Can babies drink cold breast milk?

With all the hassle that you might catch yourself in when you need to heat up breastmilk for your little one, you might wonder if they would drink it cold. The answer to this question depends on several factors.

Each baby is different, and they have their personal preferences. Which is an important detail you have to always take into account? But before we dive into the explanations, can you feed your baby cold breastmilk?

Can babies drink cold breast milk?

Baby drinking cold breast milk

You surely can give your baby cold milk as long as they like it. There are no safety risks associated with drinking cold milk, but it is essential to understand that not all babies prefer their milk cold. How cold can the milk be though?

Another good news is that you can give your baby a bottle of milk right straight from the fridge. If you are lucky enough to have a child who doesn’t mind cold milk, you don’t have to worry about this aspect.

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Things to consider when you give cold milk to your baby

Here are the 5 different things you will need to consider when feeding the cold breast milk to your baby.

1. Separated Fat Layer in Cold Breast Milk

There is one problem when it comes to cold milk, however. While the bottle of milk rests in the refrigerator, you will notice that the layer of fat will rise on top of the milk.

  • Mixing it by shaking the bottle will not be so comfortable with the milk being cold. So, you might have to really shake the bottle to try to mix the layer of fat with the rest of the milk.
  • It is crucial to have your baby drink that milk fat. This is the main thing in the breastmilk that keeps them full and offers them a lot of nutrition.
  • If you have problems with mixing the milk, you might want to warm it up a little bit, just enough to ease this process.

But in most cases, a good bottle shake will take care of this aspect.

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2. The bad/rotten fat layer

An important aspect regarding this fat layer is that if the milk goes bad, you will notice that this layer will not mix at all with the rest of the milk.

  • Instead, it will transform into chunks the more you shake the bottle.
  • So, this is an essential aspect to pay attention to as it could be one of the main indicators that you shouldn’t feed the milk to your baby.

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3. Color of the Fat Layer in cold breast milk

Breastmilk has, on average, 11g of fat per cup.

  • Ideally, your baby should eat all of that when they have their meal.
  • If the milk is cold, you should notice clearly that the fat layer looks different than the rest of the milk.
  • As a result, it is implied that cold milk sat for a while in the fridge to get cold. Keeping the milk in the refrigerator for more than 30 minutes helps it define this layer of fat more clearly.
  • Don’t worry if the fat layer is lighter in color than the rest of the milk or slightly darker.
  • It is normal to change shades, the more it sits in the fridge.

If everything looks normal, giving the milk to your baby shouldn’t bring any risks.

Breast Milk Color Chart

The color of your breast milk might be a concern especially for new moms when it comes to breastfeeding. Explore the breast milk color chart and their meanings.

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4. Skip the cold breast milk if your baby has a cold

You might want to skip the cold milk if your baby has a cold or if they are ill.

  • In such circumstances, warm milk would be much better for your baby because it will help them find more comfort and alleviate the symptoms they might be having.
  • Also, the evening bottle should be warm because it helps babies fall asleep faster.
  • So, there are circumstances in which cold milk might not be the best idea, even if your child would drink it.

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5. Cold Breast Milk vs. Frozen Breast Milk

It is vital to understand that cold milk means milk that sat in the fridge and not frozen milk.

  • Milk that comes from the freezer directly shouldn’t be given to your child in its frozen form! You will have to defrost it first by putting it around 12 hours in the fridge.
  • Otherwise, your baby will not be able to drink it because frozen milk is way too cold for them, and it is not in a liquid form.
  • Milk gets hard when it is frozen, which makes it impossible to feed it to your baby!

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The bottom line is that as long as your baby has no problem with drinking cold milk, you shouldn’t have any problem giving it to them either. You might notice that they are more likely to enjoy cold milk during the summer because it helps them cool down.

In the winter days, they might be more resistant to drinking cold milk. However, in general, most babies have no problem with having a bottle of cold milk every now and then!

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Key References

  • “Can You Feed a Baby Cold Breast Milk? | Hello Motherhood”. Accessed February 01, 2020. Link.
  • “Can Babies Drink Cold Breastmilk? (Four Potential Problems) – Natural Baby Life”. Accessed February 01, 2020. Link.
  • “Expressing and storing breast milk – NHS”. Accessed February 01, 2020. Link.


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