulated thermos or a Yeti-style cooler to keep your breast milk cool for up to 24 hours. These are more expensive options, but traveling a lot or working away from home during those first few weeks postpartum may be worth the extra cost!
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How do you keep breast milk cool while traveling?
We’ve all been there: you’re on your way to a destination and realize you forgot to pack something important—like your baby’s favorite bottle, formula, or even just diapers!
The good news is that there are plenty of ways to keep breast milk cool while traveling. Whether you’re going on a short trip or planning a longer one with extended stops at different locations along the way, plenty of options are available for keeping your breastmilk fresh and safe for consumption by your little one.
Keep your breast milk in its original packaging and store it in an insulated cooler bag with ice packs. It’s also vital not to expose your breast milk to direct sunlight or high heat when traveling with it—both could cause spoilage.
Here are some tips for keeping breastmilk cool while traveling:
- Bring a cooler bag and pack it with ice packs.
- If you can’t find an insulated cooler bag, use a regular one and place the breastmilk containers in between two layers of ice packs or frozen water bottles.
- Pack frozen juice boxes or other food items to cool your breast milk. -If you’re traveling by plane, ask for a breastmilk cooler. These are available for free from many airlines but check with yours first to see if they offer them.
- Try to keep the breastmilk cool at all times, even when it’s in transit from place to place. If you have extra space in your cooler bag or suitcase, pack some ice packs or frozen water bottles with your breastmilk containers.
Do you need a unique cooler for breast milk?
It depends on how you plan to use your breast milk. If you’re storing it for an extended time, then yes, it’s best to invest in a specialized cooler bag. But if you plan on keeping it cool for a few hours or less, plenty of options will do the job just fine—even if they’re not specifically designed for breast milk storage.
If you’re storing your breastmilk in the fridge at home (or even transporting it from one room to another), using your regular icebox is probably okay. But if you’re heading out of town for the day and need to keep your precious cargo cool—or if you want to keep it from spoiling during the longer journey from home to work or school—then we recommend investing in an insulated cooler bag designed specifically for holding breast milk.
- Read Also: Breast Milk Expression and Storage
How long does breast milk last in an insulated cooler bag?
The answer to this question depends on a few factors. First, what is the temperature of the milk? It will last longer than warm or hot if it’s room temperature or cooler.
Second, how long has the milk been in the cooler bag? Again, if it’s been there for a while, you should use it sooner rather than later.
Third, what kind of breast milk is it? If you’re storing a different type of breast milk from your usual supply (like if you’re trying to store breast milk from an older child), ensure you know how long that type will stay suitable and use it accordingly.
And finally, does anyone else have access to this cooler bag? It’s vital that no one else drinks from it or handles it until you’re ready to use the stored breast milk again because germs can be transferred easily—and germs are bad for babies!
Breast milk can stay fresh for up to three days when stored at 2-4 degrees Celsius (36-39 degrees Fahrenheit). If you’re storing breast milk for longer than three days, it’s essential to ensure your refrigerator works correctly and stays at a temperature of 4 degrees or lower.
The best way to tell if your breast milk has gone wrong is to smell it. You should throw it away if it smells like sour milk or spoiled food. When in doubt, throw it out!