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Posted by: | Posted on: October 17, 2019

Paced Bottle Feeding – Everything You Need To Know

Being a parent is all about adapting to changes and transitions. Milestones, as they are often referred to, are significant changes in your baby’s cognitive, developmental, and motor skills. From sleeping through the night to sitting up, milestones are exciting transitions for both a baby and parents. A significant milestone for exclusively breastfed babies is the transition into bottle feeding. There are many reasons why a baby who is exclusively breastfeeding may need to transition into bottle feeding. Paced bottle feeding is a technique that makes this change easier for both baby and mom.

 paced bottle feeding

What is Paced Bottle Feeding?

Paced bottle feeding is a method used to help transition babies from breastfeeding to eating through a bottle. This technique mimics the flow of milk, similar to breastfeeding and can help ensure a smooth transition. As breastfeeding mamas know, the flow of milk through a breast is very different from that of a bottle. There are many bottles available to help transition your baby comfortably. However, using the paced bottle feeding technique can help your baby adjust to this new way of feeding.

This method allows your baby to drink until they are full, very similar to breastfeeding. By using this method, your baby may not finish the entire bottle right away. However, as you and your baby establish a consistent feeding routine, you will know how to adjust the amount of milk you are serving correctly.

 

How to Introduce Paced Bottle Feeding to Baby

paced bottle feeding

 The first step to beginning paced bottle feeding your baby is to find the right bottle. There are many different brands that market a “natural” feel or nipple to babies transition from breast to bottle. Truth be told, since every baby is different, finding the right bottle might be through trial and error. There are so many bottles available, and it may be overwhelming trying to find the right one. As with every new process and milestone, patience is a necessity. For my baby and myself, the Tommee Tippee Closer to Nature bottle worked best for us. Not only did it have a nipple that resembled and felt like my own, but there’s also an anti-colic valve. It was also super easy to clean, which is a huge plus!

  

Following Your Baby’s Cues

After choosing your bottle, it’s time to begin! Paying attention to your baby’s hunger cues is very important when paced bottle feeding. Your baby will show signs of hunger by smacking their lips, turning their head towards your chests (also known as rooting), or by straight up crying! Paced bottle feeding is centered around feeding your baby when they are hungry, rather than on a timed schedule.

When the baby is ready to eat, hold them in an upright position, at a slight incline, and offer the bottle to your baby. This can help prevent colic. You can try to lightly touch the bottle on the baby’s lips. Your baby may refuse but usually, if they are hungry, they will open their mouth and “latch” onto the bottle.

Once the baby is latched on, here’s where the paced bottle feeding method comes into play. By keeping the bottle in a horizontal position, the baby controls the flow of milk. Try alternating the flow, by not letting the milk reach the nipple, similar to the flow of breastmilk. Try to mimic a breastfeeding session as much as possible, switching baby to a different side and letting them stop for a break. Not only does this help the transition from breast to bottle, but the paced bottle feeding technique will help your baby recognize when they are full, which they will show signs of by maybe opening a closed fist, falling asleep, or giving up the bottle altogether.

 

Patience is Key 

Similar to breastfeeding, don’t expect your baby to gulp down a bottle in one sitting. Patience is vital when with this method, as not only is it a new process, but the goal is to mimic breastfeeding as much as possible, especially if you’re transitioning from exclusively breastfeeding to bottle feeding. It can be frustrating when your baby doesn’t take to the bottle right away. You may need to consider trying a different bottle or waiting for the baby to give those cues that they’re really hungry. If you ever have questions or concerns that your baby isn’t eating properly or enough, we recommend consulting your pediatrician or a lactation consultant.

 

The Benefits of Paced Bottle Feeding

There are many reasons why a mom should consider using the paced bottle feeding method to transition her baby to use bottles. For a mama that has to go back to work after being on maternity leave and has been exclusively breastfeeding, she may consider pumping breast milk to give her baby while she is away and transitioning to a bottle is necessary when the baby is left in someone else’s care.

 

Don’t Waste Precious Milk

Paced bottle feeding is also great for formula-fed babies. Since it’s more of a “baby-led” technique, this method helps avoid over or underfeeding baby. Both formula and breastmilk are extremely valuable. Not only do you want to make sure that the baby is getting enough nutrients so that they can thrive and grow, but paced bottle feeding also helps make sure that you’re not wasting any precious milk by over-serving the baby. You may have some instances where you’re over or under serving milk at first, but one of the many benefits of paced bottle feeding is that you establish a feeding routine that’s custom to your baby and eventually can figure out how much they need before they get full.

 

Understanding Your Breastmilk Supply  

Paced bottle feeding can also help you understand your milk supply if you are breastfeeding. If you’re overfeeding your baby, it can be difficult trying to pump to make up for the extra milk. However, by allowing your baby to lead the process, you can have a better understanding of how much milk they need. This will help you pump the right amount since you produce breastmilk on a supply and demand basis.

 

Paced Bottle Feeding Aids in Preventing Colic

 Did you know that using the paced bottle feeding technique can also help prevent colic? Yup, you read that right! By using proper positioning, your baby will swallow less air while eating. Therefore creating less gas and discomfort for your baby, (and more sleep for mama!). 

 

The Benefit of Bonding 

As we all know, breastfeeding is an intimate and unique experience between a mother and her baby. Dads, grandparents, and other caregivers may want to bond similarly with baby, and paced bottle feeding is a great way to do so. Since paced bottle feeding mimics breastfeeding, other caregivers can use this feeding time as their way to create a bond with the baby. 

 

One of Many Future Milestones

 The paced bottle is a process that transitions your baby to achieving one of many future milestones. Understanding your baby’s cues and patience is a skill worth learning, the results and benefits are totally worth it. Paced bottle feeding helps establish healthy eating habits for the future and can also help others bond with baby similarly (but not exactly) to the way mom and baby bond while breastfeeding. Good luck and enjoy this and all the other milestones you will share with your baby!

 

 

Have some questions about feeding? Feel free to list them in the comments! Also, check out our Rookie Moms Facebook Group, it’s a great group of moms where you can share your experiences, ask for advice and even help out another mom!

 

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Posted by: | Posted on: October 17, 2019

Reheating Breastmilk [3 Things You Need To Know!]

You warm up a four-ounce bottle of breastmilk, but your baby only drinks two ounces. Can you reheat the leftover breastmilk or does it have to be tossed? Breastmilk is liquid gold, and we totally understand how upsetting it can be to dump it down the drain!

Reusing and reheating breastmilk is generally not advised. However, there are a few studies showing that it may be safe to an extent, and a few authorities have said it is okay. Let’s break down the risks and safety measures concerning reheating breastmilk.

reheating bottle

1. Bacteria in Breastmilk

When you pump, a small amount of bacteria ends up in your milk inside the bottle. Usually, these bacteria are so few, and due to proper storage in the fridge or freezer, they do not have the opportunity to grow.

Additionally, fresh milk can fight bacteria and remain relatively anti-infective. The longer you store the milk, the less bacteria-fighting power it has.

When you give your baby a bottle, bacteria from your baby’s mouth is now present. As soon as your baby begins sucking, the bottle is contaminated.

If these bacteria multiply, they can harm your baby. This is especially true if your baby is premature, suffering from a pre-existing medical condition, or has a weakened immune system. Warm milk is a breeding ground for bacteria.

 

2. Proper Preparation

The safety of reheating and reusing the breastmilk is dependent on how you prepare and store it. 

You can prepare a bottle with fresh milk, meaning it has been at room temperature for less than four hours. Another option is using milk that has been in the fridge or frozen.

Babies do not require warm milk, yet most babies prefer it. You can give your baby fresh milk at room temperature and similarly, you can use milk directly from the fridge. If your baby prefers a warm bottle, check out these warmers that are quick and safe!

Our Favorites

  • Kiinde Kozii Bottle Warmer- The Kiinde Kozii’s design has your baby’s health in mind. It warms bottles up just a little slower, but only because overheating can destroy nutrients in breastmilk that you really want your baby to get.

reheating bottle

  • Munchkins Fast Bottle Warmer- Only one thing needs to be said for the Munchkin Warmer; it heats up a bottle in under 90 seconds. That means minimum time to listen to the hungry cry!

Most moms warm their refrigerated or frozen milk. Only use this milk if it meets proper storage guidelines and is not expired. This means it has been in the refrigerator for fewer than five days and in the freezer for fewer than six months.

To warm the milk, you can either run it under warm to hot water or let it sit in a bowl of warm to hot water. The water should not bring the milk to a boil as this will damage the nutrients and healthy bacteria. For the same reason, you should not heat milk in the microwave or oven.

Once the milk is warm, swirl it to mix in any fat and then test a drop on your rest for temperature. As long as the temperature feels fine, the milk is now ready for your baby.

 

3. What To Do with Leftover Breastmilk

You fed your baby but you still have some milk leftover and you hate to just throw it away. Is it safe to reheat or reuse later? This is where things get tricky.

Recommendations against Reheating Breastmilk

Most pediatricians and organizations advise against reheating or reusing breastmilk. Once the milk has been warmed and given to a baby, the risk for bacterial contamination is high. The CDC advises, “if your baby did not finish the bottle, the leftover breast milk can still be used within 2 hours after the baby is finished feeding. After 2 hours, leftover breast milk should be discarded”[1].

Similarly, Today’s Parent states, “It’s not safe to reheat a bottle of breastmilk”[2]. The thought behind these statements is reheating and reusing the milk it is not worth the risk to your baby’s health. You should dispose of all remaining milk within a two-hour period. 

Other authorities further specify the situations in which you should not reheat milk. If your baby is sick, their immune system is suppressed. They are more susceptible to bad bacteria from milk with any contaminants. If the milk has been previously frozen you should not reheat it (or refreeze it). This is because the freezing process weakens the milk’s bacteria-fighting properties, resulting in an increased bad bacteria count.

Finally, if milk is clearly showing signs of spoilage, you should not reheat it or reuse it. Overall, this approach errs on the side of caution. If your baby has not finished the bottle, it is best to dump the remaining milk along with the contaminating bacteria down the drain.

Recommendations for Reheating Breastmilk

The lack of a sufficient amount of data regarding the reheating and reusing of breastmilk leads others to believe that it may be safe to offer previously warmed milk. It is important to note that these statements are in support of reusing milk but largely ignore or advise against reheating milk.

This is in part because of the time frame in which the previously fed milk should be used. Throw the bottle away if it has been out for 2 hours. 

At room temperature, the bottle should not cool significantly within the two-hour window. Therefore, you should not need to reheat the milk. But is it still safe to use?

Expert Opinions About Reheating Breastmilk

Jan Barger, R.N., M.A., IBCLC states “it would seem to me that expressed breast milk, fed to the baby, partially consumed, and then refrigerated, could be used for one more feeding no more than four hours later. That’s probably fairly conservative,”[3] concluding that bacterial contamination will cause the milk to spoil, but there is no way of knowing how long this will take.

The Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine notes, “Once a baby begins drinking expressed human milk, some bacterial contamination occurs in the milk from the baby’s mouth. The duration of time the milk can be kept at room temperature once the baby has partially fed from the cup or bottle would theoretically depend on the initial bacterial load in the milk, how long the milk has been thawed, and the ambient temperature. There have been no studies done to provide recommendations in this regard. Based on related evidence thus far, it seems reasonable to discard the remaining milk within 1–2 hours after the baby is finished feeding”[3].

 

The common thread here is that too few studies have been done to conclude officially whether reheating and reusing previously used milk is safe or not. It would appear that as long as the milk was not frozen, your baby is healthy, and you use it within a one to two-hour period, the milk should be safe.

 

What Should You Do About Reheating Breastmilk?

In the end, what you do with your leftover breastmilk is up to you. There are advocates of, and studies upholding both opinions. If you are worried for any reason that your breastmilk may be harmful to your baby, it is best to toss it.

 

[1] https://www.cdc.gov/breastfeeding/recommendations/handling_breastmilk.htm

 

[2] https://www.todaysparent.com/baby/breastfeeding/is-it-safe-to-reheat-a-bottle-of-breast-milk/

 

[3] http://www.bfmed.org/Media/Files/Protocols/Protocol%208%20-%20English%20revised%202010.pdf

Posted by: | Posted on: October 17, 2019

Best Baby Carriers for Hiking – [Take a Hike with Baby!]

Before you hit the trails with your tot, you’re going to need one of the best baby carriers for hiking of some sort. As much as you think you can carry your child on your shoulders for the entirety of the hike, save yourself the pain suffering, and get yourself a hiking carrier that fits your needs.

If you think your love for hiking and exploring the outdoors is a distant memory now that you have a little one, that’s not the case at all! In fact, fostering a love and appreciation for the outdoors is a great way to raise your children! There are few things that make me happier than hiking with my little ones. Fun au naturál rather than manufactured fun encourages creativity and imagination (you’d be amazed how many things a stick can be) and with no technological distractions (phones, tablets, tv), you can create stronger bonds with your little ones all while getting exercise and fresh air.

best hiking carrier

Picking the right hiking carrier is important but might be hard to navigate. They vary in price, weight, support, storage, and of course, the bells and whistles they offer—so let us help you. Below are six of the best hiking carriers on the market right now for varying needs.

When Do You Need a Hiking Carrier

It’s never too early to start hiking with your little one. In fact, fresh air is great for baby and especially a postpartum mama. You can get away with a sling or wrap for the first few months of your baby’s life since they’re so small and you don’t need the kind of back support that hiking carriers provide. Your baby will need the head and neck support that they don’t though.

Once your baby gains some pounds and some head control, you are going to want something more supportive and comfortable. There are soft carriers and structured carriers.  A soft carrier (I recommend the absolute best one below), gives your baby’s head and neck support, so you can start using those around 4 months, but to use a structured carrier, you will have to wait until your child is at least 6 months old or can easily hold his or her head up.

I should also mention that some of these carriers are pricey, but the good thing is that they last until your child hits about 40 pounds (about three or four). They are all incredibly durable so you can use them for a few years for multiple children, which makes for a long life for these packs. If you use them enough, you will definitely get your money’s worth.

Features To Look For in the Best Hiking Carrier

Hiking carriers come with a variety of features to pick and choose from. so decide what are important to you. Features that hiking carriers can have are:

  • Integrated sunshade – one of the more important features I would say. Keep your baby out of the sun and in the sunburn free zone
  • Storage– definitely important to consider if you plan on hiking alone. You’ll need plenty of room for water, snacks, diapers, and extra layers.
  • Weight – every pound counts when you’re hiking up and down hills while carrying a child and gear on your back.
  • Child headrest – If your little one can sleep on the go, the headrests on some of these packs are key.
  • Ventilation – Keeping cool, especially in warm summer months makes hiking more enjoyable

Best Baby Carriers for Hiking

Deuter Kid Comfort Baby Hiking Carrier

best hiking carrier

The Deuter Kid Comfort is supportive and comfortable for both parent and child.

Deuter has won awards for their stellar hiking carriers, and for good reason. I’ve tried other Kid Comfort versions, but they really got it right with this one. The comfort level is on point, it’s extremely supportive, and the ventilation is unparalleled; making it perfect for hot summer hikes. Deuter also knows that the most important part about hiking with a child is keeping them happy, which is why I assume they made a well-padded soft headrest for when it’s nap time on the go.

If I could tweak it: I would make the pockets around the waistband slightly bigger so I could more easily fit my phone and kid snacks. I also wish there was an easy way to stow away the sunshade as it is not integrated into the pack.

Weight of pack: 7.1 pounds

Weight/age range for the child: Max weight the carrier can hold is 48lbs with the child and gear. Deuter makes no specifications on the age or weight of the child.

Storage space: 3.7 gallons

Sunshade: Included but not integrated

Headrest: Yes

Ventilation: 5/5 stars

Price: 200-$290, purchase here!

Kelty Journey PerfectFIT Elite

The Kelty Journey Perfectfit Elite is a robust pack for the most seasoned carrier.

Ooh she’s pretty. This hiking carrier not only looks the part, but it plays the part. It’s well padded for optimal comfort, easily adjustable to fit the shortest to the tallest parent, and my personal favorite: the storage. It has huge pockets on the hip belt to keep your phone, keys, a selfie stick, heck, even a snack. On the back, it has a backpack with two pockets with mesh inserts to organize everything you need on your hike. Beyond that, there is a large pocket underneath the child seat that’s made of a material that wipes clean because, hey, messes happen. Its sunshade is also beautifully integrated into the pack.

If I could tweak it: This one was so close to checking all the boxes, but I wish it had dual access where a child could get in from the top or the side. With this pack, your child can only get in from the top. For small infants and toddlers, this is fine, but once they get bigger and heavier, it’s a little more difficult to get them in and out.

Weight of pack: 7lbs 4oz

Weight/age range for child: 16-40lbs (approximately 6 to 36 months)

Storage space: 6.9 gallons

Sunshade: Integrated

Headrest: Yes

Ventilation: 4/5 stars

Price: $300, current pricing here!

Chicco Smart Support Hiking Carrier

best hiking carrier

I love the price tag on this carrier!

Chicco exchanges all the bells and whistles that a hiking carrier can feature for a low-cost option for parents. Being half the price of other hiking carriers on the market (and in this post), it’s a good option for parents who want a structured carrier without the hefty price tag. The comfort and support does not match that of the more expensive hiking carriers, so this is better for parents who take short hikes here and there. And bonus! It does come with a small sun shade which does end up coming in handy.

If I could tweak it: I really wish there was some sort of storage. There’s not even a pocket on this to hold a phone or a water bottle.

Weight of pack: 6.5 lbs

Weight/age range for child: 17-40lbs (approximately 6 to 36 months)

Storage space: 0

Sunshade: integrated but small

Headrest: No

Ventilation: 3/5 stars

Price: ~$130, purchase yours here!

Thule Sapling Elite Child Carrier

The Thule Sapling Elite carrier is comfortable, has an incredible amount of storage, and looks sleek.

Comfort on fleek (translation: wow this pack is comfortable). This carrier does three things exceptionally well: support, storage, and adjustments for any sized adult. The support is equal to that of the Deuter and Kelty packs. They’re all incredible on that front. For storage, the Thule has about the same amount of storage as the Kelty pack, but a cool feature is that you can zip off the pack on the back so your hiking buddy can bear the weight burden. Lastly, in terms of adjustments, it does so like a breeze so you can easily switch from a short person to the tallest.

Thule really nailed it with this pack and made the hefty price tag well worth it.

If I could tweak it: This pack is nearly perfect except the support stand that pops out to load and unload your child isn’t very sturdy.

Weight of pack: 7.9 lbs

Weight/age range for the child: 16 lbs weight minimum and able to sit upright without assistance. The maximum carrying capacity for the pack is 48lbs with child and gear.

Storage space: `~7lbs including detachable backpack

Sunshade: integrated

Headrest: Yes

Ventilation: 5/5 stars

Price: ~$350, check it out here!

MiaMily HIPSTER

Best Hiking Carrier

The MiaMily HIPSTER is the best option for soft hiking carriers. This should be your go to if you’re planning on                             hiking while traveling as it’s small enough to pack. It also has storage for a solo hiker.

My biggest complaint about this baby carrier for hiking is that it did not exist a few years ago when my son was an infant. We lived in New York City, and when I would go on walks with him using a different carrier, I would say, “I wish there was a pocket on this to fit a small wallet, my phone, a diaper or 2, and a water bottle”. Now, thanks to an innovative mama duo, what I always dreamed of now exists.

And they made it better than I could imagine.

This soft carrier wouldn’t just be used for hiking, but everyday use as well. What’s great about using it for hiking is that it does offer a good amount of support, it doesn’t weigh much at all, and for a short hike or one you’re going on with a pal that can carry a pack, you have all the storage space you need. If you’re looking for a soft carrier instead of a structured carrier, or one that you can travel with that doesn’t take up much room at all, this one’s yours.

Additionally, you will definitely get your money’s worth as it’s an everyday carrier for the smallest infant to a 44lb kid!

If I could tweak it: I wouldn’t. They nailed it.

Weight of pack: 1.9 lbs

Weight/age range for the child: 3 months old to 3 years old

Storage space: Not specified, but about a gallon, I would say. There is this youtube video that shows how much it can fit.

Sunshade: none

Headrest: No, but your child can sleep comfortably resting against your body

Ventilation: 3.5/5 stars

Price: ~$130, buy yours here!

Piggyback Rider

The Piggyback Rider is a good option for parents with older children. It’s small, it’s lightweight, and it’s fun.

This is not your average hiking carrier. I wanted to include this as an option because it has many benefits and it’s great for older toddlers and kids. In terms of weight, it only weighs 2 pounds and is extremely compact, so bringing it along on an adventure or stroll for a “just in case” moment isn’t difficult. Additionally, kids really enjoy riding it because it’s fun, and their vantage point is not what they usually experience as they’re higher up than in any other carrier. This is great for older children who no longer fit in any other hiking carrier, but don’t quite have the stamina to hike a trail start to finish.

This is a barebone, incredibly lightweight carrier that barely takes up any space. It is really great for traveling and can be used off the trails when you’re exploring a new city or taking a stroll in the park.

If I could tweak it: With the harness, your child is secure on your back, so you don’t have to worry about them falling off completely. However, I wish it had foot straps that kept your child’s feet secure.

Weight of pack: 2 lbs

Weight/age range for the child: 2-4 years old (up to 50lbs)

Storage space: None

Sunshade: No

Headrest: No – the child would not be able to sleep with this carrier

Ventilation: 5/5 stars

Price: ~$75, purchase here!

New Addition! Baebi Carrier

One of our other Rookie Moms loves this carrier so much, that we just had to add it on to the list! They are a nature-loving crew that loves hiking, camping, and exploring. Unfortunately, the great outdoors can be a hard place to manage when you have 4 under 8 trying to run off of every mountain they see. Making sure their 7 month-old is securely tucked into a carrier allows the extra hands to help their other children explore safely. The BAEBI Carrier was the most secure, comfortable, and structured carrier this mama had ever used. Both her and her little guy love the thick padding. They also really appreciated the easy but secure snap system, which allows you to get your baby in and out easily. It has become their go-to carrier for all things outdoors!

Weight of pack: 2.2 lbs

Weight/age range for the child: Newborn to 6+ Months

Storage space: Tons of convenient pockets & they are zippered. 

Ventilation: 5/5 stars

Price: $160, buy yours here!

 

About the Author

Nia Chauvin

Find Some Of Our Other Carrier Reviews Here: 

7 of the Best Baby Carriers That Will Save Your Back (And Arms And Legs)

Why the Ergo Omni 360 Deserves a Place On Every Mom’s Registry List

How to Put Newborn Twins in a Moby Wrap

Posted by: | Posted on: October 17, 2019

Tandem Breastfeeding [Everything Mamas Need to Know!]

I want to start things off by saying breastfeeding is a different journey for every mother. There is no comparing one situation to the next! It is my hope that all mamas get the chance to have a long and happy breastfeeding journey, even if it is hard at first. One tricky situation that you might find yourself in is tandem breastfeeding. We are here to tell you all you need to know about it and hopefully make it seem a bit less daunting. 

tandem breastfeeding

What is Tandem Breastfeeding?

Tandem breastfeeding is when you nurse two of your babies at the same time. It is common among moms of multiples, but may also be used by moms who have children close in age. When nursing twins tandem breastfeeding often means one baby on each breast.  If you are tandem nursing two different aged children you may use tandem nursing in a couple of different ways.

Nursing is often the predominant nutrient source for your infant during their first year of life. This is why if you have another baby, you may still want to nurse your older child. Keep in mind, you may want to nurse your younger baby first. This will ensure that they receive an adequate amount of milk. However, if you are producing too much milk, tandem nursing may actually benefit you. You can tandem breastfeed your toddler to reduce engorgement when your baby is done nursing or in between sessions.

Another reason to tandem breastfeed is if you have a fast letdown. Some infants can struggle with a fast-letdown and have difficulty latching. A toddler may be better able to handle the letdown until it subsides at which point the infant may then be nursed.

 

Will I Like Tandem Nursing?

tandem breastfeeding

Whether or not you will like tandem nursing is largely dependent on your lifestyle and personality. Tandem nursing can be difficult, especially at first. You are learning to adjust to a new baby and will still be required to meet the nursing demands of your toddler. If you are nursing twins, you will have to manage the schedule and demands of two infants. Tandem nursing can be overwhelming in either scenario, but worth the struggle in the end!

Tandem nursing certainly has benefits. After a period of time, you will probably get your children on a regulated schedule and nursing will not be exceedingly time-consuming. Of course, there are innumerable health and emotional benefits associated with breastfeeding. There are also positive aspects when nursing an infant and toddler. You will be able to connect with both your children and your toddler and infant will be able to bond through nursing as well. In addition, continuing breastfeeding your toddler will help to sustain some semblance of your routine pre-baby, comforting your older child.

Many women find that nursing a toddler can be used to soothe them during difficult situations and provides them with an opportunity to sit, rest, and reconnect with both their children. There are pros and cons to tandem nursing, ultimately you will have to decide for yourself if you like it.

 

Some Things to Consider When Tandem Breastfeeding

tandem breastfeeding

Tandem nursing can have a variety of benefits beyond engorgement and letdown control. Tandem nursing can help bond your older child and the new baby. During a time when your toddler may be suffering from feelings of jealousy and detachment, nursing can be a beneficial way to soothe these anxieties.

In addition, studies have shown that children still receive health and nutrient benefits from breastfeeding beyond the first year. Nursing your toddler will continue to provide them with health and emotional support.

Providing Sufficient Nutrients to Your Newborn

When tandem breastfeeding, you may be concerned about providing a sufficient amount of milk to your newborn. It is important that your baby receives an adequate amount of breastmilk to sustain nutrition and weight gain. One of the ways in which this can be remedied is by always nursing your infant first, this will ensure that they are able to nurse for as long as they want and obtain as much milk as they want.

You may also want to nurse one child from each breast. This will ensure that your baby is receiving hindmilk and foremilk. However, if your newborn is able to empty one complete breast you should then put them onto the other breast to continue nursing.

Milk Production Concerns

Another consideration is milk production and if you will have enough milk to nurse two children. In most cases, the demand from both children will stimulate production. Nursing is regulated by supply and demand. When you are nursing more than one child, your body should respond to the increased demands.

Mama’s Well Being

The final consideration is the wellbeing of the mom. Nursing can lead to cracked and dry nipples, but as you have been continually nursing a toddler your breasts should be conditioned. You will likely not have to worry about nipple pain or soreness. Nursing also demands a great deal of the mother’s body. Be sure to get plenty of healthy calories and plenty of sleep.

 

Does My Newborn Always Need to Nurse First?

During the first few days to weeks your newborn should nurse first. Nursing your infant first will help to set your supply levels and ensure that your infant receives adequate nutrition. After birth you will be producing colostrum, a vital nutrient source for your newborn, so be sure to give them first dibs.

After a short period, you can nurse both children at the same time, one on each breast. You may also want to continue nursing the toddler after your infant, or maintain different nursing schedules in which they nurse at separate times.

 

What To Do if a “Weaned” Child Asks to Breastfeed Again?

Nursing a newborn can reignite a desire for nursing in a weaned child. Whether or not you choose to begin tandem breastfeeding with your weaned child again is at your discretion. It is also okay to comfort your toddler in other ways instead of nursing again. If you do so, be kind but firm and be sure to devote periods of time and attention solely to your toddler while your partner cares for the baby.

Alternatively, you can begin nursing your toddler again. It may be easier to nurse both children at the same time so that you are not burdened with an additional nursing session or sessions.

 

What Positions Are Best for Tandem Breastfeeding?

You can tandem nurse using the same positions that you find comfortable for breastfeeding a single child. Some positions you may want to try when nursing two children include:

 

  • A football hold, in which each child’s body is directed under your arm and behind your body.
  • A cradle hold, in which the baby is positioned across the toddler’s lap.
  • A combination hold, in which one child is in a football hold and the other is in a cradle hold.
  • The toddler leaning on you or kneeling while the infant is cradled. It is likely that your toddler is now adept at nursing in a variety of positions and will be able to acclimate themselves to the position of the newborn.

 

Tandem nursing can be a great experience and bond both you and your children in ways you never thought possible. If you are considering tandem nursing it may be beneficial to speak with friends who have tandem nursed or seek out those with the first-hand experience to determine if you may be suited to tandem nursing. Check out the Rookie Moms Facebook Group, where you will find a tribe of moms to ask for advice!

 

Other Articles You May Like:

Nipple Shield [Pros and Cons for New Moms!]

7 Great Options for a Nursing Sports Bra

3 Breastfeeding Tips I Heard Over and Over Again- And 3 Things I Wish I Heard Instead

Posted by: | Posted on: October 17, 2019

Best Teethers [The Key to Soothing Your Teething Baby]

When babies reach the teething stage, anything they can get their hands on becomes a teether. While babies are inquisitive and watching them learn can be cute, it’s important to have some teethers around that are designed to help with this stage of their life. There are so many teethers on the market, it can be confusing navigating which is best and for which situations. Here are the best teethers, separated into categories that showcase their main features, design, and how they can be useful while being enjoyed by your baby.

Best Teether Checklist

best teether

Not all teethers are created equal and while most have the same function, there are a few things that set some apart from the rest. These are the must-have qualities to look for when shopping:

  • Durable: you definitely want something that’s going to withstand being chewed, as well as being dropped, carried around, and washed.
  • Functional: you want your teether to be easy to use, both for the baby and the parent. It should have clear teether benefits, but also be easy for your baby to hold onto, to fit into their mouths, and interesting enough to keep your baby from grabbing another toy.
  • Easy to clean: this toy is going in the baby’s mouth, so you’ll want to make sure it can be washed or sanitized, depending on your preference. Some toys are hand-wash only while others may be dishwasher safe.
  • Safe: the baby is going to be using this teether frequently, so you’ll want to make sure the components of the toys are safe for baby. Many use kitchen grade silicone so it’s safe for the baby’s mouth and others use sterile water, cotton, and baby-friendly components.

 

The Best Cooling Teethers

A cooling toy is probably what first comes to mind when picking out a way to soothe your teething baby. These are traditionally rings or toys that you place in the freezer. This provides a cooling and numbing effect when the baby uses them. These are a great option because they are designed to withstand the chewing, gumming, and biting of a growing baby.

best teether

Green Sprouts has a line of great cooling teethers, all with the same basic design. Each teether has a ring shape and texture to soothe teething. Inside is sterile water and the exterior is made of thick plastic, ensuring that it is safe and soothing. The most popular option is the classic teether ring. This teether has a large ring shape with bead-like bumps to create the ring. Each bump has a different texture and pattern for a massaging effect.

best teether

Dr. Brown’s Coolees is another great cooling teether. This teether has the shape of a watermelon wedge and is a solid teether. The entire piece is cooling and doesn’t have any liquid inside. This is appealing to parents who may worry about the teether getting a puncture or leaking. The size of this teether is most appropriate for children who are beginning teething and are cutting their first few teeth. As your baby grows older and bigger this toy may be a little small or soft for chewing with teeth.

 

Teething Rings

Another traditional teether is the ring teether. Usually made of some kind of plastic with texture, these simple yet effective teether toys are great for on the go. Ring teethers are easy for a baby to hold on to and most come in bright colors making them easy to locate in a diaper bag.

best teether

This Teether Ring Four Pack by Bonbino comes in a range of colors, from brights to blue neutrals. They have a solid design with four different textures around the ring. The solid structure, as opposed to liquid filled, make them easy to wash and durable through the teething stage.

best teether

This fish-shaped teether by Nuby is multifunctioning. It can also be used as a pacifier because there’s a ring to hold on to and chew but there’s a main V-shaped piece that is textured and has bristles to help cool and massage sore gums. This is a unique teether because the bristles also work like a toothbrush, cleaning gums while the baby chews.

 

The Best Teether Mitts

A more modern take on the teether is the teething mitt or mitten. This is a cloth mitten with a textured, silicone edge that baby wears and chews. These are a great way to help younger babies who are just starting to chew as the mitten is more difficult to drop or lose. Each mitten has a different design, from the fabric pattern to the mitten layout. Many have a paw shape or a classic mitten shape as well as fun patterns that fit any style or personality.

The BabyBliss Teething Mittens come in a two-pack in two different colors, each with the same basic shape. The edge of the mitten has three bumps, much like a paw, and a base with a patterned fabric. The mitten has a velcro tab at the bottom to keep it secure on your baby’s hand. These mittens come in two sizes, small and large, for babies 2 to 8 months and 8 to 12 months.

Munch Mitt has some of the cutest and modern designs to help your baby’s teether mitt work as an accessory. This one has a cactus pattern with a bright green silicone end. The standard mitten design provides two bumps for teething and some texture for massaging sensitive gums.

 

Other Articles About Teething Tips & Tricks:

Amber Teething Necklaces- What You NEED To Know

Reader Tip; Use Frozen Breastmilk to Provide Teething Relief

 

Posted by: | Posted on: October 17, 2019

Sterilizing Baby Bottles [Top 5 Best Bottle Sterilizers!]

A bottle sterilizer may seem like a frivolous gift to add to a baby shower registry, but newborns can definitely benefit from using a bottle sterilizer. They make it easier to sanitize bottles, bottle nipples, toys, and anything the baby may put into their mouth. Household germs and those from people around the baby can be harmful to little ones with weaker immune systems. This is especially true for premature babies, babies less than 3 months old, or babies who have been recently sick.

The best bottle sterilizers use steam to treat baby items. Some families choose to use the dishwasher, microwave, or hot soapy water to clean items. However, using a sterilizer will kill bacteria and keep everything safe for newborns. 

Bottle Sterilizer Basics

There’s a difference between a clean bottle and a sterilized bottle. It is important to understand this so that you can make the right choice for you and your family! 

best bottle sterilizers

Why Choose a Sterilizer Over Other Methods?

Using hot soapy water can clean bottles, but it isn’t a guaranteed way to kill germs and bacteria.

The dishwasher is another alternative as it uses hotter water for a longer time to clean bottles. Keep in mind, it also isn’t guaranteed to kill all germs that the baby can find tough to fight off. Without a bottle sterilizer, you can still sterilize bottles by placing them in boiling water for five minutes. Another method is to use the dishwasher if it has a sanitize cycle.

I actually think it’s more convenient to use a bottle sterilizer than running the dishwasher or using a pot of water. A bottle sterilizer is a countertop device that you place bottles, bottle parts, pacifiers, and other small items inside. You can even put your breast pump parts in the sterilizer! Then you just run the cycle which treats the items with steam killing all germs and bacteria.

Types of Bottle Sterilizers

Most bottle sterilizers use electric steam to sanitize but there are also microwave steam sterilizers that you can use in the microwave. The last type of bottle sterilizer uses UV light which uses light to kill germs, just like they use in hospitals and dentist offices. This method is great because it reduces the mess steam sterilizers can create.

There are a variety of bottle sterilizers on the market, which can make it difficult to choose. When selecting your sterilizer consider how many bottles you’ll want to clean at once, how much counter space you have, and if it would be easier to have an all-in-one device that dries and stores, or a simple unit that fits in the microwave when you need things cleaned.

 

Best 5 Bottle Sterilizers

Electric Sterilizers

1: Papablic Baby Bottle Electric Steam Sterilizer and Dryer

best bottle sterilizers

This is a great all-in-one bottle sterilizer because it sterilizes with high heated steam, dries your items, and is a great rectangular size to keep clean bottles stored in right on the counter. It’s also a great item for families with a newborn because it can sterilize breast pump items, bottle pieces, and pacifiers, almost like a tiny dishwasher for your baby items. In addition to these great features, it also has one dial with simple settings. There is no real need for instructions, simply place your items in, set it, and go about your day.

 

2: Gourmia Jr. Baby Bottle Sanitizer and Bottle Warmer

Electric sterilizers are also a good choice because they often have more than one function. As in the previous electric sterilizer that dried the items as well as cleaning, this sterilizer also has a bottle warmer. The sterilizer compartment can hold 6 bottles at once, or four bottles with the accessory tray for toys and pacifiers. The bottle warmer has several functions to warm slowly or quickly, and with everything in one unit it saves counter space. This is a great all around bottle sterilizer because of its design, function, and quality.

 

Microwave Sterilizers

3: Philips AVENT Microwave Steam Sterilizer

best bottle sterilizers

Microwave sterilizers are a good option for something simple and easy to use, without needing a separate appliance. They all have a similar design, a clear dome top with a tray for holding the bottles and the water. This one by Philips holds four bottles at once, either standard neck or wide neck. Items can be sterilized in as little as two minutes and are considered sterile for up to 24 hours if you don’t open the lid after sterilizing. Families often use this as a quick travel option for sterilizing on the go.

 

4: Dr. Brown’s Steam Sterilizer

Another great microwave sterilizer is this one by Dr. Brown. It has a simple design and fits four Dr. Brown bottles, but is compatible with other brands. The tray steams the bottles and is also useful for small objects like pacifiers. This specific sterilizer comes with a set of plastic tongs and is a solid, simple, microwave option. Microwave sterilizers are also a good beginner sterilizer, as their price point and design make it easy to navigate bottle sterilization for first-time parents.

 

UV Sterilizers

5: Wabi Baby Touch Panel Function UV Sterilizer and Dryer

best bottle sterilizers

UV bottle sterilizers are a bit more expensive, as they’re more high-tech than the steam sterilizers on this list. The most recommended UV sterilizer is this one by Wabi Baby. The unit sterilizes, dries, and stores bottles which is great for counter space and keeping track of which bottles have been washed and are ready for use. The simple square design and touchscreen buttons give this a futuristic look. Choosing a UV sterilizer could be a good option for the family overall, as this unit can be used to sterilize pretty much anything, which makes it useful beyond bottles to clean cups, toys, and even devices like cell phones.

Other Articles You’ll Enjoy:

Hindmilk and Foremilk… Is There An Important Difference?

Warm It Up Mom! [A Quick Guide] to the Best Bottle Warmer for Babies!

Best Formula for Gassy Babies [5 Belly Soothing Options!]

Have questions about sterilizing baby bottles or any other baby questions feel free to leave them in the comments. 

Pin for Later: Sterilizing Baby Bottles [Top 5 Best Bottle Sterilizers!]

Posted by: | Posted on: October 17, 2019

How to Choose the Best Twin Carrier [4 of Our Faves!]

A baby carrier is a necessity for many parents as it’s an awesome way to bond with your baby that lets you skip the stroller and tend to your child with your hands-free. If you are expecting twins, you might be wondering what about me? While baby carriers, from slings to traditional Ergos are readily available for single babies, it can be a bit more tricky to find something suitable for twins. Luckily, there are several twin baby carriers on the market right now. They offer all the convenience and appeal of a single baby carrier but cater to both babies at once. They also make it a little easier for one parent to carry, tend to, and bond with twins at the same time.

best twin carrier

What is a Twin Baby Carrier?

Twin baby carriers use the same principle and technology as single carriers. The only difference is that they allow one person to carry both children at once. The most common setups are with one carrier in the front and one in the back. Think; adult sandwich. Some carriers allow both children to be carried on your sides. This position kind of mimics holding and carrying both children at once in your arms, but with the added support of the carrier. Other carriers on the market allow the carrier to be used in tandem, and separately so parents can carry one child at a time. This is a great feature to keep your eye out for!

 

Must-haves:

  • Carry both babies at once: this seems obvious but many carriers are marketed as a “two pack” and not for carrying both babies at one time on one person. If you ever want to do anything hands-free with two babies, this is a must.
  • Easy to use and wear: managing a baby carrier with one baby is tricky as it is. So, a twin baby carrier must be easy to wear, get on and off, and configure with one arm.
  • Comfortable: baby carriers are getting better at distributing weight, but this is especially important when carrying both babies at once. You’ll want a carrier that can handle two babies, without hurting your back, shoulders, or arms.
  • Flexible: many twin baby carriers can carry both at once or be used as individual carriers. This is a must-have so parents can carry one baby at a time, or handle both at once if needed.
  • Safe for both babies: you’ll want a carrier that supports each child appropriately and takes their hips, spine, and weight into consideration. If it isn’t comfortable and safe for baby, it won’t be the right carrier for anyone.

 

The Best Twin Carriers on the Market Right Now

1: TwinGo Carrier Air

This is the ideal twin baby carrier, designed by a mother of twins! She wanted to be able to soothe both children at once, over having to choose which baby to carry. You will wear this twin carrier with one child on the front and one child on the back. This positioning makes it easier to have hands-free time while also connecting with both babies at once. Each carrier takes the baby’s safety and support into consideration with an ergonomic design and breathable fabric.

In addition to wearing both babies at once, each carrier can be worn solo. This allows both parents to carry a child for one on one bonding time. The sleep hood accessory supports the baby’s head gently to make it easier for sleeping. It also doubles as a sun shield. There are three models of the TwinGo Carrier. The original which has a larger pocket for carrying items, a Lite model which has the pocket removed, and the Air model which has a zipper to reveal a mesh panel for air flow.

2: Malishastik Twin Baby Carrier

If you’ve tried to carry both twins at once you know it’s a handful. This twin baby carrier situates one child on each hip so you can tend to them and carry them with added support. Most baby carriers you wear like a backpack, but this carrier is more like a harness that allows you to hold both babies on your sides. This carrier is also different from other twin carriers in that it is all one piece and doesn’t separate to allow for single baby carrying. It doesn’t have any different configurations, only one baby on each hip. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing if you enjoy the hip configuration, though! The Malishastik twin baby carrier comes in a wide range of colors from standard neutrals to those with a bit more color.

best twin carrier

3: Twingaroo Twin Carrier

Another great baby carrier for twins is this Twingaroo. You can use this twin carrier harness with one or two babies, either as a front wearing carrier with a backpack rear or with both babies, one in the front and one in the back. The backpack style straps are well-padded for comfort. Also, the rear carrier has a backpack style look which makes it easy to carry gear, snacks, and other necessities. There’s also a front pouch for little things like keys and phones. This is great for twin parents as it carries both children and works as a diaper bag, with everything on hand and still hands-free.

best twin carrier

4: Baby Tula Ring Sling (You’ll Need 2 of them!)

If you like the idea of a sling carrier, there is a little trick to make this work with twins. You can simply get two ring slings and put them on opposite sides. You will use the ring sling just as you would with a single baby (x2!). Many moms love the sling because of the closeness it provides with their baby being snuggled right up against them. Check out this video to guide you on how to put the slings on and get the babies in. I would try to explain it to you, but it makes a whole lot more sense when you just see it!

Pictured is a single carrier

 

 

Looking for advice from other twin moms? Head to the Rookie Moms Facebook Group!

Other Articles You May Like:

The Best Diaper Bag to Make a Twin Moms Life a Little Easier!

150 Adorable & Strong One Syllable Boy Names

Baby Carriers for Hiking- [Take a Hike with Baby!]

 

 

Posted by: | Posted on: October 17, 2019

Fenugreek and Breastfeeding; Does it Work & Is it Safe?

Fenugreek and breastfeeding; these are probably two words you will hear side by side often during your breastfeeding journey. Many moms struggle with low supply. It can be frustrating trying to nurse a baby or to pump an adequate amount when you aren’t producing enough. Fenugreek has long been touted as a natural way to increase milk supply. Fenugreek is a herb that is considered a galactagogue, something that increases breastmilk production. It has been in use for centuries even though modern studies produce varying results.

If fenugreek does not sound like the solution for you or if you want to double up on methods, you can also try power pumping! 

 

What is Fenugreek?

Fenugreek is a plant with small whitish flowers and your typical green leaves. It also produces small tan fenugreek seeds within its pods.

Indian and Asian cuisine, as well as Chinese Medicine, all use Fenugreek. The flavor, when added to dishes, resembles maple syrup. Interestingly enough, mothers who take Fenugreek supplements will also smell of sweet syrup.

Rather recently, Americans have started ingesting it for its many health benefits. Fenugreek can boost testosterone, help control blood sugar in diabetics, and is a galactagogue.

Breastfeeding mothers who take fenugreek pills or drink fenugreek tea often do so hoping it will increase their milk supply. The results are mixed. Some studies show that its role in milk production may be more psychological than physical.

A few moms will notice an increase almost immediately, within the first two to three days, others may have to wait a week or two, and still, some never see an increase. You can use Fenugreek until adequate supply levels resume or long-term.

 

Is Fenugreek Safe When Breastfeeding?

Fenugreek is a safe substance to consume while breastfeeding. As they use it to flavor artificial maple syrup and you can find it in many cuisines, fenugreek is pretty harmless.

However, it does interact with some medications such as insulin and anticoagulants, so check with your doctor prior to taking it in any form. Take Fenugreek with caution if you suffer from asthma or diabetes.

Fenugreek is in the same genus as peanuts so use care if you have a peanut allergy or have had prior negative reactions to peanuts.

Possible Side Effects

Fenugreek regimens come with a few side effects. Some moms experience intestinal upset. Fenugreek has been associated with diarrhea, upset stomach, and nausea in breastfeeding mothers. These side effects may not only be present in you but in your baby as fenugreek passes through breastmilk.

Fortunately, in most cases, a reduction in the amount of fenugreek or complete cessation provides symptom relief.

 

Fenugreek and Breastfeeding; Do I Need It?

Determining if you need a galactagogue can be difficult. Most moms assume that they need fenugreek when this isn’t always the case.

If your baby is meeting weight goals set by your pediatrician while exclusively nursing, then your milk supply is probably fine. If your baby is not gaining weight, then you should meet with your child’s doctor or lactation consultant.

There are a few methods and factors that are not good indicators of milk supply. Often, supply levels change with your hormones during your monthly cycle.

Babies can go through cycles as well, and the frequency and duration of nursing rarely indicate supply. They may be having a growth spurt or just experiencing a particularly fussy phase. A baby that is nursing more frequently, fussing at the breast, or seems to drink slowly does not always mean your supply has dropped.

Finally, the feel of your breasts or the sensation of a letdown, or lack thereof, are also not good indicators of the milk supply level.

If you are pumping and not producing enough, or if your doctor has recommended trying to increase your supply, then you can consider fenugreek.

 

How to Use Fenugreek

Fenugreek comes in capsules, powdered form, seeds, or as a tea. The product you purchase should come with a dosing chart. In most cases, once you experience an increase in milk supply, it is safe to stop consuming fenugreek with no negative effects.

It is best to use Fenugreek in conjunction with other supply increasing techniques. This includes nursing frequently and on demand, reducing the use of pacifiers and/or bottles, and adding in pumping either directly after baby nurses or in between feedings. The removal of milk from the breasts signals to your body it needs to produce more.

Start off slowly by taking fenugreek and using supply increase methods. It is easy to go from having too little milk to having too much. Engorgement can return if you overdo it with your breastmilk production efforts.

 

Best Brands of Fenugreek

You can take fenugreek either in its pure form or blended with other herbs classified as galactagogues. Breastfeeding moms most commonly take fenugreek in the blended form, but if you would like fenugreek in the pure form we have provided you some of those options as well. 

Pure Fenugreek

Pure fenugreek is often marketed towards the general population and may not target nursing moms directly.

Nutrigold Fenugreek GOLD – a top-rated, gluten-free, GMO-free, organic product produced in the USA

fenugreek and breastfeeding

Nature’s Way Fenugreek – available at most supermarkets and free of artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives.

Solaray Organic Fenugreek – organically grown and 100% vegetarian, produced without fillers.

 

Fenugreek Blends for Breastfeeding Moms

Fenugreek blends are typically created just for nursing moms. They include a variety of supply increasing herbs along with fenugreek and may even have additions like probiotics.

Pink Stork True Milk – this blend contains fenugreek as well as blessed thistle powder, milk thistle extract, goats rue powder, anise seed powder, and fennel seed powder. A powerful blend with some of the best-known galactagogues.

Mommy Knows Best, Blessed Thistle Herb and Fenugreek Seed – a pared-down blend that works quickly.

UpSpring Milkflow – A powdered drink mix with a mixed berry flavor containing fenugreek, carrot seed, beetroot, anise, and blessed thistle. For women, who have difficulty swallowing pills.

fenugreek and breastfeeding

 

Fenugreek and Breastfeeding Final Considerations

If you decide fenugreek is for you, carefully review any drug interactions and/or allergies. It is best to discuss taking a fenugreek supplement with your doctor, pediatrician, or lactation consultant prior to starting.

When you take fenugreek, begin with a small amount and increase the dosage very slowly over the course of a few days to weeks. If you notice any symptoms, cut back or stop taking fenugreek.

With so many great brands on the market, you are sure to find one that will help make your nursing journey lasting and pleasant!

Other Articles You’ll Enjoy:

Hindmilk and Foremilk… Is There An Important Difference?

Warm It Up Mom! [A Quick Guide] to the Best Bottle Warmer for Babies!

Best Formula for Gassy Babies [5 Belly Soothing Options!]

Please reach out to our Facebook Group if you are having any struggles with breastfeeding! We are here to help and there is a whole tribe of mamas who have been where you are.

 

 

Posted by: | Posted on: October 17, 2019

How Long Can Breastmilk Sit Out? + Great Storage Tips!

If you are wondering how long breastmilk can sit out or the best ways to store it, you have come to the right place. Breastfeeding can be a very rewarding journey, but it is not without challenges. Nothing can be more upsetting for a new mom than finding a bottle of breastmilk forgotten on the counter. As tempting as it may be to put it back into the fridge, you must throw it away if you have not properly stored it.

How long breastmilk can be left out depends on the condition of the milk prior to it being left at room temperature. In most cases, four hours is the ideal amount of time breastmilk can be left sitting out.

In this article, we will discuss best practices for breastmilk storage. This includes:

  1. How long breastmilk can sit out
  2. How to store breastmilk safely
  3. When to get rid of breastmilk

You work so hard to pump enough ounces; don’t let those vital nutrients go to waste by improperly storing your milk. These guidelines, if followed, will ensure that your milk is safe for your baby.

How Long Can Breastmilk Sit Out?

According to Experts; This Is How Long Breastmilk Should Sit Out

Breastmilk cannot sit out for long periods of time because of bacteria. When you express your milk, a small number of bacteria end up inside the bottle.

If you store the bottle properly, the bacteria will not have the opportunity to thrive and harm the milk. However, if the milk is left out for longer durations, the bacteria will grow and reach unsafe levels that can be harmful to your baby.

Even though it is best to freeze or refrigerate your milk immediately after you pump, fresh milk can be left out for a short period. Experts agree that four hours is the optimal amount of time fresh milk can be left sitting out.

If fresh milk will be used towards nourishing a healthy, at-home baby then it may be kept at room temperature for up to six hours says Mayo Clinic. However, if the room is particularly warm, this shortens the window. Four hours is the maximum duration of time that milk should sit out in a warm room.

Since milk is a “live food” like yogurt, it can withstand being unrefrigerated to a degree. If you forgot about that bottle on the counter, you may still be able to use it. Good news for new moms suffering through that exhausting post-partum haze!

how long can breastmilk sit out

How Long Should Breastmilk Sit Out If It’s Been Refrigerated 

If you store your milk properly, either through refrigeration or freezing, these factors will affect the duration that it can be left out.

Previously refrigerated breast milk can sit out for up to four hours. After four hours, use it or throw it away. Once you warm this milk, it should not be put back in the fridge.

hindmilk

If you froze the milk, its lifespan depends on how frozen it remains. If you thaw milk out in the refrigerator but do not warm it up, you can then leave it out for 4 hours. You can also take the milk directly from the freezer, and leave it out at room temperature to thaw.

If you had thawed frozen milk and warmed it planning to feed your baby, but ended up not using it, this milk should be tossed. Some studies suggest that you can place it back in the fridge. However further research is necessary, notes the Mayo Clinic. Some experts suggest that if you warm up milk, you should discard it immediately. Others state that previously frozen, then warmed milk can survive in the fridge for up to twenty-four hours.

The good news is, if you happen to forget and leave that precious bottle of milk on the counter, you have a short window of time to return it to the refrigerator.

 

Safely Storing Your Milk

Suitable Containers

Our Favorite Glass Containers 

In order for your breastmilk to remain healthy and safe, it should not sit out and also should be frozen and kept in a suitable container. You can store milk in glass, plastic, or freezer bags.

Glass jars with leak-proof lids are an excellent way to store milk. Mason jars are the most common glass option. Using glass means your container is washable and you can use it over and over.

Mason jars are a stackable, space-saving choice for your fridge or freezer. As they are not plastic, you don’t have to worry about chemicals leaching into your baby’s food.

how long can breastmilk sit out

Bottles That Connect Directly to Your Pump

Plastic bottles or containers are also an option. Sometimes, the plastic bottles will seamlessly attach to your pump. After you express milk into the bottles, you can cap them and place them directly into the fridge or freezer. Be sure to select BPA free bottles to keep the milk safe for your baby.

  • Tommee Tippee with Nature Electric Breast Pump- Tommee Tippee bottles make it a breeze for pumping moms. They have both a manual and electric pump, and you can pump directly into bottles or breastmilk bags. Many bottle brands have a set like this or you can use them with a universal adapter!

how long can breastmilk sit out

Breastmilk Bags

Plastic breastmilk bags are like bottles. You can pump milk directly into them, then you can seal and store them. These bags remain standing or can lay flat, making them convenient for small freezers. However, unlike bottles or glass, most bags are not reusable.

  • 100 Count Lansinoh Breastmilk Storage Bags– These bags are popular and it is no surprise since they are pre-sterilized with a double lock zipper. You won’t have to clean up any messes from leakage because these bags are so strong. 

Label & Date

No matter the storage container you choose, be sure to label and date all breastmilk while it is still sitting out. On the label place your name, the date, and the quantity in ounces. By dating your milk, there will be no estimating the expiration date.

It’s helpful to store milk in small amounts, typically 2-3 ounces, especially for newborns. By dividing the milk into 2-3 ounce portions, you will waste less. Any milk that you heat or your baby does not finish should be discarded.

A final consideration when freezing milk is to leave an adequate amount of room in the container. Liquid expands when frozen. If you do not have enough room in your container for expansion, the bottle could crack, rendering the milk unusable.

Milk Blister

When to Dispose of Your Milk

It is important to feed your baby fresh milk and to dispose of milk when it becomes unsafe. Expired milk should be tossed. Milk’s lifespan depends on how you store it.

Use milk that is in the freezer within six months. Keep your milk in the back of the freezer rather than in the door. In a deep-freeze freezer milk can last up to twelve months, but six months is still ideal.

Freshly expressed milk kept in the refrigerator is usable for up to five days. However, it is best to use refrigerated milk within 3 days. If you pump and do not have a fridge available, you can keep milk with ice packs in a cooler for up to twenty-four hours.

How the Quality of Breastmilk Changes When It Sits Out

When you store your milk for a long time the quality can change. Over time milk kept in the freezer will decrease in Vitamin C. Additionally, breast milk is constantly adapting to meet the needs of the baby. Milk that was expressed six months ago may not suit the nutritional needs of your baby as well as freshly expressed milk.

 

Enjoy the Journey

If you store your milk in a clean glass or plastic container, follow the guidelines about when to refrigerate or freeze it, and dispose of it at the proper time, your milk will be safe and healthy for your baby. Breastfeeding is no easy task; keep up the good work!

 

Other Breastfeeding Articles You May Find Helpful: 

Warm It Up Mom! [A Quick Guide] to the Best Bottle Warmer for Babies

How to Wean from Pumping- Breastfeeding Tips for a Pro 

Best Nipple Creams to Soothe Breastfeeding Pains

 

Posted by: | Posted on: October 17, 2019

Mommy and Me Yoga [5 Amazing Benefits for Mom & Baby!]

There are three things that are really hard to balance as a mom; one on one bonding time with your little one, exercising in a way that provides self-care and hanging out with other mamas in the same phase of life. Well, there is one way to get all of these things done at once. Head to mommy and me yoga! Trust me, you do not have to be a yogi to attend one of these classes. They are seriously fun and even better, so beneficial for both you and your baby. 

mommy and me yoga

What to Expect at Mommy and Me Yoga

Don’t be intimidated! Mommy and Me Yoga is going to be different than any other yoga class you have been to. And of course, your baby does not have to be perfectly behaved to fit in. No one will judge you for feeding or changing your baby in the middle of class, either. These classes usually focus mostly on stretching and are themed with fun, upbeat music. A little baby will spend the yoga session in your arms, but usually, once they can walk or crawl you will put them down next to you. As far as a time frame, you can expect to be there anywhere from 30 to 60 minutes just like most normal yoga classes.

Safety Precautions

The yoga instructors that run mommy and me classes are trained professionals (as long as you find a reputable studio). They know what is safe for you and your baby and exactly how to make the experience beneficial for you both. However, start gently and don’t feel like you need to push yourself too hard. It is not recommended to start until your baby can hold their head up without help, but every studio has different guidelines. You may also want to run the idea past your doctor. 

Finding a Mommy and Me Yoga Class

These classes are pretty common these days, and finding a studio may be as easy as googling “Mommy and Me Yoga near me”. The YMCA often offers Mommy and Me options, so you can also start by checking there!

mommy and me yoga

5 Reasons Mommy and Me Yoga is Beneficial 

Physical and Emotional Connection 

The absolute best thing about Mommy and Me Yoga is how you get to bond with your baby. It is time dedicated just to the two of you. Yoga is an activity that is both healthy and playful which are the perfect kind of things to bond over. 

Photo Credit; Yoga Jai Ma in San Diego

Learn Stretches and Gain Strength Specifically for Moms

Our bodies really get put through the wringer during pregnancy. And yeah, it’s all worth it but that doesn’t mean we aren’t trying to find ways to get back the body we once had or to find a new normal that we are happy with. Yoga is an incredible way for many women to make peace with their bodies and recognize the miracles it has performed. At one of these classes, you will find the poses are geared specifically to heal mamas. You will gain core strength as well as work your pelvic floor muscles. Plus, many general poses help you gain strength in your arms, shoulders, and chest. All the things you need for bouncing and rocking your babe! So, get your downward facing dog on! 

Help Your Baby Develop Motor and Sensory Skills

Heading to Mommy and Me Yoga with your baby isn’t just beneficial for you. They will actually get a lot out of it, too. Many experts are in agreement that getting your baby moving a bit will help them in the long run. It is also beneficial for them to experience a new environment like the yoga studio. 

Leave with a Happier Baby (who sleeps & eats better!)

Baby yoga can help with digestion and getting your little one down to sleep. When you practice any knees to chest pose, you are helping to relieve any constipation or gas. As for easier sleep, there is no real proof but getting your baby out and about on top of moving around usually helps. 

Meet Other New Moms at Mommy and Me Yoga

Best Nursing Bra

If you and your friends all had babies around the same time, consider yourself one of the lucky ones. Many moms find themselves looking for other mom friends that can relate to them and share in experiences. Obviously, this yoga class is going to be full of other moms and potential new friends! Be brave and put yourself out there before and after classes and chances are you will leave with some great new mama friends. 

 

Looking for more mama friends? We have a whole group of moms who share and ask for advice. Check out our Rookie Moms Facebook Group!

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