There is no nutritional reason to heat milk, but most babies prefer it lukewarm. Children usually begin drinking refrigerated drinks like milk, water and juice at 10 to 12 months, but if your child doesn’t like cold milk, you can continue warming it up. To reheat milk:
Do not warm milk in a microwave oven. Microwaves heat unevenly, often at dangerously high temperatures.
- Put the milk container in warm water for a few minutes until lukewarm.
- Shake gently. Disposable bags heat more quickly than plastic or glass bottles.
- To check the temperature, pour a few drops on the back of your hand or the inside of your wrist. The milk should be neither hot nor cold to the touch.
To thaw or reheat frozen breast milk:
- Run cold water over the container, then gradually add hot water until the milk is lukewarm.
- Or put the milk in the refrigerator for 10 to 12 hours, then warm it in hot water.
- Stir, check the temperature and feed it to your baby.
Do not warm a bottle of milk in boiling water on the stove. All foods—both liquid and solid—lose some of their nutritional value when overheated. And babies have been accidentally burned with milk that was too hot or was heated in a microwave oven.
Microwave ovens are also unsuitable because there is a risk that bags and glass bottles might explode. Also breast milk loses some of its vitamins and antibodies when reheated in the microwave.
Don’t leave reheated milk for more than two hours at room temperature. Throw it away if it is left out for this long because bacteria multiply quickly and could cause diarrhea.
Antibodies: Substances made by the body to fight off disease. Also called immunoglobulins.