Storing Breast Milk

The following storage guidelines are suitable for healthy term babies. If your baby is premature or hospitalized, storage guidelines may vary. Please consult with your baby's doctor.

Containers for Storing

  • Use glass or food-grade hard plastic containers (BPA-free) with a tight lid
  • Special breast milk freezer bags can also be used
  • Do not use bottle liner bags. These are thinner plastic bags made only for bottle feeding, not freezing breast milk

Cleaning the Containers

  • Wash the containers in hot soapy water and rinse well with hot water
  • Let bottles, nipples and containers air dry

Tips for Storing Breast

  • Be sure everything that touches the breast milk is clean  
  • Store in 2-4 ounce portions to prevent wasting milk
  • Leave a 1-inch (2.5 cm) space at the top of the container when freezing
  • Do not refreeze breast milk once it is thawed
  • Date each container, anomg sd use the oldest first

Thawing Breast Milk

  • Check the date on the stored breast milk. Use the container with the earliest date first
  • Thaw frozen breast milk by leaving it in the fridge for 4 hours, or place the container under cool running water. Once it has begun to thaw, put it under running warm water to finish thawing
  • Never thaw breast milk at room temperature
  • Warm breast milk by placing the container in a bowl of very warm water
  • Never warm a bottle in a microwave; it can heat unevenly and seriously burn baby's mouth
  • It's normal for breast milk to separate when refrigerated, just as cream rises to the top of fresh milk. This is not a sign that it has gone bad, it is simply a natural separation process. Gently shake it for an even consistency
  • Thawed milk may also taste or smell different from fresh, but it is still good
  • Discard of any remaining breast milk left in the bottle after each feeding

Storing Breast Milk

How it's stored Temperature How long it will last Helpful hint
Room temperature Up to 25 °C 6-8 hours Containers should be covered and kept as cool as possible
Insulated cooler bag with ice packs -15-4°C 24 hours Keep ice packs in contact with the milk container at all times, and try to limit opening the bag.
Refrigerator 4 °C 5 days Store milk in the back of the refrigerator, where it's coolest.
Freezer compartment that's part of the fridge -15 °C 2 weeks Make sure the freezer temperature is consistent.
Freezer compartment with a separate door  -18 °C 3-6 months Store milk in the back of the freezer, where it's coldest.
Chest or upright deep freezer -20 °C 6-12 months
This article is intended as general information. Always be sure to read and follow the label(s)/instruction(s) that accompany your product(s). Walmart will not be responsible for any injury or damage caused by this activity.



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