It is no joke that there is a lot of stuff that goes along with having a baby. Take feeding your baby for instance: if you are using formula, you probably have a sink full of bottles and nipples by the end of the day. If you are breastfeeding, you don’t need anything, right? WRONG. If you’re breastfeeding, it means you’re also pumping and giving your baby a bottle of breastfed milk. That means you have all sorts of pump supplies, milk storage containers, and bottles and their parts to wash.
My first couple of months alone with the baby, I dumped everything – breast pumping supplies and bottles – into the sink because I had no time to wash it all. Then each night, I would spend 20 minutes washing and sanitizing everything once the baby was asleep. Sadly, it took me almost two months to learn that there are tricks to cleaning your breast pump/feeding supplies.
Trick #1: Keep a bowl of hot soapy water by the sink.
I use Seventh Generation Natural Dish Liquid or Medela Quick Clean Breastmilk Removal Solution. Toss your supplies in there after a feeding/pumping session. Then rinse them with water and hang to dry on a grass mat (my favorite). I usually keep mine in the bowl all day and then steam clean at night.
Trick #2: If you pump frequently, just stick your parts in the fridge.
Keep your breast pump parts in the refrigerator between pumping sessions. The cold preserves the pump parts until you can wash them. Instead of leaving your breast pump pieces to sit in the open in the sink all day long and letting any milk residue spoil on the parts, stick them in the fridge.
Trick #3: Buy extra parts!
Buy extra breast pump parts. With two sets of parts, like spare valves and membranes, you will be able to pump more without having to stop and wash your parts. Medela sells a set of Breastmilk Storage supplies here.
Trick #4: Medela Quick Clean Micro-Steam Bags.
Where were these when I started breastfeeding?! The steam bags sanitize your pump and bottle parts in just 3 minutes in the microwave. The steam cleans 99.9% of bacteria and you can use each bag up to 20 times!
Note: Be careful – the water in these suckers gets extremely hot! Read the directions (because I didn’t). You must pour the water out of a slit in the side of the bag, instead of the top, before trying to open it!
Do you have any tricks for cleaning your breast pump supplies or bottles?