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The Best Breast Milk Freezer Storage Ideas All New Parents Need to Know!

Are you wondering how to store breast milk? Here are awesome tips and everything you need to know about storing that liquid gold. We will answer a lot of the common questions you may have- including how to keep your older milk at the front and the latest on breast milk storage guidelines.

freezer storage ideas

If you are breastfeeding mom who also pumps then you know that how you store breast milk is really important. It is a good idea to organize your bags of breast milk in a way that will keep your deep freezer organized and your oldest milk at the front.

Breast milk storage doesn’t have to be tricky – but it is important to have a plan is important! Feeling a little lost? Don’t worry – this post has EVERYTHING you need to know about maximizing your freezer space and making sure all that liquid gold is stored safely!

Need help with pumping and understanding your milk supply? Be sure to signup for Demystifying Milk Supply and Pumping – the best online pumping and milk supply course. It’s available 24-7 and designed to help you feel confident in your ability to produce milk!


How to store breastmilk at room temperature and in the fridge

So let’s start at the beginning. Once you have pumped you have three options for what to do with that fresh milk. You can feed it to your baby right away, you can store it in the fridge or you can freeze it

If you are exclusively pumping then you may prefer to pump and then leave your milk out at room temperature to feed your baby the next time they are hungry. Freshly pumped milk can safely stand at room temperature for at least 4 hours.

Another option is to finish your pumping session and then put your expressed milk into some kind of storage container like breast milk storage bags or glass bottles (we will get into those more later) and put them directly into the fridge to use for later.

The CDC recommends that breastmilk is fine in the fridge for up to 4 days. If you are pumping enough milk to get a small stash saved up in your fridge then the best way to make sure you are giving your baby the oldest milk first is to line the breast milk bags in a way where you are grabbing the oldest bag first. It would be a great idea to label them with the pump date just to be on the safe side too.

For more information on storage guidelines, here are a few other articles you may enjoy:

You can download this printable below for a quick reference chart:

The Pitcher Method

breastmilk pitcher method

If you are an exclusive pumper your may find that you prefer to use the “pitcher method” for a breastmilk storage idea. You would simply combine all the fresh breast milk that you pump in one day and place it all into a large pitcher or mason jar. Then, at the end of the day simply prep bottles for the next day and freeze any extra milk. This is an easy way to get a stockpile of frozen milk.

How to warm milk for a feeding

When it’s time to take refrigerated milk out to feed your baby you will probably want to warm it. While you can feed your baby cold (not frozen) milk most babies won’t take it and warm milk just seems a little more comforting.

You can warm your baby’s bottles three ways.

  • Use a bottle warmer
  • Put the stored milk in a cup of warm water
  • Run the milk bag\bottle under warm water

If you are thawing frozen breast milk you can do this by placing the milk in a cold container of water, placing the frozen milk in the fridge to thaw slowly (which involves planning ahead) or if you want to thaw and warm it at the same time you can place the milk container into a container of warm water which will thaw it and warm it at the same time. You can also use a bottle warmer- just know that those sometimes take up to 15-20 minutes to warm and thaw completely.

Do not put breastmilk (or formula) in the microwave to warm This will kill nutrients and can create hot spots that can burn the baby’s mouth.

Additional Reading: How Long is Warmed Breastmilk Good: What You Should Know

Freezing Breast Milk

You can freeze breastmilk for up to 12 months. However, the CDC recommends storing up to six months. At one point, the CDC had different regulations for deep freezers and regular freezers but that is no longer the case and you can use the same guidelines no matter what kind of freezer you store milk in.

You can freeze breast milk in glass bottles, plastic bottles or breastmilk storage bags. The first thing you should do is label the bottle or bag with the date and how many ounces there are.

If you are planning on sending this milk to daycare or with a family member it would be a good idea to also write the baby’s name on it as well.

Once frozen milk has been thawed do not freeze it again.

How much milk should go in each bag?

Most bottles or milk bags recommend that you don’t store more than 4-6 ounces of human milk in them. As you get the hang of things you will figure out what works best for you.

You may put whatever you pump at one sitting into one bag or split it up into two containers. If you thaw milk and your baby doesn’t drink all of it you can give it to them later just be sure to use it again within 24 hours.

How to start a stockpile of breastmilk

This might be different for everyone. Some of the best tips for getting a frozen milk stash is to start freezing any extra milk that you don’t think your baby will need right away.

If you are nursing your baby from the breast you can pump afterward and put that milk into the freezer. If you are trying to up your breast milk supply you can do power pumping which can also yield extra milk that you can then freeze.

Some moms have luck using a Haakaa silicone suction pump in the beginning. It tends to be a more low-stress approach to getting a little bit extra.

You should aim to have a freezer stash of milk that will last 2-3 days. You may need more or less depending on different factors. If you are trying to go back to work, we recommend having enough for your first day back and then 2-3 days.

If you are aiming to have a large stockpile you can certainly stock your freezer full. However, don’t get discouraged if you are unable to do that. As long as you have enough milk for at least several days you should feel comfortable.

Can you store breastmilk in a cooler?

You can safely store your breastmilk in a cooler for up to 24 hours. Using a cooler for frozen breastmilk is a good option if you are traveling but it is not an optimal way to store your milk for long periods of time.

Be sure to check out our article that outlines everything you need to know about breastmilk coolers.

What kinds of containers can you use to store breastmilk?

You have several options when it comes to storing your breastmilk. There are a ton of different breastmilk bags available to use.

Please note that a breast milk storage bag is different than a bag you would store food in. They are thicker, BPA-free, and FDA-approved for the use of storing and protecting breast milk.

Breast milk bags also come with ounce or milliliter markers on the side to track the volume of milk you are storing and feeding.

When possible it is convenient to get storage bags that you can pump directly into from your breast pump. This will save time as you won’t have to transfer the milk from the bottle into a storage container.

A good storage bag will freeze flat and take up less freezer space. So what is the best breast milk storage bag to use? Here are some of our favorite milk storage bags.

Best Milk Storage Bags

Lansinoh

lansinoh breastmilk storage bag
Lansinoh Breastmilk Storage Bags, 50 Count with 2 Pump Adapters, Easy to Use Breast Milk Storage Bags for Feeding, Presterilized, Hygienically Doubled-Sealed for Freezing & Refrigeration, 6 Ounce
  • SUPERIOR STRENGTH & STRETCH - Lansinoh's breastmilk storage bags are designed to expand with your milk as it freezes, for stronger, more reliable milk storage & baby essentials
  • FAST FREEZE & THAW DESIGN – Lansinoh breast milk storage bags freeze flatter than leading competitors so you can store more breastmilk and thaw super-fast. Efficient and uniform thawing protects your breastmilk nutrients!
  • SAFE BREASTMILK STORAGE - Our storage bags are presterilized, made without BPA or BPS, and designed with a tamper-evident, fully sealed tear-away top for safe milk storage
  • SUPER STRONG & DURABLE - Each Lansinoh milk bag for breastmilk has reinforced double sealed seams on the side and bottom, plus double zipper for ultimate protection
  • SAVE TIME - Pump directly into the bags using your Lansinoh breast pump or most major breast pump brands using our pump-into-bag adapter (sold separately) and your pumping bra

Lansinoh is a trusted well-known brand that has been around for years. Their bags are a favorite among moms. You can buy their bags at any grocery store or retailer. We love them because they are made from thick, BPA- and BPS-free plastics. If you have the Lansinoh Breast Pump, you can pump directly into them. Plus moms report that the bags fit around other types of breast pumps, too- so these bags would fit the bill for many.

You can buy a 50-pack for around $8 on Amazon

ZipTop Silicone Breast Milk Bag

ziptop breast milk bags
Sale
Zip Top Reusable 100% Platinum Silicone Breast Milk Storage, Made in The USA - Bag Set of 6 + Freezer Tray
  • Better for your baby: 100% pure non-toxic platinum silicone is completely free of BPA, lead, PVC, latex and phthalates. They won’t leach harmful chemicals into your milk like plastics can. Made in the USA!
  • Versatile: Zip Top milk bags are safe for use in the dishwasher (bottom rack too), freezer and bottle warmers. Pour corners to avoid spills and you can write on them! Easily organize by date in the freezer tray.
  • Designed for easy use and cleaning: Plastic-Free, single-piece construction that stands up! The tops stay open and zippers do not overlap in the corners like normal zippers making it super easy to clean. Thick strong silicone will not tear or break.
  • Better for the Planet: Endlessly reusable, Zip Top was designed with the environment in mind. After you are done nursing, these are great for toddler snacks or frozen treats!
  • Milk Bag Set of 6 + Freezer Tray Includes: Six Milk Bags 2” x 3.9” x 5.9” (6 oz) + Freezer Tray. Easily store and organize breast milk by date in the refrigerator or freezer.

Are you looking for a more eco-friendly and durable milk storage option? The ZipTop Milk Bags top our list in that category. They stand up straight, are super easy to close and open, and you definitely don’t have to worry about leaks.

These are obviously more of an investment – especially if you use a lot of milk storage bags. But they are a fantastic option – made from premium silicone, no BPA, lead, PVC or phthalate. They are single-piece construction, which means there are no by-products, like glue, holding them together.

ZipTop also has a great storage tray designed specifically for the trays. You can get these (and anything else on the ZipTop website) for 15% off with the code CLARKSCONDENSED15.

You can buy a 2-pack for $15.99 or the six-pack plus freezer tray for $49.99. Don’t forget to use the code CLARKSCONDENSED15.

Dr. Brown’s Milk Storage Bags

dr. brown's breastmilk storage bags
Dr. Brown’s Breast Milk Storage Bags, Disposable and Durable Bags for Freezing & Heating Breast Milk, (100 ct) 6 oz Bags, BPA free
  • DURABLE BREAST MILK STORAGE BAG. No more leaks and accidents from flimsy storage bags – extra durable design stores breast milk keeping it fresh and protected in the refrigerator, freezer, or on-the-go.
  • DESIGNED FOR PROTECTION. Strong double layered material, double zip closure, and an extra wide side seam prevent leaks, fridge odors, and cushion in case of dropping.
  • KEEPS MILK FRESH. The double layered plastic and double zip closure seal out air and fridge odors and protect breast milk from freezer burn.
  • CONVENIENT STORAGE. The Breast Milk Storage Bags can lay flat for space-saving storage, or the gusseted bottom allows the bag to stand securely upright.
  • SAFE AND READY-TO-USE. Hygienically sealed with tamper evident perforated edge. Simply tear along the perforation, open the bag, pour in breast milk, seal, and store.

We love these bags because they are thick and durable, large enough to write your baby’s name on them, and come with an exterior trim for extra cushioning.

You can buy a 50 count for around $9 or a 100 count for $13 on Amazon.

Philips Avent Breastmilk Storage Bags

philips avent breastmilk storage bags
Philips AVENT Breast Milk Storage Bags, Clear, 6 Ounce, 50 Pack, SCF603/50
  • Leak proof: secure double zipper
  • Completely Hygienic: Pre-sterilized bags to open and use with a tamper evident seal.
  • Strong and Durable: Reinforced seams and dual layer bag
  • Easy to use self standing bag and a wide opening for easy filling or pouring
  • Made of BPA free material

Avent Breast Milk bags are an even more affordable option that you can trust. They come with a double-zipper closure, are BPA-free, and have a tamper evident-seal and dual layers for added thickness. They can also stand up easily and comes with a wide opening to make it easy to pour milk in and out of.

You can buy a 50-pack for around $7 on Amazon.

Nano Bebe Milk Storage Bags

nanobebe storage bags
Nanobébé 100 Breastmilk Storage Bags Refill Pack – Fast, Even Thawing & Warming – Breastfeeding Supplies Lay Flat to Save Space & Track Pumping – Breastmilk Bags for Freezer or Fridge
  • NO-MESS MILK STORAGE – Fit the whole family’s food in the freezer again! Declutter with your 10-count refill of stackable breast milk savers, specially designed to stack evenly inside nanobébé’s “first in, first out” vertical breastmilk storage container or for use on their own.
  • BULK BREASTMILK BAGS – Rather than stress about running out of breast pump bags, plan ahead and cherish more bonding moments during infant feeding. Stocking up on breastfeeding storage bags saves you much-needed mommy time and creates future peace of mind!
  • PROTECTS MILK NUTRITION – Count on nanobébé when mealtime arrives. Our breast milk storage bags defrost and warm 2 times faster than standard freezer bags to preserve the powerful, unique-to-you nutrients within your breastmilk!
  • TRUSTED, TEARPROOF BREASTFEEDING BAGS – From bottles to breast milk bags, Rely on us for leak-free infant feeding. Your nursing bags’ extra thick, double zipper, BPA-free material won’t puncture or tear
  • 100% SATISFACTION GUARANTEED – All of our innovative nursing supplies and breastfeeding accessories are promised to perform, Love them, or we’ll work to make it right. It’s nanobébé’s promise.

Nano Bebe is more expensive however they are made especially to take up less space in your freezer. They have a stackable design and if you purchase their virtual storage bin you can easily have 50 bags in it. They also defrost up to two times faster than most other bags or bottles.

You can buy a 50 count for around $10 or a 100 pack for $18 on Amazon

Best Beast Milk Storage Bottles

Another option is to store your frozen breast milk in a plastic or glass bottle. This option may take up more space in your freezer but it really comes down to preference and convenience when it comes to using bottles or bags. There are a lot of options out there- you’ll have to decide for yourself which option is best for you.

Medela Breastmilk Storage Bottles

medela milk storage bottles

These bottles are BPA-free bottles that can go directly in the freezer to store (skipping the part where you have to transfer to a bag) bonus points- If you have a Medela pump, you can also pump right into these bottles saving you time!

These bottles would be perfect for the beginning of your breastfeeding journey when you aren’t necessarily pumping as much. They only go up to 2.7 ounces but they are a good option for when you aren’t pumping as much.

You can buy a 12-pack for $15 on Amazon

Matyz Widemouth Freezer Bottles

matyx breast milk freezer bottles

If you want to stay away from plastic bottles then your best option is to choose a glass bottle to freeze your milk in. These bottles store up to 6 ounces of breast milk and are compatible with the Philips and Spectra pumps. It is a great breast pump accessory for the Medeal, Spectra, and Avent Pumps.

They contain no harmful chemicals, no plastic taste, and have a wide neck making it easier to use and clean!

They are dishwasher, freezer, and microwave safe and are completely leakproof.

You can buy 4 bottles for $25 on Amazon. This is definitely a pricier option but remember you are buying glass containers which will always be more expensive than plastic.

Phillips Avent Breast Milk Storage Cups

philip's avent breastmilk storage cups
Philips AVENT Breast Milk Storage Cups And Lids, 10 6oz Containers, SCF618/10
  • Leak proof, twist-on lid for safe storage in the fridge or freezer. The outer tread twist-on lid ensures a secure seal and no leakage.
  • Protect breast milk by expressing, storing and feeding from the same container. No need to transfer breast milk
  • Write-on cups and lids so that you can conveniently track dates and contents
  • Stackable cups and lids for easy storage
  • BPA free and dishwasher safe

These adorable little cups hold up to six ounces of human milk making them the perfect smart portions and they are dishwasher-safe and BPA-free. They are stackable and leak-proof with a simple twist on and off the lid and you can easily write the date and amount on the top or side of the cups.

They are safe for the freezer or fridge and are a great option for storing your breastmilk.

You can buy a 10-pack for around $15 on Amazon.

How to organize your breast milk in your freezer

breast milk freezer storage

There are so many good ways to store your breastmilk! It doesn’t have to be mass chaos. In fact, you will be able to keep better track of your milk when you have it organized and visible to see.

We definitely don’t recommend you toss your milk willy-nilly into your freezer. Find a solution that works for you and discover how much more space you will have in your freezer.

One pro tip is NOT to store your milk in the freezer door. This makes it hard for them to lay and freeze flat.

Storage Bins

lansinoh storage bins
Nanobébé 100 Breastmilk Storage Bags Refill Pack – Fast, Even Thawing & Warming – Breastfeeding Supplies Lay Flat to Save Space & Track Pumping – Breastmilk Bags for Freezer or Fridge
  • NO-MESS MILK STORAGE – Fit the whole family’s food in the freezer again! Declutter with your 10-count refill of stackable breast milk savers, specially designed to stack evenly inside nanobébé’s “first in, first out” vertical breastmilk storage container or for use on their own.
  • BULK BREASTMILK BAGS – Rather than stress about running out of breast pump bags, plan ahead and cherish more bonding moments during infant feeding. Stocking up on breastfeeding storage bags saves you much-needed mommy time and creates future peace of mind!
  • PROTECTS MILK NUTRITION – Count on nanobébé when mealtime arrives. Our breast milk storage bags defrost and warm 2 times faster than standard freezer bags to preserve the powerful, unique-to-you nutrients within your breastmilk!
  • TRUSTED, TEARPROOF BREASTFEEDING BAGS – From bottles to breast milk bags, Rely on us for leak-free infant feeding. Your nursing bags’ extra thick, double zipper, BPA-free material won’t puncture or tear
  • 100% SATISFACTION GUARANTEED – All of our innovative nursing supplies and breastfeeding accessories are promised to perform, Love them, or we’ll work to make it right. It’s nanobébé’s promise.

One simple way to store your breast milk is to buy a plastic storage container. You can find a universal room organizing bin ( you can get a two pack for around $23) or get a storage organizer made specifically to hold breastmilk.

The First Year’s Breast Flow Milk Storage organizer is a great option for holding up to 20 bags of milk. One storage bin runs about $16- but it is It’s FSA/HSA eligible so be sure to use that up!

And, as previously mentioned, the ZipTop Freezer Storage Trays work great, especially if you are using their silicone bags.

Soda Box

If you don’t want to buy something specific then you also use an empty soda box.

Simply cut off the top so it is completely open and place your bags or bottles in the box. This will keep everything neat and organized.

Gift Bag Idea

Go to Dollar Tree and buy a bunch of medium-sized party bags.

Then stack your milk in the bag- labeling it by date. You can use one bag for a week worth of milk and pull from the oldest milk first.

Another idea that will only work if you are using milk storage bags- is to cut a slit on the bottom of the bag. Go on to stack your milk in the gift bag with the oldest milk at the bottom- with the tag sticking out of the slit. In order for this to work you will have to first freeze your breastmilk flat first and then transfer it to the top of the bag. When you need to use your frozen milk you will grab your breastmilk from the bottom slit.

Lay it flat

The best way to optimize your freezer space is to lay your breastmilk bags flat!

Whether you do that by stacking them in a bag or container first or just leaving designated space in your freezer to do so- you will find that it makes all the difference.

Boxes

Another cheap way to store your milk is by using an Amazon box or other type of box and cutting flaps into dividers to separate frozen milk. This would be best for an upright freezer.

Kiinde System

Kiinde is a pumping and feeding system that you pump directly into their bag that you can also freeze or store in the fridge. When it is time to use the milk you can feed your baby directly from it using a bottle that screws directly onto it.

It is easy to use. Simply attach your pump parts to the Kiinde bags using an adapter (the adapter fits most breast pumps). You then pump as usual into the bags. When they are filled screw the top onto the bag and store it in your fridge or freezer. When you are ready to use you simply thaw or warm the milk in the same bag and feed your baby from it.

The best deal is to buy the complete system. You can find it on Amazon for about $65.

kiinde breast milk set

Placing your freezer bags on cookie sheets is a helpful way to get your milk to lay flat. If you are using bottles you can also line them up on the sheets to keep them uniform and organized.

Laying the bags flat will make it easier to store in other ways, too.

Freezer Bags

Once your milk has been frozen flat you can then move the bags into a gallon Ziploc bag. Label the front of the bag by date and store in your freezer. You can also put your frozen breastmilk bottles in the Ziploc.

This method helps keep everything together and is nice for those who have a large stockpile of milk.

Let us know if we missed any of your favorite tips!

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2 Comments

  1. There are a lot of options here but I was really hoping to get your thoughts on Ceres Chill breastmilk chiller and their new Milkstache. Would love to see these new products compared to all the more traditional options mentioned here. They’re on amazon and Cereschill.com

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