12 September 2013

Mixing breast milk with baby food? Store individual portions in baby food jars.

In: 0-1 Year

Jars of stored milk

Have you met Sarah Powers? I've been a fan ever since admiring her work as managing editor of Meagan Francis's fantastic site, The Happiest Home. Sarah and Meagan collaborate so beautifully. Sarah also writes a personal blog called Powers of Mine.

Sarah has a fantastic hack for parents who are transitioning from nursing to solid foods:

I'm in the process of introducing solids to my 7-month-old and like to mix a little pumped breast milk into her evening mixture of cereal and fruit. I use about an ounce of milk at a time (or even less) and I only pump once a week or so to collect the milk I need for the days ahead.

The problem is this: while a bottle of pumped milk lasts up to 8 days in the fridge, pouring out 1-ounce portions throughout the week is problematic. The milk separates naturally and that creamy top tends to stick to the sides of the bottle, so I never feel like I'm pouring out an evenly distributed mixture. Heating the entire bottle before pouring out what I need helps get the milk back to its original consistency, but it's probably not the best for the freshness or safety of the milk to return a warmed bottle to the fridge several times over the course of the week.

My hack: I keep the pumped milk in baby food jars! Immediately after pumping, I divide the milk into clean, glass baby food jars, which I have on hand anyway since we're in this process of introducing solids. I store the jars in the fridge and use them throughout the week. To bring to room temperature and re-mix the naturally separated milk, I place the glass jar in a bowl of hot water while I prep the rest of baby's food. The jars and lids go into the dishwasher and can be reused again the following week.

So simple and smart. As Sarah said: "I figured since it took me three kids to figure this out, maybe it would help others."

Why not label each jar with the "pumped" date? According to another Parenthacker, dry erase markers label glass jars beautifully. Another simple labeling option: clear tape + permanent marker.

Here are some more hacks for moms who use breast pumps (be sure to click the links and read the comments.)

Parents of new solid food eaters: any tips or advice to add?

Your comments

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Also, store homemade baby food in breast milk storage bags. There is a repurpose for every thing :)

This is a great idea. One do not have to prepare the baby food every time at feeding. One can prepare the whole week baby food in one time. I also like the idea of heating them to get that on room temperature. Using boiled water is a good way. Thanks for sharing such a nice idea.

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