The thought of a teething baby is enough to give any parent the cold sweats. Poking and prodding, drooling and fussing – all those fresh new teeth can be a trial for mums and dads alike. So it’s important to find relief for their little gums as quickly as possible. And if traditional teething remedies like chewing on chilled pieces of fruit don’t seem helpful or satisfying, you can also try freezing bottles or bags of breast milk or formula instead.
What’s the theory behind it?
A cold teether will help your little one soothe his sore gums, and giving him a familiar bottle or bag to hold can make him feel more in control.
When should you do it?
Make sure you don’t freeze a teether for too long. A good guideline is to pop it in the freezer for 10 minutes (no more than 20) then give it to your baby.
The best teething toys for babies
You can buy specially-designed teethers that are chilled – but if you want to use a bag or bottle instead, here are the best teething toys you can freeze:
Breast milk or formula in a bag
A frozen bag of breast milk or formula is an excellent teething tool. Try getting your baby to hold it and bite down gently on the corner. This will help soothe the gums and get them used to bite down on something. Can you freeze formula?
And frozen breast milk or formula is a great natural source of comfort for your baby, too. You can throw a few bags in the freezer at once, and then just grab one as you need it.
Teething babies can be very dribbly, which isn’t much fun for them or their parents. Freezing nursing pads can help mop up any drips while your baby sucks on his teether.
Pads are also great because they’re a safe item to put into your baby’s mouth. And unlike ordinary teethers that can be dangerous if swallowed, he can bite down on a nursing pad.
Bibs are great because they’re already covered in fabric, so they don’t need to be washed first. They also offer extra protection and padding, so they make a good choice for teething babies.
Bibs aren’t usually very washable, so make sure you have another one spare.
Teething rings and teethers
They’re teething toys – so what could be better than freezing them? However, before putting them in the freezer, check that they’re made from safe materials. Some teethers contain harmful chemicals or lead paint, so check the packaging and stick to toys that are clearly labeled as ‘safe for baby to chew on.’
Teethers can also get a bit slimy, so make sure you wash them thoroughly before freezing.
What to do with frozen bottles/bags
Once you’ve finished freezing your stuff, you’ll need to thaw it first. To do this, just pop it in the microwave for 2-3 minutes at a time on full power – or put it in the fridge overnight if you have leftover bags of breast milk.
Of course, it’s also possible to follow the freeze and thaw cycle, if you prefer. Just keep in mind that the bags will become lumpy and harder to suck from after a few months of frozen.
How much breast milk or formula should you freeze?
The amount of breast milk or formula you need for your baby depends on his age and weight.
But generally speaking: A 1-month-old can drink 10-20 ml (around 2 teaspoons) every day. This can be frozen up to 2-3 times.
A 7-month-old can drink up to 50 ml (about 2 tablespoons) every day. This can be frozen up to 3 times, but the formula should then be thawed out before each use.
A 1-year-old can drink 50 ml (about 2 tablespoons) every day. This can be frozen up to 4 times, but the formula should then be thawed out before each use.
A 2-year-old can drink up to 100 ml (about 4 tablespoons) every day. This can be frozen up to 6 times, but the formula should then be thawed out before each use.
How long should I freeze the formula for teething babies?
Once you’ve frozen breast milk or formula in bags or bottles, it can last for several months. But the longer it stays in the freezer, the harder it will be to suck from.
So make sure you thaw it out before each feed so that it’s easy to suck on. And keep in mind that breast milk will also lose its flavor over time – so it’s best to freeze just enough to last a few weeks.
How long can frozen breast milk or formula be stored?
It’s best not to store frozen breast milk or formula in the freezer for too long, as some of the nutrients in the milk could be lost. But as long as you keep it in the freezer and use it as soon as possible, you could safely freeze it for up to three months.
So if you’re freezing breast milk for longer than three months, why not freeze some plain water instead?
Extra tip: Make sure your freezer is in good working order before you start freezing any bottles or bags of formula or breast milk. And never put baby food into a bag or bottle – always use a saucepan instead of a Tupperware container.
Conclusion: Can You Freeze Formula Milk
It is possible to freeze formula milk – and it is advisable for a teething baby.
Most parents of formula-fed babies would agree that the cost of baby formula can be steep, so freezing a bulk amount of it makes sense to save money in the long run. For starters, you should taste or use any frozen milk that has been defrosted and refrozen to check the quality.