Can You Feed a Baby Cold Breast Milk?

Expressing breast milk with a pump can provide mothers with the breast milk necessary to feed their baby after returning to work or when going out. Some mothers decide to pump and feed the baby only expressed milk, never feeding the baby at the breast. Breast milk can be warmed, so it more closely matches the mother's natural body temperature as it comes out, or it can be given cold. Kids Health reports that many babies have absolutely no problem drinking cold milk.

Breast milk can be given to a baby warm or cold. Credit: George Doyle/Stockbyte/Getty Images

Step 1

Thaw breast milk if previously frozen. Breast milk can be frozen for up to three months if placed in the back of the freezer, notes the Family Doctor website. To thaw, place the container of frozen milk in a bowl of warm but not hot water. Alternatively, you can place it in the refrigerator for 24 hours to thaw.

Step 2

Pour cold, thawed breast milk into a bottle. If the baby is also fed at the breast, it may help to get a bottle that is shaped more like the breast to avoid confusing the baby.

Step 3

Sit down in a comfortable chair while holding your baby. Offer her the bottle of cold breast milk. Some babies have no problem drinking cold milk, though it may not be as easily welcomed by other babies.

If the baby rejects the cold milk and refuses to feed, try running it under warm water for a minute to take the chill off. A baby who is used to warm or body temperature milk may need to adjust by gradually decreasing the temperature of the milk over time.

Things You'll Need

  • Bottle

  • Expressed breast milk


Some mothers who pump their milk for storage may have an excess of the enzyme lipase in their milk. This enzyme causes fat to break down in the milk, and when too much is present, it can cause the milk to smell and taste sour. To remedy this situation, breast milk can be scalded by heating it to 180 degrees Fahrenheit and then quickly cooled and stored in a clean container.

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