Can You Store Breast Milk In Bottles With Nipples?

Last Updated on May 10, 2023

You shouldn’t store breast milk in bottles with nipples because the bacteria from your infant’s mouth can enter and spoil the milk more quickly. It is best practice to store your expressed breastmilk in clean containers such as bottles with tight-fitting lids, hard plastic cups or freezer bags specifically designed for storing human milk.

Breast milk is the best and most natural form of nutrition for babies, offering numerous health benefits and providing essential antibodies. Being a new mom, you may wonder if you can store breast milk in bottles with nipples. 

This is a common question among new parents or single breastfeeding moms who need to pump and store their breastmilk for later use for the newborn baby.

In this article, we’ll provide an overview of the basics of how to safely store your pumped fresh milk supply in bottles with nipples.

Can You Store Breast Milk In Bottles With Nipples?

Can you store breast milk in bottles with nipples?

Can I store breast milk bottles with nipples attached? As stated above, storing breast milk in bottles with nipples is not recommended. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), it is best to store breast milk in clean containers, such as bottles with tight-fitting lids, hard plastic cups, or freezer bags that are specifically designed for storing human milk. 

It is important to avoid using feeding bottles with nipples because the bacteria from your baby’s mouth can contaminate the milk and cause it to spoil more quickly.

When storing breast milk, you should label each container with the date of collection and use the oldest milk first. 

Freshly expressed breast milk can be stored in the back of the refrigerator for up to four days in clean conditions

If you plan on freezing your breastmilk, it can be stored in a freezer compartment inside a refrigerator for up to two weeks or in a separate freezer unit for up to six months.

“Breast milk must be stored properly both at room temperature and in the refrigerator or freezer. This will help ensure that the breast milk stays fresh and that any bacteria or viruses present do not have a chance to multiply,” dr. Christine L. Johnson, MD, a member of the American Academy of Pediatrics.

It is also important to remember that once thawed, breastmilk should not be refrozen and should be used within 24 hours. When traveling with frozen or refrigerated breastmilk, an insulated cooler bag with frozen ice packs can keep it cold for up to 24 hours.

Also Read: Can I use dawn dish soap to wash baby bottles

How to store breast milk in bottles with nipples?

We’ve already mentioned that you should not store breast milk in bottles with nipples attached. 

Instead, use tightly cap the bottles and label each container with your baby’s name and the date and time the milk was expressed. 

Some bottles come with a lid where you can attach a nipple and directly feed your baby. 

“Bottles are best suited for temporary storage – you can keep the milk in the fridge or give it right after pumping but should be consumed within 5-7 days in the refrigerator”, added dr. Christine.

If you’re expecting to give your milk soon after pumping or within 7 days in the refrigerator, follow the process:

-Wash the bottle and nipple thoroughly with warm water only, do not use Soapy Water

-Use a Bottle Brush.

-Sterilize them by boiling them for five minutes

-Allow the bottle nipple to air dry once they are sterilized

-express or pump your breast milk into the bottle using an electric breast pump or manual hand pump.

-Attach the nipple to the bottle

-Then fill the bottle up to one inch below the top with milk

-Securely attach a lid onto each filled bottle, then label each date and time of preparation along with any other necessary information.

Also Read: Can baby bottles go in dishwasher with other dishes

Why can’t you store breast milk in bottles with nipples?

Breast milk needs to be stored in bottles that are designed specifically for breast milk storage. This is because the nipples on regular baby bottles are not designed to maintain the integrity of breast milk and can cause it to spoil quickly.

When storing breast milk, parents should use containers made from BPA-free materials with an airtight seal. This will help keep the nutrients in your breast milk intact and prevent bacteria from entering the container.

Additionally, they should label each container with the date it was expressed so you know when it needs to be used or discarded.

So, while it may seem convenient to store your breast milk in bottles with nipples, you should remember that these containers are not designed for this purpose and can cause your precious liquid gold to spoil quickly.

To ensure your baby gets all the benefits of your hard work, always use containers specifically designed for breast milk storage.

Watch This Video On Best Way to Store BREASTMILK

How long can you store breast milk in a bottle with nipples?

How long can you store breast milk in a bottle with nipples?

Generally, you can store expressed warm milk at room temperature in a bottle with nipples for up to 4 hours.

However, if you need it to stay fresh and free from odors for a longer period of time, you should store it on the refrigerator freezer shelf (at 4°C or below). This will help preserve its quality for up to 8 days time frame

To ensure optimal storage conditions, you should use a refrigerator thermometer for the freezer compartment. 

Having one of these handy tools guarantees that your fridge will always be kept at the perfect temperature, which is essential for preserving the quality of this liquid gold for babies.

Additionally, always make sure to use clean storage containers and to date the milk before placing it in the refrigerator.

However, if you’re unsure of the temperature in your refrigerator, or it is higher than 4C, make sure to use it within 3 days.

Also read: Best breast pump for inducing lactation

Factors to consider when using bottles with nipples for storing Fresh breast milk

It’s important to choose the right kind of baby bottles with nipples attached to ensure maximum safety and effectiveness when storing your breast milk supply for regular and preterm infants to keep the mother’s familiar odor unaltered. Here are some factors to consider when making this important decision:


The material types of bottles can be glass or BPA-free Plastic or freezer bags even. Glass bottles do a good job of preserving the milk’s freshness in the fridge. But they break more easily in the freezer than their plastic counterparts.


When shopping for bottle nipples, look out for a gentle incline, small size base and slow flow. These features will help your baby get the most of their latch to replicate breastfeeding as closely as possible.

Ventilation System

Some bottles come with an integrated ventilation system that helps prevent air bubbles from forming during feeding, which can lead to gas buildup in babies and have them feeling the familiar odor unchanged of the mother.

Strength & Durability

Look for bottles made from thicker materials that won’t break easily over time. Plastic bottles can be a good alternative as long as they don’t contain any harmful chemicals.


Larger sizes may provide more convenience but smaller sizes may be easier for little hands (or mouths) of regular and preterm infants to hold on their own while drinking from it safely.

Always remember that every baby is different, so make sure you get a few alternatives for bottles if needed until you find the standard size that works best for your little one!

Also read: Medela or Lansinoh breast pump

How do you store breast milk for night feeds?

If you are breast feeding your baby, it’s best to latch your baby straight to the breast for night feeds. However, if your baby is not used to latching directly, or if you need to express milk in advance, you can store your breast milk for night feeds.

The best way to store breast milk is in a sealed BPA-free container, such as a breast milk storage bag or baby bottle.

“I prefer a baby bottle for storing breast milk for night feeds because it makes it easier to feed the baby without having to transfer the milk from a storage bag,” said Alicia Patrick, a mother of two.

“When my baby screams in the middle of the night, I grab a bottle from the fridge, warm it in a bottle warmer, and give it to her,” added Alicia.

However, she still prefers milk storage bags for long-term storage. “Bags are great for storing expressed milk in larger quantities and they don’t take up too much room in the freezer,” she said. “When storing breast milk, it is essential to label it with the date and time of expression because it gives you an idea of when to use it.”

Also read: Is it ok to keep baby swaddled while bottle feeding

Advantages of using bottles with nipples for storing breast milk

When it comes to storing breast milk, using bottles with nipples is a great option. It’s because:

– They are designed to mimic the natural breastfeeding experience and make it easier for babies to transition between bottle and breast. 

– They also help preserve the nutrients in breast milk, making them a healthier choice than other storage options. 

– Additionally, bottles with nipples are often made of soft silicone or plastic, which makes them more comfortable for babies to use. 

– They come in a variety of sizes and shapes, so you can find one that works best for your baby’s needs.

– Easy to feed the baby

– Nipples make it easier for the baby to latch on

– Ensures that the milk does not spill when the baby is drinking

– Easy to store and transport

– Regular Bottles with nipples are safer than using cups or other containers

Can babies drink cold breast milk?

Yes, it is completely safe for breastfed babies to drink cold breast milk from standard bottles.

However, Some breastfed babies may not like cold breast milk that much directly from milk storage bags. In that case, it is generally advised to warm the milk before giving it to the baby.

It is recommended to warm the milk to body temperature by placing it in a bowl of warm water for a few minutes. 

Additionally, you should also ensure that the temperature of the milk does not exceed 37°C (98.6°F). This can help to preserve some of the beneficial antibodies present in the breast milk and also ensure that the milk is at a comfortable temperature for the baby.


Can I Pump Into The Same Bottle All Day?

Yes, you can pump into the same baby bottle all day. According to Ashley Georgakapoulos, Motif Medical’s lactation director, you can absolutely keep adding to the same bottle within that day’s time.

However, when combining milk from different pumping sessions, it’s best to cool your freshly pumped warm milk before combining it with previously frozen breast milk to prevent bacteria growth. 

Additionally, if your baby does not finish the bottle of breast milk, you can use the leftover breast milk within two hours after the baby is finished feeding.

When reusing a container for pumping breast milk, make sure not to keep old milk from previous pumpings at room temperature for too long, as this can lead to bacteria growth.

Can I Mix Breast Milk From Two Different Days?

Mixing freshly expressed breast milk with previously cooled or frozen milk is not recommended as it can reheat the older stored milk. To keep your baby’s stored and fresh breastmilk safe, make sure you cool any newly pumped milk before adding it to already cooled or frozen batches.

How Will I Know If Breast Milk Is Spoiled?

It’s important to know how to tell if breast milk is spoiled, as feeding your baby spoiled milk can cause them to become ill. You can look out for several signs when determining if your breast milk has gone bad.

The first sign of spoiled breast milk is a sour or rancid smell and taste. If the milk has a soapy smell, it may still be safe to feed your baby, but it should be discarded if it smells rotten or foul. 
Additionally, the consistency of the milk can also change when it is spoiled – it may appear curdled or chunky.

If you store your breast milk in the refrigerator and notice any changes in color, odor or texture, discard it immediately. 

It’s also important to note that a baby refusing to feed, frequent spitting up and fever could all be signs that they have consumed spoiled breast milk.

To prevent spoilage of your breastmilk, make sure that you store it correctly and use it within the recommended time frame. You should also track how long you have stored each batch of expressed breastmilk, so you know when it is no longer safe for consumption.

What Happens If The Baby Drinks Old Breast Milk?

Stomach cramps, bloating, and upset stomach can arise from babies consuming spoiled or expired breast milk; a baby may also become fussy upon ingesting lumpy breast milk. Moreover, bacteria-laden contaminated breastmilk has the potential to cause food poisoning in an infant; symptoms are likely to be vomiting and diarrhea.

That’s why you should always check the smell and color of your breast milk before feeding it to your baby, as these are signs of spoilage.

You should also remember that used breast milk can become contaminated with bacteria from your baby’s mouth during feeding, so the CDC recommends discarding any leftover breastmilk after a feeding.

Overall, when it comes to old breastmilk, it is best practice to discard any spoiled or expired milk and follow proper storage guidelines as outlined by the CDC.

Wrapping Up

We appreciate you taking the time to read through this blog post! We trust that now you have a better grasp on how to store breast milk in bottles with nipples, applying all relevant safety protocols for your newborn’s optimal health and nourishment.

If ever there are any other matters related to your baby’s well-being or health, please don’t hesitate to reach out. Our team is more than happy to help! Also, don’t forget to share the post with friends & family who might find useful information from here too.


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Dr. Leah Alexander

Dr. Leah Alexander is a board-certified general pediatrician and has been practicing pediatrics at Elizabeth Pediatric Group of New Jersey since 2000. Since 2005, she has been working as an independently contracted pediatrician with Medical Doctors Associates at Pediatricare Associates of New Jersey. She also enjoys cooking outside of the medical profession. Read more

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