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New mothers who are pumping several times a day need somewhere to put all of that expressed breast milk. While some of it can go in the fridge for bottles that will be used within the next day or so, a lot of it will need to be safely stowed away for later use. Breast milk storage bags are the best way to securely store all of that liquid gold in the freezer to build up a stash. The best breast milk storage bags won’t take up too much space, will keep milk safe for months, and will be easy to use, even if you’re holding a baby on your hip.
What to consider when shopping for breast milk storage bags
Breast milk storage bags are different from any other plastic bag because they are FDA-approved and specifically made with breast milk storage in mind. These bags should be made of food-grade plastic or silicone and should be designed for storing, freezing, and then thawing breast milk safely.
There are tons of options out there, and while they may all look the same, some offer features that can really make a difference in the long run. These are some things to keep in mind when shopping for the best breast milk storage bags.
Materials: Your breast milk storage bag should be made of food-grade plastic or silicone (all of the below options are) and seal securely. Avoid anything with the recycle symbol number 7, which means it may be made of a BPA-containing plastic.
Ease of use: A wide mouth for easy filling and easy-to-pour-from opening will make life easier (and help prevent spills).
Labeling room: To label the bag with the date and the amount expressed.
Liquid capacity: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends freezing small quantities of breast milk to avoid wasting it. But if you know exactly how much breast milk your baby will eat at each feeding, fit a full feeding in each bag to save space and money in the long run.
Sustainability: Plastic storage bags are inexpensive and convenient, but designed for single use. If a reusable option is important to you, go for reusable silicone bags (our favorite is below).
Shape: Look for bags that lay as flat as possible for efficient storage. You can stack or file them once they’re frozen.
Thickness: Thinner plastics can make thawing frozen breast milk more efficient.
Special features: Some bags have openings that allow you to pump directly into them, which means you don’t need to deal with transfer. Some come with bottle tops so that your baby can drink directly from them.
Remember that with any breast milk storage bag, it’s important to follow the CDC’s recommendations for storage (up to four days in a fridge and six months in a freezer, though 12 months in the deep freezer is acceptable).
Below are our picks for the best breast milk storage bags you can buy.
Any of these breast milk storage bags make for a reliable and secure way to freeze your breast milk and create a stash for you and your little one. Picking the best one for you means finding one that fits your budget and your lifestyle needs, so take everything into consideration before making a final choice.