I should have known this was coming. It happened with son #1, so it shouldn’t have surprised me when it happened with son #2. But it did. Right around the 9-10 month mark, he abruptly started refusing his bottle. As in, one day he happily chugged down three 7-oz bottles while I was away at work, and the next day he pushed the bottles away and clamped his lips shut at the sight of it.
Which meant that I now have a freezer overflowing with a very hard-earned supply of breastmilk!
Here are some ideas I’ve tried to a) continue giving him the health benefits of breastmilk, and b) deplete my stockpile without having to let any of that precious liquid gold go down the drain.
Offer in cups with straws
Though he wants nothing to do with a bottle these days, my little guy has developed a keen interest in sippy cups and straws – particularly his brother’s. So we’ve started giving him milk in these Camelbak water bottles and it works fairly well, especially if he “thinks” he’s getting his hands on his brother’s cup! He is also intrigued with straws, so with very close supervision (holding the straw in place to ensure it doesn’t cut into the back of his mouth), he will drink breastmilk through a straw from a regular cup.
I am an all-around huge fan of smoothies because of what I can hide in them. Today, my 3.5-year old – who refuses all vegetables like any good preschooler should – very happily drank at least a week’s worth of kale and spinach, concealed by pineapple, banana, and unsweetened vanilla almond milk. Taking a similar approach, I’ve started concocting breastmilk smoothies for my younger son.
- 4 oz frozen breastmilk,
- about 6-8 frozen strawberries,
- ⅓ of a banana,
- ½ tsp of almond butter.
He loved it!
Make pancakes and muffins
This one is easy – simply replace the milk in any recipe with breastmilk, using a 1:1 ratio. It’s important to use fresh breastmilk for this if you want to freeze any of the leftovers. For example, I’ll make a griddle full of whole wheat breastmilk pancakes on a Sunday, then freeze the leftovers for quick breakfasts or snacks throughout the week. The safety of refreezing breastmilk is debatable, so I err on the side of caution and use fresh milk only for this.
Use as a thinner for purees and oatmeal
To bring foods like pureed squash to the consistency your baby will eat, you often need to add a bit of liquid. Breastmilk is great for this, and replacing water or cow’s milk with breastmilk for oatmeal is another easy use.