The benefits of breastfeeding for mom and the benefits for baby are well documented- breast milk is like liquid gold!
But what do you do when you have more breast milk than you can use? It would absolutely be a shame to waste even a drop. Enter: The Breast Milk Popsicle. The 100% natural, healthy and free popsicle that you can give your baby, completely guilt free!
Frozen milk popsicles are a great way to soothe teething pain, and teething babies just love them! Unlike store bought popsicles, if you make breast milk popsicles you can be assured that your baby isn’t being exposed to artificial flavourings or added sugar. They are the perfect treatment for painful hot gums!
Check our our blog post: Does Breastfeeding ease a baby’s pain? to learn more about the pain relieving benefits of breastfeeding.
When Can I Give My Baby Breast Milk Popsicles?
When you baby learns to grasp- and this often coincides with teething at around 4- 6months of age- you can hand them a breast milk popsicle to soothe those painful gums. They are a great way to use up extra fresh breast milk and can be stored in the freezer for months.
Babies love these and normally have good fun enjoying the taste and sensation of these frozen treats. You may even find that your older kids enjoy these- we have some tips on that later.
How do I Make Breast Milk Popsicles?
You can freeze fresh breast milk in a number of formats- the best one will depend on the age of your child. Here we look at the best methods of making breast milk popsicles for various age groups. There are a few general tips to keep in mind:
Only every make breast milk popsicles from fresh milk- you can’t refreeze thawed milk! Read our blog post to learn more about how to freeze breast milk.
Ensure what any ice cube trays, mesh feeders or popsicle mold you use is BPA free, suitable for freezing and food safe.
You could also use formula milk for any of these methods.
Frozen Breast Milk Cubes in a Mesh Feeder
This method is perfect for teething babies aged 0-6 months. Simply pour your extra breast milk in to an ice cube tray and cover tightly. Pop in to the freezer to freeze for at least a few hours.
You can then add your breast milk ice cubes to the mesh feeder. This method is very safe and will prevent your baby from breaking off large chunks, and as you’re only using milk, these are completely smooth presenting no choking hazard.
If your baby can sit in a high chair, they will love feeling the ice cubes melt in their hands, giving the ice cubes a good chew and practicing those grasping skills!
Pacifier Breast Milk Popsicle
This method involves pouring your fresh milk in to an ice cube tray, and then popping the pacifier teat in to the cube before you pop the tray in to the freezer to freeze.
While this is handy for small hands and the pacifier is something your baby will be familiar with, pacifier popsicles probably aren’t suitable for younger babies who may break off large chunks, making them gag.
Breast Milk Popsicle with added Fruits (6+months)
If your baby has started on solid foods, you can add their favourite fruit to their popsicle. Toddlers will just love these fun and healthy popsicles!
You can use ice cubes or baby popsicle molds for this method. Simply add some finely chopped fruit to the mold. Another option is to blend the milk with frozen fruit or applesauce before pouring in to the mold- this way you can avoid lumps so you don’t have to worry about choking as much. Older babes well established on solids probably won’t need this, which can save mama some time!
If your baby has only started on solid food, it’s best to use the fruit and veggies they have already tried before, to avoid both rejection and risk of an allergic reaction. These can be entirely tailored to your baby’s tastes- here are a few suggestions for yummy fruits that can be used to fill your popsicle mold before freezing.
Berry Popsicle Recipe
1/4 cup mixed berries
1/4 cup fresh breast milk
a little honey to sweeten NOTE- Honey should only be given to kids over 12 months of age. You can leave out the honey for younger babies.
Simply blend the ingredients together and pour in to your chosen mold until filled. Pop in the freezer and use within a few months- if they last that long! They do save any waste of precious breastmilk which is amazing!
These breastmilk popsicles are a great way to use up any extra breastmilk you have, because even older kids will enjoy these! This is a great way to get breastmilk in to older children.
While breast milk popsicle molds are the perfect size for babies and toddlers, you may want to search out a larger mold if you are serving these to older kids.
You can store these in an airtight container for up to three months
Can This Recipe be Adapted?
You can absolutely tailor this recipe to your child- mother knows best!
You can make these using your favourite blend of fruits, you can blend or have chunks of fruit, you can also add other ingredients such as yogurt.
You should feel free to play with this recipe, but do be careful with your quantities- the last thing you want is to run out of mold space and to have to bin excess mixture!
Always remember to keep the recipe safe for your baby-save any additions until you baby is over six months, don’t use honey before 12 months and add chunks using your own discretion.
Do I Need to Spend Money a Specific Popsicle Mold?
If you’d sooner save your money, you don’t need to buy popsicle molds. You can use an ice cube tray- some moms use a small spoon as a handle. Have a search through your cupboards and see what you can find!
You also have the mesh feeder and pacifier ideas above.
How Long Can I Store Breast Milk Popsicle Made With Fresh Breast Milk?
This depends on how meticulously you have prepared and stored your breast milk popsicles, but you should be sure to use these within six months, ideally within three months.
These popsicles are so popular with toddlers that you can expect them to be used up long before then anyway!
Breast Milk Popsicle: Should I Make Some?
Mking breast milk popsicles is a quick and easy way to use up extra breast milk, plus it buys you some extra time because freezing your breast milk in this way gives you an extra few months to use it up.
That said, it’s not suitable if your milk has been previously frozen, and some babies don’t like the cold sensation.
If you’re looking for other ways to use up excess breast milk, check our our 11 surprising things to make with breast milk