As a new parent you may juggling all the new things you are learning as your baby makes his or her way through their first three months of life. Whether it is suggestions about sleep, travel, or mealtime, there are millions of tips and tricks that will help you keep your baby safe and healthy. As a new mother, you are also learning more about your own health and how you contribute to the wellness of your child.
Breastfeeding your baby as a first-time mother can be a very stressful experience. Carefully planning when to feed your child and when to pump for later could leave you trying to find ways to use your breast milk more efficiently. Breast milk is a valuable resource for your baby and wasting it could be detrimental for your baby’s health and your own peace of mind.
Breast milk needs to be stored in sterile containers to prevent bacteria growth. Whether you are storing your breast milk in bags or bottles, they must be cleaned and disinfected thoroughly to ensure that your breast milk stays safe for your child’s consumption.
Breast milk can be safely stored in the fridge for 48 hours. When freezing breast milk, it can be used with 3 months. Following these guidelines will make sure that the breast milk you feed your child will keep them healthy and safe.
Newborns are very sensitive to temperature differences in their food and feeding them food that is not properly warmed could be detrimental to their health. When your child is ready to eat, your breast milk must be heated back up to near the average human body temperature of 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit or 37 degrees Celsius. If the milk gets too hot, it could damage your child’s internal organs. If it is too cold, it could possibly upset your baby’s stomach.
If you are on the go, feeding your baby is still important and making sure that their milk is the correct temperature is vital. You may not have access to all of the fancy gadgets you have at home, but there are a few ways to make sure that your baby is eating perfectly temperature food.
Travel Bottle Warmers
Travel bottle warmers are available at most stores that have a baby section. These devices are usually made of flexible cloth or plastic and wrap around your baby’s bottle. There are several different models that use both wall outlets and the cigarette lighter port in your car. These devices use heating tubes to heat the surface material that surrounds the bottle.
As the mechanism heats up, it heats your bottle evenly through contact with a large surface area that surrounds the entire exterior of the bottle. Travel bottle warmers work quickly through conduction heating due to their large area of contact with the bottle. Below are three breast milk bottle warmers that are renowned for keeping warm milk safely and are easy to carry.
Many travel bottle warmers have safety feature to ensure that the user does not get burned and that the breast milk inside the bottle does not get too hot. These devices are a great tool for keeping your baby’s milk warm on the go, but what if you don’t have one?
There are a couple of quick ways to heat your baby’s breast milk up when on the go that don’t require another gadget. The easiest of these ways is to use your own body temperature to raise the temperature of your child’s breast milk.
Certain parts of your body produce large amounts of heat and those areas can get anywhere from 98 to 102 degrees, the perfect temperature for your baby’s meal. If you need to heat your child’s bottle up and there is no other option, placing the bottle in one of these areas will heat the breast milk enough so that your child can safely consume it.
Placing the bottle between your legs or under your arms is a good way to raise the temperature of the bottle to the human body temperature. This method may not be the fastest way to heat a bottle, but if you have no other options, using your own body heat is a viable way to heat your child’s bottle. If you are using this method, make sure that the bottle or bag you have the breast milk stored in is securely sealed.
This will prevent any spillage and will keep bacteria from entering or growing inside the milk as you heat it up with your body.
Use Hot Tap Water
If you can use running water in a sink, you have all you need to warm your formula bottle quickly and safely. The first method is to fill a container or the sink with hot tap water. Then place your breast milk container inside. The hot water from the tap will heat up the contents of your breast milk bottle or storage bag. This method may take a few minutes, but it will effectively heat your milk.
Another method you can use is to wrap your breast milk container in washcloths or paper towels that have been soaked in hot water. The heat held in these towels will warm the container quickly and evenly. To get your towels even warmer, you can throw them into the microwave for a few seconds. If you do not have access to continuously running water, this option may work best for you.
The most efficient way to warm your baby’s breast milk is to use hot running water from the sink. Running hot water over the exterior of your container will heat the contents up quickly by continuously providing heat to the entire surface.
Unlike a warm water bath, hot running water will not lose any heat throughout the process so you can be sure you will have a warm bottle quickly. Heating breast milk this way may be the safest method as it brings the milk to temperature quickly. The faster the milk reaches a drinkable temperature, the less likely it is to grow bacteria.
Never use a microwave
A microwave should never be used to heat your child’s breast milk. Microwaves can damage the nutritional contents of your breast milk. A microwave may also make the temperature of the breast milk too hot and you will be left figuring out ways to cool down your baby’s bottle to a safe temperature. If used incorrectly microwaves can also cause plastic bottles or bags to melt or secret harmful chemicals into your breast milk.
No matter how you choose to heat up you baby’s breast milk, make sure you always test the temperature directly before giving it to your baby to consume. The best way to test the temperature of a bottle is to pour a few drops of milk on to your wrist or any other part of your body with sensitive skin. If the breast milk is warm but not hot, it is safe to give your baby.
Heating your baby’s breast milk, the right way can be imperative for their health. A bottle should always be at or under the average human body temperature. To make sure your child is safe always err on the side of caution with their bottle.
A bottle that is cooler than body temperature is much safer than a bottle that is over body temperature. When you are on the go, it is more important that your baby follows their eating schedule than it is to get the temperature of the bottle perfectly at 98.6 degrees. Keeping your child healthy and safe is always the first priority.