Breast milk needs to be stored at proper temperatures, so finding the right cooler bag for breast milk is essential for nursing mothers.
Cooler bags for breast milk are specially made to keep all of your liquid gold cold during the day when you’re working, traveling, or simply away from your refrigerator. Also, having these bags come in handy during road trips or as a lunch bag during trips and picnics.
Not all cooler bags are ideal for storing breast milk, and you don’t want to lose any milk.
You have to work for that milk, so storing it the right way is crucial. That’s where having the best coolers is needed, so let’s take a look at all the important things you need to know about storing your breast milk.
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Do I Need a Cooler Bag for Breast Milk?
Pumping gives mothers more freedom to leave their babies with their other parent, whether it’s for work or simply getting out of the house. Anyone can feed your baby a bottle, but if you decide to pump and leave the house for longer than two to three hours, a cooler bag is a must-have item.
Chances are you will leave your baby for that long at least a few times, so you do need a cooler bag.
Having a cooler bag keeps your pumped milk at a safe temperature until you’re able to access a fridge or freezer.
Many daycares ask that breastfeeding parents provide a cooler bag when sending bottles of milk each day. Make sure to ask if they have any specific requirements for the cooler bag before buying.
Can You Take a Cooler Bag on an Airplane?
Yes, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) permits parents to bring reasonable quantities of breast milk in your carry-on bag with or without your baby present. Parents must remember to declare this at security checkpoints.
Legally, the TSA officers have the right to test the liquids as well. This will depend on the agent, so it is hard to predict.
However, it’s important to know they have the legal right to do so.
So, parents are allowed to bring cooler bags with frozen ice packs onto airplanes. However, if you are traveling overseas, you need to confirm with that country and their travel administration.
How Long Can You Keep Breast Milk in a Cooler Bag?
You may store breast milk in an insulated bag for 24 hours as long as you have ice packs in the bag. After that time, you have to decide if you want your baby to drink the milk, put it in the refrigerator, or freeze the milk.
How Long Does Breast Milk Stay Good Before Freezing?
Fresh breast milk safely sits out at room temperature for up to four hours. After that, it needs to be placed into cold storage, such as the refrigerator, cooler bag, or freezer.
You may keep breast milk in the fridge for up to five days safely before needing to use it or freezer it. Frozen breast milk is good for one year.
What are the Best Freezer Packs for Storing Breast Milk?
When you use a cooler bag for breast milk, you also need freezer packs to keep the milk cold while you’re out of the house.
It’s best to pick your freezer pack after selecting the cooler bag because many come with a freezer pack included. The bags that don’t come with an ice pack make it harder because you want one that will fit well in the bag.
The best reusable ice pack for breastmilk is a contoured ice pack. These ice packs create a snug spot to place each bottle, and the closer the bottles are to the ice pack, the colder they stay.
11 Best Cooler Bag for Breast Milk
Without a doubt, one of the most popular cooler bags for breast milk is the Medela Breast Milk Cooler. This bag is perfect for traveling, and it keeps your milk at the right temperature. The size of this cooler works perfect for putting into your breast pump bag or your diaper bag.
Here is why thousands of parents give this cooler high ratings.
- The cooler comes with a contoured ice pack and four 5-ounce bottles with lids.
- It holds Spectra and Medela bottles well.
- The size makes it perfect for traveling, fitting perfectly into carry-on bags.
- This cooler bag is made with PVC-free, microfiber materials.
- The reusable ice pack will keep milk cold for up to 12 hours.
If you want to use larger bottles or tall bottles, this bag won’t work for you. Also, it’s not very large; it only holds four bottles, so forget including your pump parts.
If you’re a busy pumping mom on-the-go, the Pack It Freezer Bag is a great option. The bag has built-in freezable gel that keeps bottles cold for longer periods.
That’s right, you don’t need an ice pack for this bag. The bag is the freezer pack! Pack It uses a patented cooling technology, so the gel pack is attached permanently to the bag.
Simply flatten the bag and freeze it overnight.
Here is why so many parents pick the Pack It Bag.
- The bag comes in a compact design in various colors and patterns.
- It holds four 5-ounce bottles, including Medela and Spectra bottles.
- The zip top keeps bottles cold, keeping all the cold air inside the bag.
- The material is PVC, BPA, phthalate, and lead-free. Pack It uses non-toxic, poly canvas and food-safe, water resistant materials.
- A plastic name tag on the front makes it easy to label your bag for daycare.
As much as not needing a separate ice pack is cool, that’s also a downside to this bag. You have to remember to put it back into the freezer until you need to use it again.
The Sarah Wells Cooler bag is trendy and fashionable with several cute designs available for mothers to select. Not only are these bags adorable, but they also are functional and have all the features mom want to use.
Check out these awesome features of the Sarah Wells Cooler Bag.
- Keeps bottles cold for up to 8 hours, perfect for a working mom.
- Holds 8 oz bottles.
- The fabric is easy to clean.
- The materials are free of PVC, BPA, lead, and phthalates.
- It comes with an adjustable and detachable handle that attaches to strollers.
- A mesh pocket is located in the inner flap.
The only downside to this cooler bag is that it’s a bit bulkier compared to other options.
One look at the Lekebaby Breast Milk Cooler Bag, and you’ll realize that it is a great option for carrying breast milk to and from work. Pumping moms love this durable cooler that holds up to six bottles at a time.
Here is what makes the Lekebaby Cooler Bag a great choice.
- This insulated bag is made with water-resistant, Oxford fabric that is high-quality and durable.
- This is an insulated cooler bag that keeps bottles warm or cold.
- It keeps milk cold for up to 8 hours.
- The bag comes with an adjustable straps and side pockets for other items you need.
There are some differences when it comes to the Lekebaby. For example, parents need to refrigerate the bag for 8-10 hours before using. Also, the ice pack is empty, so you have to fill it with water.
Sometimes, you need a large bag, and no one knows that better than a busy mom who needs to haul all the extra stuff her kids need. The Yarwo Cooler Bag is just what you need because it holds up to six 9-ounce bottles – even wide mouth bottles!
In the future, you could use this bag for traveling or work lunches for years to come.
Here are a few features of the Yarwo Cooler Bag.
- A contoured ice pack comes with this bag, perfect for keeping bottles cold.
- This bag also keeps things warm, so you could put warm lunches or warm bottles inside of it.
- It’s easy to clean, made with leak-proof lining that you can wipe clean with a damp cloth.
- There are two carrying options: a top handle and a an adjustable shoulder strap.
- A mesh pocket on the side of the bag works for small toys, keys, or wipes, and al large front pocket can hold a wallet or diapers.
Since this bag is so large, it’s quite bulky and big to carry around with you. It’s plain, so that’s either a pro or a con for you.
Skip Hop makes products that parents love, and this baby bottle bag is perfect for holding more than bottles. It’s an inexpensive option parents who need to carry breast milk, baby food, or juice with them.
Here are some of the reasons the Skip Hop Baby Bottle Bag is an excellent option.
- Keeps the bottles warm or cold and comes with a freezer pack.
- The bag holds two large bottles or sippy cups.
- The materials are phthalate-free and easy to wipe clean.
- It easily attaches to strollers and has two-way zippers for easy bottle access.
- Skip Hop made this bag very budget friendly!
Something to consider though is that this bag only keeps bottles cold for up to four hours, so if you work long shifts, this bag wouldn’t work for those days.
The Momcozy Insulated Breastmilk Cooler Bag is another stylish, adorable choice that holds four 8-ounce bottles at at time, along with extra room for an ice pack. It’s a waterproof, toxic bag that holds bottles, sippy cups, or your baby’s food.
A few other features of the Momcozy Cooler include:
- It keeps bottles cool for up to 12 hours.
- The bag is lightweight and comes with a detachable buckle to hang on most strollers.
- A small, insulated pocket on the outside holds a bottle or water bottle as well.
Overall, Momcozy is a great choice for parents who want a stylish yet affordable bag. However, it doesn’t come with a shoulder strap.
The Luxja Cooler Bag looks like a purse, so it’s discreet if you need to carry it in and out of your workplace. It might look compact, but this bag holds six bottles or sippy cups up to 9-ounces each. Wide bottles fit well too!
Here are some other features of the Luxja Cooler.
- The bag is made with water-resistant nylon and a leakproof lining created with hot-pressing technology.
- It comes with an ice pack
- The handles are strong, and it comes with a detachable shoulder strap.
The J.L. Childress Cooler is slim and sleek, fully insulated and with a snap closure. Most bags have a zippered closure, but not the Childress Maxi bag.
This bag comes with reusable ice packs; some prefer to use this as a lunch box after their baby is done breastfeeding!
Here are some of the reasons moms love the J.L. Childress Maxi Cooler
- It has a leakproof inner lining that is free from lead, phthalate, and PVC.
- The snap handles attach to a stroller.
- The heat-sealed lining won’t absorb weird odors or mildew build-up.
- It has two smaller pockets in the front and pack to store other items.
- Luxja is available in four color options.
Since this bag is larger than most imagine, it is bulky to carry, and it won’t keep the bottles cold for too long. It only comes with one ice pack, but two ice packs would keep the bottles at a better temperature.
If you’re headed on a longer trip, you need a cooler bag for breast milk that is large enough to hold several days worth of milk.
That’s where the Mojecto Large Cooler Bag comes in clutch.
This large bag is big enough to store bottles, pump parts, and more. Here are some of the features.
- An extra liner prevents potential leaks.
- This bag is made of high-quality, fade-proof material.
- It has two insulated compartments and large zippered mesh pockets.
- The bottom compartment is insulated on all sides with enough room for at least a dozen bottles.
Since this bag is so large, it is the most expensive option on this list. However, for pumping moms who need the space, this is a fantastic option.
Here is a unique cooler bag option for moms – the FlexiFreezer Pocketbook Cooler. It’s a compact, convenient option, the dream for all working and pumping mothers.
The PocketBook holds 16 ice cubes with built-in water that will keep your breast milk cold. It fits two bottles, and the cooler will fit right into your purse.
Here are some of the features that make this a great option.
- The cooler contains real, 100% water rather than gel, so you don’t have to worry about any toxins.
- You freeze it flat in the freezer and don’t need any extra ice packs.
- It’s the size of a large wallet, so it’s portable and compact, perfect for a purse.
This cooler bag is small and won’t hold large amounts of milk. It’s not ideal for mothers who need to work outside the home for long periods. However, it would store milk storage bags well!
How to Pick a Cooler Bag for Breast Milk
Luckily, there are tons of options when you want a cooler bag for breast milk, but too many options make it harder to decide which one is the right one.
Here are several things to consider when buying a new cooler bag.
You want to make sure the bag has enough insulation to keep your breast milk fresh and at the proper temperature until you get home. Heat-sealed insulation is the best for holding in as much of the cold as possible.
If you’re simply using the bag for work, a heavy-duty insulated cooler isn’t needed, but when traveling long distances, you want something that offers heavy insulation.
The reality is sometimes, you’ll lose some of that liquid gold. Bottles leak, bags break, and you don’t want the milk to escape the cooler bag and end up elsewhere.
Size of the Bag
How often will you use the cooler bag? Is this a bag that needs to hold milk for two or three pumping session while at work? Or, do you need a bag that will hold enough milk during a business trip and short trips?
These are questions to consider when picking the right sized cooler bags. The bag needs to be large enough for the bottles to fit and the number of bottles you need to keep in the bag.
With or Without Ice Packs
Some cooler bags come with reusable ice packs, so make sure it’s the type of ice pack you want to use. Most moms prefer contoured ice packs because they fit snug against the bottles, but that’s a choice only you can make.
You’re going to carry this bag around with you, so undoubtedly it’s a consideration. Many designs exist like tote styles or lunch box style.
Some come in just black while others offer a variety of colors and design. This doesn’t change the function, but if you carry it every day, you want it to be cute.
Finding the best cooler bag for breast milk is important for pumping and working moms who need to keep breast milk at the right temperature. Don’t let your liquid gold go bad when you’re away from your baby; pick one of these best coolers bags!