06 September 2007

HOWTO: warm up milk quick and easy.

Note that this might work for formula too, if it's chilled in the fridge before use.

This is a simple solution that allows me to warm up previously "expressed" (dumb word for pumped) milk that's been chilling in the refrigerator. Usually it's in either small bags that attach to the pump, or in small bottles that similarly, attach to the pump. If I'm on the ball, this allows a minimum of screaming while getting the milk to the desired temperature pretty much "right on time". It all has to do with balanced thermal mass and conductivity. And it seems pretty much impossible to get it too hot this way, resulting in burns.

What you need:

  1. a cup that is big enough to fit the bottle/bag(s) of milk needed for one serving. (we have some drink glasses from St Louis' Fat Tuesday from our 1st anniversary that work perfectly.
  2. a second cup that is small enough to fit snuggly inside the top of the first cup, and weighs a bit. (I use a brushed alluminium and foam "can cooler" with the logo of Cory's former employer... it was collecting dust previously)
  3. Hot water from the tap. (not microwaved or stove boiled, though our DHW system is still set to what I call "Scald your skin off" temperature, but Cory calls "just right for a shower"... That won't last long now that Quinn is here)

how you do it:

  1. fill the cup with HOT water
  2. drop the bag in (note that bags work better than plastic bottles, which work better than glass bottles I expect.)
  3. place the second cup atop the bag to hold it down in the water
  4. wait a few moments
  5. pull the bag out and massage the milk to re-integrate the milk and cream.
  6. if contents feel like "body temperature" now, break out of the loop
  7. if the water has cooled to at or near the milk temperature, replace with fresh hot water from the tap
  8. replace bag
  9. go back up a few steps and put the bag back in and hold it back down

I usually can warm a bag of milk without replacing the water, a plastic bottle sometimes takes two water baths to get to temperature. (and I replace massaging the bag with shake/swirling the bottle)

Frozen milk works the same way, just takes longer. :) I did a 4 oz bag that was rock solid in 10 minutes and 5 water changes.

I suspect a thermal cup would work better than the current flimsy plastic cup I use, this winter when it's colder I'll have to investigate the switch over.

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