Don’t worry, momma. I know breastfeeding can get hard. If this is your first baby, your mind is likely filled with questions: “Is my baby getting enough milk?” “How do you store breast milk?” “Can you reuse breast milk storage bags?” The list goes on and on…
And that’s completely okay! No matter how many mom-to-be books you read, you don’t really start learning until your little ray of sunshine is finally in your arms. That’s the beauty of becoming a mom. No one says it’s not challenging, but this beautiful journey will teach you more than any other.
Since you’re here, we assume you store your milk in storage bags and you have a lot of questions about them. We get it – you haven’t used them before, so how couldn’t you? It’s all completely normal, so don’t worry! The fact you’re reading this shows just how good of a mom you are. I couldn’t be more proud.
Although they’re pretty cost-efficient, it’s normal to wonder if you can reuse breast milk storage bags. Using a new one each time seems like quite a bit of a waste, doesn’t it? But you also always want to put your baby’s safety first. Doing a bit of research before you make your decision is super important, so good job!
There’s a good reason milk storage bags have been so loved by moms lately. They’re safe to use, cheap, and super convenient. Do you have to use a new one every time, though? I’m excited to answer all of your questions about using breast milk storage bags, so let’s dive right in!
Why do you need breast milk storage bags?
Before we learn whether or not you can reuse breast milk storage bags, let’s see why you should use them in the first place. What are their pros, and are they really as good as other moms claim?
I’m here to tell you that they absolutely are! Breastfeeding is the safest way to keep your little one healthy and her tummy full, everybody knows that. Having too much milk – now, that’s a whole other struggle. You have to store it somehow! That’s when breast milk storage bags come in handy.
There are so many reasons you might want to begin using storage bags. If your breasts swell and hurt because your baby is consuming less milk than you’re producing, turn to storage bags. Have to go return to work and not be able to breastfeed your baby? You guessed it – storage bags.
Thanks to their ziplock technology, your precious milk won’t leak or spill. The cool thing about these magic bags is an option for you to freeze the milk and defrost it whenever you want to.
My favorite thing is the thermos sensor. It’s super helpful when you’re not sure if your baby’s milk is at the right temperature.
Generally speaking, breast milk storage bags will make your life so much easier. They’re really easy to use and store. They’re definitely a game-changer for moms who are looking for a quick and easy solution.
Can you reuse breast milk storage bags?
Now to the big question: Can you reuse breast milk storage bags? Good news, momma, most breast milk storage bags are reusable! However, the safest thing you can do is check the description of the bags you’re using so you can put your worried mind to rest.
Every mama knows her baby’s safety is always the top priority. So, it’s a big factor when determining whether or not breast milk storage bags can be reused. The good news is they’re usually made of food-grade plastic, so they’re completely safe to use!
That means they’re designed to keep your little one’s food safe, and they can be easily cleaned by hand. Now, before we get ahead of ourselves, that doesn’t mean you should reuse a bag 5 times before you decide to get rid of it… One or two times should be enough.
The most important thing when it comes to reusing your storage bags is how well you clean them before reaching for them again. I recommend using sterile bags, just to make sure there are no germs and bacteria lingering.
Don’t worry, mama, cleaning them isn’t rocket science. Let’s discover all of the tips and tricks you’ll need!
How to properly reuse breast milk bags
So, we know now you can reuse your breast milk storage bags, it’s crucial that you know how to properly clean them first. Considering how sensitive our little ones are, this is the most important part of storing your breastmilk properly and ensuring your baby’s tummy is filled right.
Before you get to cleaning, make sure that your bags aren’t damaged at all. There’s no use in cleaning them if they’re ready to be thrown away, duh! If there are any rips or tears, it’s time to let that one go… Choose a new bag and let the old one rest.
Did you check what kind of bags are you using? Before you put on your cleaning gloves and get to it, make sure you check the product specifications once again. Some bags are designed for single use, and you shouldn’t try and experiment with them.
When it comes to cleaning your milk bags, I recommend handwashing, boiling, and throwing them in the dishwasher.
Washing your breast milk bags shouldn’t be something you lose your sleep over. Simply using some warm water and soap should do the trick.
Your first step should be opening your ziplock – who would’ve thought! Rinse out any milk that’s left, in all the little nooks and crannies. To make sure it’s thoroughly clean, put the open bag in warm soapy water. It should be enough to clean all the parts where milk could hide around the ziplock.
To clean the lock even more, use a clean toothbrush or bottle brush. That way, you’ll ensure there’s no residue that could go bad. To finish off, rinse the bag with cold water and put it in a steam sterilizer.
What’s the safest way to clean something of any gems and bacteria? Boil it, of course! It’s no different with your milk bags. Don’t worry, no matter how fragile they look, boiling water won’t damage them if you’re careful enough.
Start off by boiling enough water so that you can soak your bag in it. Be careful, though – don’t forget that you put them in there. Your bags shouldn’t be in the boiling water for longer than a minute! After the clock says it’s time to take it out, let the bags air dry before you decide to use them again.
The best kind of storage bags for this method are silicone ones. They can handle the heat and you won’t risk damaging them.
The easiest way to clean just about anything: a dishwasher. God bless the person who invented it! Throwing your bags in your dishwasher will completely sanitize them, and we’re all about that here.
To ensure they don’t get damaged, put them on the top rack. That way, you’ll keep them away from any heating elements that might cause the bags to melt. Also, I recommend drying them at a low temperature, too.
Then, before you store the new round of milk in them, first make sure they’re completely dry.
Advantages of reusing milk bags
If you’re wondering “Can you reuse breast milk storage bags?” you’ve probably thought about some advantages of doing this, too. Well, there are many – for you, the environment, and let’s not forget your wallet!
To start off with the most obvious one – it helps you save money. It’s no secret that having a newborn can get pretty expensive. She’s always eating, pooping, and growing out of pretty much everything in a blink of an eye!
By reusing your milk bags, you get to save a few bucks that you can spend on some other baby products you’ll need. We all know new parents can always use a tip or two on how to save some money…
If you’re someone who’s passionate about our environment, you’ll be happy to hear that reusing milk bags will help you reduce waste. I’m sure you’ve thought about all that waste you’re making by using so much plastic. It might even be the reason you’re here!
We should always take any opportunity we have to keep single-use items out of our landfills, and this is a great way to do it!
Yes, it helps you save money and the environment, but reusable milk bags are also super easy to organize. I know, mama, keeping your place organized has become a thing of the past since you’ve got your little one. And that’s completely fine! Little tricks like this will help you keep it in check at least a little bit.
If you plan on taking your baby to daycare, some institutions require using milk bags. Choosing reusable ones will help you save a lot of money!