Breast Milk Part 2 – Freezing & Storing Breast Milk with Playtex Drop-In Liners
This post is all about freezing and storing breast milk using the Playtex adapters and liners. If you do not plan to use Playtex drop in bottles, this post is not for you. I researched relentlessly on what is the most effective way to freeze milk so that I can use it for my son when I went back to work.
My bottle of choice was the Playtex drop-ins for the ease of convenience. I did not have to wash bottles after working a long day and can spend more time with the baby. Although more expensive, I was willing to pay for the sake of sanity and time with my sons.
As a pumping and nursing mom, I found it so wasteful to store and freeze milk in freezer bags and then pour it back into the liners so I went looking for another solution. I came across the playtex one-step breast milk storage kit and read many reviews about the quality of the liners and how well it will hold up the freezer. I devised my own way of storing the frozen liners and making sure they would not suffer the fate of freezer burn. This is a tutorial of how I store my breast milk. It is by no means the only way to store and I am not sure it is even correct. However, it worked tremendously well for me and my first son and second son have no problem drinking any of the milk that have been frozen this way. My only warning is that if you choose to store milk this way, you better have A LOT of freezer space. My only complaint about this method is the sheer size of the frozen milk. It takes up practically the entire freezer. I bought a chest freezer just for my breast milk! Either way, the pros outweighed the cons for me and the ease and convenience of this system trumped everything else for me.
- Playtex or Generic Brand Liners (Generic is cheaper and work just as well)
- Playtex Milk Storage Kit here or here (I have the blue one step kit)
- electric pump (I have the Ameda, but the Medela should work fine with the adapters)
- saran wrap
- rubber bands
- 1 gallon freezer bags
- sharpie marker
STEPS TO STORE
- Step 1 – Pump breast milk directly into liner using included adapters as shown in picture OR into bottles. I have done it both ways and preferred pumping into the bottles because I am very OCD and wanted the liners to be EXACTLY 4 ounces each so I preferred the measurements of the bottles. I also avoided a lot of accidents since as the liners filled with milk, I would spill milk if I moved around with the liners attached to my pump.
- Step 2 – Put the cap on the liner and label the date on the outside with a sharpie. Immediately put it into the freezer standing on the liner with the blue cap on top as shown in the picture below. (I am aware my caps are blue, but the new ones are white. I believe they should be similar) Use anything in the freezer to help it stand straight. I just leaned it against my freezer being very careful that it would not tip over when the freezer door is opened. DO NOT freeze it upside down because it will not pop out later after being frozen and there is a chance of spillage.
- Step 3 – Once frozen, take the blue cap off, pop out the liner, put 2-3 layers of saran wrap over the top of the liner and wrap a rubber band around it as shown in the pictures below.
Pop off liner by pushing top of the liner through blue ring.
Wrap with saran wrap & put rubber brand around.
I use the Costco saran wrap so I fold the saran wrap into 3 and it works perfectly. I buy my rubber bands from Staples because I have rewards there but I am sure they have it at Dollar Tree if you want to save money.
- Step 4 – Put the finished liner into a Ziploc freezer bag. Eight liners will fill a freezer bag. Once completed, take as much air out of the bags as possible, label the dates of the liners on the freezer bag, and tie a LARGE rubber band around the bag and put it into the chest freezer for longer storage. Below is a picture of my 3000+ ounces of liquid gold I have stored up for my second son. Ignore the one bag that is upside-down. The OCD part of me is still bothered by that bag in this picture.
That’s it! When you are ready to use, just pop the liner out and put it into the Playtex bottle for thawing OR into a small cup.
EXTRA TIPS –
- I usually use a glass cup instead of the Playtex bottle JUST IN CASE the liner was damaged somehow. I have stored over 5,000 ounces with BOTH of my sons and can count the number of tears in the liners with my fingers so it is RARE.
- The fat from the milk will be attached to the sides of the liner and near the top so just make sure to use something to swirl it around before you feed the baby. I normally use a chopstick and it mixes the fat right back in. Remember, with breast milk, NEVER shake the bottle but swirl instead to maintain as much of the nutrients and proteins as possible.
- When storing in 8 ounces liners, DO NOT store them standing on the liner because they will not stand. Turn the 8 ounce Playtex bottle upside down and store the liner including the blue cap into the Playtex bottle. When frozen, take the bottle out and uncap the blue caps as usual. 4 liners will fit into a freezer bag for storage. Keep in mind these are giant blocks of frozen milk so they will take a lot longer to thaw. Below is a picture of how the 8 ounce freezer bags look like.
Any concerns or questions, feel free to leave a comment! Happy pumping and freezing!