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Thread: How to thaw frozen milk

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2012

    Default How to thaw frozen milk

    I'm going back to work in 2 days and my husband will watch her while I'm away. I have about 300oz of milk in the freezer. I've been putting the milk from each session in a bag so some of them have 8-10 oz in them. I want to know the best way to cycle through my milk. I'm thinking to do half fresh milk that I'll pump at work and half frozen. Should I let it thaw in the fridge overnight and have him pour whatever she'll drink for that feeding in the bottle? Can you give baby milk straight from the fridge or should I put it in warm water to bring it to room temp? Also, going forward should I portion each bag with less milk in them? Thank you! Sorry I have so many questions!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Austin, TX

    Default Re: How to thaw frozen milk

    Hi there, I think everyone develops different systems with their freezer stash, and hopefully you get a variety of suggestions here so you can pick some options that work for you, but I will share some of the things that work for me.

    As far as cycling through your stash, with that much frozen, it's a good idea to rotate through it so it doesn't expire. Most of the time, what I pump at work is used in my baby's bottles the next day at daycare. But when I get to the end of my work week (Thursday for me), that milk gets frozen and goes to the freezer stash. Then on Monday, baby eats my oldest frozen milk.

    You can thaw your milk by leaving in the fridge overnight, and it should be ready for baby's bottles in the morning. (You can also thaw it in warm water, or a bottle warmer, if you need it faster, but then it really needs to be eaten immediately.) Frozen breastmilk has to be used within 24 hrs of thawing, and it can't sit at room temp as long as freshly pumped milk. For this reason, I usually freeze in 2 and 4 oz portions. I do this because my baby eats 4 oz bottles, and occisionally a 2 oz topper, so I know that if I freeze in those portions, he will be sure to eat all (or almost all) of what I thaw and it will minimize waste. If you are confident that baby will eat all 8-10 oz that you've thawed that same day, it's probably OK to freeze in those larger amounts, but you still might want some smaller bags for when baby needs just a single feeding or a topper (you don't want hubby to have to defrost 8 oz when baby just needs another 2!). The other benefit to freezing in small portions is, in the rare event of a bag springing a leak, you lose less.

    Some babies will accept milk cold, some will accept it room temp, some prefer it warmed. They can be pretty specific about bottle temperatures. You might have to experiment with your baby to see what she will accept. I find that if I take the bottle straight from the fridge, the cream & watery parts have separated, and I don't have success reincorporating the cream into the milk until it's been warmed, or at least been sitting at room temp for about 10 mins to take the cold off (otherwise the fat just clings to the sides, or floats in little globs). Maybe someone else has a trick for this, but I haven't found one! I find the previously frozen milk separates even more. For the same reason, it might be hard for your husband to portion off a single feeding from your 8-10 oz bags as he goes through the day (you don't want the same thawed milk in and out of the fridge all day long in a "warm to room temp, swirl, pour, cool - repeat" type of pattern). But maybe you could thaw the big bag, portion out several bottles in the morning, and put them all in the fridge for the day.

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