If you are a new mom, storing breastmilk in the freezer, wondering where to put your bag of frozen chips or tub of ice cream – don’t worry! We won’t let you sacrifice things that qualify as free therapy.
When you are a new mom, the freezer becomes your best friend for all those instant preps to feed your hungry family.
Here are some tips to maximize your freezer space for storing your liquid gold without giving up space for the food you need to, well, live on.
We will be looking at clever storage techniques just for you.
You can get special ice-cube trays designed to store your breastmilk!
If you are feeling frugal, you could just buy some cheap ice cube trays at the dollar store and simply use them exclusively for your breastmilk.
To defrost, simply pop them out of their tray and into a clean, sealable food bag to run under the warm tap.
Hands down, milk bags are the most space-saving method of storage out there.
By freezing your milk flat in these babies, you can stand them upright, instantly maximizing your freezer space! Just remember to write down the ounces you’ve pumped before you stick it in the cold drawer as the volume changes when it’s laid flat.
Plastic Storage Bins
These are great for categorizing your stash in chronological order. When you open the freezer, you will be able to see at first glance how much you have, and it also allows for space for other frozen items.
These are particularly useful for milk bags, so you can see the dates and ounces with ease.
4 Litre Zip-Top Freezer Storage Bags
These are also an easy way of stashing all your breastmilk containers, which also adds extra protection from the build-up of frost and any other odors lurking from previous foods.
Buy A Deep Freezer for Your Breastmilk
Of course, if you have the space and the money, you can always buy a deep freezer to stash all your liquid gold, thus keeping a clear separation once again from other items, and you can assess how long your stash will last.
Staying organized is the biggest battle. The last thing you need is having to pull all your stash out fishing for the oldest breastmilk to give your baby. Or finding that you’ve got a whole batch gone out of date because it wasn’t stashed at the front…the shivers.
It’s worth looking at ways to keep you organized, like using an app or a whiteboard.
There’s An App for That
It’s no surprise now that there’s an app for everything, including apps to record how much stash you’ve got in your freezer and when you might be running a little low.
Some apps can also remind you to do things like rotating your milk supply, i.e., using a day in the week where you give your frozen breastmilk to your baby. This way, you can exclusively express so you can top up your frozen milk supply.
You could go down the old-fashioned route by using a magnetic whiteboard to detail how many bags you’ve taken out and how many you need to top up.
It’s a great way of setting reminders physically in front of you, especially if you have the dreaded baby brain!
Donating Frozen Breastmilk
If, for any reason, you know that you will not be able to use your batch of frozen breastmilk that is close to expiring, you can always contact your local hospital neonatal unit to see if they are in need of breastmilk.
This way, somebody else can benefit. Frozen milk, once thawed, needs to be consumed within 24 hours. In a baby ward, that shouldn’t be a problem!
How to Organize Breast Milk in Freezer
Again, remember to name, date, and record how many ounces are in your pouches. This way, anyone looking after your baby while you are away can instantly see which packet to take out to thaw.
Rent Freezer Space
Does a family member, friend, or neighbor have extra space for you to rent off them? This would be very helpful to stash your excess frozen breast milk if they’re nearby.
We’d advise you to stash your newest batch, though, because you should be using your oldest batch at home first.
Products Not Recommended for Breastmilk Storage
So far, we’ve looked at milk bags and icecube trays as some of the most convenient ways of maximizing storage. There are some products we wouldn’t recommend using if you are stuck for space in your freezer.
Plastic and Glass Bottles
As convenient as they might be to thaw quickly in a bowl of warm water, they’re not the most practical for space.
If you have glass bottles, you have to be mindful as to how you will stack them, for there is a risk of them slipping out and crashing to the ground.
Nobody wants that!
Round Stackable Pots
These are cute and store small amounts of breastmilk. However, they do take up space unless you get the square ones which you can poke into the back corner of your freezer.
There’s so much you can do to maximize your freezer space for your breastmilk!
You could use milk bags, ice cubes, or rent a space from a trusted person with your precious freezer stash. An app is great for keeping you organized. Don’t forget to label everything.
As long as you stay organized and set reminders for yourself to track how much milk you have and to rotate the frozen milk once a week, you will always have space in your freezer for your goods.