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Old 09-15-2014, 04:19 PM   #1
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Re-feeding BM in a bottle

What is everyone's take on re-feeding BM in a bottle? I'm about to go back to work and my baby is 5 months old. She's my third and with my other two I always went by the mantra that if they didn't eat it within an hour, it was chucked (awful to do of course). I'm now seeing a lot about people re-feeding the bottle at the next feeding, regardless of whether that is a few hours later, as opposed to one hour later. Are people doing this now? Is this considered safe? Do you refrigerate the bottle and then re-heat it if you do this? I would love to be able to save those precious few ounces here and there if possible, but obviously do not want to do something that may endanger my baby.

Thanks!

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Old 09-15-2014, 07:21 PM   #2
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Re: Re-feeding BM in a bottle

Hmm good question.

So, with formula bottles I was more cautious than breast milk bottles.
Breast milk contains some natural anti bacterial properties, formula doesn't even arrive sterile in a sealed can ya know?
If the baby did not finish the formula bottle, I might keep it on hand for a half hour or so to see if they just needed a big burp before eating more. Some babies are able to drink bottles cold and if a fridge was available I might stick it in there up to an hour...but if several hours rolled by to the next feeding I would likely toss it and make a new bottle up. I didn't find this happen all that often because babies typically fall into a rhythm of how much they drink and when, you can predict what to make without much waste.

For breast milk bottles I tend to be less conservative due to the natural components of the milk, and the preciousness of it!
Only breast feeding Mamas know that you truly CAN cry over a bottle of freshly pumped and then spilled milk.
If baby is just beginning to go to bottle for some feedings it might be harder to predict how much to measure out, might expect more waste. There are some guidelines of how long breast milk is considered good for, at room temp, at 80+*, fridge temp, etc. I've seen many many many guides throughout my infant care days and they all are a teeny bit different but they give you a general idea.
Last I knew, room temperature (like 60-70*) is considered safe up to four hours, if baby has slobbered all over the bottle once already I would likely cut that time lower though and factor in temperature of room. Depending if there was a substantial amount left in bottle, I might put in fridge to extend to next feeding. Don't thaw a frozen bag and then refreeze it. Coming from frozen to thawed the life span is shorter than putting fresh bag/bottle into fridge (that's up to three days I believe for fresh to fridge.) Freezer saving depends on temp and type of freezer, 2 months up to 12 months.
As for reHEATING bottles...I've never made cozy warm bottles personally. What temp does a bottle warmer make them? (I never had one!) I enjoyed making the formula bottles with slightly too hot water so that the powder would mix better and then letting it cool 5 minutes before feeding it. For breastmilk we either took bags from fridge or freezer and thawed/warmed them in a dish with warm water, changing water out until the milk was room temp or so. As they got older I would slowly teach them to tolerate cooler bottle temps so the "grab bottle from fridge on the run" was possible.
If the infant was young and not able to tolerate cool/cold bottles then I would rewarm a bottle in a warm water pan, already assuming I deemed this bottle worth keeping from the last feeding. If you think in any way it would be icky, then trust judgement and make a new one.

Sorry I have a tendency to write novels. Hope some of that helped.
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Old 09-16-2014, 07:35 AM   #3
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Re: Re-feeding BM in a bottle

I've not done this but here's an article on www.kellymom.com that addresses this. Basically, it sounds ok if used within a few hours and as long as it smells and/or tastes ok.

http://kellymom.com/bf/pumpingmoms/milkstorage/reusing-expressedmilk/
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Old 09-16-2015, 01:48 PM   #4
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Re: Re-feeding BM in a bottle

I've always followed the KellyMom guidelines as well. Also sniff-test.
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Old 09-16-2015, 03:34 PM   #5
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Along the same lines… What about thawing a frozen bag how long can it stay in the refrigerator without being drank? Like at daycare he did not eat a bottle today but it's been in the fridge all day...can I use it tomorrow? Seems like such a waste to throw it out.
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Old 09-16-2015, 04:45 PM   #6
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Kellymom
Frozen and thawed, 24 hours in fridge.
Fresh, i say one week in fridge but we would use it within 48 hours max
Once heated, i am ok with being kept at room temp for several hrs but not re refrigerated(i guess i would be ok with reheated though).
In general the rule is you cant go backwards... So expressed - refrigerated - frozen - thawed - heated would be ok but thawed - refrigerated - refrozen is not
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Old 09-29-2015, 08:42 AM   #7
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Re: Re-feeding BM in a bottle

I always refer to the Kelly Mom storage guidelines. There is a printable PDF that I have stuck on my fridge.
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Old 09-29-2015, 06:38 PM   #8
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Re: Re-feeding BM in a bottle

My rule of thumb, as long as leftover breastmilk is in fridge until next feeding, it is ok to add more milk and let baby finish. But not if it is sitting out until next feeding because it allows for bacteria to grow more.
Formula must be eaten within an hour and then tossed. I make no exceptions for that
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Old 10-14-2015, 01:49 PM   #9
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Re: Re-feeding BM in a bottle

An update to this post... since I posted it a year ago and baby is now 18 months and weaned! I did go ahead and re-feed fresh BM to her throughout babyhood and she always did fine. I never re-fed frozen - it made me too nervous. But I did give the fresh one additional reheat and fed it. One thing I also did was when I had an unfinished bottle to re-feed I did not add fresh to it. I fed that bottle and then fed an additional bottle to top off. That way, if she didn't finish the second bottle I could save it (instead of being worried that I was re-feeding the old milk a third time since it was all mixed up). Hope that helps another person with the same question!
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Old 12-31-2015, 10:37 PM   #10
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Re: Re-feeding BM in a bottle

thanks for sharing...i was wondering about this...even though my 3rd little one hasnt taken to the bottle yet, at 7 months!
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