Best Tried & True Storage: Lansinoh Breastmilk Storage Bags

When polling experienced moms about freezer bag storage for breast milk, the winner hands down is Lansinoh. These bags allow you to attach them directly to the breast pump and they work with Lansinoh, Medela, Ameda and Avent pumps. Lansinoh storage bags have a double zipper seal to prevent leaks. You can store them in the freezer stacked flat to save space as well.

Here’s more on why we thought these bags were the best option:

What We Liked

• Lay flat to freeze. You’d think that would be common, but this is one of the few milk storage options that actually lay flat in a freezer. After they are frozen, they can be stored standing up.

• Date/time can be written on bag. 

• Easy to thaw.

What Needs Work

• Occasionally leak. In our testing, we didn’t have any leaks but we see reports that indicate this is an occasional issue.

• Counterfeits. Watch out for fake versions of these bags—they are so popular, counterfeiters have been seen selling knock-off versions! The link in this article is to the authentic Lansinoh product.

Best Durable Storage Bag: Medela Breast Milk Storage Bags

Medela is one of the biggest names in breast pumps and their milk storage bags do not disappoint. After testing Medela’s bags versus other brands, we recommend Medela as an Editor’s Choice. Here’s more:

What We Liked

• Self standing with double zipper.

• Durable. 

• Can write date and time on the bags.

What Needs Work

• Don’t work directly with Medela’s pumps. To pump directly into a storage bag, you need to use Medela’s Pump & Save Bags. If you are using other brand pumps, these bags would be great storage option.

• Don’t lay as flat as other brands. In our testing, we thought other brands like Lansinoh were better at laying flat in a freezer.

• Not microwave safe. But that is true for all milk storage bags we tested—we don’t recommend using a microwave to thaw frozen breast milk because of uneven heating.

• Strong plastic smell.

Best Parent Favorite Bag: Kiinde Twist Pouch Breast Milk Storage Bags

These storage bags are unusual—they are part of a system that includes bottles and nipples. And parents we interviewed unusually praised Kiinde’s bags (and the bottle system itself)! They certainly are a reader fave. Here’s more:

What We Liked

• Single pouch can collect, store and feed. Yes, the nipples and bottles are sold separately. But this is a time saver, since the same bag goes from freezer to bottle (after thawing, of course).

• Can directly pump into bag.

• Recyclable. 

What Needs Work

• Expensive. Yep, this entire system is rather pricey. But folks like the convenance.

• Bulky when stored in a freezer.

• Measurement markings could be more accurate.

Best Longer-Term Storage: Philips Avent Breast Milk Storage Bags

Philips Avent is a popular maker of breast pumps and bottles—so it naturally follows that their storage bags have a large fan base. We do like their overall design (double zipper, reinforced seams, self standing). Here’s more:

What We Liked

• Sturdy and functional. We liked the super-thick plastic.

• Can write on the bag with the date and time.

• Good for longer-term storage. Thicker plastic = more protection for longer-term storage in freezer.

What Needs Work

• Measurement markings are inaccurate said our testers.

• Stiff plastic is difficult to open one-handed. We found other bags easier to open.

• Don’t lay flat in freezer.

• Can’t pump directly from Avent pumps.

Advice on storing expressed breast milk

Even if you plan to exclusively breast feed your baby, you still want to feed your baby by bottle—ideally, one bottle of expressed (pumped) breast milk at two to four weeks of age. Why? There are several reasons:

  • Dad gets involved.
  • Mom can go out to get her hair cut (remember you are nursing every 2-3 hours).
  • Baby learns that food comes in different packages. A common mistake is waiting until the end of maternity leave or when you want a date with your spouse to try a bottle. Once a baby is in the breast-only mode, he is less flexible about change.

Here’s an FAQ from our book, Baby 411 on how to pump and store breast milk:

Q. How do I pump and store my milk? Here’s what you need to know:

  • Wash your hands.
  • Clean all breast pump apparatus thoroughly.
  • Freshly pumped breast milk will last eight hours at room temperature and 24 hours in a cooler with blue ice.
  • Use sterilized opaque plastic bottles (polypropylene) or polyethylene disposable bags for collection of milk. Our top pick above is the best bet, based on our testing.
  • Fresh breast milk retains more of the antibodies and vitamins than breast milk that has been frozen and then thawed/warmed. So limit the amount of breast milk that is frozen and stored.
  • Remember to put a collection date on the bottles or bags! Use the oldest milk first.
  • Yes, you can combine expressed milk from different pumping sessions together in one container. Just keep it going for a full day, then divide the milk up into individual servings.
  • Start with three ounce servings of milk to freeze. Store four to six oz servings when your baby is three months old. Leave room in the container; fluids expand when frozen.
  • Newly expressed breast milk can sit out at room temperature for up to six to eight hours. So you can take freshly pumped milk with you when you are out and about without keeping it on ice.

This excerpt is reprinted with permission from the book, Baby 411: Clear Answers & Smart Advice for Your Baby’s First Year. 

Baby Bargains 12e logo for web page2