Are you breastfeeding and going back to work or are you looking for a more flexibility? Then you should consider using a good breast pump.  If you are already pumping or just getting started, it’s important to know how you can safely store your precious milk. 

How can I thaw breast milk?


Thawing breast milk according to the recommended safety guidelines ensures that the milk maintains its nutrients. Here are some of important tips that you can use to safely thaw your breast milk.

Never use the microwave or place the breast milk in a container of boiling water. 

Always ensure that your frozen breast milk is dated so that you’ll be able to defrost the oldest milk first

Once the breast milk is defrosted, you can warm and feed it to your baby.

You should not thaw the breast milk at room temperatures. Instead, you should defrost it by placing it in the refrigerator or placing it under warm running tap water.

How to thaw breast milk in the refrigerator


Defrosting your breast milk in the refrigerator can take up to 12 hours- so be sure to plan in advance. You can place the breast milk in the refrigerator each night so that it’ll be ready the next day.
How to thaw breast milk under running tap water

The fast way you can thaw the breast milk is by holding it under warm running tap water. You can start out with cold tap water and then switch to warm tap water. But remember to keep the water warm and not hot.

How to defrost breast milk in a pot of warm water

If you need to defrost your breast milk faster, you can use a pot of warm water and not hot water. This will take approximately 20-30 minutes but remember to keep an eye on the water and replace it as soon as it cools down.

First fill a pot, pan or a bowl with warm water

Secondly, place the frozen container of breast milk into the water and ensure that you keep the water level just below the container cap level to avoid the possibility of contamination

If the water temperatures go down, empty the pot and replace with more warm water.
Rinse and repeat until the milk is no longer frozen.

Once the breast milk is thawed, you can warm it and feed to your child or you can place it in the fridge for later use.

Can I use microwave to defrost my breast milk?


It’s never recommended and we never recommend you to use a microwave to defrost breast milk. This is because, the high temps from the microwave can destroy important nutrients found in breast milk.

Microwaves have also been known to cause uneven eating in foods and the same can happen with your precious breast milk. These hot areas in the breast milk can burn your baby’s mouth.
How to warm breast milk from fridge

You can give your little one thawed breast milk directly from the fridge or you can warm it up to body or room temperature. 

However if you choose to warm your breast milk, you can start by placing it on a pan or bowl of warm water for a few minutes. You can alternatively use a bottle warmer of hold it under warm tap water. As aforementioned, you should never warm the breast milk using a stove or microwave.

Once in storage, the breast milk often separates into different layers. Therefore it’s important to gently shake or swirl the container to mix the breast milk before you can feed it to your baby.

 Never feed your baby the breast milk before checking the temperature. To check the temperatures, pour a few drops of the breast milk on your wrist- it should feel lukewarm and it shouldn’t be cold or hot.

How to tell if breast milk is bad


Your breast milk contains various live properties like antibodies that protect your baby’s immune system. The vital role these components play the storage of your expressed breast milk is very important.

Breast milk storage chart
TEMPERATURE
TIME
Deep Freezer (0 degrees F): 
6 months
Self-contained freezer (below 32 degrees):
3-4 months
Refrigerator (32-39 degrees F): 
 5-7 days
Cooler with frozen ice packs (59 degrees F):
24 hours
Room Temperature(66-72 degrees F): 
4 hours
Data chart courtesy of justbreastfeeding.com

Defrosted breast milk can be stored in the refrigerator for only 24 hours and it should never be stored at room temperatures. Also never refreeze thawed breast milk.

To check whether breast milk is bad, first swirl the breast milk in its container. Fresh breast milk will separate into two layers after you leave it to sit for a while and these layers disappear when you swirl the container.

If the milk remains separated even after swirling, it’s probably spoiled. Curdling is also another good indicator that the breast milk is bad. If the milk smells rancid consider the milk spoiled. But always remember, even if your breast isn’t smelly but shows one either of the spoil indicator stated above, it’s safe to discard it.

You can also taste the breast milk. I discovered that spoilt breast milk will have a sour taste similar to a cow’s fermented milk. 

If your breast milk passes all these tests, it’s safe to feed it to your baby.


What is more profound than watching a baby sleep? That moment when life silently grows in sleep. Welcoming a baby isn’t a simple task. Along with it comes responsibility and a sense of nurturing. Parents with toddlers may often have lots of questions about them because handling a delicate life isn’t easy. Hence this question is often asked, When do babies start sleeping longer? Most young parents may wish to know how long their infants can sleep to sustain a healthy growth. Within six months, most babies can sleep through the night. While others may not sleep despite being 12 months old. But most babies have uninterrupted sleep by nine months old.

Also Read:  12 Fun & Creative Ways To Announce Pregnancy To Family


That is; they are capable of sleeping 12 hours or more without needing to wake up for feeding. A baby’s sleep pattern is different from that of an adult because most of the toddler’s growth and development occur in her sleep in the initial stages. Hence, it is important for her to sleep longer than others. Also a toddler’s sleep cycle is shorter, as she frequently wakes up or is interrupted from sleep wanting to be fed and quickly soothes back to sleep.

Babies usually experience REM (Rapid Eye Moment) sleep in the initial phases of their growth. A REM sleep is not a continuous deep sleep but rather a small stage of the sleep period. This pattern of sleep is known to be essential for mental development. Babies experience REM sleep in their initial growth phase which is responsible for aiding their mental development as they grow.

They may wake up to be frequently fed. This phase may be hard to some young parents and make them feel this is an unending task of tending to them, and the unpredictability can leave you sleep deprived. Hence, you may need a lot of patience and dedication to tread past this phase.

When Do Babies Sleep Longer?

When a baby is 5 -6 weeks old, it must not be allowed to sleep beyond 5 hours at a stretch, to ensure sufficient feeding. Thereafter,
  • When the baby is four months old, she may show initial signs of wanting to sleep longer.
  •  At six months, the babies may not need night-time feeding and may sleep beyond 5hours at a stretch.
  • Daytime naps are bound to reduce, and the babies get adjusted to sleeping longer at night.
During the first year, you may notice the babies grow rapidly with their sleep pattern being amended at an equally rapid pace as they grow. They frequently wake up at night. They usually settle themselves back to sleep. But occasionally may need to be rocked or caressed. But it is a best practice to let them soothe themselves back to sleep. Else the baby may get used to rocking her to ease her back to sleep and may be reliant on needing adult attention.


Tips for Parents to help your baby adapt to sleep well

It is undeniably an uphill task to getting your baby adapted to the regular sleeping pattern. Here are Five simple ways to deal with the situation.


It is important to adapt your toddler to night-time

It can be done by interacting with the baby during the day and keeping bright settings in the room where the she rests. Also, the ambient noise need not be checked to be maintained at the minimum, but it doesn’t mean it is ok to disturb the baby. The purpose is to spare the sound sleep during the night and ensuring controlled sleep during the day.

In the night times, it is important to ensure little ambient noise, keeping the lights dim, and also by not interacting with the infant. Also, in the process of helping her adapt to regular sleeping pattern, it is important to ensure that your baby receives sufficient sleep. Else, she may feel over-tiredness.


Understanding signs of sleep

Experts suggest, observing and looking out for the signs that the baby gives indicating the need to sleep can help her sleeping better. Babies usually indicate the need to sleep by yawning, tugging body parts, rubbing eyes and crying.

Hence, it is better to put her to sleep when she is drowsy but yet awake; this method trains her to sleep herself without needing the parent to help her soothe back to sleep.


Babies understand routines well

To develop good sleeping habits, it is necessary to train them to routine practices, so they learn to associate the night hour to sleep time. Do not feed the baby who is six months and older at night times because it may help her to continue her sleep uninterrupted. Fluffy toys are an excellent way to calm her and ease her into sleep if she had a brief interruption in sleep.

But, it is important to know if your toddler accepts the presence of a toy. Hence, make this a routine practice so that baby understands that night time means it’s time for her to sleep.


Slight body movements are normal

It is normal to witness a baby smiling, twitching, and jerking in her sleep. These are the typical response when a baby is in deep sleep. Albeit, it is important to pay attention to her if she cries longer. It could be an indication of a discomfort she could be experiencing.

A child crying during the sleep could refer to feeling cold, hungry or an illness. Hence, you are required to investigate and confirm the health of your toddler.


Knowing when to stay alert

Raising a toddler isn’t an easy task hence it is important to know when to seek medical help. Here are some reasons why your baby could wake up at night.
  • When your baby is finding it difficulty waking up from sleep.
  • If your toddler has difficulty breathing, it could be an indication of a greater underlying issue.
  • It is not normal when your baby hesitates from feeding. So it is important to watch out for signs to find the cause of discomfort.
  •  Sometimes if the baby rests in an improper position, then she could regurgitate the food she consumed, this may make her restless.

 

It is one of the most beautiful moments when the doctor says – “You are pregnant”… You spin around with joy and wish you could share this with your partner and family as soon as possible. But hold on. There are some creative ways to announce pregnancy to family and your better half. If you are wondering how then read the article further because this is exactly what I am going to tell you today.


Telling your partner, family and close friends about your pregnancy is certainly going to be a very memorable & happy moment. Yes, of course you could just go to them & tell about it but where is the fun? To make it even more memorable, why not take some efforts? Here are some ways to do it.

 

1. Road Signs

When it comes to family, your partner is the top most priority. Keeping this in mind, I have listed this idea first. All you have to do is make some road signs with the help of poster boards, thumbtacks and markers. Find some electric poles and trees, which are on the way from where your husband regularly drives back home from work. Now, announce your pregnancy with signs. Make sure to call your spouse (prior he comes home) & ask him to see those sign boards for an upcoming sale & to take its number for you. This is to ensure that he sees those signs.

 

2. Yell Out – “I Am Pregnant”

This is one of the most creative ways to announce pregnancy to family. During a friends or family gathering, just have everyone come close together for that perfect happy group picture. When you are about to click the button for a snap shot, rather saying ‘Cheese’, just yell out, “I Am Pregnant” and see how they react. And yes, just take the picture of the moment when you say this.

 

3. A Picture Is Worth 1000 Words

Rather announcing your pregnancy in words, why not get creative here? For this, buy a nice photo frame & have it custom-made with your delivery date, followed by month & year. Also add a nice poem and few pictures of your pregnancy test. Once you deliver your baby, send pictures of your baby to your family members so that they can replace it.

 

4. Email Blast

This is one of the best baby announcement ideas. Do this if you live far from your family and often keep in touch electronically. Send emails to your closed ones saying that you are pregnant. Also, attach few of your sonogram pictures. You could even visit a good e-card website to create that amazing “We-Are-Expecting” card. Once done, you can send it to the entire group.

 

5. Build A Website & Announce Your Pregnancy Online

These days online websites to announce pregnancies are in great demand. If you or your partner is good at technology, consider creating a surprise website for announcing pregnancy. Once it is done, just tell your friends and family that you have found a new cool website on the internet. Don’t forget to write it on website saying that “_____ IS PREGNANT”. Also, add a scanned sonogram picture.

 

6. A Family Tree

Though there are many birth announcement ideas, a family tree can’t be missed. In fact, updating your family tree with a new addition is one of the most fun ways to tell your family that you are carrying a baby. There are lots of sources wherein you can download or buy a family tree. Leave the space under yours & your partner’s name blank. Or even better, write down your delivery date using a pencil.

 

7. Use T-Shirts

T-shirts are one of the fun ways to announce pregnancy to family. It is especially great for closed ones like grandpa, grandma, uncle and aunt-to-be. This concept is perfect to do when you are all together like a family vacation or during Christmas. Wrap gift nice t-shirts, which say “PROUD GRANDMA” or “PROUD UNCLE”. Please have your camera ready when they open their gift.

 

8. Game Night

This is another fun way to announce your pregnancy to your family. If you regularly play games with your family or on get-together, consider switching one of those game pieces for announcing about your pregnancy. Say for instance, tape a note over Monopoly’s Community Chest Cards that reads, “Amanda is carrying a baby, give $20 to every player”.

 

9. Dinner With A Present

As the saying goes – “The Way To A Man’s Heart Is By Food”. You are going to apply the same here. Wrap your pregnancy test (positive) like a gift. Give it your partner during his dinner. If your husband is someone, who prefers eating out, then take to him to his favorite restaurant while you do few things in advance. Request the staff or server to bring the present you have wrapped up once you are done with the dinner. Once your hubby opens and sees it, he is sure going to jump with joy. If you feel your husband prefers a more cherished setting, consider cooking his favorite dish. And have the table neatly decorated.

 

10. Propose Fatherhood

Now, why not remake how your spouse proposed you for marriage. But here, you got to propose fatherhood. Just take him to the same place where he proposed you. Rather that ring box, give him a nice bracelet with the pregnancy test inside a box and ask him – “Will you be a dad?”

 

11. Bun In The Oven

Wake up early in the morning, probably the day where you want to tell everyone or probably your spouse in particular that you are pregnant. Place some cinnamon buns inside the oven to bake. If you cannot do it from scratch, consider the pre-prepared ones from a store. When your spouse wakes up & smells this irresistible aroma – immediately announce him that, “Darling, we have got a cute little bun in the oven”.

 

12. Sweet Tooth

Is your husband fond of sweets and bakes? If yes, then there is a nice way to tell your pregnancy. Cater his carvings with a very special message. Swap out that fortune cookie note and replace it with your message, saying, “You will be a dad on so-and-so date”. Just watch his happy reaction – tears rolling out of eyes with joy.